Thanks to Prof. Goldsbury for this. I found especially interesting the comments by Goi Sensei. The suggestion that his exposition, if you will, reflects some measure of O Sensei's intent or understanding of the use of images he used, is very helpful. It strikes me as fitting the archetypal psychology of Jung and extended later by his student James Hillman (I highly recommend his "A Terrible Love of War
" He explicitly deals with mythological image in the context of budo, in what Goi essentially suggests that O Sensei did implicitly in his discussions.
I have for sometime used that working assumption as a basis for my construction of his images into practical use. This is not the same as interpretting what he said in its Japanese context. Interpretation and construction are closely allied but different processes See e.g. http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheor...truction.html:
Of course, I can explain all this, but if demanded to create a somewhat lyrical translation that captures all of this, I doubt I could come up with one. Particularly since Japanese poetry is designed to be vague and evocative, so that no two people will necessarily understand the original in the same way.
Interpreting what he said (I am not that competent) yields the images of the narrative, or merely the vignette of the scene or impression in the more poetic modes. Construing the images he selected (once interpreted) yields an insight into the practice of his art with reflection on actual experience in the art. That does not mean that <<IHTBF>> goes away, but it helps explain why all this talk and struggle with his meaning, images and practice is actually accomplishing something in conjunction with what we actually feel in practice.
This is a well understood, if unavoidably contingent, process -- it is teaching from, and thereby extending, the narrative case.
This is more accessible than it seems because the nature of myth is to embody the conceptual in a concrete narrative. Once the narrative is interpreted, it makes the concrete images accessible to non-native speakers. Those can then be construed for similarity of pattern against actual experience for further application.
If this made no sense to do, English speakers would not read Issa's haiku -- but they do -- because they are concrete image and capsule narrative, and very amenable to English speakers. ( I highly recommend this for your daily dose -- and the deluxe version with the Japanese! : http://cat.xula.edu/issa/
) The Doka are not that different, if taken in this light.
Although this is myth, people often do not realize that concrete narrative is the type of knowledge that is in the legal case in English usage. Argument from cases is quite appropriate -- once we realize that in myth we see a concrete narrative exemplifying principles of action or decision, in the same manner as a legal case. The same has developed in the uses of the business case as a form of study in schools of management, so this is not a merely parochial legal approach.
We draw a principled practical lesson from a mythic narrative as we draw a principled practical lesson from a legal or business narrative (And sometimes demonstrate competing or even contradictory lessons, that nonetheless turn out to be useful in practice) (Political narrative seems similar but is polemical -- this kind of case study is not -- but the politicians like to blur lines -- it's what politicians do, they can't help it)
Cases and myths are near cousins -- In fact some law cases achieve an almost mythic status in some of our important cultural narratives. That illustrates the common nature and sociology of this form of knowledge . It is what we are in the process of doing here.