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Old 02-03-2009, 08:12 PM   #9
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Hello Don,

Bringing this thread back to the book, I received it and have looked through it. The Nanzan review is reasonable, though I think the reviewer unfairly criticizes Stalker for not doing something that she never intended to do, which is deal with the postwar reincarnation of Omoto. The book is based on a Stanford Ph.D thesis and clearly she has been taught by all the right people, especially Peter Duus and Inoue Nobutaka.

I think you could quite profitably compare this book to Nadolski's Ph.D thesis, since both works cover precisely the same period. Nadolski's focus is specifically on ultrantionalism, but Stalker's is less clear. Morihei Ueshiba is mentioned in the book, but only as a companion to Deguchi during the Mongolian expedition and all mention of Ueshiba appears to be based on Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Aikido, the English edition, published by Hozansha in the early 70s.

So, given the discussion in the rest of the thread, here is a question for you. Stalker gives a detailed explanation of the ritual/technique ('waza', really), known as chinkon kishin. Her discussion is a model of clarity, but it is also clear that she is very unlikely to have actually practised the ritual. What can we say of her understanding, or her description?

In Column 11, I shall quote a text, possibly written by Ueshiba, which states that the man of budo is able to do waza only after practising chinkon kishin. O Sensei clearly practised the ritual himself, and in at least three forms. So, for those who state that in order to understand Ueshiba's aikido, we have to follow in his footsteps and train like he did, does this also include practising chinkon kishin? Or are we allowed to choose which footsteps we follow in?

I post the question in this way to illustrate the dilemma faced by Kisshomaru and his early postwar associates.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 02-03-2009 at 08:14 PM.

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