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Old 11-27-2004, 11:42 PM   #15
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 837
Re: Budo and Buddhism

Hi Eric,

I thought your paper was well written. I really think that Thomas Cleary`s The Japanese art of War is required reading for the subject. Cleary, too, has things to say about DT Suzuki that are not so complementary. He discusses Musashi and Takuan/Yagyu as well as Suzuki Shosan, who is a very interesting person that I think you`d really enjoy reading about.

I also recommend Omori Sogen: The Art of a Zen Master by Hosokawa Dogen. Omori Sogen was a Buddhist priest, calligrapher and sword teacher. Also good is John Stevens` The Sword of No Sword, which is a biography of Yamaoka Tesshu.

To learn about Shingon, I recommend Taiko Yamazaki`s book, Shingon. The samurai, like all other pre-modern warriors, were generally very superstitious and Shingon as well as neo-Confucianism and Taoism provided a lot of magic spells and clearcut formulas for them to follow.

I have a few comments/questions about your article.
I have never heard of shu ha ri being applied to Zazen. It is originally a Ikebana teaching as I understand it. Where did you read it as something related to Zazen?
Takuan was a priest, never a swordsman.
Satsujinken and katsujinken refer to sword principles and both were used to kill opponents. Karl Friday`s book on Kashima Shin Ryu elucidates the principle clearly (as well as being an awesome book.) The idea that they refer to saving an opponent is taught by Mitsugi Saotome Sensei in his Principles book, right? I would love to hear what Dr. Friday has to say about this.
The Takamura Sensei quote was interesting. However, does that make Gandhi not a pacifist?

Charles Hill
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