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Old 07-19-2009, 07:47 AM   #19
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,241
Re: non-Japanese cannot become shihan anymore?

Hello Raul,

A few more answers and comments.

Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Thanks for the information. So the whole issue does go back to the question posed by Don. Did Fujita say at that meeting that Tissier was a Hombu shihan, and if he did, why?
PAG. Fujita Sensei knew from bitter experience to choose his words very carefully. And he spoke in Japanese. However, even in English, a "6th Dan from the Hombu", a "Shihan from the Hombu" and a "Hombu Shihan" are quite different.

In your earlier post you quoted Fujita Sensei as stating that Christian T had "a 6th dan from the Hombu". This means what it states: he received his 6th dan from the Aikikai Hombu.

At the time of the meeting in Sweden, when there were no arrangements in place for the authorization of overseas shihan, Fujita Sensei's next statement is also correct: in the normal way of Japanese thinking, a "6th dan from the Hombu" is equivalent to a "shihan from the Hombu" and most shihans understand the rank in this way. But the designation of "Hombu Shihan" is quite different. It is a category over and above that of '6th dans from the Hombu' and 'shihans from the Hombu'.

For example, take Nakao Sensei from the Kobe Seibukan Dojo. He has 6th dan from the Hombu and so he is a shihan 'from the Hombu', in the normal Japanese sense, just like I am (though neither of us has any paper to prove this). however, he is not a 'Hombu Shihan', which is a title (1) indicating the kind of 'Japanese' closeness to O Sensei shared only by his early disciples, or (2) given to the most senior shihan in the Hombu's teaching department.

Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
What is Doshu's attitude toward the creation of Birankai? Since Birankai is supposed to be bequeathed to Chiba's student T. Miyamoto of Hombu Dojo, does that ensure that Hombu retains control anyway?
PAG. What is your evidence for the bequeathing of the Birankai to T Miyamoto Shihan?

As for Doshu's attitude to the creation of the Birankai, he said, 'Hai. Wakarimashita', which is interpreted on the Birankai's website as agreement. What else could he do? I do not think the Hombu wanted to have another dramatic withdrawal by a major shihan, after the pattern of K Tohei.

Please remember that the Hombu, like the government of Japan since the Kamakura period, operates on the basis of power, interpreted in terms of efficiency, numbers, or status. At present, the Birankai has all three, but I would think that the suitability of T Miyamoto to replace K Chiba would be a major question.

Best wishes,


P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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