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Old 08-27-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 22

Peter thank you for this and for all your painstaking research and expositions.

I enjoy your sweeps across time and space but I wonder if the meta-discussion about Katsuhiko Kakehi was so relevant for aikidoka. One small point:

In one of his articles Maruyama Masao compared the Japanese state to a diagram. We know that Morihei Ueshiba liked diagrams and occasionally referred to them in his discourses. Ueshiba was following a tradition, for Skya notes that Kakehi, also, often used diagrams as part of his explanations…
This juxtaposition seems infelicitous but perhaps it was a joke.

In your columns 20 and 21 you discussed the frame or lens through which Japan was viewed after the war by non-Japanese historians and briefly the victor's justice of the Tokyo war crimes trial.

Perhaps I can draw some comparisons with Europe after 1945. I don't know how much Japan was able to avoid some of the post-war guilt and soul-searching of certain European countries. Examples would be the Vichy syndrome in France and the treatment of collaborationists and even resistance movements in formerly occupied countries. And if there was the revisionist rewriting of history on the scale of Europe.

You also briefly mentioned government post-war and post-occupation rehabilitation policies in Japan. In German the post-war treatment of the past is called Vergangenheitspolitik. The principle of overcoming the actions and the guilt of the past is called Vergangenheitsbewältigung.

Glancing at some post-war careers. Kurt Georg Kiesinger became Chancellor of West Germany. Kurt Waldheim became President of Austria. In industry Ferdinand and Ferry Porsche made some great cars. And in the arts Günter Grass forgot his membership of the Waffen-SS.

Some of these people were clearly opportunists. In contrast you quote Morihei Ueshiba:

There are more foolhardy and arrogant people in the military all the time. They have lost sight of their duty to the nation; they want only to show off their bone-headed aggression and bloodthirstiness, whatever the cost to their country. These are fools who go against nature and God's will. True Budo draws on the vital power of the universe for the highest purpose. To follow a real martial path, you must combine harmony, discipline and selfless love. These criminals play with weapons and use the name of ‘Budo' as a cover for destruction, violence and the lust for power. There are plenty of fools that would make use of me if they could. I would never give my approval to this kind of conduct. Maybe the only way for me is to withdraw from the world.
And this seems refreshingly unequivocal.

Can I ask you a couple of questions?

After your research what is your own conclusion - do you think that Morihei Ueshiba was a nationalist or a pacifist?

And finally a question from your column number 20.

How much do you think this matters for our own training?

Thanks again for all the layers of information.



we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats

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