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Old 08-27-2012, 11:48 PM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 22

Hello Niall,

Thank you for your response. As usual with this group of columns, I present as much evidence as possible, given the demands on space, and leave the reader to judge. I will reply point by point.

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
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:

This juxtaposition seems infelicitous but perhaps it was a joke.
PAG. I delved into Kakehi's writings because Walter Skya regarded the three ultranationalists, Hozumi, Uesugi and Kakehi, as the main intellectuals promoting ultranationalism, especially as this affected the military in the 1930s. This was in contrast to the usual orthodox view, according to which Kita Ikki and Okawa Shumei played this role. So I read through some of Kakehi's discourses and was struck by the language he used and the similarities with Moritaka Ueshiba's wartime discourses in the Omoto publications. So the next question would be whether Deguchi or M Ueshiba read Kakehi or knew him, and to what extent Kodo Omoto was influenced by his writings. We do not know. M Ueshiba's friend Okawa Shumei certainly knew him and had much respect for his ideas, but no connection can be established beyond any doubt. The novelty is that, while Kakehi appeared to be a major intellectual figure, like Minobe Tatsukichi, he does not figure at all in orthodox postwar histories of the 1930s in Japan.

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
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:

And this seems refreshingly unequivocal.
PAG. Again, I was uncomfortably struck by the similarities between M Ueshiba's statements, quoted, and the sentiments of the Kokutai no Hongi, part of which I also quoted.

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
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?
PAG. I stated in the column that the thesis that Ueshiba was against the Fifteen Years War from the very beginning is not borne out by the evidence. Kisshomaru certainly did not think he was a pacifist. On the basis of the evidence, it is more plausible to think that he became uncomfortable as the war progressed, especially over the issue of ending the war in China and keeping America neutral.

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
And finally a question from your column number 20.

How much do you think this matters for our own training?
PAG. I intend to deal with this question as a whole in Column 26. I think it has to be seen as part of the much wider question of the general relevance of Morihei Ueshiba to postwar aikido.

Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Thanks again for all the layers of information.


Best wishes,


P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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