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Old 01-15-2008, 11:39 PM   #19
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 6

Fred Little wrote: View Post
Even in the arguably less sinister case of Takeshita, it appears that his connection with Ueshiba came about a result of prior Omoto connections and not independently.
... for Deguchi was widely rumored within Omoto to be a hidden bastard child of the royal line with a better claim to the throne than its occupant.
He was arrested in 1921 not for his delusions of godhood, but for going too far in his pretensions of royalty, adopting a name that sounded too "imperial" , and making a point of going about on a white horse, aping the image of the emperor. It is difficult to find any way to reconcile the Tenno cult of State Shinto, the heirs of Atsutane, with such a blatant apostasy against the sacred bloodline.

Fred Little wrote: View Post
Intellectual history is entertaining from time to time, but rarely dispositive and rarely a matter of great concern to activists like Deguchi, who are more concerned with the affective potential of a truth claim than its substance or accuracy.

At the end of all this, I am arguing for a relatively simple proposition that is well supported factually: Omoto was riddled with what we can call, for lack of a better or shorter phrase, "authoritarian militarist influence." ...
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the picture above is just an unavoidable formal portrait. But that's a very low order maybe.
The point is not Deguchi's bona fides, nor his questionable associations in the underworld as with the Genyosha pictured. I am quite prepared to believe Deguchi to be a self-deluded opportunist and/or half mad preacher with his eye on the main chance. Lord knows we have enough of those here, and human beings are the same every where in that regard. Ueshiba's shying away from him and the organization as of the final suppression, despite his feelings of guilt for not helping defend them, speaks volumes about his honne.

Deguchi's shamanistic charisma (which he plainly had) and his promulgation of a different view of the Kojiki from that of the establishment were what attracted Ueshiba, not to mention the yusai he drew from it. That view of the Kojiki, flowing by different sources from the same Kojiki-Den as the tradition of Asutane, was contrary to the establishment, and often suppressed in various manifestations (as with Deguchi).

Ueshiba had a pattern of seeking and sticking with people who had things to teach him, however unpleasant the associations that came with it. What ever misuses the knowledge may have been put to by Deguchi, as a source of such knowledge, Ueshiba sought him out, much as he sought out Takeda, disagreeable as he was, and as tumultuous as their relationship was and remained. Takeshita, with his interest in voluntary service and budo organizations and experience in promoting judo and aikido in the West, is the the third major influence, and with which all the essentials of what made aikido develop and successfully spread are present.

My point is that it goes to far to put Ueshiba in a role of the puppet of his influences, from whom he suffered as much as he learned. It also goes too far to say that his son did not know his own father's mind or that he so radically altered his father's vision or intent in promulgating the art world wide along the very paths blazed by Takeshita, his father's patron in government, whom Kisshomaru personally credited with providing the organizational impetus. Had Morihei Ueshiba done nothing new and original worthy of his lineage preserving intact, and flowing from his own views shaped with that hard won knowledge -- we would not be having this conversation.


Erick Mead
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