08-28-2015, 06:12 PM
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Re: Creed of Tokugawa Ieyasu
Peter and Keith,
Thanks for the response. I find the Tokugawa reign fascinating. It changed Japan in so many ways.
I am very ambivalent as to where I stand in regard to Ieyasu. I remember that Saito Sensei would bring new uchi deshi up to Nikko Toshogu Shrine ( dedicated to the spirit of Ieyasu ). He would never enter the grounds himself. He understood that it was an important and beautiful spot, but he himself was from farmer stock - and Nikko was built ( as were most of the great historic temples and other monumental structures throughout the world) by slave labor ( read: peasants and farmers ). Reading about Ieyasu's life one can see that he was here and there - backing first one side and then the other, before finally taking the reigns and establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate.
It is interesting to know, as Peter points out, that this creed was written at an early time in his reign.
He was known for being a patient man, but looking at how he got to his final position, it looks like it wasn't until later that he would actually practice all of what he preached.
In the creed he doesn't really mention the other values, such as found in the Go Rin - Go jou ( Jin (benevolence), Gi ( rectitude), Rei (courtesy), Chi (knowledge / wisdom), Shin (sincerity ).
As in most cases with these prominent figures - I think he was a man of many faces. Fascinating!
Conrad Totman has written a generally sympathetic biography, unlike, say, Robert Caro's four volumes on Lyndon Johnson. Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of his father is also generally sympathetic, but I suppose one could write a life that presents Morihei Ueshiba in quite a different light.
P A Goldsbury