View Single Post
Old 09-10-2009, 07:03 AM   #25
Peter Goldsbury
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,243
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Steve,

In this post I will discuss some of the comments in your earlier post, quoted below. Comments marked PAG.

Best wishes,


Steve Earle wrote: View Post
Thanks, Peter. My information on kotodama is admittedly not very good; the reference in the paragraph quoted comes from some exposure to Ogasawara Koji and also a man (whom I met) named Hayashi Shinji (or Shinjiro? sorry; long time ago) who wrote extensively on the Takeuchi Documents.
PAG. Wait a minute. On p. 138 of your book we find the following paragraph, which refers to the chart of 'Life Sounds' on p.136:

"One might assume that the orderly way in which the pronunciation of the vertical columns of this table follow upon each other would be common knowledge: it is not. This aspect of the syllabary is not addressed in the textbooks. It is not mentioned in studies of Japanese phonetics. Nor is it mentioned in historical texts, either modern or ancient. It is certainly not found within the esoteric Shinto tradition of kotodama that ascribes spiritually derivative meanings to the kana word-sounds. Outside of the immediate circle of Odano-sensei's students, it remains, to my knowledge, entirely unknown."

This whole 'Life Sounds' chapter deserves separate treatment, but what struck me is that the quoted paragraph takes no account of vowel dimensions and the various ways of ordering the kana sounds that we find discussed in Ogasawara and other kotodama gaku scholars. Hence my earlier remarks on the importance of kototama gaku as an interpretative tool for understanding Odano's thinking. She may not think so, but to me she is writing in a very definite and pronounced Japanese cultural tradition. You yourself have emphasized in several places the importance of seeing significance in coincidences. So here is an example that you appear not to accept: what you see as a coincidence, I see as a connection.

Steve Earle wrote: View Post
Not familiar (other than by name) with kotodama-gaku and will defer to your comments. I do know that Odano was not influenced by either kotodama or kotodama-gaku as she had no interest and never studied either; not saying that you are implying otherwise but just to be clear.
PAG. Sure, but Odano is following in the very same intellectual tradition. I would be very interested in knowing what she read and on what she based her theories. It is hard to believe that it was entirely the vision and 'common sense'.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
  Reply With Quote