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Old 01-15-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 632
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 6

Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Point is, those influences while not denied, are not at all connected to Ueshiba through Omoto. It is the Omoto influence, increasingly suppressed during the pre-War years that seems to have so prominently reasserted itself afterward. I see little if any connection between these two poles of Ueshiba's life -- apart from himself -- which would leave him an interesting historically situated person, even without Aikido.

This is really quite an astonishing assertion. As astonishing in its own way as would be an assertion that fascist influences on Spanish followers of Josemaria Escrival in the period between the Thirties and the re-establishment of democracy following the death of Generalissimo Francisco Franco can not be denied but are not at all connected to their involvement with Opus Dei.

Quite the contrary, both movements seem similar insofar as each offered an ostensibly "spiritual" rationale which was congruent with the goals and methods of a more secular authoritarian and militarist movement that was coming to the fore. This offered the opportunity to attract and utilize "spiritually inclined" individuals who were more responsive to an apparently religious discourse than a secular political discourse to contribute to the larger authoritarian project that was under way.

I would argue that the more meaningful distinction between the two is the ultimate sense on the part of the Japanese government that Deguchi's own ambitions made him an unreliable ally at best, and an affirmative threat at worst.

Had Opus Dei come to be seen by Franco as a direct threat, in the way that Oomoto came to be seen by the Japanese government -- or those unelected power brokers directing affairs from behind the black curtain -- as a potential, if not direct threat, I have no doubt that it too would have been subject to vigorous countermeasures.

This is a long way around to say that, far from being "two poles of Ueshiba's life," these can be seen more accurately as mere alternative expressions of a common core, albeit in two languages that are often treated as distinct due to a series of historical accidents and (to follow M.Foucault's line of work) disciplinary imperatives.

In Ueshiba's case, the change after the war, then, would be less the rise of suppressed influences than a necessary shift to a more contemporaneously acceptable language and the jettisoning of a language that had come to be taboo as a result of the loss of the war.

For a more current phenomena with similar characteristics, one need look no further than the Unification Church of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, which has an ostensibly spiritual program and also has deep and abiding connections with a variety of right-wing ideologues, intelligence services, organized criminal enterprises and agents of political influence in both East Asia and the United States.

While the motivations of individual followers of any of these movements may be seen by those individuals as entirely "spiritual" entirely "pure," and not initially connected with any conscious impetus toward a broadly authoritarian political or military project, to assert that such influences do not connect with them by way of their association with one of these movements is striking in the way it privileges private self-images and sectarian narratives over the attempt to address publicly documented historical facts in a reasonably even-handed fashion.

Best regards,


Last edited by Fred Little : 01-15-2008 at 11:35 AM. Reason: one clause addition
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