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Old 05-09-2008, 09:48 AM   #15
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: Kisshomaru as Interpretor of the Founder's Words

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
This article appears on pages 24 & 25 of The Secret Teaching of Aikido. The paragraph begins, "Aiki fosters the spirit of harmony throughout the world. I speak as a member of the Japanese race and as a member of the family of humankind. We must bring all people of this world together so that they can live in harmony."

The Japanese original reads: "合気はこの世の大和魂の錬成であります。私はこの日本の家族の一人として、また世界の家族の一人として皆さま御話し申しますこれからは世界がひとつに和合していなければ なりません。"

In his book, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, changes the paragraph very slighty. ...

"合気はこの世の大和魂の錬成であります。私はこの日本の家族の一人として、また世界の家族の一人として皆さまお話し申します。これからは世界がひとつに和合していなけれ ばなりません。"

A more literal translation would be: "Aiki is training in yamatodamashii (the spirit of Japan) in this world. I make this statement to everybody as one of the family of this Japan and as one of the family of the world. Thus the world should be in harmony as one."

It is for others to judge to what extent John Stevens has changed the substance of O Sensei's statements. ... The question of 'sanitization' is an issue for me, however.
How much "sanitization" is necessary to remove the accumulated dross of modern connotations, however? The propaganda use of the term in the War and post war generations colors the meaning that it had for the older generation such as O Sensei.

It has been a deliberately ambiguous phrase poised between exceeding refinement and exceeding fierceness, between cultural nativism and cultural engagement since it was first used in Genji Monogatari. The view of a fully grounded western interpreter predating the War and contemporary with O Sensei's era of maturing, such as Hearn for example, is uncolored by the wartime abuses of propaganda. That is a likely more reliable guide to O Sensei's meaning in its use -- in western terms at any rate.


Erick Mead
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