Ted Ehara (tedehara) wrote:
Looking at a translation of "The Kojiki" by Basil Hall Chamberlain. I know it's old, but it's still in English.
I know the Founder was influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi, but because of the availability of "Kojiki" wouldn't it be hard to prove he didn't directly read it or at least use a copy to verify Deguchi?
Actually, with Chamberlain's translation the 'naughty' bits are in Latin (see pp. 20-21, where Izanagi and Izanami dance round the pillar). Philippi's translation has some useful appendices and a glossary of all the kami appearing in the book. It is still heavy-going, nontheless, but comparatively easier than the Japanese text.
As for the Founder's reading of the Kojiki, I know that he occasionally talked to kokugaku scholars and read Reikai Monogatari. Some of the Founder's library still remains in Iwama and there is a copy of Onisaburo's book there. However, I understand that the Founder had a favourite copy of Reikai M. which he often read or had read to him, but I have not yet seen this. My information about O Sensei's reading habits comes from talking to the older shihans at the Aikikai Hombu. Though the kokugaku movement popularized the early stories of the Kojiki and they would be known to most Japanese, I am not sure whether the actual text of the Kojiki was widely available when the Founder was alive. Nowadays even quite well-read Japanese rarely read it, in part because the kanbun text is so difficult.
Happy New Year.