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Old 09-17-2008, 07:54 PM   #74
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 10

Mr Henderson,

Many thanks for your post. I have given a few responses.

Best wishes,


David Henderson wrote: View Post
This will be my first post on this site; my thanks for your consideration of my question:

I've been reading the exchange between Professor Goldsbury and Mr. Mead, and it seems to me two somewhat separate issues are cojoined in their discussion.

> One is whether O'Sensei's move to Iwama was in any way related to events in Manchuria;

> The other is whether we can understand the move more fully by attempting to understand his motives and actions in a "mythic" and situational context. As I understand the argument, this analysis rests on an examination of Japanese mythology; Ueshiba's religious beliefs; and the social context in which he expressed those beliefs, understood in cultural context.
PAG. The Manchurian connection is an interesting hypothesis, in much the same way that Baignent's & Leigh's hypotheses about Christ's bloodline and the Holy Grail are interesting and make a very interesting film/movie. The evidence for the historical accuracy of Ueshiba's 'Manchurian connection' and its link with his move to Iwama is quite another matter--and this is my prime concern. In this respect the 'Manchurian connection' is of a piece with Ueshiba's instructing at all the various military schools. We know he did this, we can speculate that he did this because of his many connections with high-ranking military officers. However, how this teaching commitment connected with "Japanese mythology; Ueshiba's religious beliefs; and the social context in which he expressed those beliefs, understood in cultural context," is something that we would need further evidence to find out. We have some idea about the 'budo' of the military from what Ueshiba himself tells us.

David Henderson wrote: View Post
I think the exchange has established that the Manchurian thesis is an interesting one that can't be "proven" based on the historical record; but so far the invited "mythic" analysis seems embedded in the discussion of whether O'Sensei was reacting in some way in part to events in the war in China.
PAG. The analysis is certainly embedded in Mr Mead's discussion, but I would be surprised if such a "mythical" analysis can be shown to connect directly with events in China. I think that this would require far more evidence then we possess at present.

David Henderson wrote: View Post
One may dispute, accept, or entertain for entertainment's sake the hypothesis that events in Manchuria are relevant to the move to Iwama. However, that still leaves unanswered how O'Sensei's visions, statements, and actions would have been viewed by someone who shared his beliefs and cultural understanding.
Do you have anyone in mind here? Masahisa Goi, perhaps? Certainly not his son Kisshomaru, who has presented by far the most detailed evidence to date, apart from Morihei Ueshiba himself. I think that Kisshomaru viewed his father's "visions, statements and actions" with great sensitivity and even sympathy, but I think it is clear that, though he did share his father's "cultural understanding", he did not share his father's beliefs.

David Henderson wrote: View Post
Professor Goldsbury, what do you make of Mr. Mead's proposition that Ueshiba's revelations amounted to what I will call a "heavenly indictment" of the Emperor giving his imprimatur to the decision to go to war based on your understanding of the deities he discusses? Does this line up with the textual evidence of what Ueshiba reported?


David Henderson
PAG. I would think that it is a "heavenly indictment" of Emperor Hirohito, only to the extent that is was a "heavenly indictment" of those who sought to interpret and carry out the 'Imperial Will'. To suggest otherwise is to misunderstand the ramifications of the Emperor System, as it developed from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War. I have argued elsewhere that Ueshiba was well and truly in the "black box", but he remained in the box despite the visions, as did Tojo, Konoe, Tomita, and all the military officers surrounding the Emperor. The fact that the deity mentions a message from the great deity of Ise, adds to the strength of the message; it does not amount to any "indictment", heavenly or otherwise. This reads too much into the available evidence.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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