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  #26  
Old 07-20-2008, 03:34 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

INTERLUDE
III: Deguchi, Ueshiba and Omoto:
Part 1: The First Suppression

The last column focused on several aspects of prewar Japan that would have had some impact on Morihei Ueshiba's view of the martial arts in general and the art he was...
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:41 PM   #25
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

One other point.

Because the discussion about O Sensei and Omoto was becoming too long, I decided to break it in two. The column under discussion here takes the discussion as far as the first suppression in 1921. The next column will continue the discussion from the first suppression, including the abortive trip to Mongolia in 1942, up until the second suppression in 1935. This is already written and just needs some more polish and editing.

One of the attractive features of Thomas Nadolski's thesis, for me, is how he relates the changing facets of Omoto to the changing facets of Yamato-damashii and the kokutai. These two terms were really 'umbrella' terms, which meant quite different things to different interest groups.

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Old 07-23-2008, 12:10 AM   #26
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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John Brockington wrote: View Post
On a side note, forgive my ignorance, but what exactly was Japan doing in Manchuria in 1942?
Minign for war material mostly, But I think you mean 1924-1925. More or less, at that time, they were doing the same thing Britain was doing in Burma since about the 1820's. At that time it was a power vacuum between the Russians ( in their Civil War) and a weak Chinese republic. The Mukden incident pretext for invasion of Manchuria was in 1931 and led to establishment of the puppet ex-Ching Emperor PuYi as "leader" of Manchukuo.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-23-2008 at 12:17 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:52 AM   #27
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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But's that just it, the context (of O Sensei's actions and teaching) is what is in question, or let's just say it is what is being examined and commented upon. .. So who does one believe, and just exactly how circumspect should we be in interpreting anything we are told about O Sensei? Now, no one would thoughtfully accuse Allen Dershowitz of opposing civil liberties, because there is a preponderance of evidence to the contrary.
Which is all fine. Answers are easy -- It is the questions are hard. What is the question that we are really asking? The issue of yamato damashii is fraught with many agendas, and they must be carefully questioned lest we assume an agenda in operation for which there is no evidence, other than the contested use of the term.

I am no hagiographer, but we cannot judge a man adequately divorced of his own time. To say on the basis of expressing yamato damashii that Ueshiba was an imperialist before the War is a no-brainer uncontested point of cultural reality. But only a very narrow historical lens takes that information amiss, since Churchill was expressly so, and his historical contemporary, no less, and personally advanced the cause of empire in the Sudan and India. Britain was very little different in its excesses, which are not excused thereby, but then that hardly makes Japan atypical in its goals and ends, even if its means in obtaining them may legitimately be challenged.

As far as it relates to the War, in which the phrase is very prominent, there was no inevitability in the war with the U.S. from the Japanese side, and much strongly expressed political opposition to it, up to and possibly including Hirohito himself, and expressly including the admiral charged with carrying the war to us. Yamamoto did not want that, he had long running ties in the States -- but he carried it out.

To me this speaks deeply of a true concept of budo and yamato damashii which it is meant to embody, even though he acted to attack. In a different way, so does O Sensei's withdrawal to Iwama after Pearl Harbor and the second "vision of Aiki" in 1942.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:04 AM   #28
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Since Jun Akiyama has kindly afforded me a platform, I plan to continue with these columns and the present output is about one third of the expected whole.
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us, and also to Jun for providing the place.

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Old 07-23-2008, 09:33 AM   #29
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Second Vision - December 1940
Attack on Pearl Harbor - December 1941
Retirement to Iwama - (?) 1942

My understanding is that the tide of the Pacific War, which up until then had been marked by a continuing series of Japanese victories, turned in about mid 1942. Of course the average Japanese citizen would more than likely be completely unaware of this (until being directly bombed as every MAJOR CITY eventually was up until Japan's surrender, and even then might not feel safe to point out the obvious openly) but a person that had deep political and military connections, especially Naval connections, would probably know the facts and the predicted outcome.

Despite such knowledge some might choose to stay in harm's way up to the bitter end. But other's might choose to "step off the line" and not be there (Omoto Supression 1 & 2, Iwama retirement 1942) maybe even eventually "standing behind" their attacker (Hiding in Osaka Police Cheif's house, teaching for Military establishment, demonstrating for and teaching foreigners).

The facts are the facts. The spin (interpretation) is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, I'm all for the presentation of new facts. I also like to consider different, likely, interpretations of the facts, based on the facts, by individuals well aquatinted with the facts, who are open open and will to accept new information and new possible interpretations.

This is one of the great things about Peter's posts, whether or not you agree with his interpretations, he is presenting a great deal of information, in condensed form, that most individuals either don't have access to, the ability to read, or don't avail themselves of. This alone is well worth (more than) the price of admission. Beyond that, Peter is a scholar and, although this isn't a presentation to his (academic) peers, he retains much of the traits that make such a work more valuable than the average book intended for mass consumption. Finally, his interpretations (which he has typified as "personal musings") are that of a Professor of a Japanese University (which gives him a unique status in the hierarchical societal structure of Japan BTW), a long time Aikido practitioner/teacher under several notable sensei, a political figure of some stature within the largest (I believe) Aikido organization in the world, and a personal acquaintance (at least he had access to personal conversations) with the 2nd Doshu.

Peter is retired now and sharing information and "personal musings" in a respectful, empowering (He's not telling folks "the truth" or "his side of the story." He has repeatedly shared his sources, encouraged individuals to read and research, and he also has been very respectful of other's interpretations and other's right to draw their own conclusions. All this presented in a, heretofore, unprecedented manner (shear volume [information per paragraph], expense [free], public).

With appreciation and respect,

Allen

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Old 07-23-2008, 09:38 AM   #30
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Yeah, what Allen said, two times!

-Doug Walker
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:17 AM   #31
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Yeah, two times!

Look at that, the Kodokan Trifecta!

Tom Wharton

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Old 07-23-2008, 11:55 AM   #32
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Second Vision - December 1940
Attack on Pearl Harbor - December 1941
Retirement to Iwama - (?) 1942
My error, I had meant to refer to his third vision 1942, vice the second in 1940.

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
... but a person that had deep political and military connections, especially Naval connections, would probably know the facts and the predicted outcome.
The interesting thing is that it was the naval connections that were mostly opposed to war with the U.S. Adm. Yonai became prime minister with Hirohito's support, opposed to widening the war to the U.S. and Britain. He lost the premiership to Togo and the war party, and reputedly to the emperor's dismay, who is reported to have actually spoken critically to the council meeting that was deliberating the attack on the U.S.,such that even the war party agreed to extend the deadline for their demands.

Some of that attribution of spoken opposition may be after the fact protection for the emperor under the SCAP war crimes trials, but the actions of supporting for office the anti-war premier Yonai (who, like Yamamoto, was subject of some assassination attempts by some extreme radical war factions) says more than words, as does the historical delay in the plans of attack by the war party, which that criticism is attributed in bringing about.

Takeshita, Ueshiba's primary patron/student, and who arranged the Imperial family demonstration in 1941 was actually a participant in Teddy Roosevelt's mediation of the Treaty of Portsmouth ending the Russo-Japanese war. That connection continuned with an introduction of judo (through Takeshita) to both Roosevelt personally and eventual the U.S. Naval Academy.

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This is one of the great things about Peter's posts, whether or not you agree with his interpretations, he is presenting a great deal of information, in condensed form, that most individuals either don't have access to, the ability to read, or don't avail themselves of.
I think he does a creditable job of not editorializing. My criticisms are directed to those who take the information too far beyond its first order inferences. Because there are countervailing facts of association with different people of far different interests that rebut what I see as a drumbeat but superficial accusation (by others) of hypocrisy in the moral issues, from the mere fact of nationalist associations and military adventurism. The world is rarely so simple. Warfare, specifically, is not so simple. Japan is NEVER simple, peace or war.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-23-2008, 12:58 PM   #33
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Hi Erick,

Thanks for the clarification. I think we concur on many points:

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I think he does a creditable job of not editorializing.
I agree. In fact, I view his efforts at non-editorialization valiant in comparison to his predecessors.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
My criticisms are directed to those who take the information too far beyond its first order inferences.
Absolutely. I'm reminded of the implication presented as fact line of questioning that was routine in the television series 'In Search Of.' "Could it be that the enlightenment experiences spoken of by Ueshiba were in fact messages from extra terrestrials?"

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Because there are countervailing facts of association with different people of far different interests that rebut what I see as a drumbeat but superficial accusation (by others) of hypocrisy in the moral issues, from the mere fact of nationalist associations and military adventurism.
Perhaps if you presented the "countervailing facts of association" it would prompt a more coherent dialog that would be even more revealing. In other words, how about a factual "tit for tat" presented in juxtaposition? That would be really cool AND I think Peter has already asked for that kind of feedback!

Nationalist Associations are one thing. Virtually all Japanese citizens alive at the time of WWII (and some not alive - thinking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) were pronounced "guilty by association" with their ruling government and paid dearly for it courtesy of the U.S.A. {This to my mind has profound implications for those of us that have the luxury of electing our National leadership.] Meetings taking place on one's property, repeated and prolonged association with key figures in several active groups and direct implication in an assassin's memoirs are an entirely different matter. Still, I'm unaware of Ueshiba Morihei being convicted of war crimes.

Military Adventurism is such a strange and seemingly innocuous term isn't it? I can't quite make sense of it. I envision scenes from Apocalypse Now with the theme from Dukes of Hazard playing in the background.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The world is rarely so simple. Warfare, specifically, is not so simple. Japan is NEVER simple, peace or war.
Once again, I agree completely. The world is complex, humanity is complex,war is complex, cultures are complex, people are complex, individuals are complex. Brilliant people have spent their lives trying to figure them out and brilliant people are still scratching their heads.

Allen
(I scratch my head too . . . but I'm not brilliant . . . my head just itches.)

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Old 07-23-2008, 01:31 PM   #34
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

FWIW, in an Aikido Journal interview Gozo Shioda states: "Ueshiba Sensei was implicated as a war criminal and accused of class G war crimes. His foundation [the Kobukai] was taken away and his activities were stopped."

As I said, I am unaware of O-sensei being convicted of any war crime but perhaps he was implicated. An implication wouldn't be too surprising considering his wartime activities and associations. The fact of a "non-conviction" would serve to imply that the Occupational Government, at least found that he played a less than nefarious roll.

Here is an associated thread: http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/...ic.php?t=11543

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:14 PM   #35
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Second Vision - December 1940
Attack on Pearl Harbor - December 1941
Retirement to Iwama - (?) 1942

My understanding is that the tide of the Pacific War, which up until then had been marked by a continuing series of Japanese victories, turned in about mid 1942. Of course the average Japanese citizen would more than likely be completely unaware of this (until being directly bombed as every MAJOR CITY eventually was up until Japan's surrender, and even then might not feel safe to point out the obvious openly) but a person that had deep political and military connections, especially Naval connections, would probably know the facts and the predicted outcome.

Despite such knowledge some might choose to stay in harm's way up to the bitter end. But other's might choose to "step off the line" and not be there (Omoto Supression 1 & 2, Iwama retirement 1942) maybe even eventually "standing behind" their attacker (Hiding in Osaka Police Cheif's house, teaching for Military establishment, demonstrating for and teaching foreigners).

With appreciation and respect,

Allen
Hi Allen,

I found an interesting bit of info from the link you provided later.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=425

Quote:
Shioda wrote:
In 1941, when Ueshiba Sensei gave his last demonstration at the Hibiya Kokaido, he said, "My technical training ends now. Henceforth I will dedicate myself to serving the kami [dieties] and training my spirit."
I wonder if Ueshiba had already made the decision to turn aside from the war before it started going badly for Japan? It will be interesting to read the next installment that takes us up to the war years.

Mark
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:27 PM   #36
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Perhaps if you presented the "countervailing facts of association" it would prompt a more coherent dialog that would be even more revealing. In other words, how about a factual "tit for tat" presented in juxtaposition?
I've given a few. But the criticism is broader than merely countering associational arguments. Association is a logical fallacy of proof after all, so counter-associations merely illustrate that the proffer is not one sided -- but it also happens to be fallacious. , The point in question is the genuineness as well as the nature of his revelation of the ethical stance of aikido as budo, not his personal holiness, at whatever point in time.

Personal merit is not the standard of truth (for most of Western history) for which, if no one else, read Augustine's Confessions. Success seduces, but failure teaches. Wisdom is the fruit of experience, not theory, and most of that experience is by its nature nearly always bad. Science has proceeded by demolishing its imperfect understandings, not by polishing its contingently successful ones.
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Meetings taking place on one's property, repeated and prolonged association with key figures in several active groups and direct implication in an assassin's memoirs are an entirely different matter. Still, I'm unaware of Ueshiba Morihei being convicted of war crimes.
Although the innuendo has been made. http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/...ic.php?t=11543 In fact, in SCAPIN 550 occupational order, a "removal /exclusion" list was created. Only "Class A' on that list was designated as "war criminals." Ueshiba was classified on the lowest category, "Class G" -- "additional militarists and ultranationalists" most likely in the category of person who "by speech, writing or action has shown himself to be an active exponent of militant nationalism and aggression." Persons on the SCAPIN 550 list were limited in their ability to participate in or publish on public matters during the Occupation.

More to the point though -- one does not choose one's comrades in arms. One learns to love them despite all those true and highly objectionable facts. This is a non-trivial aspect of budo that I think relates to the revelation of aikido at that time and in those circumstances. This is difficult to explain to someone who has not had the benefit.

If you have seen footage of former enemies in the same battle(s) of World War II, in both the European and Pacific theaters you will find more genuine feeling toward one another than you would expect if you do not have some experience or personal account from a relative or other person to give you the flavor of it. A similar feeling connects comrades in arms who otherwise find much to dislike in one another. Those who would have killed you and those who would have saved you at the same moment in time, both find more in common with you than is generally given credit.

What Prof. Goldsbury is in my view relating is very important to understanding the meaning of aikido and its ura aspect -- but not in the way that some take it.

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Military Adventurism ... I envision scenes from Apocalypse Now with the theme from Dukes of Hazard playing in the background.
I suspect they did too -- or its cultural equivalents. Japanese stoicism only shallowly conceals a deep romanticism.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-23-2008 at 03:32 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:32 PM   #37
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Hi Allen,

I found an interesting bit of info from the link you provided later.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=425

I wonder if Ueshiba had already made the decision to turn aside from the war before it started going badly for Japan? It will be interesting to read the next installment that takes us up to the war years.

Mark
Just for clarity's sake, by the extreme example of interpretation events I hoped to indicate that one could assert any number of reasons and/or motivations for Ueshiba's move to Iwama. I could only guess, if forced, based upon the preponderance of evidence, and even then recognize that it is still just a guess.

Certainly one should pay attention for the reasons that Ueshiba gave, preferably at the time, and then again later, but I would still pay close attention to the context and audience that he was addressing.

Allen

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:55 PM   #38
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Science has proceeded by demolishing its imperfect understandings, not by polishing its contingently successful ones.
Hmm, it's done a lot of both actually. Just look at something like "dark matter" that's been added into an existing paradigm to make it all work despite there being no real evidence for its existence outside of reconciling how we think things work and how they are observed working. It may yet be the undoing of modern Physics, we'll just have to wait to see.

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:57 PM   #39
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Hi Allen,

I found an interesting bit of info from the link you provided later.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=425

I wonder if Ueshiba had already made the decision to turn aside from the war before it started going badly for Japan? It will be interesting to read the next installment that takes us up to the war years.

Mark
Hello Mark,

O Sensei's suspected Class G war criminal status really depends on seeing the list of those affected by SCAPIN 550 (which, apparently, is not in the US National Archives). So seeing what records are available in Japan will be the next course to take.

The next (ninth) installment considers, among other things, the 1924 trip to Mongolia, Omoto's right wing associations, Ueshiba's association with the Sakurakai, and the second suppression.

The tenth installment deals with the Iwama issue. In various places places, Stan Pranin attributes Ueshiba's retirement to Iwama to the increasingly difficult effects of the war, including the bombing of Tokyo. This cannot be right. The only bombing of Tokyo in 1942 were the Doolittle raids, which had nothing like the serious effects depicted in the movie Pearl Harbor. There was no effective bombing of Tokyo until Feb 1945, after the US had captured airfields close enough to Japan allow the B-29 to fly there--and back.

So, the 1940 and 1942 'vision' statements become very important. There is a very long 'vision' statement in the as yet untranslated parts of Takemusu Aiki. Of course, I will translate this material and discuss it.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-23-2008 at 04:01 PM.

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Old 07-23-2008, 04:44 PM   #40
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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O Sensei's suspected Class G war criminal status really depends on seeing the list of those affected by SCAPIN 550 (which, apparently, is not in the US National Archives). So seeing what records are available in Japan will be the next course to take.
This is my reference: http://www.ndl.go.jp/modern/e/img_t/...006-001tx.html look at the end for "Appendix A" for the list of categories.

but .... you repeated the point of my criticism -- there is no "Class G war criminal" and the elision itself creates a very improper innuendo. "Class G" is a category under SCAPIN 550 removal/ exclusion criteria -- ONLY "Class A" of that document is for "war criminals."

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
So, the 1940 and 1942 'vision' statements become very important. There is a very long 'vision' statement in the as yet untranslated parts of Takemusu Aiki. Of course, I will translate this material and discuss it.
I look forward to it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #41
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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This is my reference: http://www.ndl.go.jp/modern/e/img_t/...006-001tx.html look at the end for "Appendix A" for the list of categories.

but .... you repeated the point of my criticism -- there is no "Class G war criminal" and the elision itself creates a very improper innuendo. "Class G" is a category under SCAPIN 550 removal/ exclusion criteria -- ONLY "Class A" of that document is for "war criminals."

I look forward to it.
Yes. I have seen the list you refer to and have also followed the discussion on the Aikido Journal website and plead Guilty as Charged. I think I discussed the issue in some detail in an earlier column.

PAG

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Old 07-23-2008, 05:54 PM   #42
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Yes. I have seen the list you refer to and have also followed the discussion on the Aikido Journal website and plead Guilty as Charged. I think I discussed the issue in some detail in an earlier column.
I know. That's why the criticism was not originally directed your way, but rather at the "reporting chain" that inevitably takes a fender bender carwreck from the witness and makes it a vehicular mass murder by the sixth iteration. You just happened to illustrate the innocence and ease with which those kinds of errors occur.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:13 PM   #43
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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As far as it relates to the War, in which the phrase is very prominent, there was no inevitability in the war with the U.S. from the Japanese side, and much strongly expressed political opposition to it, up to and possibly including Hirohito himself, and expressly including the admiral charged with carrying the war to us. Yamamoto did not want that, he had long running ties in the States -- but he carried it out.

To me this speaks deeply of a true concept of budo and yamato damashii which it is meant to embody, even though he acted to attack. In a different way, so does O Sensei's withdrawal to Iwama after Pearl Harbor and the second "vision of Aiki" in 1942.
Will you give me some indication of the sources you have in mind here. I think that Herbert Bix and Donald M. Goldstein & Katherine V Dillon present a rather different, more nuanced, picture.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-25-2008, 12:56 AM   #44
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
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Erick Mead wrote:
... there was no inevitability in the war with the U.S. from the Japanese side
Will you give me some indication of the sources you have in mind here. I think that Herbert Bix and Donald M. Goldstein & Katherine V Dillon present a rather different, more nuanced, picture.
Is there nuance to inevitability?

I have a perspective on Japan's attitude that you, an overseas Briton does not. My great great grandfather fought in a bitter war (with many injustices in its nature on our side) that was also lost to an invading nation. I am a southerner born and raised and nurtured in our own lament over the perennial "Lost Cause." Southerners natively get the Japanese schizophrenia over the War and its consequences. We lost and hindsight says it was a likely good thing, and may have been inevitable, may be not. I don't have to ignore the warts and brutal excesses on the Japanese side to acknowledge the difficulty of their position and the legitimately torn sensibilities underlying their concerns, however ill-pursued or unjustified we now deem most of them.

As to Bix, I assume you mean his policy criticism of letting Hirohito off the hook for his involvement in the War generally, as a bad precedent. My own point is not without nuance on that score. By no means do I see Hirohito as a puppet in the War. I've' considered Bergamini's book relating Kido's diaries. By no means do I think that he was absolved on any basis other than McArthur's political expediency and his dislike of having to administer the novel "war crimes" process. Btu I don't trust what Kido said (even privately), as he said it, becasue he knew his diaries would be used later, and thus they contain ura aspects that must be dealt with. I gained no senisbility that Bergamini tried to deal with this aspect. Bix seems the kind that might, if he followed up.

I trust in what they did, and what they tried to do and failed. Hirohito did not want the Tripartite alliance, and by all measures it resulted in nothing but reversals for Japan from an early stage.

Despite Yonai's valiant efforts to organize the absolution brigade (including Tojo himself) during the war crimes investigations it is diffcult to conclude anything other than that Hirohito succumbed to war adventurism early on without regard for its consequences, first in Manchuria, then China and then the wider war into SE Asia.

What is interesting though is that Yonai's efforts result in a tale told that fixes his shift to opposition -- at the point that Yonai lost the premiership to Tojo. That is telling. His role changed and became personally critical -- in council, to the point of demanding that a last notice of intent to attack if the embargo was not lifted ( which was "delayed" by Tojo or someon and was not received. Rather blunt imperial behavior, rather than communicating via the Household or trusted go betweens. The way it is reported has internal appeal as even being true. After all if you want to really protect him from war crimes -- you make him out to be a victim and stooge from Mukden onward, or maybe just before Nanjing. As it is the reports say he only became directly critical in the events relating to the 1941 ultimatum and as to the loss of Yonai ( the pro-American) and as premier.

At that point in time all that the war programme had gotten him was further widening of the war programme. And the U.S. had been among the most respectful treaty powers of Japan (since well before Portsmouth). Maybe that was his revelation of budo. Maybe not. We will likely never know, but considering the possibility is useful for us, that perhaps he did. Was it too late? For him, personally, ethically, without question, in any objective sense.

Was it too late to stop the progress of war and wider war. No, I don't think it was. It need not have happened. And there is a point for budoka in that.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-25-2008, 01:53 AM   #45
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Is there nuance to inevitability?

I have a perspective on Japan's attitude that you, an overseas Briton does not.
I thought I asked a relatively simple question.

Actually, I think you do not know my perspective on Japan's attitude, but, since you are being personal, I should tell you that I have an uncle whom I never knew. Why? Because he was a POW, murdered by the Japanese.

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Old 07-25-2008, 07:08 AM   #46
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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I thought I asked a relatively simple question.
You did, perhaps the humor was misplaced. Bergamini is the closest I have to primary sources, in Kido's diaries, on matters involving Hirohito's contemporaneous statements or activities.

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Actually, I think you do not know my perspective on Japan's attitude, but, since you are being personal, ...
Actually it was not intended to be personal, but to show something cultural, and, it seems to me, very much in Hofstede's way of thinking -- that certain cultural traits (vice personal effects) engendered by a war of this nature lost by a very romantic, and yet very violent-minded people are understandable and indeed in many respects comparable to a certain circumstance in American cultural history, (some would say the pivotal circumstance) giving Americans, especiually Southerners more of an affinity for how the Japanese felt and dealt with their feelings post-war than many would recognize, and how their descendants have dealt with it since.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I should tell you that I have an uncle whom I never knew. Why? Because he was a POW, murdered by the Japanese.
A misfortune and a personal loss for which I am gravely sorry to have caused any unneeded reminder.

But the point of the discussion, if I have your purpose right, is the Japanese ura sensibility as it relates to aikido which you (quite rightly) see as entangled with their own mythology, the war and the proceeding war mythology following its loss. Understanding the ura sensibility before and after means that you need insight into what is not often openly addressed. your position makes you uniquely qualified to find things addressed in other ways or in certain settings perhaps more openly. But if a parallel exists that was played out more openly it may disclose things that operate in that other cultural setting -- even if hidden in another setting.

That same process and those same elements played out here, While circumstantially different and the causes for simultaneous honor, courage and deep moral shame in the fight are very different, in each case the mixture of those elements are present, and the sociological parallels are close, and the cultural memory remains very strong in a particular segment of society that nurtures its memory.

Hofstede takes an organic developmental and taxonomic approach to organization and cultures and so it should not be a matter of surprise that I might offer the parallels in our historical development as being of use in understanding a culture that is not as close as that of our two English-speaking peoples, in Sir Winston's phrase. As a historical matter that part of our history underlies an important part of the reasons and instincts we have shown in dealing more charitably perhaps than the conflict would have justified with those nations the United States has defeated in war.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-25-2008 at 07:23 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:54 AM   #47
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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I have a perspective on Japan's attitude that you, an overseas Briton does not.
Your above remark is insensitive (probably unintentionally) but your apology to Prof. G. comes across as sincere.

I'm an overseas Briton. My grandfather was served in East Asia and witnessed atrocities he refused to go into detail about. He spent the rest of his life hating Japan, until the day he met my Japanese wife, his great grandson, and my wife's grandmother.

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Old 07-25-2008, 02:52 PM   #48
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Michael Lewis wrote: View Post
Your above remark is insensitive (probably unintentionally) but your apology to Prof. G. comes across as sincere.

I'm an overseas Briton. My grandfather was served in East Asia and witnessed atrocities he refused to go into detail about. He spent the rest of his life hating Japan, until the day he met my Japanese wife, his great grandson, and my wife's grandmother.
I think what Erick is trying to say is that as an American Southerner, he has a certain insight into the Japanese post-war attitude, in as much that the American South entered into what it considered a just war (with the American North), but lost. Afterwards, losing the war caused a lot of harm to the South, but there were definitely very real good and positive results from the South losing the war. At the same time, there's the realization in retrospect that while the war may have been justified in a micro sense (States' rights) it was unjustified in the macro sense (States' rights to support the slavery system).

So, from the Japanese point of view, there were just reasons for going to war, and supporting the war (ending the destructive Western imperialism), and and unjust reasons (ending Western imperialism in order to replace it with Japanese imperialism). Then you have the destruction of all major Japanese cities. Did Japan deserve that? Even for going to war, did it deserve that? There's some ambivalence there, which comes out in the martyr mentality that I think Professor Goldsbury is all too aware of in Hiroshima. And then there were positive aspects, as well, as losing the need for an expensive military led to the Economic Miracle and modern Japanese prosperity.

My sense of what Erick is trying to say is that it's quite easy to look back and make a simple story: Evil ultra-nationalist fascists took over Japan and set it on a destructive course for war. Ueshiba willingly associated with these evil ultra-nationalist fascists, ergo he bears the stain of evil, ultra-nationalist fascism. However, things were probably not so clear on the ground in 1930s Japan, and that what look clearly to us now as evil fascists may have looked much more benign and patriotic to Ueshiba back then.

Josh Reyer

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Old 07-25-2008, 02:54 PM   #49
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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I have a perspective on Japan's attitude that you, an overseas Briton does not.
Way out of line and absurd to boot. Have you ever even been to Japan? Living in the South gives you a better perspective on the Japanese mind than decades of residence and study that Peter has? Come on man...

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