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  #51  
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 07-25-2008, 04:52 PM   #50
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
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, ... 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.
I think Josh got my essential point. What was it Sir Winston also said, "Two peoples divided by a common language"?

And of course there are degrees of fault even among evil fascists and even then the possibility of some redeeming by abstention or opposition after the commission of actual evil, if nothing else. Whether Ueshiba was guilty of any genuine evil, I doubt, or at least is not proved, and abstention form further association did occur with Ueshiba (before the war was widened and before it was clearly not to be won). And that MAY have occurred with Hirohito, and who knows who else.

For the record, most of my family fought in Europe, save only a great unlce who was a Marine in the Pacific and another a naval aviator there. My grandfather was a VMI graduate, served as a Judge Advocate Lt. Col. on Patton's occupation staff in Third Army HQ. He had no love for the Germans, spoke French, but communicated to me, (even as a teenager) his distinct distaste, like McArthur, for the whole concept of the "war crimes" process. Too much like victor's justice, because, well -- it was. There were crimes -- but they were crimes -- and war had little to do with them other than opportunity. Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Tokyo and Coventry and Dresden and Pearl Harbor were awful, terrible gruesome and cruel, but they were the evil of war -- not crime. Crimes against humanity, as for the willful systematic extermination of civilian non-combatants is a different matter altogether.

The generic run of "war crimes" however, were directly contrary to (very ad hoc and much halting) historical American domestic experience of post-war reconciliation I just described, and which is far more in keeping with the spirit of aikido as I sense it was intended. Gen. Sherman's pall bearer was his opponent Gen, Johnston, in the infamous March to the Sea in the Georgia and Carolina campaign, who died from pneumonia within a month he caught because he refused to wear a hat during the lengthy and cold rainy funeral. Gen. Lee surrendered his Arlington estate as the national graveyard. Col. Chamerblain (USA) received the surrender of Lee's army at Appomatox Courthouse, under Gen. Gordon (CSA), and (to much controversy) offered and ordered honors rendered to the defeated as they passed.

People (not those writing here now) too often have a telescoped view of history. Gen Gordon died in Florida in 1904 (only 71), the year that Teddy Roosevelt settled the Russo-Japanese war -- with Takeshita (who introduced aikido to the U.S.) attending the treaty negotiations, and who sponsored Ueshiba's demonstraiton to Hirohito in 1941.

"Men go mad in herds, only to recover their sanity one by one." (Chesterton, I think).

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-25-2008 at 04:59 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-25-2008, 05:16 PM   #51
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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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...
Dear me. Who said better? I said different. And I have been. Yabusame at the Hachiman shrine is very fun to watch. The hills above Kamakura are lovely to hike, and there is this little grotto shrine up there with some mighty fine cold beer at the little cafe/concession adjoining it.

I've taught Japanese sailors to hunt American submarines, and their aviators how we operate our ships and helicopter teams. I've been in exercises with them, and embarked on a JMSDF ship, in Yokosuka and in Hawaii. I traded wings with a fellow helo-driver. Pretty things with a flower over the anchor -- my wife much prefers them, actually.

If, for the sake of discussion, we are trading bona fides (which is by no means in my mind some ticket to a discussion about the effects of war and the ulterior feelings or motivations that are involved in both war an budo), but since we are -- if I may ask, what military experience do you have with the Japanese?

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-25-2008 at 05:22 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-25-2008, 07:52 PM   #52
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

If there is an issue in this discussion, I think the first signs appeared around Post #27, with the question of the 'inevitability' of what O Sensei called the 大東亜戦争 (Dai Toa Senso: Great East Asian War), and the, much later, corollary: the question of who was 'responsible'.

Such questions underlie two important books on the war. The first is Japan's Imperial Conspiracy, written by David Bergamini and published in 1971. The second is Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, written by Herbert Bix and published in 2000. Both focus on the Showa Emperor and his role in starting the war and also in bringing it to an end.

When I was a university student, history was always taught as 'issues'. I cut my own teeth on the 'issues' of (1) religion and the rise of capitalism in Europe and (2) the role of George III in the loss of the American colonies (as they were at the time). The advantage of this approach is that it lays bare the generally fragile nature of historical judgments. You look at the primary evidence--with all the biases and selectivity--and then see similar biases and selectivity in the 'secondary authorities'--the Bixes and the Bergaminis, who have weighed the primary evidence.

For me one important issue in these early columns is the role of the War (regardless of how it is named) in shaping the history of aikido and in shaping the perceptions of two of the principal actors: Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. The war itself and its 'inevitability' is not the main issue (for me, at least).

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Old 07-25-2008, 07:59 PM   #53
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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If, for the sake of discussion, we are trading bona fides (which is by no means in my mind some ticket to a discussion about the effects of war and the ulterior feelings or motivations that are involved in both war an budo), but since we are -- if I may ask, what military experience do you have with the Japanese?
None. But I am a member of a small Japanese ryu-ha that goes back 120 years. And, in case you missed it, we're talking about history, not current events.

Here's what I have issue with about your statements. Peter is trying to build an understanding of the context of the origin of Aikido. Your knowledge of the modern Japanese military or the affects of living in an area that was once beaten in battle are in my view non starters. What it's like to grow up in an area that was defeated in war a hundred years before you were born is nothing like the headspace of Japan in the 30's. I too grew up in the south, so have something of a reference point. That's all I'm going to say on the matter.

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Old 07-25-2008, 11:11 PM   #54
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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And, in case you missed it, we're talking about history, not current events.
You asked -- I answered.
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Here's what I have issue with about your statements. Peter is trying to build an understanding of the context of the origin of Aikido.
And he asked for comments. I gave them -- premised on my substantive criticism of certain previous remarks (and suppositions) by others on this topic made in this forum and elsewhere that are often too simplistic a reading of that history. Prof. Goldsbury's effort I have nothing but praise for, nor have I ever expressed otherwise, so I find the reaction just a tad overborne.

And, I suspect, that I'll say more on other things if a point strikes me.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-25-2008, 11:36 PM   #55
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
If there is an issue ...with the question of the 'inevitability' of what O Sensei called the 大東亜戦争 (Dai Toa Senso: Great East Asian War), and the, much later, corollary: the question of who was 'responsible'. ... lays bare the generally fragile nature of historical judgments.

For me one important issue in these early columns is the role of the War (regardless of how it is named) in shaping the history of aikido and in shaping the perceptions of two of the principal actors: Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. The war itself and its 'inevitability' is not the main issue (for me, at least).
In passing I'll note that a dispute over naming of the conflict is yet another parallel, but enough of that.

The war was a test of budo to exemplify or to negate something of aikido, either as part of the source of its revelation to Morihei, or as an experience on which he or Kisshomaru were forced to dwell upon in considering the purpose and future arc of that revelation, (which they surely must have). Morihei had a committed perspective but not one closed off to quite different perspectives. It profits us to consider the matter that way as well, and from as many perspectives as we can, while hewing to one we know strongly from our own experience and development. That is something of the strength of this forum, in fact.

Inevitability, if it was in the hands of one man, that man was Hirohito. The emperors' role is important, because the war was HIS test of budo (which he failed on many levels). He is more important because Morihei viewed him as important in that context. The war as a test of budo is an issue useful to contemplate as we assess where we will take the arc of the art from this point forward. It still divides us as it still connects us, and is that not also aiki ?

Thanks again.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 07-25-2008 at 11:39 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-01-2008, 03:39 PM   #56
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Emulation 9

Wait for it . . . wait for iiiiit . . . . tick - tick - tick -

(Not that I'm eager or anything! )

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:09 PM   #57
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

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Emulation 9

Wait for it . . . wait for iiiiit . . . . tick - tick - tick -

(Not that I'm eager or anything! )
Me neither.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #58
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Probably due to some technical mixup the printable of this column is not available. Could it be fixed, please ? Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-24-2009, 03:06 PM   #59
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Hi Ludwig,

I was able to download and print the PDF attachment at the bottom of Peter's column without a problem. Have you tried printing it from a different computer?

-- Jun

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:03 PM   #60
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 8

Oh, sorry Jun : I was mistaken by the title which announces part 7 of TIE. The text is that of part 8.
Thanks for your quickness.

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