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Old 01-29-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
Don_Modesto
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Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Religions

Haven't read it yet myself, but thought there might be interest here for it...

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803. Dorman, Benjamin
Review of: Nancy K. Stalker, Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Religions in Imperial Japan

http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/...rs/pdf/803.pdf

Don J. Modesto
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Haven't read it yet myself, but thought there might be interest here for it...

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803. Dorman, Benjamin
Review of: Nancy K. Stalker, Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Religions in Imperial Japan

http://www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/...rs/pdf/803.pdf
Hello Don,

Well, I myself am certainly interested. I have not yet received the book and there are others, by Helen Hardacre and Emily Ooms, which deal with Omoto and/or Japan's 'new' religions. I am curious to see how N Stalker improves on Nadolski's treatment.

I will be interested to see her treatment of the years from 1919 to 1935, especially the doctrinal changes from 1921 till the Second Suppression. This is the period when Morihei Ueshiba was fashioning the terminology of his own mission in the world.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 01-30-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
Don_Modesto
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Don,

Well, I myself am certainly interested. I have not yet received the book and there are others, by Helen Hardacre and Emily Ooms, which deal with Omoto and/or Japan's 'new' religions. I am curious to see how N Stalker improves on Nadolski's treatment.
Hi, Peter,

Hope this finds you well.

Surprised we don't here more about Hardacre and Ooms and Teeuwen and Rambelli and the rest when so many folk seem interested in aikido spirituality. I personally found that Abe's Weaving the Mantra put a lot of the decontextualized stuff about Osensei and Shinto in a context we greatly helped me understand what was going on. Rambelli's article on Honji Suijaku at Work was also useful. Despite my jaundiced comment about him, Stevens is useful, I must admit, but so limited, like trying to understand music by looking at Picasso's Man with a Guitar.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 01-30-2009, 06:58 PM   #4
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Hi, Peter,

Hope this finds you well.

Surprised we don't here more about Hardacre and Ooms and Teeuwen and Rambelli and the rest when so many folk seem interested in aikido spirituality. I personally found that Abe's Weaving the Mantra put a lot of the decontextualized stuff about Osensei and Shinto in a context we greatly helped me understand what was going on. Rambelli's article on Honji Suijaku at Work was also useful. Despite my jaundiced comment about him, Stevens is useful, I must admit, but so limited, like trying to understand music by looking at Picasso's Man with a Guitar.
Hi Don,
I like your analogy of looking at the Picasso... The real problem is that your analogy applies to virtually anything involving a purely intellectual understanding of the Founder.

Although I find the well researched historical analysis of various authors to be useful in developing a larger context for the development of our art it's pretty much useless for understanding the Founder's art itself.

I think it is virtually impossible to understand what O-Sensei thought, said, or wrote about his art without actually doing the training. My preference in reading materials is towards authors who have actually done Aikido practice. Then, on top of that, they must have a direct experience of Omotokyo, Kotodama, Shinto, etc for their experience to have much to do with how the Founder perceived what he was doing.The field is fairly small, at least in English. Even on the mat, the number of teachers who learned their technique within this context of larger spiritual practice is fairly small. That's one of the reasons there is so much discussion about the art and its "reson detre". For most folks Aikido is simply a physical practice, devoid of the underlying spiritual meaning which it had for the Founder. If you can find teachers that trained with Hikitsuchi Sensei, any of the teachers who trained with Abe Sensei or Sundomari Sensei you can train with someone whose on the mat experience was informed by the type of spiritual practice actually done by the Founder. John Stevens and William Gleason both express their understanding of their technique in philosophical / spiritual terms and their understanding comes from actual experience with the types of practice done by the Founder.

In terms of teachers who can assist with understanding the Founder's technical skills the sources for us are quite a bit broader but still, one must either be lucky enough to stumble upon one of them or go out of ones way to seek them out. We can learn a lot about how the Founder could do what he did technically by training with folks from both within and without the Aikido community. The amount of interchange today is vastly different than when I started in Aikido. Just here on AikiWeb one can connect with teachers like Dan Hardin, Mike Sigman, Akazawa Sensei, Howard Popkin, etc. In the old days the chances of folks from within the Aikido community ever encountering folks like this was small.

I am in the middle of reading Ushiro Kenji's newest book, Karate and Ki: The Origin of Ki - The Depth of Thought. This book is an attempt at explaining what cannot be explained. For someone who has no experience training with a teacher or teachers who function at the highest level, I think the whole book will be incomprehensible. It may function to inspire some small number of practitioners to seek out instruction at that higher level but for those that aren't interested, what understanding they think they have of what is written in the book will really be an illusion. For those folks who are already training with teachers functioning on the top levels, the book provides a more detailed conceptual framework for ones practice than one likely had from our own teachers.

Anyway, I think that virtually all intellectual understanding of the Founder and his art is simply inadequate without direct experience of the practice itself, both in the martial sense and the spiritual sense. The words only have real meaning for you when you understand them in the full body / mind/ spirit aspect. If any of those pieces is missing, then the meaning really escapes us. So, in that sense, we are all looking at the Picasso trying to understand music. Each of us may have some understanding of various pieces but really comprehending the Founder's Aikido requires seeing the whole picture at once. I think the best most of us can do is to develop a sense of what he intended practice of our art to be and strive for that. That's why I despair when I see considerations of the Founder disappearing from Aikido. With him there is no Aikido... that's my opinion. And as difficult as it is to understand him, the effort will keep our training on track. It will lead us to find the teachers who can show us what we need and will keep us from being distracted by concerns that are unimportant or irrelevant. But we are all stuck with looking at the picture try to understand something much larger.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

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Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Hi, Peter,

Hope this finds you well.

Surprised we don't here more about Hardacre and Ooms and Teeuwen and Rambelli and the rest when so many folk seem interested in aikido spirituality. I personally found that Abe's Weaving the Mantra put a lot of the decontextualized stuff about Osensei and Shinto in a context we greatly helped me understand what was going on. Rambelli's article on Honji Suijaku at Work was also useful. Despite my jaundiced comment about him, Stevens is useful, I must admit, but so limited, like trying to understand music by looking at Picasso's Man with a Guitar.
Hello Don,

It is curious that, excepting George, nearly all the people who write about aikido--and whose opinions I respect, even if I do not share them, have 'done time' in Japan. I mean, especially, Stanley Pranin, John Stevens, William Gleason, and Ellis Amdur. Stan's achievement is clear. I have occasion to offer criticism of Prof Stevens' translations, but the fact remains that his achievement is remarkable. I have just received Gleason's second volume, on kotodama, and he covers quite a lot of the ground that Stevens has covered in his earlier books. But again, he has produced a work that illuminates a deep and dark subject.

In a way I have discovered why they need to write. There is so much to say that has not been said--and still needs saying. I never bothered much about the Hardacres, the Rambellis, the Abes until I came here and saw how intellectually barren is the staple fare on aikido. The 武 suffers for want of an effective 文 to complement it: complement it, not substitute for it.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 02-02-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
Don_Modesto
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Hi, George,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. You write as if I had suggested that reading outside of aikido substitutes for reading within aikido or for practice of aikido. Don't think I did.
Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Don,
I like your analogy of looking at the Picasso... The real problem is that your analogy applies to virtually anything involving a purely intellectual understanding of the Founder.
Don't think so myself. With Ellis or PAG, we have models of clarity. Stevens launches into wild New Age chatauquas of Gregorian chant-healing and KI particles and TENCHI Jesus. What the heck can he mean? And, of course, he doesn't do us the courtesy of naming any sources other than his own books or those of his sponsors, the Ueshibas. I like something with some rigor to it, not just wishful thinking confidently stated.

Quote:
Although I find the well researched historical analysis of various authors to be useful in developing a larger context for the development of our art it's pretty much useless for understanding the Founder's art itself.
Again, I disagree. This sounds very much like what the Jpn say about their culture to GAIJIN in general: You can't understand us unless you're Jpn. "Mind and body unified." How many people think that comes from aikido? Quite a few, I'd guess. But it's boilerplate for esoteric practices. I would think that's where aikido picked it up. Osensei was certainly a practitioner of esoteric practices. For me, reading about how this popular phrase was operationalized, practiced in step by step fashion did much to clear up vagueness in much aikido lit.

Quote:
I think it is virtually impossible to understand what O-Sensei thought, said, or wrote about his art without actually doing the training.
Perhaps I'll go as far as "necessary"--with some reservations--but not "sufficient." I rather think that many folks who've done something well, will have an insight into the mechanisms of aikido, especially if it another MICHI, and many people who do aikido WAZA well have no clue of the spiritual underpinnings.

Quote:
My preference in reading materials is towards authors who have actually done Aikido practice.
That certainly a good starting place. But often they don't offer context. For example, if I say "550", you don't know if I'm talking about a departure time, an arrival time, a fat man, or a skinny horse. The authors outside of aikido literature mentioned above provide context to make 550, or "I am the universe" meaningful.

Quote:
Then, on top of that, they must have a direct experience of Omotokyo, Kotodama, Shinto, etc for their experience to have much to do with how the Founder perceived what he was doing.The field is fairly small, at least in English. Even on the mat, the number of teachers who learned their technique within this context of larger spiritual practice is fairly small. That's one of the reasons there is so much discussion about the art and its "reson detre". For most folks Aikido is simply a physical practice, devoid of the underlying spiritual meaning which it had for the Founder. If you can find teachers that trained with Hikitsuchi Sensei, any of the teachers who trained with Abe Sensei or Sundomari Sensei you can train with someone whose on the mat experience was informed by the type of spiritual practice actually done by the Founder.
Precisely. Absent the tutelage students of these teachers take for granted, Blacker or Hardacre or Abe Ryuichi at least give us some insight, as autodidactically spastic as that may be realized.

Quote:
Anyway, I think that virtually all intellectual understanding of the Founder and his art is simply inadequate without direct experience of the practice itself, both in the martial sense and the spiritual sense. ] The words only have real meaning for you when you understand them in the full body / mind/ spirit aspect. If any of those pieces is missing, then the meaning really escapes us.
No disagreement here. Did it seem as if there was?

Quote:
So, in that sense, we are all looking at the Picasso trying to understand music. Each of us may have some understanding of various pieces but really comprehending the Founder's Aikido requires seeing the whole picture at once.
"Seeing the whole picture at once." Ever is it thus. We build up to this clumsily. We use what evidence and crutches we can. There is no 1-2-3 as a ski instructor once put it to me. But that's how we learn, 1-2-3. The learning outside of aikido writing is to fill in the gaps of knowledge/experience someone raised in Japan (thought perhaps not a recent generation) took for granted.

Thanks for the reply.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 02-03-2009, 01:57 AM   #7
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Hi, George,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. You write as if I had suggested that reading outside of aikido substitutes for reading within aikido or for practice of aikido. Don't think I did.
Don't think so myself. With Ellis or PAG, we have models of clarity. Stevens launches into wild New Age chatauquas of Gregorian chant-healing and KI particles and TENCHI Jesus. What the heck can he mean? And, of course, he doesn't do us the courtesy of naming any sources other than his own books or those of his sponsors, the Ueshibas. I like something with some rigor to it, not just wishful thinking confidently stated.

Again, I disagree. This sounds very much like what the Jpn say about their culture to GAIJIN in general: You can't understand us unless you're Jpn. "Mind and body unified." How many people think that comes from aikido? Quite a few, I'd guess. But it's boilerplate for esoteric practices. I would think that's where aikido picked it up. Osensei was certainly a practitioner of esoteric practices. For me, reading about how this popular phrase was operationalized, practiced in step by step fashion did much to clear up vagueness in much aikido lit.

Perhaps I'll go as far as "necessary"--with some reservations--but not "sufficient." I rather think that many folks who've done something well, will have an insight into the mechanisms of aikido, especially if it another MICHI, and many people who do aikido WAZA well have no clue of the spiritual underpinnings.

That certainly a good starting place. But often they don't offer context. For example, if I say "550", you don't know if I'm talking about a departure time, an arrival time, a fat man, or a skinny horse. The authors outside of aikido literature mentioned above provide context to make 550, or "I am the universe" meaningful.

Precisely. Absent the tutelage students of these teachers take for granted, Blacker or Hardacre or Abe Ryuichi at least give us some insight, as autodidactically spastic as that may be realized.

No disagreement here. Did it seem as if there was?

"Seeing the whole picture at once." Ever is it thus. We build up to this clumsily. We use what evidence and crutches we can. There is no 1-2-3 as a ski instructor once put it to me. But that's how we learn, 1-2-3. The learning outside of aikido writing is to fill in the gaps of knowledge/experience someone raised in Japan (thought perhaps not a recent generation) took for granted.

Thanks for the reply.
Hi Don,
Your post merely triggered some thoughts I was already having and gave me an excuse to set them down. I didn't mean for them to be placed in opposition to any of your ideas item by item.

I am in the middle of reading Ushiro Sensei's newest book and am frustrated by the futility of reading about this stuff. I have trained just enough directly with him to have some idea about what he is doing and just enough to know that I don't have a clue about much of it. I read his words and I find myself over and over coming back to Mike Sigman's " I have to "feel it".

I'm the first one to agree that knowledge of the larger picture historically, culturally, religiously, etc is important. I continue to read everything I get my hands on. It just doesn't accomplish much without the training. And I am finding that my training, despite the fact that it is changing at an exponential rate at this point, just can't keep up with my acquisition of intellectual information. So I know all sorts of stuff in my head but really understanding it in my art lags substantially behind. So I get to the point at which I ask myself, why read another book or article? I need to REALLY digest, on a deep level, everything I already "know".

The more I train, the more inadequate it all feels. Every new insight opens up another area that is completely unexplored. I keep meeting people who can do stuff that I have no clue whatever how they do it. Then I get an inkling, do something I never thought I'd be able to do and then I remember that what I am doing is just the 101 Intro level compared to what these folks are doing.

As much as I am a big proponent of principle based training and better systematic methodology, a lot of the stuff I am working on just can't be explained in any meaningful way without the actual experience, the chance to feel it. It's such a slow process and I am running out of time. I'm 57 this year and I just keep finding more to work on. I've started thinking my only hope is to be reborn in my next lifetime and then get "re-birthed" so I can remember what I knew in this life while having the younger body and the extra years to train. Doesn't sound very realistic does it?

Anyway, your thoughts are fine and I am not really in disagreement with them. Its always good to hear from you.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I am in the middle of reading Ushiro Sensei's newest book and am frustrated by the futility of reading about this stuff. I have trained just enough directly with him to have some idea about what he is doing and just enough to know that I don't have a clue about much of it.
All due respect to Ushiro sensei, but writer of cogent books is not a descriptor I would attribute to him, sorry to say.

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Old 02-03-2009, 07:12 PM   #9
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Hello Don,

Bringing this thread back to the book, I received it and have looked through it. The Nanzan review is reasonable, though I think the reviewer unfairly criticizes Stalker for not doing something that she never intended to do, which is deal with the postwar reincarnation of Omoto. The book is based on a Stanford Ph.D thesis and clearly she has been taught by all the right people, especially Peter Duus and Inoue Nobutaka.

I think you could quite profitably compare this book to Nadolski's Ph.D thesis, since both works cover precisely the same period. Nadolski's focus is specifically on ultrantionalism, but Stalker's is less clear. Morihei Ueshiba is mentioned in the book, but only as a companion to Deguchi during the Mongolian expedition and all mention of Ueshiba appears to be based on Kisshomaru Ueshiba's Aikido, the English edition, published by Hozansha in the early 70s.

So, given the discussion in the rest of the thread, here is a question for you. Stalker gives a detailed explanation of the ritual/technique ('waza', really), known as chinkon kishin. Her discussion is a model of clarity, but it is also clear that she is very unlikely to have actually practised the ritual. What can we say of her understanding, or her description?

In Column 11, I shall quote a text, possibly written by Ueshiba, which states that the man of budo is able to do waza only after practising chinkon kishin. O Sensei clearly practised the ritual himself, and in at least three forms. So, for those who state that in order to understand Ueshiba's aikido, we have to follow in his footsteps and train like he did, does this also include practising chinkon kishin? Or are we allowed to choose which footsteps we follow in?

I post the question in this way to illustrate the dilemma faced by Kisshomaru and his early postwar associates.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 02-03-2009 at 07:14 PM.

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Old 02-03-2009, 08:40 PM   #10
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Hi, Peter,

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Don,

....here is a question for you. Stalker gives a detailed explanation of the ritual/technique ('waza', really), known as chinkon kishin. Her discussion is a model of clarity, but it is also clear that she is very unlikely to have actually practised the ritual. What can we say of her understanding, or her description?
Frail, probably, but what she's communicating, if accurate, is something a practitioner would acquire somehow along the way, I should think and better than total ignorance.

Thanks for posting. We don't see as much of you around these days as we used to...

Don J. Modesto
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:52 PM   #11
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
As much as I am a big proponent of principle based training and better systematic methodology, a lot of the stuff I am working on just can't be explained in any meaningful way without the actual experience, the chance to feel it. It's such a slow process and I am running out of time. I'm 57 this year and I just keep finding more to work on. I've started thinking my only hope is to be reborn in my next lifetime and then get "re-birthed" so I can remember what I knew in this life while having the younger body and the extra years to train. Doesn't sound very realistic does it?
I have thought about this very thing a lot, George. Many times. Even as much as I think I've been trying to reduce what's really going on, it still has to be shown/felt and it still takes some time to change over to sourcing power this way.

One of the problems is, as you're noting, getting clear information. What's wrapped up in Chinkon Kishin is explained piecemeal in so many different ways by each person configuring his own perceptions and terminology (within the limits of his own abilities, and no two people are the same). Kuroda's "gravity", my "groundpath and downpath from earth and gravity", Shioda's "balance", Ueshiba cryptic comments in the douka, and so on, all make it almost absurdly difficult for someone to get a firm purchase without feeling and processing what's functionally happening.

But in respect to the above-titled book, the idea that useful information is to be found in words from an author who has no real experience in, say, Chinkon Kishin seems empty. My realization early on was to avoid words and look for comparative results.

Mike Sigman

You Are Old, Father William

by Lewis Carroll

'You are old, Father William', the young man said,
'And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?'

'In my youth', Father William replied to his son,
'I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again.'

'You are old', said the youth, 'as I mentioned before,
And have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door --
Pray, what is the reason of that?'

'In my youth', said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
'I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment - one shilling the box -
Allow me to sell you a couple?'

'You are old', said the youth, 'and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak -
Pray, how did you manage to do it?'

'In my youth', said his father, 'I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.'

'You are old', said the youth, 'one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose -
What made you so awfully clever?'

'I have answered three questions, and that is enough,'
Said his father, 'don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you downstairs!'
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:38 PM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

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Hi, Peter,

Frail, probably, but what she's communicating, if accurate, is something a practitioner would acquire somehow along the way, I should think and better than total ignorance.

Thanks for posting. We don't see as much of you around these days as we used to...
Hello Don,

Well, I have been busier than I expected researching for my Transmission columns and doing some other writing projects. In addition, part of this research has involved going through a couple of years of these columns--and this has been quite a chastening experience.

I think Ms Stalker would see herself primarily as a historian and her attempt to explain chinkon kishin is part of a general explanation of the causes of the First Omoto Suppression. As I have done here, she left the term unstranslated, but I fairly certain that she understood the term as it was originally intended: possession by a deity or spirit.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 02-09-2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

Hello Don,

Well, I have read the book and I think it is better than I thought it would be, having read the Nanzan review you posted. Stalker is very good on kotodama, so much so that I am going to add another to the columns I am writing. Since William Gleason has published his new book--which I now have, a serious discussion on kotodama (based on Omoto, other Japanese sources like Yamaguchi & later scholars, Ueshiba, Stevens and Gleason) will very much be in order.

The remarks I made on chinkon kishin apply equally to kotodama, but what the Japanese have done is to separate the actual practice from kotodama gaku (the study of the phenomenon), rather like Evelyn Underhill did in her pioneering work on western mysticism.

Like Abe in his The Weaving of Mantra, Stalker has looked at the main Japanese works on her subject (virtually none of which have been translated). She discusses the contemporary cultural background, which is generally left untouched by Stevens and also by Gleason.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 02-09-2009, 07:30 PM   #14
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Don,

Well, I have read the book and I think it is better than I thought it would be, having read the Nanzan review you posted. Stalker is very good on kotodama, so much so that I am going to add another to the columns I am writing. Since William Gleason has published his new book--which I now have, a serious discussion on kotodama (based on Omoto, other Japanese sources like Yamaguchi & later scholars, Ueshiba, Stevens and Gleason) will very much be in order.

The remarks I made on chinkon kishin apply equally to kotodama, but what the Japanese have done is to separate the actual practice from kotodama gaku (the study of the phenomenon), rather like Evelyn Underhill did in her pioneering work on western mysticism.

Like Abe in his The Weaving of Mantra, Stalker has looked at the main Japanese works on her subject (virtually none of which have been translated). She discusses the contemporary cultural background, which is generally left untouched by Stevens and also by Gleason.

Best wishes,

PAG
Another work worth taking a look at is Words, Characters, and Transparency - An Introduction to the Art and Science of Kotoha by Stephen Earle. He is a long time student of Odano Sanae with whom Gleason Sensei studied. Very interesting stuff. Odano was friends with O-Sensei and I believe they had extensive discussion on the subject. Odano's take on these things was unorthodox. She was not a part of the Omotokyo or any other system, rather her ideas on the subject came from direct spiritual experience. I will say that the book is easily the most difficult thing I have ever read. It is interesting to think about what kinds of conversations the Founder might have had with Odano... pretty much incomprehensible to those who haven't had some direct personal insight I would suspect.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-10-2009, 09:05 AM   #15
Don_Modesto
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Stalker is very good on kotodama, so much so that I am going to add another to the columns I am writing. Since William Gleason has published his new book--which I now have, a serious discussion on kotodama (based on Omoto, other Japanese sources like Yamaguchi & later scholars, Ueshiba, Stevens and Gleason) will very much be in order.
Very much looking forward to it.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #16
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The remarks I made on chinkon kishin apply equally to kotodama, but what the Japanese have done is to separate the actual practice from kotodama gaku (the study of the phenomenon), rather like Evelyn Underhill did in her pioneering work on western mysticism.
So, by divorcing "knowledge" from praxis, do I take it that Oyomei-gaku is well and truly dead ... ?

He'll be back, eventually, I am sure. Beware the zombie philosophers ....

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:34 AM   #17
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Book Review: Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburō, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Relig

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
So, by divorcing "knowledge" from praxis, do I take it that Oyomei-gaku is well and truly dead ... ?

He'll be back, eventually, I am sure. Beware the zombie philosophers ....
Well, I am not sure about Ms. Stalker, but I have just finished transcribing some Japanese text of Kokutai no Hongi for my Transmission Column 13. I think that Oyomei was certainly alive and well in 1937.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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