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  #26  
Old 06-15-2010, 12:33 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

INTERLUDE:
VII:Hidden in Plain Sight:
Tracing the Roots of Ueshiba Morihei's Power
By Ellis Amdur

A Review Essay:
Part 3: Takeda Sokaku, Ueshiba Morihei and Their Students

(NOTE:...
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:53 AM   #25
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
"Are we actually doing aikido"?

No, most are not training in the aikido that Ueshiba Morihei lived, but some are determined to bring it back.

and

Yes, most are training in aikido as exemplified by Ueshiba Kisshomaru, Tohei Koichi, etc. Shown and trained by tens of millions of people, there is nothing wrong with this aikido.

If you think about it, aikido has become the martial art for the masses and the outliers.
Cool answer, Mark, and I particularly like your Hydra analogy.

Still, your answer is so ambiguous that I can't help but post a couple of follow-ups: if O'Sensei fought Bruce Lee, who would win? Can I use aikido to win a fight? Can a katana really cut through a car?

I'm kidding, but (I hope) still making a little bit of a point: practically speaking, what does it mean to study aikido, and what can you do with it?

I think the answer used to be "THIS is aikido (the way of harmony), and THIS is how you do it." In many ways like a parent or teacher with a young child. Like a child, I had a simple faith that I was doing O'Sensei's aikido. Ten years ago, there seemed to be a broad consensus in books by K. Ueshiba or other shihan, articles on the web, and training at my dojo and at seminars. There were cracks, to be sure (remember the heated debates about cross-training or offering resistance as uke?), but it seemed pretty easy to grasp the essence of aikido.

Now the answer seems to be "I don't know, you figure it out for yourself," which is a much more mature way of looking at things. As you say, one or two of the fingers point back to O'Sensei but there is significant debate on what O'Sensei was actually doing and even whether or not we really want to emulate him.

Most intriguing for me is Peter's discussion of how the current doshu is treating weapons in aikido, and how weapons work was essential to O'Sensei's own training, but not part of his instruction to his students.

I guess the essential question in all of this is whether or not it is possible to get as good as O'Sensei without exactly replicating his own training and experiences.

To put it another way, can a person who pioneered a new skill -- any skill: woodworking, marksmanship, computer programming, whatever -- after going through all the trial and error, distill those skills into core principles that can be taught so that the student is as good as the teacher?

I'm beginning to suspect that the answer is no. The core principles can sometimes be a shortcut, but each student still needs to have his or her own dead ends and false starts to get really good.

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:20 PM   #26
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Keith,

You make some excellent points. For me, Peter's TIE series, combined with Ellis's and Stan Prannin's writings have engendered a bit of a crisis for me in my training.

Basically, when I started training in the late '90s, I bought into the "watered down translations meant for Western audiences" of O'Sensei's discourses, accepting them as accurate accounts of what O'Sensei believed. I also saw them as guideposts to my training so that I could end up with power and skill like O'Sensei's.

My impression from this and previous TIE articles is that O'Sensei's cultural context and religious beliefs were exceptionally important in motivating his training and development of aikido, but were not the mechanisms for actually developing his martial skill.
...
Yet again, the Western understanding of that spiritual context (at least as I've experienced it and read about it), is based on a very incomplete understanding of O'Sensei's discourses as well as later writings by his son that were meant for larger audiences.

So, if we're not really understanding what O'Sensei was saying, and we're not really developing the internal skills (aiki) that O'Sensei said was so important, and if most of us are not able to dedicate the amount of time to solo training that seems to be required, are we actually doing aikido?
I do not believe it is necessary (or even possible) to have a "complete" understanding of O Sensei's discourses. I find that it is necessary to have simply a concrete understanding of those discourses. We westerners actually have a hard time with this, our capacity for abstraction -- in conception, emotion, and reason -- distinguishes us and is source of much great achievement in our own right, but can be hard to set aside, or even to note when we do it.

O Sensei cannot be understood conceptually; he did not speak conceptually, and he did not teach conceptually,. He spoke as he taught -- concretely, of real things, real acts and real relationships. This is the nature of Japanese spiritual (and therefore conceptual) understanding -- it never severs the concept embodied in the thing from it -- there is no kami without mono and no mono without kami .

The principle is not expressed apart from its particular embodiment -- not by analogy or metaphor -- that is Western way of seeing -- but by relation and operation in actual observation. Shinto does not exist apart from its acts of worship -- the interior and the exterior are never apart from one another -- even (and perhaps most especially) when they directly conflict (honne/tatemae). Understanding in concrete physical terms is not apart from understanding in conceptual terms.

There is no honne without tatemae and no tatemae without honne. There is no heaven without earth. No water without fire. No flow without ebb. There is nothing but the close connections of real things moving in their own ways in close relation. Understanding that kind of opposition in direct connection (and distinguishing it from other kinds of opposition of an entirely different feel and nature) is understanding aiki, and thus doing aikido if you strive toward more of it (well or poorly, as may be).

The point of all this is in HOW you should try to take in his discourses -- since that is the most direct source you have of him. He put this stuff in his discourses -- in those concrete terms. Our job -- and I am here to tell you that it can be done, is to see the concrete things he wrote about , observe them and read him again and observe our trainning and that of others and read him again and things will begin to fit and whether you are EVER able to articulate it in any way conceptually or even in a similarly concrete poetic way you will be able to make them occur and to build upon in training, in your own way, because you are not apart from your own ideas of things either, which can be a source of much conflict and of much joy.

That is Aikido and as the history of widely varying transmission shows, it refuses to be nailed down in any given framework, and yet somehow remains of itself -- even most ironically of all to those who have practiced aikido for a relative minority of their long budo experience such as Ellis, yet remain a welcome and valued mainstay of the larger Aikido community, and helping to inform us of our own workigns from outside. Outside is not apart from inside. Even the Dutch Huncle types, too, they have much to contribute -- though in different terms of their own, yet again. ...

I don't care what anyone else says -- O Sensei taught me right, and the opposition is never apart from the joining together.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:19 AM   #27
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Most intriguing for me is Peter's discussion of how the current doshu is treating weapons in aikido, and how weapons work was essential to O'Sensei's own training, but not part of his instruction to his students.
Hello Drew,

I never knew O Sensei, but I did know his son Kisshomaru and I do know his grandson Moriteru. (By 'know', I mean something like, 'have a close enough relationship that you can ask uncomfortable questions and discuss difficult issues'. I don't think anyone ever did this with O Sensei.)

Kisshomaru Doshu was always uncomfortable with the term iemoto, but Moriteru has used it more than once in my presence. Unfortunately, there is virtually nothing in English on this subject and the relevant works of Matsunosuke Nishiyama, the Japanese scholar acknowledged to be the expert in this subject, have not been translated.

An interesting question for Ellis, and also for Toby Threadgill, who is also the soke of a koryu, is whether the iemoto concept [which is really an ex post facto explanatory device] is adequate for describing a koryu as a system that allows outliers to appear and flourish.

One of the problems with the transmission of knowledge in aikido, understood as an iemoto system, is that it is bound by the limitations of this system. I do not think Morihei Ueshiba saw iemoto in aikido as bound by the legal structure of the Aikikai, even though he was ultimately responsible for creating this legal structure. With Kisshomaru and his associates, this changed in a subtle way, for the Aikikai became the repository of iemoto truths, even though Kisshomaru never sought to control the older disciples of O Sensei. With the present Doshu and his own associates, this control is being strengthened, sometimes to the discomfiture of the dwindling number of the older disciples of the Founder and Kisshomaru.

I plan to discuss this delicate subject in later columns.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-19-2010, 08:57 AM   #28
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Regarding Iemoto and Outliers

In some koryu, the iemoto functions similar to the Emperor of Japan - the center rather than the top. In Tendo-ryu, for example, I've observed every shihan conforming to the movements of the late soke, Mitamura Takeko in group practice, and yet, in their own dojo, hewing to their own individual interpretations. Notable among them - an outlier? or a Cassandra? was Abe Toyoko. It is unclear how the current generation will handle this.
In Toda-ha Buko-ryu, the current soke has given/accepts the shihan as having considerable latitude. In one of the wisest types of leadership, he incorporated some training methods one shihan (me)brought and made them "official." Nitta Suzuyo, the last soke, was the same way.
Katori Shinto-ryu is interresting. In the previous generation, the iemoto/soke allowed a lot of latitude, and I've been told that there were a number of independent centers of TSKSR - and more than one shihan. In the current generation, there is one non-practicing soke and one shihan. Several men have become outliers, so to speak, because they perceived themselves as having no place to shine, and "outlied" themselves. (I am not making a criticism on the politics of that ryu - and whether the current set-up is right or wrong).
The bulk of koryu, until recently, did not have an iemoto - rather, they had "dai" - generations - independent shihan, who could form independent centers. There was a natural centripital force - the curriculum and lineage of the ryu drew people inwards to maintain the essence of the school, and a cetrifugal force - (a creative energy - outlier - to go beyond the confines of the ryu, which resulted in "ha" (sub-groups with their own character) or new ryu.
In ryu with an iemoto, I think the latitude for outliers within a koryu depended, in part, on the "longitude" (the "size and height") of the spirit of the iemoto. In my opinion, Kisshomaru showed considerable size of spirit, in his ability to encompass so many big men within his aegis. This denotes a confidence and security of spirit. Straining a metaphor, as I often do, Morihei was a Patton, but Kisshomaru was an Eisenhower.
ON the one hand, then, an autocractic iemoto may be acting out of weakness - s/he extinguishes the outliers or drives them away so as never to be challenged on the throne. On the other, however, s/he may be aware that there is no one who has either learned the ryu or who can do it justice. What looks like suppression in this latter case is actually protection of the ryu.
Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 06-19-2010, 09:41 AM   #29
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

I will limit my comment to aikido, Ellis. That's an interesting parallel. But probably like most aikidoka I would consider O Sensei to have a much more prominent role in history. And Kisshomaru Sensei had a gentle academic detachment that recorded history rather than forged it. Caesar and Plutarch, maybe? Or Alexander and Plutarch. But I'll be looking forward to Peter's comments about this in his future columns.

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Old 06-20-2010, 01:19 AM   #30
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
I will limit my comment to aikido, Ellis. That's an interesting parallel. But probably like most aikidoka I would consider O Sensei to have a much more prominent role in history. And Kisshomaru Sensei had a gentle academic detachment that recorded history rather than forged it. Caesar and Plutarch, maybe? Or Alexander and Plutarch. But I'll be looking forward to Peter's comments about this in his future columns.
Hello Niall,

I take it that by 'forged' you mean something like 'pushed forward and created', rather than 'counterfeited'. I understand that Plutarch intended his lives of Alexander and Caesar to be parallel to each other, which, of course, interfered somewhat with his avowed intentions to be objective and accurate.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-20-2010, 02:24 AM   #31
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hi Peter. Yes, you are right - I was thinking of forging a sword - or a country. Also I wanted to counter Ellis's parallels which seemed a little pedestrian. Instead of trying to find a connected leader and historian (there is the musubi right there) perhaps I should have suggested separate people. How about O Sensei as Kukai? And Kisshomaru Sensei as Saint Bede?! Cheers, Niall

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Old 06-21-2010, 12:04 AM   #32
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Niall - Perhaps I didn't find a felicitous simile for father and son. Suffice it to say this: I am reading From the Wrong Side: A Paradoxical Approach to Psychology by Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig. In particular - "Sons and Daughters of Unusual Fathers."
Quote:
It lies in the nature of the unusual man to be brutal and ruthless towards his fellow human beings. As a father, he may even suffer from the compulsion to sacrifice his children! (page 45)
Guggenbuhl-Craig is not primarily speaking in concrete terms - he is speaking both mythologically and psychologically. Two myths he cites, however, are Abraham and Issac and Agammemnon and Iphigenia. Focusing on Abraham and Issac is fruitful, here, because there is no more non-descript figure in the Bible than poor Issac. He mostly serves as a link between two great men, Abraham and Jacob. It is very frequent that the sons of unusual men - genius', etc., can never measure up to their fathers, if their father's even have much time for them. I have seen a number of non-entity sons, even failures among the scions of some of the great budoka. There is a 'brutality" or selfishness to Ueshiba, just as there was to Takeda, (who stabbed his son, and disappeared for long periods of time, leaving Tokimune, a lonely teenager to somehow raise his younger siblings, their mother being dead. Remember, too, Kisshomaru recalling that the only time his father praises him was, I believe, when he constructed the modern Honbu Dojo. Remember that his father left him in Tokyo, amidst the fire-bombs, to somehow preserve the dojo, while he retired on his sacred mission to Iwama.
Which leads to my second quote from this essay:
Quote:
Children of unusual fathers are not completely lost. Should they succeed in surviving their fathers, they have proven that they, too, are "someone."This means that they have not succumbed to being social failures, to having grapple with themselves as shadow existences in chronic depression or to experiencing themselves as completely worthless. Sons, especially, who manage to see their unusual fathers as enriching rather than annihilating, have achieve a level of individuation which, in itself, is most unusual. page 49
Like many, I have given Nidai Doshu short-shrift at times, but both in reading TIE, in considering what he forged from a small sectarian martial art into a worldwide movement - and most of all, considering postwar aikido a triumph of his will over that of his father - I see him as a great man.
That I do not particularly like to do modern aikido, and by my lights, wish for the core body skills of his father is irrelevant. It is similar to me recognizing that Christianity accomplished what Judaism could not, bringing a message to the world for the first time that even the lowliest has value - even though I'd never want to worship in Christian fashion.
That's what I tried to say - poorly - by my prosaic Patton and Eisenhower. Nidai Doshu, too, was a great man - proof of which that he could accept and lead men who were far more skilled and charismatic than he.
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Ellis Amdur

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Old 06-21-2010, 05:55 AM   #33
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Nidai Doshu, too, was a great man - proof of which that he could accept and lead men who were far more skilled and charismatic than he.
Best
Ellis Amdur
Hello Ellis,

It is the skill and charismatic bit that I an uncertain about. Clearly, by comparison with Takeda and his father, Kisshomaru lacked both. However, I am less sure about a similar comparison with those he led--for he also had both, and in spades. I presume you mean by those he led the Hombu deshi from Tamura Nobuyoshi onwards.

By the way, my new IAF General Secretary and I am planning to interview Tada Sensei and ask the questions that Stan Pranin and others never asked (Tada Sensei has accepted and we have already begun preparations to set up the interview). As you probably know, Tamura Sensei is now very ill, so Tada is really the last of the postwar deshi who had strong links with Morihei Ueshiba.

Best,

PAG

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Old 06-21-2010, 10:09 AM   #34
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

I'm glad I brought up that aside because those are great points about Sons and Daughters of Unusual Fathers, Ellis. O Sensei was free to choose his own way. How free was Kisshomaru Sensei to choose his own life? And how free was the present Doshu? and the next Doshu? In any event Kisshomaru Sensei seemed to accept that mantle of duty selflessly.

As I said I think Kisshomaru Sensei was primarily an academic and an historian. I don't think Kisshomaru Sensei had charisma in the normal sense but he was a sincere likeable man and he generated fierce loyalty and goodwill. Was that loyalty solely because of his father or because of his own efforts and sense of duty? And how much of that loyalty and goodwill was inherited by his son the present Doshu (and how much will be inherited by his grandson)?

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Old 06-21-2010, 10:46 AM   #35
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

1. I think Kisshomaru was different from an academic and historian. (I don't know how much, really, he was of either of those). He was not enormously skilled as an aikido technician, compared to such as Saito Morihiro, Shioda Gozo or Tada Hiroshi, to name only a few.
2. As far as being free - we are all free, and we are not. A man with a different <inborn> character would have met the challenge of a father like Morihei differently. Hell, he could have hooked up with Nanao Sakaki and became an itinerant poet, wandering postwar Japan and fathering children from north to south, then when Gary Snyder hits Japan, the three of them could have smoked bowls of fine marijuana under the stars, declaiming beat verse and tromping the mountains in carefree bliss. But he didn't choose that. He chose the role he was offered, and turned the key on the cage himself.
3. Prewar aikido, under Ueshiba, was not a minor martial art, obviously. There were thousands of practitioners, and it was notably interwoven within the ruling class of Japan. But it would not have survived postwar - or, put it another way - if not for Kisshomaru, Shioda, Tomiki and Tohei would have been three big competing aikidos, with a lot of minor competitors (Hikitzuchi, Saito, etc.), and the family art gone. Maybe that would have been better, or irrelevant in the larger scheme of things. Because we do not see, now, in any of the aikido groups, a third generation of really powerful, brilliant practitioners.
At any rate, Kisshomaru's selective writing of his father's history and interests was conscious, not merely poor history writing. His big tent method of ruling, where all the big guys had a place like planets orbiting around a sun, was also skillfully done - when they spun too far out of orbit, they made their own system, that, for the most part, maintained a relationship that didn't threaten the Aikikai. As Stanley Pranin first wrote, and others have continued, postwar aikido is Kisshomaru's aikido, and whether one finds it to one's taste, it is a remarkable achievement. He pushed his father aside - and that required some real power of his own.
So my estimation of greatness is related to the second quoted paragraph - within the context of the life he "received," he was not destroyed by his father's greatness - and he made his own way. I have, in my mind's eye, a number of "sons of great fathers" in mind who were either complete failures at life, or only succeeded by absolutely rejecting their father's way (Freud's son who became an engineer, for an example of the latter). I will note that in comparison to Kano Risei, another son of a great man, Ueshiba K. shines quite brightly.
Perhaps, after all this, "greatness" isn't the right word. There's something remarkable about the man and his accomplishments, nonetheless.
And back to the things about aikido that I, personally, am most interested - Peter - that's wonderful news about the interview!
Best
Ellis

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Old 06-22-2010, 03:35 AM   #36
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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As I said I think Kisshomaru Sensei was primarily an academic and an historian. I don't think Kisshomaru Sensei had charisma in the normal sense but he was a sincere likeable man and he generated fierce loyalty and goodwill. Was that loyalty solely because of his father or because of his own efforts and sense of duty? And how much of that loyalty and goodwill was inherited by his son the present Doshu (and how much will be inherited by his grandson)?
Hello Niall,

I plan to begin discussing Kisshomaru Doshu's contribution to aikido from TIE Column 27 onwards. Before that I want to tie up a few more loose ends with O Sensei and attempt to relate him more closely to the intellectual and political currents swirling around Japan from around 1918 to 1945.

I think it is very important to be aware of the fact that all three Ueshibas mentioned, Morihei, Kisshomaru and Moriteru, grew into their roles, which apart from being Doshu--and an iemoto of sorts, contained no built-in storyline.

As for loyalty, I think it was both: from being members of the Ueshiba family, and also from being Kisshomaru and Moriteru. It is quite intriguing--and interesting, to see how differently the two interpret the role of being Doshu.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-23-2010, 06:19 AM   #37
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Just fwiw. My background (for 17 years anyway) was statistics in a human performance research environment. I've read Gladwell's book and although I have a few issues with his work, overall I found it a fun read. He is using the term "outliers" the way we used it in statistics. There is no connotation of "good" or "bad". Those are labels that depend on some other value judgement or set of criteria. An outlier is simply some datapoint that falls well outside the predicted/expected results. That guy who screws up the grading curve in class. It isn't an issue of "good" or "bad", simply being far outside predicted/expected range. They are a source of constant pain and frustration for statisticians because they can wreak havoc with correlations and studies due to their extremity. But you run great risk in ignoring outliers as the existence of outlying data is often a signal of another unidentified factor.

Just fwiw. "Outlier" does not imply any sort of value judgement. It is just an expression of a piece of data that doesn't "fit".
Hello Keith,

Your post leads to an observation and a question.

First, the observation. Ellis never used the term Outliers in his book. He used it in a thread somewhere else in Aikiweb. I had not really thought much about the 'mechanics' of genius, but I read the book and realized that the 10,000 hours factor was crucial to aikido.

The strictly statistical use of outliers does not really work in aikido, because there is no objective basis on which to ground the statistical aberration. I do not see how you can talk of outliers in aikido in the absence of clear statistical data about how the 'inliers' actually train.

Thus I am inclined to think that the use of the term in relation to Takeda and Ueshiba is not--cannot be--statistically based.

Secondly, the question. I mentioned in the TIE column that I believed Gladwell had been uncritical about the research of Geert Hofstede. However, I would be interested to hear more about your own reservations about Gladwell's research or putative results.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-23-2010, 07:48 AM   #38
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

The Japanese term "meijin" possibly correlates to Gladwell's description of Outlier?

The idea very interesting, but the 10,000 hour thing seems to be more easily correlated to disciplines that operate within well defined parameters,e.g sports. For example, how would one judge that Bob Dylan or Samuel Beckett had put in their hours on the way to becoming "outliers"?

IMO, Japanese Budo in general, and Aikido in particular, exists in a purgatory between "art" and "sport" that defies neat taxonomy.

On a completely different note, has anyone read a book titled:
"When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth" by E.T Barber and P.T Barber?

It explains creation Myths from around the world as being born of the need for pre-literate societies to "encode" and transmit important environmental data to future generations.

The part of the thesis relevant to this discussion is "The Silence Principle" which is something that is known to both speaker and listener is never explicitly mentioned. However, when a society dies, although its stories may survive, vital information has been omitted. Therefore, future researchers must re-interpret these stories, often with erroneous results.

Someone with a good knowledge of Ueshiba's speeches might find it a fruitful read.
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Old 06-23-2010, 07:58 AM   #39
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Thanks, Peter, I'll look forward to that.

Two small points about the Jigoro Kano succession which Ellis mentioned in passing.

Kodokan presidents:
1st President Jigoro Kano 1882-1938
2nd President Jiro Nango 1938-1946 (nephew of the shihan)
3rd President Risei Kano 1946-1980 (son of the shihan)
4th President Yukimitsu Kano 1980:2009 (grandson of the shihan)
5th President Haruki Uemura 2009- (kudan, World, Olympic and All-Japan Champion)
source: http://judoforum.com/index.php?/topi...of-risei-kano/

Jigoro Kano's son Risei and grandson Yukimitsu were figurehead leaders who weren't supposed to have any technical brilliance. So it would never have occurred to anyone to describe them as not enormously skilled.

Now the Kodokan has gone in the other direction (i.e. outside the direct family line) and the president is a famous and technically skilled judoka.

By the way shihan in judo is a title of respect used exclusively for Jigoro Kano.

Last edited by niall : 06-23-2010 at 08:08 AM.

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Old 06-23-2010, 09:05 AM   #40
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
The part of the thesis relevant to this discussion is "The Silence Principle" which is something that is known to both speaker and listener is never explicitly mentioned.
Hello Oisin,

My only direct experience of the 'Silence Principle' was the time when I was called upon to to run a university department.

In this situation, what people did not say was as clear as what people did say. In this connection, have you come across the term sakura in relation to public speaking?

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-23-2010, 08:26 PM   #41
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Peter,

I've never heard the term "sakura" used in that context.

In the book I mentioned above, the authors apply this "Silence Principle" to ancient myths. According to them, Creation Myths in particular encode vital information about the movement of the stars that can be transmitted over millennia.

I thought it might be interesting to apply some of these ideas to Morihei's recounting of Japanese Creation Myths.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:51 AM   #42
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
In this situation, what people did not say was as clear as what people did say. In this connection, have you come across the term sakura in relation to public speaking?
Very interesting.
From Apple's Japanese Dictionary:
さくら
〔大道商人の〕a decoy, a plant,⦅米俗⦆ a shill; 〔劇場の〕a claqueur,⦅集合的に⦆ a claque; 〔競売の〕a by-bidder
さくらを使う|employ a decoy

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Old 06-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #43
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Oh, I forgot to mention that the TIE articles are wonderful!
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Old 06-24-2010, 03:17 PM   #44
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
I've never heard the term "sakura" used in that context.
Sakura are questions, prepared beforehand by chosen members of an audience, and made to a speaker with a different intention than simply seeking an answer.

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Old 06-25-2010, 02:33 AM   #45
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
Very interesting.
From Apple's Japanese Dictionary:
さくら
〔大道商人の〕a decoy, a plant,⦅米俗⦆ a shill; 〔劇場の〕a claqueur,⦅集合的に⦆ a claque; 〔競売の〕a by-bidder
さくらを使う|employ a decoy
Hello Doug,

The history of this use is also interesting. I first heard of the term at a meeting in November. We were discussing a lecture to be given by the chief of the Mazda motor company at Hiroshima University. One professor mentioned sakura and I observed that November was not the time of year for cherry-blossom viewing. Everyone laughed and someone explained what sakura were. The questions were planned beforehand by graduate students, who would earnestly praise the speaker's performance and then ask an innocuous question designed to allow the speaker to shine even more brightly.

In the big Kokugo Dai Jiten, the meaning is given as a derivation from cherry-blossom viewing, which are large gatherings of people doing something for free. From there the sense became people being planted to pretend to be spectators at a public spectacle, like a theater show or stalls at a festival, and loudly praise what was on offer, in order that people would pay to see the spectacle, or buy goods from the stalls.

So, while not planted, my review essay is plausibly a sakura, designed to encourage people top buy Ellis's book. Except that I haven't been paid to praise it.

PAG

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Old 06-25-2010, 06:06 AM   #46
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

I am reminded of the long queue that forms every day without fail at my local onigiri stall. The rice balls just aren't that good.

The book above referenced by myself should of course be read in tandem with Ellis Amdur's fine book.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:30 AM   #47
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
The part of the thesis relevant to this discussion is "The Silence Principle" which is something that is known to both speaker and listener is never explicitly mentioned. However, when a society dies, although its stories may survive, vital information has been omitted. Therefore, future researchers must re-interpret these stories, often with erroneous results.

Someone with a good knowledge of Ueshiba's speeches might find it a fruitful read.
Hello Oisin,

Have you ever discussed these issues with Iida Sensei?

The only direct connection to the Silence Principle of which I am aware is how Mutsuru Nakazono deals with the myths supposedly recorded in the Takeuchi Documents. I am thinking of Nakazono Sensei's revelations about the Kotodama Principle, discussed in my TIE columns on kotodama. (Actually, of all the TIE columns that have to be revised in preparation for a future book, the kotodama columns are the ones most in need of revision and expansion. There is so much more that needs to be said and this also includes putting O Sensei's discourses in a better context.)

According to Nakazono, the pristine civilization captured in the phrase 'Sumera Mikoto' somehow entered into a conspiracy of silence, in order to hide all traces of their civilization and to allow only 'chosen' individuals, like Nakazono (and for reasons even more unknown) to catch a glimpse--by way of utterly arcane interpretations of a set of scrolls generally thought by some academic to be forgeries.

There is an added twist. Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash refers to Sumera Mikoto and suggests that this refers to the ancient Sumerian culture, in which,he believes, a sort of proto-language was spoken, rather like the ancient, pure, Japanese spoken by the original Yamato race, whose existence was argued for by kokugaku scholars like Kamo no Mabuchi.

There is a very interesting treatment of the Takeuchi documents by Kosaka Wado. He has not, unfortunately, been translated into English.

Best,

PAG

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Old 06-25-2010, 09:57 AM   #48
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
So, while not planted, my review essay is plausibly a sakura, designed to encourage people top buy Ellis's book. Except that I haven't been paid to praise it.
Well, hopefully all of the TIE articles continue to shine brightly like hoshi and do not fall at the height of their beauty like sakura.

However do you write such brilliant things?
(how's that for sakura?)

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Old 06-25-2010, 10:57 PM   #49
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Quote:
Doug Walker wrote: View Post
Well, hopefully all of the TIE articles continue to shine brightly like hoshi and do not fall at the height of their beauty like sakura.

However do you write such brilliant things?
(how's that for sakura?)

P A Goldsbury
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