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Old 07-23-2010, 10:48 PM   #1
Eric in Denver
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Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

In John Stevens' new translation of Takemusu Aikido, he uses the words "manifest, hidden, and divine." I am guessing these are the same three words that Ellis Amdur translates as "the World of Appearances, the Subconscious World, and the Divine World" in HIPS.

Does anyone know the original kanji?
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:46 AM   #2
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
In John Stevens' new translation of Takemusu Aikido, he uses the words "manifest, hidden, and divine." I am guessing these are the same three words that Ellis Amdur translates as "the World of Appearances, the Subconscious World, and the Divine World" in HIPS.

Does anyone know the original kanji?
顕幽神の三界

PAG

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Old 07-24-2010, 08:03 AM   #3
Eric in Denver
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

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顕幽神の三界

PAG
Dr. Goldsbury,

Thank you for the kanji. My Japanese is not so good, so I am going to apologize now as proceed to most likely make a fool of myself!

I am wondering about the second kanji, as I feel like there is a discrepancy between the two translations. Looking at the definition of 幽 using an online dictionary and word lists, I could see how it might be interpreted has hidden within a person (subconscious world) and also as hidden behind or away from the material world (John Stevens' use of hidden). There also seem to be a lot words using it that seem to refer to ghosts, depression, gloom, and hell.

Which way of looking at it would be more appropriate?
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:38 AM   #4
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Consider it as a contrast to the first kanji, ken, 顕. Ken refers to things that are manifest, that appear and are visible, tangible. In contrast to this, yuu 幽 refers to things that are not visible, tangible, or made manifest in this world, though they do exist. Action is tangible, manifest. Thought or intention is not.

Josh Reyer

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Old 07-24-2010, 12:11 PM   #5
Eric in Denver
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

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Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Consider it as a contrast to the first kanji, ken, 顕. Ken refers to things that are manifest, that appear and are visible, tangible. In contrast to this, yuu 幽 refers to things that are not visible, tangible, or made manifest in this world, though they do exist. Action is tangible, manifest. Thought or intention is not.
So in this interpretation, yuu 幽 refers to the world of the mind, hence Ellis' reference to the subconscious. Would this also have been Ueshiba's interpretation?

I am remembering a French class I took a VERY long time ago in which the professor was analysing Racine's (I believe it was Racine's) reworking of classical Greek drama in which the gods, who had been external forces, were now treated as internal mental states. Is this similar to the differences in the interpretation of yuu 幽?
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

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Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
So in this interpretation, yuu 幽 refers to the world of the mind, hence Ellis' reference to the subconscious. Would this also have been Ueshiba's interpretation?
No, in this interpretation, yuu refers to things not visible or tangible, the workings of the mind being but one example. To be clear, the translation as "subconscious" is not Ellis', I believe, but rather the translators of the Aikido Journal article he was referencing.

As for Ueshiba's interpretation, that's dicey, because he didn't need a translation. He just used the word, along with all of the various nuances and shades of meaning the word has. To pick one is to limit the idea, which is why I've always tried to give it multiple glosses. My main intention was merely to show that the two varying translations are not as discrepant as you at first may have believed.

Josh Reyer

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Old 07-24-2010, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Another thing to consider is that these are referring to separate worlds. 顕界, genkai refers to this world of the living, and 幽界, yuukai refers to the next world, the world of the dead. I have not seen the original, but I guess neither Stevens nor the AikiNews translators felt that these were idiomatic translations for the context of Ueshiba's speech.

Josh Reyer

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Old 07-24-2010, 08:17 PM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Hello Josh,

Eric simply asked for the characters, which is what he got.

If you have the Japanese text, one reference appears on p.33:

合気の道は愛を守るの道であります。愛なくばこの世
の一切は成り立たないのです。故に合気の真の働きがなければこの世はつぶれると私は信じてのであります。
そのために、顕幽神三界にわたって、この世をを守っていなければなりません。それは最勝妙加来の現れであります。

Another reference appears on p.49.

武産合気とは、すべて営みの世を顕幽神三界に守り、和合させ、栄えさす所の役目のご奉公であり、経倫の本義を明らかにして、その大道をもそぎ、健全なる大道へのご奉公に献 身するものである、と私は確信してやまない。

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-24-2010, 09:47 PM   #9
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Thank you both for your thoughtful answers, they are very helpful.
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:25 PM   #10
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Eric,

You need to be aware that there is some ambiguity about 幽界 and this is reflected in the ancient myths.

I sometimes use a Japanese text in my classes. It is an illustrated text, intended for high school students, about the ancient myths. On pp. 172-173, there are two coloured diagrams and maps, entitled 『記紀」神話の世界構造. The Japanese is reasonably easy to understand. The first chart deals with 縦軸: tatejiku: the vertical axis or dimension and this is the issue in this thread.

記紀の縦軸
『記紀』において、世界は主に縦軸と横軸で描かれる。まず、縦軸は、空の上に高天原があり、遙か下には黄泉国よいう死者の世界があり、その間にあるのが葦原中国(豊葦原中 国)ーーつまり、人々が住む地上である。
まず、高天原はすでに述べたように神々の世界である。神世七代から始まる天津神たちはここに住み、時に地上に干渉あるのだ。一方、黄泉国にも神々は住んでいるが、それらは 不浄の神だ。また、黄泉国としばしば同一視される場所に根の国がある。ここは高天原を追放されたスサノオが住む場所で、黄泉比根坂が入り口という意味では黄泉国と同じあの だが、死者の世界ではない、とされる。

There are diagrams depicting the four levels: one, above the clouds, where the heavenly deities dwell (with Izanagi, holding the nuboko, and and his wife Izanami); the next, below the clouds, where humans and the earthly deities dwell (the picture is of a man and a horse grazing in a field); and two more below the ground, one, (the picture is of roots of trees), which is nenotakasukuni (根堅州国), and the other (the picture is of two dead people in a chamber enclosed with rocks), which is yomi(no)kuni or yomotsukuni.

This, literal, depiction is where any discussion of O Sensei's meaning has to begin.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 07-25-2010, 08:32 AM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Eric,

If you have been able to read the explanation in Japanese, you should have found a typo. There is a よ that should be a と.

PAG

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Old 07-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #12
Eric in Denver
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Eric,

If you have been able to read the explanation in Japanese, you should have found a typo. There is a よ that should be a と.

PAG
I wish my Japanese was good enough to catch mistakes! Thank you for providing the original Japanese and the explanations, I was going to ask for that next. It may take me a little while to get through, if I end up with other questions, I will post them.

Eric
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:02 PM   #13
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Re: Takemusu Aikido Translation Question

Dear peter does this kanji ken 顕 meaning the body and the triangle and all things manifest, 幽 yuu refer to the mind, the square, the hidden aspects of Aikido, Shin 神 meaning the spirit, the will and the divine aspects of Aikido.

please visit http://ken-yu-shin-kai.co.uk/About.html, and please could you give any constructive comments, or anyone else would be of help thank you.

In Budo

Andy B
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