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Old 11-06-2010, 06:59 PM   #1
Lachlan Kadick
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Dojo: Oswego Aikido Club
Location: Syracuse, NY
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 40

This is the discussion thread for the AikiWiki article "Kamiza".

Please add comments below regarding the article.
Old 11-06-2010, 10:53 PM   #2
Josh Reyer
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Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Re: Kamiza

The shrine is called a kamidana 神棚, not kamiza 上座. That's something altogether different.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
Old 11-07-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
Dojo: aikido academy/alhambra,california
Location: Los Angeles, California
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 371
Re: Kamiza

It is perhaps better to diffuse, rather than to confuse.

Religious, cultural or spiritual references are easily misunderstood, and even misused by a variety of people.

In my dojo, we refer to the front of the dojo as the "Shomen", usually with a picture of the Founder, and emphasizing no religious, spiritual or obligatory connotations at all.

It is simply the focal point of attention to that training hour for all in willing attendance.

Last edited by aikishihan : 11-07-2010 at 09:39 AM.
Old 11-07-2010, 10:25 AM   #4
David Maidment
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 149
United Kingdom
Re: Kamiza

Genuine question: at what point does widespread confusion over a term make the new term 'official'. Think 'West Indies' and similar.

"Never escalate a battle unless forced to do so by your enemy" - Zordon
Old 11-07-2010, 11:22 AM   #5
Dan Rubin
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Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Denver, Colorado
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Posts: 370
Re: Kamiza

Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
The shrine is called a kamidana 神棚, not kamiza 上座. That's something altogether different.
Thanks, Josh. I, too, have always thought that kami meant "gods" in both.
Old 12-24-2010, 02:05 PM   #6
Mark B. Gibson
Location: Japan 日本
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 14
Re: Kamiza

That is a horrible inaccurate article and should be removed at once.

Kamidana 神棚, is the actual wooden shrine made out of Hinoki wood (桧 Japanese cypress wood). Kamiza 上座 is actually the "seat of honor", which refers to the location where a kamidana should be placed.

Further, it is not "just" about tradition or honoring the "founders"...

Shinto is a religion. Most western MA teachers are pretending and lying that it is not, and the kamidana and bowing ritual is only a matter of respecting the tradition and founders. This is completely wrong. People cheat, lie and try to bend things the way they want for their own selfish purposes.

The facts are, for Christians that they should not bow for other gods... (it is in the bible...) Which is exactly what they are doing bowing in front of a Kamidana. The worship of other gods is a reason for excommunication.

Shinto is a religion and that is a fact. Worshiping a Shinto altar (Kamidana), is worshiping "other gods". Over a 100 million Japanese observe Shinto events (e.g. New Years, Shogatsu) and visit their local shrines. Public dojo, like community centers or public school dojo (shogakko/elementary,chugakko/Junior High School and Koko/High School) do NOT have Kamidana, because of the separation of Religion and State under the Japanese Constitution.

Christians, Muslims, etc, that bow to a Kamidana have some serious soul searching to do...
Old 12-24-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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Posts: 6,011
Re: Kamiza

Hi Mark,

As the original article is in the AikiWiki section in which all articles are editable by AikiWeb members, please feel encouraged to improve upon the article to help out the community.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 01-19-2011, 07:23 AM   #8
TreyPrice's Avatar
Dojo: Capitol City Aikido Club
Location: Montgomery
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
Re: Kamiza

Mark you missed on the "worship" part of you retort. As a Western, Christian Martial Artist I can make a destintion between worshiping and respecting another faith or philosophy. I bow out of respect, not worship. I have traveled the world and entered all types of religious buildings. In every case I was respectful to the place and the people there. That's not worship, its respect. My dojo is located in a Christian Church annex building, and for a while we had an Anglican Priest training with us. No one has a problem with it.

Aikido more than anyother MA is in keeping with my Christian values and beliefs. Well, I guess we could say that about most faiths couldn't we. I think our souls will be fine.

Just my $.02. Peace be with you.
Old 01-19-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
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Posts: 2,238
Re: Kamiza

Mark Gibson wrote: View Post
Shinto is a religion and that is a fact. Worshiping a Shinto altar (Kamidana), is worshiping "other gods". Over a 100 million Japanese observe Shinto events (e.g. New Years, Shogatsu) and visit their local shrines.
Christians, Muslims, etc, that bow to a Kamidana have some serious soul searching to do...
Most of the Japanese people I met described their role in attending Shinto events as non-religious in nature.
Yes, worshipping the altar, would not be worshiping "God." However, a distinction can be made (and is up to the individual to adopt or not) between bowing and worshiping. If one can bow to their king (who is not God) and be said to not be worshiping said king, why not kamiza?
So for some, bowing to shomen where kamiza or shinza are, is just showing respect for the tradition.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-19-2011 at 11:33 AM.


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