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Old 04-20-2001, 11:39 AM   #26
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 610
United_States
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Re: Re: Traditional Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by akiy

Hasn't Hikitsuchi sensei in Shingu, Japan, worn a white hakama for a while now?

I've also heard that some aikido organizations in Europe have people wear white hakama.

-- Jun
My understanding is that Hikitsuchi Sensei wears a white hakama because he is an ordained Shinto priest. Like most things Japanese, there is a hierarchy within Shinto as well, and some colors are restricted to levels or types of practitioners. Purple is reserved for those who are senior priests at major shrines, for example. Red is restricted to young women who serve as shrine attendants. And I saw a couple of priests wearing absolutely gorgeous turquoise blue models.

Aside from the Shinto-specific, white is sometimes used as a generic color for schools or special occasions which are more generally oriented toward "spiritual aspects" of the art, for lack of a better phrase.

Some schools in Lovret Sensei's Tenshin Ryu Kenjutsu system have used white for beginning practitioners in this country, and I have seen the same in Japan for both sword arts and kyudo -- once in a situation where both very senior and very junior practitioners were wearing white. In that situation, the senior practitioner's action might be interpreted as an external sign of the intention to come to practice with "beginner's mind."

Black is an all around semi-formal color that doesn't show the dirt. Some who were around when Saotome Sensei was still teaching at Hombu have told me that he was the first on the Hombu instructional staff to wear blue and the custom was adopted by many students who regularly attended his classes, but I wasn't there so I can't vouch for the truth of that claim.

As for grey, when you see a bunch of Japanese businessmen in dark suits and one in grey, it is immediately apparent who's the boss -- sort of a human Alpha-Male variation on the silver-back ape. I think the same applies to hakama.

My personal view is that color and movement are wonderful, people generally ascribe too much significance to this kind of stuff, and aikido videos might be more interesting visually if there was a greater variety of color.

On the other hand, a wider range of color also increases the potential for fashion wars and that was one element of how the celebrated incident of the 47 Ronin began, so there are long-standing cultural reasons for being wary of that.

Finally, about length: there were a number of "codes for military households" promulgated during the Tokugawa Shogunate. In some instances, bushi who received audiences with daimyo or other high officials within the shogunate were REQUIRED to wear extra-long hakama, in some cases as much as TWO FEET LONGER THAN THEIR LEGS. This is generally interpreted as a security precaution to insure that any bushi foolish enough to attempt an attack from seiza in his lordship's chambers would be likely to trip on his own hakama before he got one shaku closer....

Still, I do have some turquoise dye and a white cotton hakama...hmmmmmmmmm

Fred Little
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Old 04-20-2001, 11:41 AM   #27
Jim ashby
Dojo: Phoenix Coventry
Location: Coventry, England
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 303
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Hakama colour

In our association, mainly at our club, the general rule is that only Dan grades wear the Hakama. We only wear black, However One of our instructors has a Black Watch tartan Hakama!(he is Scottish) We are yet to see it being worn.
Have fun.

Vir Obesus Stola Saeptus
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Old 04-20-2001, 12:09 PM   #28
AikidoSteve
Dojo: Foothills Aikido, Evergreen, Colorado
Location: Evergreen, Colorado, USA
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 25
United_States
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Just thought I'd throw in my observations.

In the nine or so years I've practiced at my current dojo I've seen the color of hakamas worn in our Dojo go from black to about a 50/50 split of black or indigo. I believe this trend was due to our head instructor. He use to wear a black hakama. It has since been worn out and his newer hakama is indigo. So as new people purchase hakama in our Dojo they wear what the head instructor wears.

Most hakama are worn maybe 1 to 3 inches or so above the mat.

Further, one has always been able to wear hakama at any rank in our Dojo.

This might qualify as a new topic but we use to have white belt for all 6 Kyu ranks. Six or seven years or so ago we went to white belt 6,5,4 Kyu and brown belt for 3,2,1 Kyu. I also remember, at that time there was talk of blue belts for 4 & 5 Kyu ranks. But that idea was quickly abandoned and white and brown prevailed.

Yours in Aikihood

Steve Nelson
Confront the enemy with the point of your sword against his face.
-Miyamoto Musashi, "A Book of Five Rings"
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Old 04-20-2001, 03:53 PM   #29
cguzik
Location: Tulsa, OK
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 166
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Brands


Having just noticed Jun's post about the sale at Tozando, I have to ask:

Can anyone comment on the quality of available hakama brands?

I've seen a lot of the bujin design hakama, which come in three fabrics. (I wear their medium weight version and I like it a lot).

I'm not sure if I've ever seen one of the Tozando (the Stanley Pranin quote on their site says it's the finest made, I think).

What about the Shiori brand they sell at Aikido Online?

Both the Tozando and Shiori come in different varieties of cotton and polyester. Any opinions?

Any words of caution about the fact that different vendors size differently? What about the price differences?

Thanks in advance,

Chris Guzik

Last edited by cguzik : 04-20-2001 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 05-04-2001, 07:24 AM   #30
Markus
 
Markus's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Kiel
Location: Kronshagen
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 21
Germany
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Re: Traditional Hakama

Jun wrote:
> I've also heard that some aikido organizations in Europe have
> people wear white hakama.

That's right. Kyu ranking students have the option to wear a white hakama. Dan ranking students have to wear a black one.

Markus
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Old 05-04-2001, 01:23 PM   #31
Kami
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
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Re: Re: Re: Traditional Hakama

Quote:
Originally posted by Fred Little
My understanding is that Hikitsuchi Sensei wears a white hakama because he is an ordained Shinto priest. Like most things Japanese, there is a hierarchy within Shinto as well, and some colors are restricted to levels or types of practitioners. Purple is reserved for those who are senior priests at major shrines, for example. Red is restricted to young women who serve as shrine attendants. And I saw a couple of priests wearing absolutely gorgeous turquoise blue models.
Aside from the Shinto-specific, white is sometimes used as a generic color for schools or special occasions which are more generally oriented toward "spiritual aspects" of the art, for lack of a better phrase.
Fred Little
KAMI : Little Sensei,
Some time ago, I had this same discussion in my own list(http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/aik...gua_portuguesa ) and I received the following letter about the use of white hakama :
"Dear Mr.Alcantara,
Rev.Yukihiko Tsumura of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America has forwarded your request to me as I am a Shinto Priest and have been training in Aiki-Do for 30 yrs.The white hakama has a 'shinto feeling' but can be worn by non-ordained people..It would be up to the traditions and feeling of your own dojo.
Arigato,
Koichi Barrish
Guji(chief priest)Kannagara Shrine http://kannagara.org
Gon-negi(assist.sr.priest)TSUBAKI OHKAMI YASHIRO"
Also, in Portugal, members of the Ten Chi International (Georges Stobbaerts/Aikido =Dai Nippon Butokukai Hanshi), wear white hakama, before black belt level.
Best regards and good keiko


"We are all teachers, and what we teach is what we need to learn, and so we teach it over and over again until we learn it".
Unknown author

Ubaldo Alcantara
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