Hello Akiyama-san and all Aiki Web members,
Now we have opened the new year. Here at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America as at all Shinto Jinja this is the busiest time of the year as many people make the Hatsumoude/ 1st shrine visit of the New Year in order to receive Okamisama's Fuku/good luck-blessings for themselves and their families in the new year opening... at Tsubaki America we could receive thousands of sanpaisya and our parent shrine Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie Japan had over 400000 visitors in the 1st 3 days of 2010.
The Jinja Shinto which is the basis for the cosmology of Aikido is simply the philosophy of proceeding in harmony with the movements of Great Nature. Containing the Kigaku which means study of KI. Kigaku contains Houigaku= study of directions, Kasogaku= study of physiognomy of houses and structures, Chisougaku= study of land features and Unseigaku= the study of live trends.....may I share a little information of this New Year
In Japan from ancient times people have been very “time conscious”—things in Nature occur in their own time—awareness of time encourages gratefulness –which is basic for a happy fulfilled life. In Japan, 3 types of astrology have been observed: TEN-CHI-JIN teaching of Heaven, teaching of Earth and teaching of Man.
Teaching of Heaven is JIKKAN 10 celestial stems, the inner and outer aspects (yin and yang) of the 5 elements.
Teaching of Earth is JU-NI-SHI the 12 Animals/directions (this is the most popular and well known) The Eto is the Yearly symbol/animal and invite good fortune for that year.
Teaching of Man is the KYUSEI the 9-Star KI. A system following a grid called the magic square.
For example, the Year 2010 is:
HEISEI 22/KANOE/TORA DOSHI/HAPPAKU DOSEI meaning the 22nd year of the reign of current Emperor, 7th of the Ji-Kan- 10 Celestial Stems Elder aspect of Metal, Year of the Tiger and a #8 White Earth Star Year.
Human beings cannot survive without the Ki of metal or gold. Spirits of the kami that fill this universe transmit the reiha (spiritual wave) of the kami to the entire human race. Kanoe symbolizes the never-ending spiritual cycle of successions of the eternal musubi (the tie where existence and non existence are unified) for the humanity.
It also refers to a decisive renewal after harai kiyome (purification and lustration) of tsumi (impurities that exist in relationship between two persons or groups) and kegare (an impure condition or state of an individual) all the while preserving the old from the year before. In general, mature trees renewing themselves represent very well the idea of Kanoe.
The heat of summer is finally subsiding and the coolness of autumn is now with us. The Ki of Yin (negative Ki) is gaining ground and all beings are changing to renew themselves. Trees bear fruit that will eventually grow ripe. Babies are born and they are forming their own unique shape. Kanoe is the period in which we strengthen ourselves in both mind and body.
TORA (The Tiger)
The Tiger (Tora) denotes joining one’s hands, prayers, promises and co-operation. The lower part of the Chinese character of the Tiger is also the character for “people”. Therefore, it also embodies restraint, aides and helping each other among those who share similar ideas, thus it means “colleagues” as well. The Tiger is also associated with “acting”. It refers to all things making their own “act” for the first time after being born. During the winter, all things were tangled up with strings underneath the earth; however, now that the Ki of spring is taking place and the Ki of Yang is advancing, they are finally facing the world above ground.
The Tiger is the manifestation of the movement of the Ki of Yang. It refers to the state in which all things are generated to sprout. It is represented by a bud of a tree working together with earth, as if it is tangled up with strings, in slowly warming up the snow or even hard frozen earth in order to have a good condition for germination.
HAPPAKU DOSEI- Eight White Earth Year
If you look at the number ‘eight’ on the Compass, it lies east and north and is known as Gon () in the Eight Diagrams and the direction of Ushi (the Ox) and Tora (the Tiger) in the twelve signs of the Ju-ni-shi. This is the direction from which the sun rises. It is generally called nichimon (literally “the sun gate”), i.e. kimon (an unlucky quarter), or gate of life and this is the place where one finally becomes motivated. This position is referred to as “Happaku Dosei or Eight White Earth” in the astrological calendar.
If compared with rice plants, this would be the state where only stubble remains in the rice paddies after the harvest is finished. Thus, we will have to prepare the next plan and a new thing will come up. Also, it is time for an elderly couple, whose children have already grown up, to take a rest and think about the next move.
This position is supposed to increase one’s motivation to work with one’s whole heart and enrich one’s kiryoku (willpower, energy, or literally “the power of Ki”) like the rising sun. As one should make efforts to do the work of many people in versatile fields so that something new will begin, it is time to return to the starting point so a new plan will arise.
It is called the “position of the successor” and this direction is the place of offering a prayer as well as the place that detests impurity.
may I pray for health, happiness, safety and prosperity in the New Year for all Aikidoists before the enshrined Tsubaki Okami/ Ancestor Kami of Aikido.
Tsubaki America Shrine