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Old 02-19-2008, 10:04 AM   #1
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,276
Aikido as Misogi

Hi folks,
If misogi is the removal of obstructions within the individual, and Aikido is misogi, how has Aikido behaved as misogi for you?

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Old 03-14-2008, 04:19 AM   #2
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 125
Re: Aikido as Misogi

It is my own misogi and my own kokoro no misogi, pattern doesn't matter. More than misogi, it is our daily life as Aikidoka.

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Old 03-16-2008, 10:26 PM   #3
Dojo: judo only at the moment
Location: SoCal
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Re: Aikido as Misogi

I feel like I'm too new to aikido to answer this yet, but it's a fantastic question to have in the back of my mind as I continue on my journey. I've bookmarked this and hope to come back and answer it one day.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:50 AM   #4
SeiserL's Avatar
Location: Florida Gulf coast
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,902
Re: Aikido as Misogi

IMHO, AIkido is a tool, another place to practice.
Or not.
Choices, choices, choices.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
Rev.K. Barrish
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja
Location: Granite Falls, WA
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 42
Re: Aikido as Misogi

Hello Aikiweb members, hi Matthew-san….

Re: Misogi Shuho… Misogi Shuho is the Shinto practice of purifying oneself by washing away impurity/obscuring energies in a river, waterfall or sea. As Human beings we are the wakemitama or Children of the Divine Nature and as such we strive for the best life for ourselves, our families and our Chikyu Mura (World Village). The Shinto Shrine is an enriched environment for human beings to meet with and consider Divine Nature. Misogi is a profound spiritual technology meant to bring human beings into direct unmediated communion with Nature.


The first archetypical Misogi was done by Izanagi-no-Okami following his visit to the Yomi (world of death). His purpose was to “wash away defilement”, “cleanse his body from pollutants” and to “ perform the purification of his august person”. Prior to entering the Tachibana River to cleanse completely Izanagi-no-Mikoto rid himself of all his possessions…..as he was being pursued by elements of impurity from the Underworld he first through his tsue (staff)….from that staff SARUTAHIKO-NO-OU-KAMI was born.

This is why SARUTAHIKONOOUKAMI is also known as DOUSOUJIN, Kami of the Way, Path and Kami to protect the Path. FUNADO-NO-OU-KAMI, Kami to protect crossroads, KUNADO-NO-SAHE-NO-KAMI , Kami to Protect , ward off misfortune….Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami has many other names as well.

Then Izanagi-no-O-Kami threw away all his Jewelry and clothing into the river as they were also contaminated by impurities. These articles became the twelve Kami who protect the directions in which people live, travel, work and conduct business…..

Then after finding the spot in the river not to swift and not to slow Izanagi-no-O-Kami entered the river to purify himself….many Kami were created from this act, many Kami of wrongdoing as well as Kami to rectify wrongdoing originated during this first Misogi. Then when Izanagi-no-Ou-Kami washed his face AMATERASU-OMIKAMI (Heaven Shining Great August Deity, Sun Kami ) was born from his left eye. From his right eye was created TSUKIYOMI-NO-MIKOTO (Augustness Moon Night Posessor, Moon Kami) and from his nose appeared SUSA-NO-MIKOTO (Brave Swift Impetuous Male Deity, Kami of Stars).

AmaterasuOmikami is responsible for the Sun, the source of our life power, Tsukiyominomikoto is responsible for night and quietness and growth and Susanomikoto is responsible for rhythmic movement of earth as Kami of Stars. These Kami, born through the first Misogi are responsible for the three heavenly light sources..sun, moon and stars.

Before the first Misogi, Izanaginomikoto rid himself of possessions and attachments.. to purify from attachment is the 1st element of Misogi.

Self reflection is the 2nd element.

In order to do Misogi, Izanaginomikoto chose the part of the stream that was not to swift and not to sluggish…the “Middle Way” is the 3rd aspect of purification.

The 4th element is to check constantly and correct thoroughly.

The 5th element is inner willingness and sincere effort.

The 6th element is completeness……………

For the Aikido Practitioner:

The nature of Aiki Training is centripetalizing, subtractive and re-invigorating.

Centripetalizing (yangizing) as the nature of the practice is centering and reintegrating around one own hara in the current moment -- this physiological process is the same as that of Misogi Shuho.

Subtractive as in the process of self correction--- we remove/purify obscuring thoughts, movement patterns and all the various impediments that keep us apart from the Aiki moment or the flow of Great Nature.

Reinvigorating as when we have removed what is not Aiki we can then receive Aiki…after Harae (purification) comes Kiyome (invigorate).

Kaiso stated: “The Heart of Aikido is Misogi. Through the technique of Misogi you continually forge the spirit of Love and Protection towards all things while protecting the logical sequence of multitudes of Kami---thus you can accomplish your mission”.

*when recited in a group this line is read only by the leader of the ritual
Translation of MISOGI-NO-O-HARAI:
Upon the will of the Great Spirit, by which the Universe is initiated in the cosmic force of creation by the Kamis (Divine Spirit) of birth and growth, and through which the solar system is united in the force of harmony by the Kamis of Yin and Yang, the Kamis of purification came to exist from the impurities which Izanagi-no-Mikoto (Divine creator of the solar system) cleansed from his body in the divine river of heaven.
We will be able to recognize (see) the Kami (truth), only after we purify ourselves of all negativity, impurities, faults and restore ourselves to what we are meant to be (natural brightness).
If you would like to participate in the Misogi Shuho at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America please contact the Shrine staff

Thank you
Rev. Koichi Barrish
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America
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Old 03-29-2008, 05:28 PM   #6
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,276
Re: Aikido as Misogi

That was particularly interesting re: the 6 elements. I don't think I've heard that before.Thank you, Sensei.
See you soon.
Take care,

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Old 03-30-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
sunny liberti
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Dojo: Shobu Aikido
Location: Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 68
Re: Aikido as Misogi

That is a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing it. Misogi is such a vast term, and your description certainly carries that across. I will be re-reading it many times, I'm sure.

I'm sort of laughing about this in terms of my own practice. For a long time it's become clear to me about removing the obstacles in my life, in my thinking, etc. Aikido started pretty immediately in removing my fears, in shifting my feeling mind to hara and releasing tensions that impede movement, in giving me insight into my interactions with others and accepting accountability for them.

But only fairly recently, I've come to really grasp the importance, and even profundity, of a good hard sweat. There's no substitute for a serious round of blowing out the toxins from our bodies (and because of the principle of correspondence, our minds and emotions, as well). It is a very healing thing, in and of itself. I didn't appreciate the simplicity of that aspect of misogi when I started out. Coming full circle, and whatnot, I guess.


A brave man dies once; cowards are always dying." --Moanahonga, Ioway
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:41 PM   #8
Stefan Stenudd
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Dojo: Enighet Malmo Sweden
Location: Malmo
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 539
Keiko = misogi

To me, keiko is misogi, or has that effect. Regular training contains the cleansing/purification. It is a matter of attitude.
It is also a matter of letting your spirit flow, extending beyond yourself, and enjoying equally to be uke as well as tori.

We usually start our classes with a short mokuso (zazen), and end them the same way. The former opens up for misogi, and the latter completes it, bringing a warm sense of gratitude.
This, my first Japanese teacher Ichimura sensei pointed out. I stick to it.

I would say that when you practice wholeheartedly, misogi just happens - probably whatever it is you practice. Being aware of it increases this effect somewhat, but not necessarily that much.
Like in Zen, there is so much that works the best when one is not consciously striving for it.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: https://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Aikidostenudd
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:46 PM   #9
Location: New York
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 40
Re: Aikido as Misogi

Thank you so much for a beautiful post.

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Old 03-31-2008, 09:49 AM   #10
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Re: Aikido as Misogi

For consideration:

O-Sensei's Misogi-no-Gyo (practices of misogi) were and are a completely active pursuit. Even the meditative aspects involved in chinkonkishin-no-gyo for example are considered highly active. There are very little if any passive elements that "just seem to happen" over time or that are discovered while waiting around, focusing on other things or practicing hard. Misogi as O-Sensei practiced it, shared it, taught it, passed it on to specific individuals...etc is specific, dynamic and produces tenable results. It is at the very core of what we (should) seek to understand what O-Sensei meant when he said, "...Aikido is misogi..." Reliance upon hope will not provide any real solutions. As aikidoka who seek O-Sensei's way it becomes paramount to find a teacher who understands and can demonstrate O-Sensei's Misogi. While it is not zazen, nor shinto, buddhist or even religious in practice it is certainly taken from those and other sources both in form and in deference. We must strive to attain both a rudimentary and practical understanding of how to apply this to our body, mind and spirit (oddly enough, in that order), all of which are separate aspects of this training.

One's teacher must be able show the specifics of misogi, not just the basic ideas of misogi, or just the words (chants) or outward (empty and meaningles) form, but the actual practices O-Sensei, himself used and taught as the way through which to absorb the hidden teachings. If for one reason or another this level of teaching is not a focus early on in our training then it is not only worthwhile to refer to someone who can and will teach it, we would be derelict in our training if we did not go out and find it regardless of the effort, cost or time needed to do so. Loyalty to one's teacher, organization or what have you aside, we owe it to ourselves and to those who may come after to seek out, make sense of and ultimately master these practices and the principles which are revealed through vigorous and sincere training over a prolonged and intense period of study and reflection.


I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:10 PM   #11
Rev.K. Barrish
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Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja
Location: Granite Falls, WA
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 42
Re: Aikido as Misogi


Hello everyone,

Today 4/22/08 is Earth Day.....of course in Shinto thinking the land of Onogorojima (self condensing ball/ Earth/ Earth Jewel) was created by Izanagi-no-O-Kami and Izanami-no-O-Kami utilizing the centripetalizing power of Ame-no-Nuboko (special spear) used to stir the undifferentiated cosmic mass..creating the Sun and the planets (including the Earth). The Kunitsu kami (Earthly Kami) then made all things in the "real world/current world" using elements and plans provided by the Amatsu Kami (Heavenly Kami) based on truth and principle.

Humankinds place in this is as the caretaker of this divine creation...Human beings (whose life is Divine Solar Ki) using all their talents and abilities to establish and help the evolution of Utsushi Kunidama (the World in dynamic harmony under one roof). Until this work is accomplished SarutahikonoOkami (Guiding Kami and Primal Earth Kami) will encourage mankind with great love and patience. When we perform purification (Misogi shuho) we can receive the heartbeat and breath of Okami and Divine Nature.

When we realize that we are not separate from Nature and to willfully damage or Earth Jewel is to damage ourselves and our children's lives we are in harmony with Kamunagara (Okami's Divine Movement)...of course we recognize the terrible damage being done to our living home... it is painful .... but shall we continue to do our utmost together each day..stay as centered and strong and as connected as we can..... Oharahinokotoba also teaches us that no matter how truth is concealed, twisted, hushed up or erased...no matter what kind of arbitrary patchwork is done, the Ki of Okami (Divine Nature) will work to reassert (straighten) itself ..the meaning of Tohashi Tamahi is we must endeavor to straighten our own behavior.

Issho ni ganbarimasu/ together let's do our utmost
Koichi Barrish
Tsubaki Jinja Kannushi

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America (360) 691-6389 17720 Crooked Mile Rd., Granite Falls, Washington 98252 T
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