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Old 03-24-2008, 02:46 PM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

and another fine post. Jeesh, y'all making me feel bad for not doing more research...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:40 PM   #27
Buck
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

I need to post this after reading the last two posts that where chalk full of information. In Thomas Cleary's book "The Japanese Art of War: Understanding the Culture of Strategy," I get the sense that Musashi trashed on the popular and long held blueprint that the Hagakure provided for many Samurai, in his book “The Book of Five Spheres.” Musashi goes for the jugular by starting with Yamamoto Tsunetomo's ideal that physical death was the aim of the Samurai. It seems Musashi highly disagreed with that idea in his book by saying that other things you have other types of death and not physical. Both men held up to the idea that Samurai where to be absolutely unconditionally loyal to their masters. Loyalty seem to be a component going unchanged for what is or isn’t Bushido.

It seems that the interpretation of Bushido depends on the point in history, person(s) view, and politics. Look at WWII how some tried to revive the old ways of the Bushi, and the Samurai. Look a people like, Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Musashi, Nitobe, Sokaku Takeda, Mishima Yukio all seemed to have a different view of Bushido. It reminds me of the "way" of fashion trends; all a matter of taste and persuading others to persuade other to make you design the popular one.

O'Sensei credits Sokaku Takeda for teaching him Budo. That would mean then there is no difference between Bushido and Aikido? However, we might ask then what blueprint for Bushido did Takeda follow? Was Takeda's blueprint one designed by strong nationalists of his time? In that blueprint can we find footprint from Yamamoto, Musashi's, others, or a mix. How close to Takeda's Bushido blueprint did O'Sensei follow is a good question to look into.

I see Bushido really being used now as an unbrella term for a host of different views and opinions spanning over centuries, All colored by a variety of personal views to politics all wrapping around a core of purposes. That would be of loyality and death; having someone fight on a order aggressively to win (kill the enemy) without the concern or regard for self-preservation. All done without question.

Bushido at its raw materials then is very different from Aikido. I may be wrong, and in need of correction. But, I don't think O'Sensei sent anyone into a war as a disposable pawn. I don't think Aikido is set up for that at all, am I right?

Last edited by Buck : 03-24-2008 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:10 PM   #28
Allen Beebe
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

If I'm not mistaken Musashi lived from the late 1500's until the mid 1600's. The Hagakure was written sometime in the early 1700's so Musashi certainly wasn't writing specifically in response to a book that didn't exist during his lifetime.

Musashi was a Bushi, Nitobe, Takeda, Mishima, and Ueshiba were not.

Takeda was raised in Aizu which supported the ill-fated Tokugawa regime upon the rise of the Meiji restoration. He was a youth when his childhood home was razed and many of his relatives committed mass suicide in response to the misapprehended consequences of defeat. An entire "Youth Corps" also committed ritual suicide on a mountain in his domain. Certainly these events and the feelings of his relatives must have been influential. Takeda later moved to Hokaido where many pro-Tokogawa supporters had moved (exiled I think.) Takeda associated with ultra nationalist right wingers and regularly taught at institutions associated with the WWII government as did Ueshiba.

Ueshiba was also involved in Omoto Kyo which had an agenda that did not coincide with the National Government's and therefore was suppressed. Ueshiba avoided being arrested in conjunction with this suppression by initially hiding in a police chief's house. He then distanced himself from the Omoto Kyo institution and engaged in teaching activities that included several military academies and (gestapo like) spy schools. Although Ueshiba never stopped practicing Omoto Kyo, he also never resumed strong ties with the organization. Apparently there were many Omoto members that felt Ueshiba had betrayed them, including his own nephew who remained an ardent believer.

Ueshiba certainly prepared his personal students and others for war. From his writings of the time he appeared to be a patriot at a time of war. This does not imply that he necessarily agreed with everything that his government did at the time. His exact position is hard to discern and certainly attempts at obscuration appear to have occurred. Ueshiba never sent anyone to war, his National Government did that. It is rather likely that Ueshiba was as much a pawn as he was a player during a difficult time. It certainly he, many of his students, and the entire nation were changed by the events and outcome of the war.

I'm writing this completely "off the cuff" so if anyone would like to provide more detail or specific facts, that would be great.

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 03-24-2008 at 07:15 PM.

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Old 03-24-2008, 09:45 PM   #29
Buck
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

Boy, I got to be less careless of what I say, it looks like no prisoners are taken around here. Thanks for pointing that out, it was poor attention to what I was writing that cause the confusion. I am not sure if his will help.

Musashi died around the age of 61 years old, when Yamamoto was about 14 years old. Yamamoto probably drawing his material for his book from the same "Way of the Samurai" era as Musashi was arguing against. Musashi died at a critical time in Japanese history of a new Shogunate and Yamamoto was a teenager when that happened. Yamamoto saw that change though out his life and I think wanted to keep alive that previous military era that existed when he was a boy.

Mishima was kind of that way too wanting to keep a previous military era alive. Both men are criticized for romantic idolization of an era that proceeded them. Both men had interpreted Bushido similarly and differently.

I don't disagree that Musashi was the only Bushi and the others not. Thats true, it is each individual had a different view of what Budo was for different reasons, and for similar reasons.

I should have said that O'Sensei learned Bushido from Takeda. O'Sensei interpreted, viewed, etc. differently then Takeda. What I am saying is it seems none of the people I mentioned seen Bushido all in the same way. Each person had their own take, and lived at different times. Point being, it is hard to pin down what Bushido is and isn't.

Last edited by Buck : 03-24-2008 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:25 PM   #30
Allen Beebe
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Point being, it is hard to pin down what Bushido is and isn't.
Agreed!

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:37 PM   #31
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Musashi died around the age of 61 years old, when Yamamoto was about 14 years old. Yamamoto probably drawing his material for his book from the same "Way of the Samurai" era as Musashi was arguing against. Musashi died at a critical time in Japanese history of a new Shogunate and Yamamoto was a teenager when that happened. Yamamoto saw that change though out his life and I think wanted to keep alive that previous military era that existed when he was a boy.
Yamamoto was born in 1659, 45 years after the last military operation of the Sengoku period ended. He knew no life but the peace of the Tokugawa Period, and the only military era he knew was that of the romances and plays. This is amply demonstrated by his desire to perform junshi -- suicide to accompany his lord into death. This would have appalled (or at least bewildered) the Sengoku era bushi, for whom junshi was part of battle (or protest), and not done when one's lord died of age or sickness, as Yamamoto's had.

Musashi himself just caught the tail-end of the Sengoku period, and lived most of his life in the Tokugawa peace, which is why he is known as a duelist, and not, say, a spearsman. In essence, what you write about Yamamoto was actually true of Musashi; his writing in his old age hearkened back to era of his childhood, when bushi actually had to fight. Thus, while Yamamoto's idea of bushido revolved around a noble life and death, Musashi's idea of "hyoho no michi" (the Way of Martial Strategy; Musashi never used the term "bushido") revolved around the accomplishment of one's tasks in life, a view also found in the writings of Sengoku bushi Iizasa Chouisai and Yagyu Sekishusai.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:22 AM   #32
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

Quote:
Boy, I got to be less careless of what I say, it looks like no prisoners are taken around here.
Naw, people help each other by filling in the pieces that others are unfamiliar with. It's not like counting coup. Nobody keeps track of points, unless of course, you get someone stubbornly fixated on false or misleading information. We all learn from each other.

Welcome!

Ron

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Old 03-25-2008, 09:18 AM   #33
Allen Beebe
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

FWIW and in the spirit that Ron described, I'll explain my application of the term Bushi to Musashi and not to the others that Buck mentioned.

Bushi = 武士 = Military Samurai
Which is a description that, out of the individuals listed, Musashi most seemed to fit in my mind.

Samurai = 士 = Samurai
My understanding is that Yamamoto was a Tokugawa Era Samurai which is a societal position and does not necessarily imply military experience and/or expertise.

All of the remaining gentlemen were adults after the abolishment of the Tokugawa and the Bakufu. Hence there were no more Samurai (士) and consequently no Bushi (武士). Therefore, these gentlemen could not be Bushi.

This was my own reasoning based on my limited knowledge. For example perhaps the Japanese Emperor still confers "Knighthood" upon individuals much in the same manner that the Queen of England does. Perhaps Sir Elton John has his parallel in Japan. I've never heard of such a thing but who knows? (I kind of doubt it though. I've known several individuals that have been awarded honor by the Emperor. Their titles did not harken back to an age of Shojun's, which is understandable as it would probably only serve to undermine both the Emperor and the post WWII Parliamentary Government.)

And of course romantic metaphor can still be used: Due to his ever vigilant honorable behavior and fierce pursuit of martial practice, Ron Tisdale was known far and wide as the very epitome of a modern Bushi!

Last edited by Allen Beebe : 03-25-2008 at 09:23 AM.

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Old 03-25-2008, 09:54 AM   #34
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido



Best,
Ron (ever vigilent ) Tisdale

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:16 AM   #35
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

Allen, you forgot to mention all of the dedicated, passionate, and possibly indignant at being "misunderstood" Macdojo, internet, and corporate "samurai" that do their best to live by the tenets of "Bushido" that they have read about in books or been taught by their sensei. Surely historians who specialize in Japanese history and also have spent many years practicing legitimate bujutsu/budo just don't understand and are missing the experience of modern Bushido that is living in these modern bushi.

I apologize...(tongue out of my cheek now). I'm taking a break already this morning and couldn't help myself.

Best,

Chuck Clark
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:42 PM   #36
Allen Beebe
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido



It is good to hear from you Chuck. Hope you are doing well!

Allen

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Old 04-03-2008, 10:23 PM   #37
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Difference between Bushido and Aikido

I know I'm interjecting this back into a forum that's supposed to be about spiritualism, etc, but this is the funniest thing I've seen on aikiweb:

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
When a place announces itself being a Bushido martial art, don't be surprised if at midnight they dress up like ninja and chase cars.

Last edited by Bill Danosky : 04-03-2008 at 10:27 PM.
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