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Old 03-24-2008, 08:18 AM   #1
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Doka...

I like the whole "doka of the day" thing you get when you come on to aikiweb. Today's one:

First master the techniques of Aiki,
The way of the Kami;
Then no enemy will ever attack.

Has got me confuzzled....

What is meant by the way of the Kami? Is it meaning that Aiki is the way of the Kami or is this some higher learning in Aiki?

Thanks

Peace and love

Jo
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
Bob Blackburn
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Re: Doka...

I think Kami here is God. It is also used for deities or spirits.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:52 PM   #3
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Bob Blackburn wrote: View Post
I think Kami here is God. It is also used for deities or spirits.
And in the first sense, Shinto may be understood as a rather wildy elaborated, loosely collected form of panentheistic monotheism.

And in the latter sense -- it isn't.

O Sensei's heavy focus on the first kami of creation, Ame no Minakanushi no Kami, one of the "hidden" "trinity" of creator deities is of the first variety.

But that debate has been going on for over two hundred years ....

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-25-2008, 06:29 AM   #4
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: Doka...

Maybe i didn't communicate my question good enough.

I know what Kami are, that's not the question. I was wondering if OSensei was referring to aikido (the way of aiki) as "the way of the kami" or if the way of the kami was an additional (spiritual?) practice.

probably reading too much into it
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:14 AM   #5
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Jo Duncan wrote: View Post
Maybe i didn't communicate my question good enough.

I know what Kami are, that's not the question. I was wondering if OSensei was referring to aikido (the way of aiki) as "the way of the kami" or if the way of the kami was an additional (spiritual?) practice.

probably reading too much into it
Let's go to the source.

神ながら Kamunagara (or kannagara)
合気のわざを Aiki no waza wo
極むれば Kiwamureba
如何なる敵も Ika naru teki mo
襲うすべなし Osou subenashi

It looks like to me that "Way of the Kami" was a just a way to deal with the problematic term "kamunagara/kannagara".

The translator (Stevens?) seems to have taken it as an abbreviation of "kannagara no michi", which is Shinto (lit. "Way of the Kami"). In which case, it sounds appositive: aiki waza are the way of the kami. Kamunagara is also an archaic adverb, with the sense of "as a kami, naturally and without artifice". So, another possible translation would be "naturally master the aiki waza, and no enemy will ever attack". "Naturally" in this case having certain connotations of nature and spirits as seen through Shinto. Consider Ueshiba believed that spirits entered him and acted through him when he did aikido. That would be a prime example of kamunagara.

In any case, it obviously points to Shinto, but of course Ueshiba's brand of Shinto was Omoto-kyo's eclectic version, so what exactly he meant is somewhat up in the air.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-25-2008, 03:04 PM   #6
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
神ながら Kamunagara (or kannagara)
合気のわざを Aiki no waza wo
極むれば Kiwamureba
如何なる敵も Ika naru teki mo
襲うすべなし Osou subenashi
Joshua, how would you translate the whole verse?

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:58 AM   #7
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: Doka...

Brill Josh, that's answered my part.

Many thanks

Jo
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:02 AM   #8
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Joshua, how would you translate the whole verse?
Please call me Josh.

Translation is tricky enough with prose, let alone poetry. The "kannagara" part is very problematic from a translation standpoint, and I wouldn't feel confident in a translation without a) a lot more research into Ueshiba's spiritual worldview, and b) a lot more familiarity with the idiom of the doka, both those penned Ueshiba himself, and others in the same genre. (And also possibly the Man'youshuu, the collection of poems were the word "kamunagara/kannagara" shows up in poetry.)

If pressed, I think I'd go with "When one masters the techniques of aiki, in the way of the kami, no enemy will be able to attack him." Ideally, I'd think have an essay-length annotation on the nuance and connotations of "way of the kami".

Incidentally, here is the same doka as translated by Larry E. Bieri and Seiko Mabuchi in their edition of "Budo Renshu":

Once you have divinely mastered the techniques of Aiki,
No enemy would ever think of attacking.

Their line by line break down runs:

If by the gods
The Aiki techniques
You have mastered
No form of enemy
Would ever attack

Last edited by Josh Reyer : 03-26-2008 at 11:04 AM.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:40 PM   #9
Rev.K. Barrish
 
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Re: Doka...

Hello everyone,

May I add a bit re: Kannagara from the perspective of the Jinja Shinto Kannushi (shrine priest)

The Character of “Kami “ can be read as : Kami, Gami, Kamu, Kan or Shin according to the context. Each meaning is slightly different.
re: "Kamunagara". Basically, Kannagara (Kami Nagare-lit.= divine flow) means infinite restless movement of Great Nature...Kamu is used when Kami returns to original central pillar....

the purification of the mission, life and fate of all things--- that is the way of Kamunagara which reposes the soul and returns to the Kami.....................Ki, Kami and the Universe ascend and descend.......return to true way....Kamunagara's Spring clean up, purification or OHARAHI by analyzing procedures, situations and reasons for events..................

relation of Haraekiyome in relation to Kamunagara: the literal meaning is to request purification and renewal...deeper meaning of HARAI TAMAE is to purify completely.. to genuinely accept all things in nature manifested on our "earth jewel" where soul, life, spirit and mind are tied. Removing temporary clothes stained with dirt/impurity and becoming like a new-born to receive endless limitless light (love) of Okami.
KIYOME TAMAE means: everything is structured by the KI....produced by the KI....moved by the KI and works according to the KI. When we purify completely we are renewed by Kamunagara...we begin all over again as a child of the Kami receiving infinite KI and possibilities.

in Aikido this means that each waza (technique) is complete and follows the paradigm of sankaku, maru, shikaku (triangle circle square) as does human life.
Triangle= Future & Mission (sankaku no irimi)

Circle= Present & Life (En no irimi)

Square = Past & Destiny (Chokusen no irimi)

a few more words re: Mission, Life and Fate:

In the process of creation the Kami imprint Mission, Life and Fate holographically onto *Chidane

*Chidane means the original basis and foundation for all phenomena (things)....Chidane creates Ki and forms infinitesimal (sub-atomic) structure..so we can say that these 3 are not separate and are like the three tamas (shapes) within the Mitsudomoe.

MISSION means a share of the work that realizes the ideal of Okami-- and is the path that all beings should endeavor to walk in their lifetime

FATE is a result of all things based on actions in the past (one's own as well as ancestors and others) which forms an inevitable flow...

LIFE stands between the way of Mission and the flow of Fate...it is the present moment and is both vertical and horizontal knots or connections...

all are constantly purified by Kamunagara.....those who can become aware of mission (future) and make their best effort in life (present) are able to alter the currents of fate (past)...

thank you,
Rev. Koichi Barrish
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America
www.TsubakiShrine.org
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Old 03-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #10
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Lawrence Koichi Barrish wrote: View Post
Hello everyone,

May I add a bit re: Kannagara from the perspective of the Jinja Shinto Kannushi (shrine priest)

The Character of "Kami " can be read as : Kami, Gami, Kamu, Kan or Shin according to the context. Each meaning is slightly different.
re: "Kamunagara". Basically, Kannagara (Kami Nagare-lit.= divine flow) means infinite restless movement of Great Nature...Kamu is used when Kami returns to original central pillar....

the purification of the mission, life and fate of all things--- that is the way of Kamunagara which reposes the soul and returns to the Kami.....................Ki, Kami and the Universe ascend and descend.......return to true way....Kamunagara's Spring clean up, purification or OHARAHI by analyzing procedures, situations and reasons for events..................

relation of Haraekiyome in relation to Kamunagara: the literal meaning is to request purification and renewal...deeper meaning of HARAI TAMAE is to purify completely.. to genuinely accept all things in nature manifested on our "earth jewel" where soul, life, spirit and mind are tied. Removing temporary clothes stained with dirt/impurity and becoming like a new-born to receive endless limitless light (love) of Okami.
KIYOME TAMAE means: everything is structured by the KI....produced by the KI....moved by the KI and works according to the KI. When we purify completely we are renewed by Kamunagara...we begin all over again as a child of the Kami receiving infinite KI and possibilities.

in Aikido this means that each waza (technique) is complete and follows the paradigm of sankaku, maru, shikaku (triangle circle square) as does human life.
Triangle= Future & Mission (sankaku no irimi)

Circle= Present & Life (En no irimi)

Square = Past & Destiny (Chokusen no irimi)

a few more words re: Mission, Life and Fate:

In the process of creation the Kami imprint Mission, Life and Fate holographically onto *Chidane

*Chidane means the original basis and foundation for all phenomena (things)....Chidane creates Ki and forms infinitesimal (sub-atomic) structure..so we can say that these 3 are not separate and are like the three tamas (shapes) within the Mitsudomoe.

MISSION means a share of the work that realizes the ideal of Okami-- and is the path that all beings should endeavor to walk in their lifetime

FATE is a result of all things based on actions in the past (one's own as well as ancestors and others) which forms an inevitable flow...

LIFE stands between the way of Mission and the flow of Fate...it is the present moment and is both vertical and horizontal knots or connections...

all are constantly purified by Kamunagara.....those who can become aware of mission (future) and make their best effort in life (present) are able to alter the currents of fate (past)...

thank you,
Rev. Koichi Barrish
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America
www.TsubakiShrine.org
Thank you Rev Barrish,
That was a wonderful exposition of these principles. I think it is useful to be reminded that O-Sensei felt that Aikido practice, properly done, is misogi and is therefore way to bring oneself into accord with the Kannagara no Michi.

So many people take our art and only see it through their own limitations... so much talk of fighting, power, etc. O-Sensei's art was so much greater than this but often his meaning was obscured by the fact that many people can't understand what he wrote.

I would encourage you to write a book on this subject from your unique vantage point. I think people would find it very helpful, I know I would.

- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:18 PM   #11
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Quote:
Lawrence Koichi Barrish wrote:
May I add a bit re: Kannagara from the perspective of the Jinja Shinto Kannushi (shrine priest) ...
Thank you Rev Barrish,
That was a wonderful exposition of these principles. I think it is useful to be reminded that O-Sensei felt that Aikido practice, properly done, is misogi and is therefore way to bring oneself into accord with the Kannagara no Michi.

So many people take our art and only see it through their own limitations... so much talk of fighting, power, etc. O-Sensei's art was so much greater than this but often his meaning was obscured by the fact that many people can't understand what he wrote.
Very much appreciated.

For background resources online, for those who want it, Kokugakuin University has an excellent series of essays on the ideas surrounding the concept of Kami and their historical development as they would have informed O Sensei's sytem of understanding.

http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/wp...ami/index.html

And their Encylcopedia of Shinto is also good resource to better understand passing references in context:

http://www2.kokugakuin.ac.jp/ijcc/news.html#eos

Last edited by Erick Mead : 03-26-2008 at 05:21 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:42 PM   #12
Allen Beebe
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Lawrence Koichi Barrish wrote: View Post
May I add a bit re: Kannagara from the perspective of the Jinja Shinto Kannushi (shrine priest)

Rev. Koichi Barrish
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America
www.TsubakiShrine.org
Rev. Barrish,

Considering that O-senei had significant relationships with both Jinja Shinto and the "shin shukyo" Omoto Kyo, would you please share your perspective as to their relative similarities and differences?

Thank you,

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:41 PM   #13
Rev.K. Barrish
 
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Re: Doka...

Ledyard Sensei, arigatou gozaimasu..thank you very much for your kind words and thinking…

Mead Sensei exactly, the Kokugakuin Encylcopedia of Shinto is an excellent resource.

Rev. Bebee, thank you of course Kaiso was very connected to the Oomoto Kyo. To be honest I cannot compare and contrast very much as my experience is with the Jinja Shinto. …the following was written by Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto the 96th High Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie. http://www.tsubaki.or.jp/ Rev. Yamamoto could enshrine Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami in the Aiki Jinja (his picture appears in Takahashi Sensei’s book TAKEMUSU AIKI) as well as discuss deeply Sanmi Sangen (Triangle/Circle/Square) with him. The Mitama of both O-Sensei and Nidai Doshu Kisshomaru Sensei are enshrined at Tsubaki Gyoman-Do (a Buddhist Temple on the grounds of Tsubaki Grand Shrine) and the current Doshu is a Board Member of Tsubaki Grand Shrine.

Written by the honorable Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto
Master Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, visited Tsubaki grand shrine in spring of 1958, guided by master Michio Hikitsuchi of Kumano Aikido dojo. As soon as master Ueshiba arrived at the shrine, he told me he would practice the misogi (a waterfall purification) at Konryu-Myojin's waterfall of Tsubaki Grand Shrine, and he practiced misogi with me.

Then he participated in a purification ceremony at Haraiden (the Shrine purification hall), and prayed at Honden (the main sanctuary). After I finished reciting the Norito (prayer) he chanted, "Su-U-Ah-Oh-Uh-Eh-Ih" then took the wooden sword and offered several Aikido moves to OhKami. At that time he said, "these are the basics of Aikido. Moves which unite the being with the great nature, all of them given by Sarutahiko no OhKami." He continued, "Aikido is misogi. Misogi of ourselves. Aikido is the way of misogi itself, the way to become Sarutahiko no OhKami and stand on the Ame no Ukihashi (the bridge between heaven and earth). In other words, the skills of misogi are Aiki, the way of uniting heaven and earth, the way of world peace, the way of trying to perfect humanity, the way of the Kami, the way of the universe.
He rested at my house and he told me and my father, "I have been given many teachings by Sarutahiko no OhKami. OhKami told me, 'By the work of Takehaya Susanowo no Mikoto, you will worship the Ame no Murakumo Kukamisamuhara Ryu O (Kami of Takemusu) and build an Aiki shrine and dojo.' Then I built the Aiki shrine and dojo in Iwama, Ibaragi prefecture in 1940. Since then I have been searching for the main shrine of Sarutahiko no OhKami. I heard Tsubaki Grand Shrine is the main shrine of Sarutahiko no OhKami, so I visited here today."
After that day master Ueshiba visited the shrine many times a year. When he came to the shrine in 1959, he said he would like to enshrine Sarutahiko no OhKami at the Aiki shrine. In July 1960 I, instead of my father, took the Goshintai of Sarutahiko no OhKami (statue of Sarutahiko no OhKami) to the Aiki shrine in Iwama and performed the enshrinement ceremony. I went there with Mr. Shoji Gomi, who made the Goshintai, Mr. Akihide Isokai, and Mr. Masanori Fukuchi, shrine supporters. I remember that day: Master Ueshiba had great joy. It was a big ceremony with many participants, including master Kisshomaru Ueshiba of the Tokyo dojo.
After that he came to the shrine often. He planted a tree by the waterfall of the shrine. That tree remains there today.
I think master Ueshiba's words, "Aikido is misogi" are true. Human beings are born as children of the Kami and can become Kami. Misogi is the practice of uniting with the great nature and uniting with the universe. Of course humans have flesh and blood, but by practicing misogi we can elevate our spirits. At the same time, Aikido misogi is a way of harmonizing heaven and earth, a way of producing harmony and a way of uniting everything with the Kami. In other words, Aikido and misogi erase the mind that fights and and create a heart of harmony, a way of having a heart of Kami and a way of becoming the Kami of Takemusu.
................................................................................ ...............
This quote actually speaks to a way to understand the OHARAHI-NO-KOTOBA ( the Great Words of Purification, the most important words of Shinto) and the Mission of Sarutahiko-no-Okami as it relates to Aikido

So my experience is coming from the perspective of the Aikido practitioner who is also the full time professional Kannushi (Jinja Shinto Priest)..but I am sorry to report I cannot make an informed opinion re: Modern or Religion Shinto.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu
Koichi Barrish
Senior Priest of Tsubaki America Jinja
www.TsubakiShrine.org
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Old 03-26-2008, 10:03 PM   #14
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
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Re: Doka...

Quote:
Lawrence Koichi Barrish wrote: View Post
Ledyard Sensei, arigatou gozaimasu..thank you very much for your kind words and thinking…

Mead Sensei exactly, the Kokugakuin Encylcopedia of Shinto is an excellent resource.

Rev. Bebee, thank you of course Kaiso was very connected to the Oomoto Kyo. To be honest I cannot compare and contrast very much as my experience is with the Jinja Shinto. …the following was written by Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto the 96th High Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Mie. http://www.tsubaki.or.jp/ Rev. Yamamoto could enshrine Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami in the Aiki Jinja (his picture appears in Takahashi Sensei's book TAKEMUSU AIKI) as well as discuss deeply Sanmi Sangen (Triangle/Circle/Square) with him. The Mitama of both O-Sensei and Nidai Doshu Kisshomaru Sensei are enshrined at Tsubaki Gyoman-Do (a Buddhist Temple on the grounds of Tsubaki Grand Shrine) and the current Doshu is a Board Member of Tsubaki Grand Shrine.

Written by the honorable Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto
Master Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, visited Tsubaki grand shrine in spring of 1958, guided by master Michio Hikitsuchi of Kumano Aikido dojo. As soon as master Ueshiba arrived at the shrine, he told me he would practice the misogi (a waterfall purification) at Konryu-Myojin's waterfall of Tsubaki Grand Shrine, and he practiced misogi with me.

Then he participated in a purification ceremony at Haraiden (the Shrine purification hall), and prayed at Honden (the main sanctuary). After I finished reciting the Norito (prayer) he chanted, "Su-U-Ah-Oh-Uh-Eh-Ih" then took the wooden sword and offered several Aikido moves to OhKami. At that time he said, "these are the basics of Aikido. Moves which unite the being with the great nature, all of them given by Sarutahiko no OhKami." He continued, "Aikido is misogi. Misogi of ourselves. Aikido is the way of misogi itself, the way to become Sarutahiko no OhKami and stand on the Ame no Ukihashi (the bridge between heaven and earth). In other words, the skills of misogi are Aiki, the way of uniting heaven and earth, the way of world peace, the way of trying to perfect humanity, the way of the Kami, the way of the universe.
He rested at my house and he told me and my father, "I have been given many teachings by Sarutahiko no OhKami. OhKami told me, 'By the work of Takehaya Susanowo no Mikoto, you will worship the Ame no Murakumo Kukamisamuhara Ryu O (Kami of Takemusu) and build an Aiki shrine and dojo.' Then I built the Aiki shrine and dojo in Iwama, Ibaragi prefecture in 1940. Since then I have been searching for the main shrine of Sarutahiko no OhKami. I heard Tsubaki Grand Shrine is the main shrine of Sarutahiko no OhKami, so I visited here today."
After that day master Ueshiba visited the shrine many times a year. When he came to the shrine in 1959, he said he would like to enshrine Sarutahiko no OhKami at the Aiki shrine. In July 1960 I, instead of my father, took the Goshintai of Sarutahiko no OhKami (statue of Sarutahiko no OhKami) to the Aiki shrine in Iwama and performed the enshrinement ceremony. I went there with Mr. Shoji Gomi, who made the Goshintai, Mr. Akihide Isokai, and Mr. Masanori Fukuchi, shrine supporters. I remember that day: Master Ueshiba had great joy. It was a big ceremony with many participants, including master Kisshomaru Ueshiba of the Tokyo dojo.
After that he came to the shrine often. He planted a tree by the waterfall of the shrine. That tree remains there today.
I think master Ueshiba's words, "Aikido is misogi" are true. Human beings are born as children of the Kami and can become Kami. Misogi is the practice of uniting with the great nature and uniting with the universe. Of course humans have flesh and blood, but by practicing misogi we can elevate our spirits. At the same time, Aikido misogi is a way of harmonizing heaven and earth, a way of producing harmony and a way of uniting everything with the Kami. In other words, Aikido and misogi erase the mind that fights and and create a heart of harmony, a way of having a heart of Kami and a way of becoming the Kami of Takemusu.
................................................................................ ...............
This quote actually speaks to a way to understand the OHARAHI-NO-KOTOBA ( the Great Words of Purification, the most important words of Shinto) and the Mission of Sarutahiko-no-Okami as it relates to Aikido

So my experience is coming from the perspective of the Aikido practitioner who is also the full time professional Kannushi (Jinja Shinto Priest)..but I am sorry to report I cannot make an informed opinion re: Modern or Religion Shinto.

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu
Koichi Barrish
Senior Priest of Tsubaki America Jinja
www.TsubakiShrine.org
Dear Rev. Barrish,

Thank you kindly for your frank and honest reply. Considering your esteemed position and unique relationship to both Aikido and the Tsubaki Grand Shrine, your candid and sincere response to my query not only reflects well upon you but also serves as a humbling statement for those trying to discern O-sensei's multifarious, complex and syncretic religious views.

I enjoyed reading the honorable Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto's remembrances again. Thank you for posting them here and for sharing your unique insight.

Sincerely,

Allen Beebe

~ Allen Beebe
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