Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 04-08-2009, 08:23 AM   #1
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,091
United_States
Offline
Today's Doka

What is the possible meaning behind the "self-mind" phrase mentioned in today's doka?

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009, 09:25 AM   #2
Josh Reyer
 
Josh Reyer's Avatar
Location: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 644
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
What is the possible meaning behind the "self-mind" phrase mentioned in today's doka?
This may very well be a mistranslation. The Japanese is "onokoro", which the translator (Stevens?) seems to have taken for a compound of 己 onore, self, and 心 kokoro, mind. But "onokoro" is the name of the island first created by Izanagi and Izanami, where they first came down and then wed.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

I see you are from the Kannagara Jinja Dojo. I suggest that before you pose questions like this, you might look at the texts already available, or ask your teacher (who is probably very highly qualified to answer).

The Japanese given by John Stevens is:
おのころに常立なして中に生く愛の構えは山彦の道
おのころに常立なして中に生く愛の構えは山びこの道
Onokoro ni tokotachi nashite naka ni iku ai no kamae wa yamabiko no michi.

Here is the translation by Stevens (which is somewhat different from Jun's rendering, probably taken from Seiseki Abe?), with an explanatory note:

On this very earth
stand as firmly as a god.
Flourish in the very center--
the stance of love is the
Path of the mountain echo*

*Onokoro (usually pronounced "onogoro") means "self-congealed." It was the first island of Japan to be created and symbolizes this present world of ours--the realm in which we must exercise individual freedom.

And, to add to the mix: the kanbun text in the Kojiki for onokoro is: 淤能碁呂, with the modern meanings:
淤: mud
能: ability. function, skilfully
碁: board game of go
呂: backbone, tone (e.g., of voice)

Philippi believes that the characters are to be read entirely phonetically and not for their meanings and that the phrase "probably" meant self-curdling, which presumably happens if the brine piles up (especially if a whole island results).

Best wishes,

PAG

EDIT. After posting, I saw Josh's note. It is not Stevens translation, but Stevens makes very little sense, also.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
What is the possible meaning behind the "self-mind" phrase mentioned in today's doka?

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-08-2009 at 09:54 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009, 10:01 AM   #4
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,091
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I see you are from the Kannagara Jinja Dojo. I suggest that before you pose questions like this, you might look at the texts already available, or ask your teacher (who is probably very highly qualified to answer).
Thank you for the information.
You're right, I'm sure Kannushisan could answer my question, I should ask him. Still, I posed the question largely for conversation's sake here: the convenience of the internet coupled with my recovery from the flu.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Still, I posed the question largely for conversation's sake here: the convenience of the internet coupled with my recovery from the flu.
I see. So, what do you think?

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2009, 07:37 PM   #6
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,407
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
This may very well be a mistranslation. The Japanese is "onokoro", which the translator (Stevens?) seems to have taken for a compound of 己 onore, self, and 心 kokoro, mind. But "onokoro" is the name of the island first created by Izanagi and Izanami, where they first came down and then wed.
I share the concern with Steven's liberties in many regards, but in this instance (whether intended or no) does this not explore the dimension of the word in the same essential way as Norinaga's kotodama method of exploring the homophones -- as illustrated in Kojiki-den?

Didn't O Sensei say that one has to read Kojiki in this way, such that he intended his own references to be read the same way? Does not adding the connotation of "己 onore, self, and 心 kokoro, mind," to the self-congealing foundation of material existence add a useful dimension to the thought?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2009, 01:38 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Hello Erick,

Well, I am sure that Josh will answer in his own time. But, for me, since doing the research for Column 11, I have shied away from such word/sound association, especially via a translation, and prefer to start with what O Sensei actually states--in his own language and with as much context as possible. I am not saying that the word-association approach is wrong; only that I myself was not brought up to examine texts in this way that I do not find it particularly satisfying or stimulating intellectually.

To answer your questions--as always couched in the best legal style:

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I share the concern with Steven's liberties in many regards,
Which regards?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
but in this instance (whether intended or no) does this not explore the dimension of the word in the same essential way as Norinaga's kotodama method of exploring the homophones -- as illustrated in Kojiki-den?
Well, I would hope that Motori was rather more rigorous. Do you have any precise examples from Kojiki-den?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Didn't O Sensei say that one has to read Kojiki in this way,
Did he? Where did he state this?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
such that he intended his own references to be read the same way?
Again, where did he state this?

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Does not adding the connotation of "己 onore, self, and 心 kokoro, mind," to the self-congealing foundation of material existence add a useful dimension to the thought?
No. I do not believe you can go so easily from 淤能碁呂島Onogoro (shima), even when read phonetically, to 'the self-congealing foundation of material existence'. I myself do not find this thought very useful to begin with, and onore and kokoro simply add extra surplus baggage.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2009, 05:59 AM   #8
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,091
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I see. So, what do you think?

PAG
yeah...I suppose I went into "absorb mode". The conversation I was trying to start wasn't so much with the intent for me to weigh in on as much as to get the thoughts of others who have greater familiarity, but...
The idea of self-congeled seems to fit with some of the language I've been given in lessons during keiko. I recall at one time or another being told I should have a sense of coalescing.
The idea of self-mind struck me as interesting because I assumed it meant something to the effect of what I think of as being "self-posessed" which I suppose could be read also as self-congeled...I think I see the line of thought behind it, anyway. I was just curious what people with more depth of study could tell me (mine is perhaps a bit lighter than it should be considering my access to some pretty good resources ).

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2009, 04:27 PM   #9
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,091
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Peter, Josh, and Erick, thank you for sharing what you know about this. Rereading the thread, I came up with something more useful than my last quick attempt...I think, anyway.
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The Japanese given by John Stevens is:
おのころに常立なして中に生く愛の構えは山彦の道
おのころに常立なして中に生く愛の構えは山びこの道
Onokoro ni tokotachi nashite naka ni iku ai no kamae wa yamabiko no michi.

On this very earth
stand as firmly as a god.
Flourish in the very center--
the stance of love is the
Path of the mountain echo*

*Onokoro (usually pronounced "onogoro") means "self-congealed." It was the first island of Japan to be created and symbolizes this present world of ours--the realm in which we must exercise individual freedom.
I noticed the character for kami isn't used. Where might the "firmly as a god" meaning come from?

Quote:
And, to add to the mix: the kanbun text in the Kojiki for onokoro is: 淤能碁呂, with the modern meanings:
淤: mud
能: ability. function, skilfully
碁: board game of go
呂: backbone, tone (e.g., of voice)
Does this mean there are non-modern meanings which might be appropriate?

Quote:
Philippi believes that the characters are to be read entirely phonetically and not for their meanings and that the phrase "probably" meant self-curdling, which presumably happens if the brine piles up (especially if a whole island results).
If "onogoro" most directly represents the formation of Japan then doesn't the kanji seem to relate? "Mud function/ability" seems somewhat straightforward at least. For the next two characters: A gameboard does seem fitting in a poetic way and I keep trying to remember if Japan was likened to the backbone of the Earth anywhere (i.e. Kojiki, etc.). I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm thinking of something unrelated though. Still, in terms of the "self-curdling" appearance of islands forming, it seems like a fitting analogy for actualizing a potent force...which I assume is what the doka was describing.

Quote:
EDIT. After posting, I saw Josh's note. It is not Stevens translation, but Stevens makes very little sense, also.
Would you be willing or able to offer a translation? Or could you suggest one that you think is appropriate?
Thank you again,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,407
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Well, I am sure that Josh will answer in his own time. But, for me, since doing the research for Column 11, I have shied away from such word/sound association, especially via a translation, and prefer to start with what O Sensei actually states--in his own language and with as much context as possible. I am not saying that the word-association approach is wrong; only that I myself was not brought up to examine texts in this way that I do not find it particularly satisfying or stimulating intellectually.

To answer your questions--as always couched in the best legal style:
Onegaishimasu. But I think I can show you that you do have tools in our mutual cultural "baggage" that are not so far afield from what Motoori and O Sensei were both doing.
Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Which regards?
Perhaps not precisely the same concerns, on your part, but he, in my opinion, reads his own way, rather than attempting to read in O Sensei's way, too often. In this instance, (onogoro) he may have been doing just that again, but it seems, in my estimation he was doing, from his perspective, what O Sensei seems to have suggested he should be doing in reading it.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Well, I would hope that Motori was rather more rigorous. Do you have any precise examples from Kojiki-den?
I should hope he was, he almost singlehandedly invented )( or at least promoted) modern Japanese linguistics. His approach is most notably in his analysis of the expression "mono no aware" (not in Kojiki-Den) but illustrates the basic method of his contextual homophone associations replicated throughout the Kojiki-den. Not in the seemingly arbitrary sense that some imikotoba seem to be perceived. Motoori placed poetics above practical language in grasping meaning, but did not divorce himself from the sense of a "field of meaning" that preceded the vocalization of the word. His aesthetic sense of the relation of sound, language and meaning and that of Tolkien are not far removed, in my view. His combination of kotowari "reason" and i "meaning," and the act of voicing the aya "seed pattern" for a word have a marked resemblance to the scholastic trivium of logic, grammar and rhetoric.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Quote:
Didn't O Sensei say that one has to read Kojiki in this way,
Did he? Where did he state this?
Quote:
such that he intended his own references to be read the same way?
Again, where did he state this?
Well, if Takahashi and Tanaka adequately took it down and translated it, respectively, in his Takemusu Aiki Lectures to Goi's group. :
Quote:
Aikido Journal #118 (Fall/Winter 1999) wrote:
That is to say, we must firmly tie, like a threadline, the lifeline of our soul to the Way of the God Ichigen and breathe through it. It is important that we do not lose this precious religious belief. Nor will kotodama be able to function if you do not have faith.

Those who have faith do not need to engage themselves in the study of kotodama. However, they will naturally come to understand it through their faith. The science of kotodama is a matter of study and not the kotodama itself. Those who study spiritual matters will not easily be able to obtain true power. The science of kotodama can be useful in order to read the first volume of the Kojiki, but even that content will naturally be revealed to you through your faith. Thus, if you are fixated on studies and letters, this will be rather a hindrance to you on the True Path.

In kotodama, we are told to "perform divination using futomani" (see AJ117) and this indicates the work of the U voice. The U voice was purified through the vibration of the SU voice. The work of the U voice is the original work of the Spiritual Source and the Material Source. However, if we trace them back, both the roots of material things and spirits are Ichigen. If we trace the Way back to the origin of Ukihashi (Ame no Ukihashi: Floating Bridge of Heaven, see AJ116) which is harmonious, we will not create hiruko9 (imperfection). It is important that we not forget the origin.
The bold portion reads as channeling Motoori's aesthetic theories of communication. It is an interplay, like that of Plato, but not classically binary like Forms and Appearances, but rather explicitly trinitarian, in the different formulations of Motoori and Ueshiba, and like the scholastics, wherein the dissection of understanding (logic) (kotoware) (Spiritual Source -- Kami musubi) and the concretion of understanding (grammar or symbol) (i意) (Material source -- Takami musubi) and the relation of that material and abstract understanding (rhetoric) (aya) (the Origin) are not opposed camps but mutually engaged and operative aspects of a single evolving process.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
No. I do not believe you can go so easily from 淤能碁呂島Onogoro (shima), even when read phonetically, to 'the self-congealing foundation of material existence'. I myself do not find this thought very useful to begin with, and onore and kokoro simply add extra surplus baggage.
I don't have to go there -- Kojiki goes there for me... Onogoro Island , IS, in the myth -- the "self-congealing" foundation of material existence -- Ueshiba is saying that, as such, one must also read it to have ramifications for the foundations of spiritual existence, AND for the common relation or origin of spirit and matter, which brings us to Stevens's chosen trope of "self-mind" and into a context. "Mono" implies a coincident mind or kami. Ueshiba seems to make the connection himself to Onogoro a little earlier in the same talk:
Quote:
I would like to ask those who aspire to master aiki to study well this divine work of the creation of deities and islands. I do not know if I am saying this being guided directly or indirectly by inner deities.

The only thing I do is leave everything to God's will and give birth to techniques according to the divine law of the creation of islands and deities. Thus, all my techniques are purification (misogi).
Motoori echoes this, showing again the affinity of Ueshiba for his work (hardly surprising). Motoori emphasized the combined functions of rational grasp (wakimaeshiru) of essential reality (mono no kokoro), with a direct physical appreciation or representation (furezareba) to comprehend the whole of it ("seken no koto o yoku shiri").

My main criticism of Stevens (and he has gotten much better, lately) is in not explaining his choices, or their relation to other readings. He is too apodictic. Whether his decision tree was even remotely like the thought described here or not, the result, in this case, is defensible, if, in typical manner, incompletely explained.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-09-2009 at 09:32 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2009, 09:43 PM   #11
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,407
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
(Spiritual Source -- Takami musubi) and the concretion of understanding (grammar or symbol) (i意) (Material source -- Kami musubi)
stoopid typing

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 12:46 AM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I should hope he was, he almost singlehandedly invented )( or at least promoted) modern Japanese linguistics. His approach is most notably in his analysis of the expression "mono no aware" (not in Kojiki-Den) but illustrates the basic method of his contextual homophone associations replicated throughout the Kojiki-den. Not in the seemingly arbitrary sense that some imikotoba seem to be perceived. Motoori placed poetics above practical language in grasping meaning, but did not divorce himself from the sense of a "field of meaning" that preceded the vocalization of the word. His aesthetic sense of the relation of sound, language and meaning and that of Tolkien are not far removed, in my view. His combination of kotowari "reason" and i "meaning," and the act of voicing the aya "seed pattern" for a word have a marked resemblance to the scholastic trivium of logic, grammar and rhetoric.
PAG. I think you misunderstood my question. I was not asking for a general explanation of Motoori's 'approach', which I understand, also. I was asking for specific examples from Kojiki-den (in Japanese), which illustrate that Motoori's method is the same as the one you adopted in relation to おのごろ/ onogoro.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Well, if Takahashi and Tanaka adequately took it down and translated it, respectively, in his Takemusu Aiki Lectures to Goi's group. The bold portion reads as channeling Motoori's aesthetic theories of communication.
PAG. Here is the bold portion.
言霊学は古事記一巻を拝読するのには便利だが、これも信仰の徳によって自然と明らかになってくるのである。学問に又文字にとらわれるとかえて真の歩みの邪魔に なる。

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
It is an interplay, like that of Plato, but not classically binary like Forms and Appearances, but rather explicitly trinitarian, in the different formulations of Motoori and Ueshiba, and like the scholastics, wherein the dissection of understanding (logic) (kotoware) (Spiritual Source -- Kami musubi) and the concretion of understanding (grammar or symbol) (i意) (Material source -- Takami musubi) and the relation of that material and abstract understanding (rhetoric) (aya) (the Origin) are not opposed camps but mutually engaged and operative aspects of a single evolving process.
PAG. Wow. You saw all that--in two sentences that chastize Motoori (the founder of 言霊学), as much as any one else who becomes fixated solely on scholarship and words.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I don't have to go there -- Kojiki goes there for me... Onogoro Island , IS, in the myth -- the "self-congealing" foundation of material existence -- Ueshiba is saying that, as such, one must also read it to have ramifications for the foundations of spiritual existence, AND for the common relation or origin of spirit and matter, which brings us to Stevens's chosen trope of "self-mind" and into a context.
PAG. This is NOT Stevens' chosen trope. Stevens has "this very earth", which is rather different from "self-mind". If you think a point like this does not really matter, well, I think this shows just how far apart we are.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-10-2009 at 12:54 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 01:34 AM   #13
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
If "onogoro" most directly represents the formation of Japan then doesn't the kanji seem to relate? "Mud function/ability" seems somewhat straightforward at least. For the next two characters: A gameboard does seem fitting in a poetic way and I keep trying to remember if Japan was likened to the backbone of the Earth anywhere (i.e. Kojiki, etc.). I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm thinking of something unrelated though. Still, in terms of the "self-curdling" appearance of islands forming, it seems like a fitting analogy for actualizing a potent force...which I assume is what the doka was describing.
There is a note added to the kambun text of the Kojiki that I possess, to the effect that: 淤以下四字以音: The four characters beginning with 淤 and ending with 呂 are to be read phonetically. Thus in all the texts the kana readings are always printed parallel to the Chinese characters.

In my column, I gave the example of coffee, which is written in Japanese as 珈琲. In my opinion, it makes no sense at all to speculate on any relationship between these two characters used separately and their meaning in the above combination. I suspect that with onogoro the meaning was derived from the way the island was created, which is described in the previous few sentences. Actually, it is very instructive to see how the kambun text has been annotated, in order that some sense can made of it.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 08:28 AM   #14
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,407
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. I think you misunderstood my question. I was not asking for a general explanation of Motoori's 'approach', which I understand, also. I was asking for specific examples from Kojiki-den (in Japanese), which illustrate that Motoori's method is the same as the one you adopted in relation to おのごろ/ onogoro.
First, I am not saying that all readings are equally privileged -- nor did Motoori, but his methods explored alternative readings -- to get at the "thing the word is" "mono/koto no kokoro" in the "language of antiquity," which he himself makes clear is nowhere written out phonetically. But he privileges sound above all in interpreting them and the purest forms he finds in the songs of the Manyoshu. I have for my reference Wehmeyer's translation of the portion of Kojiki-den dealing with the "Method of Reading" pp. 141-189. Motoori's purpose was to get to the mono no kokoro of the ancient language, itself, which is -- if the Naobi no Mitama (same volume, pp. 213-238) is to be believed, the same as the "things in themselves" according to his understanding of kotodama appleid with "true" yamato damashii. I don't have to adopt his vision of a preternaturally "pure" language or "pure" national spirit corresponding uniquely to reality, to see value in his method of associations and conceptual and sound play to come closer to the "heart of things" mono no kokoro that are very difficult to denote in one-for-one correspondences.

Motoori's construction of the reading is an effort to play with the sounds and concepts in a methodical way to get to the correct "spirit" of the text. He did it by varying the sense as it was more prosaic or poetic in character -- as the tones may have varied the sense in the passage, as later euphonic changes (onbin) may have elided word-sounds or made different words more or less similar in sound. In a debased form, as I mentioned, this sensibility seems to me anyway related to imikotoba and in a "middle-position" is the likes of Ueshiba, whose sense, as I read him in translation, is to the emotive, less critical side of the balance, where Motoori was to the rational, critical side. His method of what I view as critical homophonic or conceptual connotation, "ringing the changes" on the sense, if you will, to find a sense that "fits" his intuitive experiential rubric -- seems to have been roughly applied by O Sensei, and is the means he seems to have intended to get at his mono no kokoro in the experience of Aiki in practice -- that is what I am after.

Not just "what he said" but what he meant to suggest that could not be so plainly stated -- which is obvious from his preference for mythological and poetic form. It is not to diminish the effort you have undertaken on his actual words, nor to try and supplant or criticize it. To extend a metaphor, in that spirit -- this is not cultivating wheat or rice, where gleaning the field is a poor imitation of the first harvest -- it is my native "three sisters" planting where corn (maize) beans and squash are all planted in the same field and each produces its own fruit in its own time, and the harvests are all productive, but different, and yet all supportive of one another. I am not reaching for the corncobs -- but please don't trample my squash.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. Here is the bold portion.
言霊学は古事記一巻を拝読するのには便利だが、これも信仰の徳によって自然と明らかになってくるのである。学問に又文字にとらわれるとかえて真の歩みの邪魔に なる。

PAG. Wow. You saw all that--in two sentences that chastize Motoori (the founder of 言霊学), as much as any one else who becomes fixated solely on scholarship and words.
Nicely launched, though off-target. Lawyerly, even.

Enough with the reductio -- it disserves the discussion, since I took no reductive position deserving of such treatment. Motoori's point is clear -- poetics, mono no aware, control over purely rational analysis, but rational analysis is hardly abandoned. His work makes clear he DOES NOT stand solely on scholarship and words but just as equally, if not more so, on aesthetic "feel" of the proper character (yamato damashii) Ueshiba does not deny the value of rational or constructive method "science of kotodama" -- he denies it as a SOLE or sufficient value, without attention to the essentially the same poetic or aesthetic attributes that Motoori addresses-- with a difference -- he is directing himself not merely to those whose understanding is purely Japanese and going to some effort to draw the connections across those cultural division without sacrificing the depth of his own idiom. We owe him the similar courtesy from our side. My writings here, whatever their merit or lack thereof, show my attention is at least equally weighted toward the logical/mechanical as it is to the poetic/aesthetic appreciation of what this art is, so the criticism, as put -- is misplaced.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. This is NOT Stevens' chosen trope. Stevens has "this very earth", which is rather different from "self-mind". If you think a point like this does not really matter, well, I think this shows just how far apart we are.
I was following Josh Reyer's hypothesis on that score.
Quote:
己 onore, self, and 心 kokoro, mind

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 08:49 AM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,997
Japan
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
First, I am not saying that all readings are equally privileged -- nor did Motoori, but his methods explored alternative readings -- to get at the "thing the word is" "mono/koto no kokoro" in the "language of antiquity," which he himself makes clear is nowhere written out phonetically. But he privileges sound above all in interpreting them and the purest forms he finds in the songs of the Manyoshu. I have for my reference Wehmeyer's translation of the portion of Kojiki-den dealing with the "Method of Reading" pp. 141-189. Motoori's purpose was to get to the mono no kokoro of the ancient language, itself, which is -- if the Naobi no Mitama (same volume, pp. 213-238) is to be believed, the same as the "things in themselves" according to his understanding of kotodama appleid with "true" yamato damashii. I don't have to adopt his vision of a preternaturally "pure" language or "pure" national spirit corresponding uniquely to reality, to see value in his method of associations and conceptual and sound play to come closer to the "heart of things" mono no kokoro that are very difficult to denote in one-for-one correspondences.

Motoori's construction of the reading is an effort to play with the sounds and concepts in a methodical way to get to the correct "spirit" of the text. He did it by varying the sense as it was more prosaic or poetic in character -- as the tones may have varied the sense in the passage, as later euphonic changes (onbin) may have elided word-sounds or made different words more or less similar in sound. In a debased form, as I mentioned, this sensibility seems to me anyway related to imikotoba and in a "middle-position" is the likes of Ueshiba, whose sense, as I read him in translation, is to the emotive, less critical side of the balance, where Motoori was to the rational, critical side. His method of what I view as critical homophonic or conceptual connotation, "ringing the changes" on the sense, if you will, to find a sense that "fits" his intuitive experiential rubric -- seems to have been roughly applied by O Sensei, and is the means he seems to have intended to get at his mono no kokoro in the experience of Aiki in practice -- that is what I am after.

Not just "what he said" but what he meant to suggest that could not be so plainly stated -- which is obvious from his preference for mythological and poetic form. It is not to diminish the effort you have undertaken on his actual words, nor to try and supplant or criticize it. To extend a metaphor, in that spirit -- this is not cultivating wheat or rice, where gleaning the field is a poor imitation of the first harvest -- it is my native "three sisters" planting where corn (maize) beans and squash are all planted in the same field and each produces its own fruit in its own time, and the harvests are all productive, but different, and yet all supportive of one another. I am not reaching for the corncobs -- but please don't trample my squash.
PAG. I rest my case. This issue concerns onogoro. I asked for clear examples--and you have not given any.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Nicely launched, though off-target. Lawyerly, even.
PAG. No, I do not think so. I based my discussion in this thread on the text and then moved on from there. There is nothing in your post that is directly based on the text you printed in bold.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Enough with the reductio -- it disserves the discussion, since I took no reductive position deserving of such treatment. Motoori's point is clear -- poetics, mono no aware, control over purely rational analysis, but rational analysis is hardly abandoned. His work makes clear he DOES NOT stand solely on scholarship and words but just as equally, if not more so, on aesthetic "feel" of the proper character (yamato damashii) Ueshiba does not deny the value of rational or constructive method "science of kotodama" -- he denies it as a SOLE or sufficient value, without attention to the essentially the same poetic or aesthetic attributes that Motoori addresses-- with a difference -- he is directing himself not merely to those whose understanding is purely Japanese and going to some effort to draw the connections across those cultural division without sacrificing the depth of his own idiom. We owe him the similar courtesy from our side. My writings here, whatever their merit or lack thereof, show my attention is at least equally weighted toward the logical/mechanical as it is to the poetic/aesthetic appreciation of what this art is, so the criticism, as put -- is misplaced.
PAG. I was not making a reductio. I was simply quoting your own highlighted text back at you and asking for evidence, that you have not given yet.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I was following Josh Reyer's hypothesis on that score.
PAG. I do not think it was a hypothesis. It was a simple mistake, as the discussion subsequently showed.

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2009, 05:59 PM   #16
Erick Mead
 
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,407
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. I rest my case. This issue concerns onogoro. I asked for clear examples--and you have not given any.
Actually, what you asked was a compound question -- and we lawyers are allowed to choose which point to answer.

Quote:
I was not asking for a general explanation of Motoori's 'approach', which I understand, also. I was asking for specific examples from Kojiki-den (in Japanese), ... illustrate that Motoori's method is the same as the one you adopted in relation to おのごろ/ onogoro.
I took that to be a request to state his method -- in particular, vice generally. Far be it from me to try to illustrate his method, when the man has explicitly explained it himself... which I provided, from him (a la Wehmeyer). And as I think we now are clear I was defending a proposal made by Josh as being not unreasonable, in that light. I am not saying it is right; I am saying that it is interesting and instructive to consider.

But now that I better understand which part of your compound question you wished to be answered, ...

What I am referring to are examples of analyzing by "corresponding sounds" (as Wehmeyer gives Motoori's meaning) and discriminating the actual usages of homophones that are and are not used and may or may not be compared as "corresponding."

The comprehensive catalog of analyzed kana used in the Kojiki begins in earnest in the first volume, some of which are addressed by this method, some of which are not, or for which it is unnecessary for other reasons. The first volume, (all I have) deals solely with method and example, as noted and the individual catalog of kana -- He only refers in passing to complete words analyzed (as for example -- that he will analyze later in this way -- mukade (in Book Ten), for example, in which the left-hand radicals are deemed omitted in regard to the supposed sound value.)

As I mentioned, also, this correpsondence of homophones is the basis for imikotoba -- so the point has much larger currency in the use and nature of kotodama than mere academic interest. Numerous examples of single syllables are given by Motoori (Wehmeyer in her text at pp. 112-114, and elsewhere in specific examples of kana in Kojiki and Nihon shoki, but in capsule form there: e.g. -- )
Quote:
It is also the case that the use of kana representing the same sound depends upon the word in which they are used; there are many whose use is determined according to the individual word.
He goes on to show how ko varies in its orthography in several forms depending on the various words, some of which share the same kana, and some do not. Examples are given of me; ki; to; mi; mo; Fi; bi, ke etc., etc. He deals next with a limited list of combinations, which are promised to be dealt in detail (in the forty-three ensuing books.), and of kana that are appear singly for phonetic combinations

It is my understanding that his later volumes get into those more comprehensive discussions of interrelating words and phrases and more critically -- their larger interpretative character, according to him. That is, 1) too much sugar for a dime, and 2) gets much closer to Motoori's own interpretive agenda, and is therefore of less use, it seems to me. IF the purpose is to grasp O Sensei's thought as it relates to reading Kojiki in the manner of kotodama, then Motoori's basic philological methods are of more interest than his interpretive thrust -- at least, to me, anyway.

Let me be clear on that, however -- You have been at pains to show the connections of O Sensei to the kokugaku -- points which I don't contest. I am not adopting or defending Motoori's method (whether I do it well, or not) in order to adopt his perspective or revivify kokugaku as some gaijin Nipponophile hanger-on. Rather, O Sensei adopted it -- and advocated its use. And the poetic/aesthetic method (a "grammar" in the scholastic sense) crosses seemingly wide cultural boundaries with relative ease -- ask any Filipino Catholic, or the Satsuma Kurishitan.

It is a lens through which I feel we must also look, even if, and perhaps especially because we do NOT agree with Motoori's agenda that played out, as we now know, to great disaster -- and which O Sensei formally declared he had abandoned, well before he continued to advocate this form of consideration. One may as well say that Tolkien's "Northern Theory of Courage" was irretrieveably tainted by the contemporaneous abuses of Teutonic myth by the Germans. Nothing could be further from the case. O Sensei is perhaps a very late recusant in comparison with that example, but he declared himself recusant all the same. I perceive the effort to be a removal of the baby from the bathwater.... which is not safely done without wetting one's hands.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-10-2009 at 06:05 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Seminar with Frank Doran, Shihan - Aug. 8-10, 2014 at Sunset Cliff's Aikido, near San Diego's finest beaches



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Doka... Beard of Chuck Norris Spiritual 13 03-26-2008 10:03 PM
Meditations of the doka Jiawei Techniques 0 08-12-2005 04:40 AM
doka of the day translator? wendyrowe Language 19 06-28-2005 11:42 AM
Doka of the Day Suru Humor 0 10-31-2003 06:23 PM
Doka? Ta Kung General 2 06-08-2001 07:13 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:22 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate