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Old 05-21-2009, 10:08 AM   #26
Aikibu
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Whenever the samurai-wanna-be's wax romantic about the past I always say with a fiegned gleam in my eye "Lets imagine we can go back to that era wouldn't that be great? I'll go back as a war lord who just successfully attacked a castle. And you? You go back...............as a peasant farmer owing taxes with a bad crop yield!"

What was that other diddy? Hell for a bushi would be reincarnated as a Bushi.

The entire affair seemed to be a stiffling way to live. But taken as a whole the entire world was a system of the haves stepping on the necks of others. I think most dissmissed the whole "noble night" farse a long time ago.

All that said -can we count the times Ueshiba stated flatly that Aikido was budo, that aiki was budo, that Takeda (who described his art as defensive) opened his eyes to true budo!
That he taught the military, was part of rightwing groups, and may have taught assasins? Then spent time talking about love.
Somewhere in there is the dualism of his message.
But most certainly aikido never was about the Samurai or anything to do with the samurai.
Cheers
Dan
In my opinion it will take several generations before the term or the philosophy of Bushido will mean anything else other than an expression of the extreme horror and suffering of Japanese Militarism.

Aikido is about Budo. There is simply no corrolation with Bushido other than Ushiba Shihan's possible shame about his small contribution to the horrors of WWII hence "postwar" Aikido.

The Fracking Japanese still deny slaughtering the entire Chinese city of Nanjing (Nanking) and other similiar atrocities all over Asia and the Pacific behind the Samurai philosophy of "bushido"

This is Memorial Day Weekend and lets please remember that thousands of good men died and others lived through hell defending us against the promoters of "Bushido".

William Hazen
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:25 AM   #27
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
But most certainly aikido never was about the Samurai or anything to do with the samurai.
Cheers
Dan
Most Samurai of the time probably wouldn't give a rat's @$$ about aikido or us...no matter how hard we train or severe we make our appearance. This whole glorification of the past and the glories of Rome, Istanbul, Timbuktu, yada yada yada amazes me.

Saw it in African American Studies too...it was one of the major reasons I decided not to go into the field.

Best,
Ron (I really hate it when they make s*** up)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:41 AM   #28
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
That he taught the military, was part of rightwing groups, and may have taught assasins? Then spent time talking about love.
Somewhere in there is the dualism of his message.
The minister of my old church was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I never asked him what kind of helicopters he flew. I knew him as an admirable person of great moral integrity, but he never claimed that his past didn't exist. This wasn't a case of dualism, IMO, but of a person changing.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #29
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

And I know Pasters who are IN the military and on active duty. i was an assoc.Pastor leading an outreach ministry involving twelve churches distributing 45,000 lbs of food a month...WHILE practicing MMA. Your pastor does not define Ueshiba's method any more than my examples do. It is not the examples that are the issue
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-21-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:10 PM   #30
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Dan, I didn't say my minister (not pastor) had anything at all to do with Ueshiba and aikido. When someone responds to something you're saying, it doesn't mean they're disagreeing with you.

(but, you know, you're not the boss of what "the issue" is, either)
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:30 PM   #31
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Hi Mary
Of course not! I was trying to suggest that none of those examples are relevant to define Ueshiba; not my example, yours or others. His example stands for itself.
Have a great weekend
Dan
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:51 PM   #32
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Dan, I didn't say my minister (not pastor) had anything at all to do with Ueshiba and aikido. When someone responds to something you're saying, it doesn't mean they're disagreeing with you.

(but, you know, you're not the boss of what "the issue" is, either)
Yes I just re-read that. It did look that way didn't it? I hope my follow up explanation made more sense.
Again, have a great weekend.
Dan
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:46 PM   #33
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
....Bushido was a "way", a do, that was reserved for members of a certain social class. It was an ideal whose particulars changed over the centuries, not a static thing, and while certainly not every bushi lived up to its ideals, it would seem nonsensical for a peasant to pursue bushido. Aikido doesn't seem to have any such class connotations.
"Procrustean" is a term that always occurs to me in this kind of discussion: the concepts can expand or contract as needed to accommodate the speaker.

The 7 virtues thing is great. But what about when loyalty, e.g., conflicts with rectitude (much the situation with our front line torturers and the bad apples ordering it, e.g.)?

And how different is Bushido actually from Shingaku, a code for commoners? Those 7 would certainly hold for them, too, in different degrees, perhaps, but nothing that clever wordsmithing couldn't accommodate.

And how much would a bushi from Kagoshima want to think his code of honor resembled that of a bushi from Edo anyway?

Bushido--is it really anything more than a historical version of the placebo?

Don J. Modesto
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:48 PM   #34
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Ron (I really hate it when they make s*** up)
Hey, Ron.

Succinct and on target, as usual.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:50 PM   #35
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The minister of my old church was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I never asked him what kind of helicopters he flew. I knew him as an admirable person of great moral integrity, but he never claimed that his past didn't exist. This wasn't a case of dualism, IMO, but of a person changing.
Unless, of course, his name was Hugh Thompson...

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Thompson,_Jr.)

Don J. Modesto
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:19 PM   #36
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Yes I just re-read that. It did look that way didn't it? I hope my follow up explanation made more sense.
Again, have a great weekend.
Dan
Totally, and thanks for clarifying -- you have a great weekend too!
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:38 PM   #37
aikishrine
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Take away the word "Bushido" and just look at the 7 virtues and tell me that these "precepts" if you will, are not a great way of trying to live ones life. I can certainly think of alot of worse ways to go
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #38
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

I also try to live by the 14 mindfulness trainings of the way of interbeing that Thich Nhat Hanh writes about.

I guess you could say that i am trying to forge my own path using Aikido, Bushido, and Interbieng.

But i am not the sharpest tool in the shed, so i may be heading up an impossible impasse.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:07 PM   #39
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Don't you already have an innate understanding of right and wrong without having to validate it according to some idealized set of "rules" made up in some cases by academics and petty bureaucrats?

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Old 05-21-2009, 04:59 PM   #40
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

In rereading my post I really don't want it to sound like a challenge. It's just that most attempts to codify ethical/moral behavior seem to me to miss the point of simply *being ethical*. I just think one doesn't need to model their life on someone else's construct as it is at best an unnecessary layer of abstraction.

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:46 PM   #41
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
In rereading my post I really don't want it to sound like a challenge. It's just that most attempts to codify ethical/moral behavior seem to me to miss the point of simply *being ethical*. I just think one doesn't need to model their life on someone else's construct as it is at best an unnecessary layer of abstraction.
Then i guess catholics and christians shouldnt follow the ten commandments. I think everyone needs a guide of sorts. It doesnt have to be an end all but just a reference point.
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Old 05-21-2009, 11:59 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Then i guess catholics and christians shouldnt follow the ten commandments. I think everyone needs a guide of sorts. It doesnt have to be an end all but just a reference point.
Is the man a saint because he does something right as a result of following the guide or is it because he did something right because he knows it's right without being told?

If it is the latter then the guidelines become somewhat superfluous... If it is the former, well, the behavior is quite empty really. "I was just following orders."

It doesn't mean there aren't "good" guidelines out there for "good" behavior. Like always share your snacks with your friends. Buy a round. Just IMHO they're just not terribly helpful. They are trivial and self-evident most of the time. Heck, if you *need* guidelines to tell you what's right in most situations then I'd suggest there are other problems much deeper involved.

Sure, there are many very difficult ethical dilemmas out there. But most of those aren't exactly easily resolved regardless. If we just fall back on "this is right because God /Ueshiba /Jesus /Buddha /Allah /Vishnu/ Nitobe/ Hagakure/ Tale of Genji/ Bible/ Koran/ the voice in my head/ Limbaugh/ Colbert/ said so" then we really haven't resolved all that much. Unless you're a firm believer in (fill in the blank)'s omniscience and omni benevolence then in that case you don't have to struggle with the tough issues.

In all seriousness, the entire concept of "bushido" was pretty much made up post hoc. Appealing on many levels, sure, but is it really an effective approach to living life in a world saturated with shades of grey?

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Old 05-22-2009, 07:40 AM   #43
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Then i guess catholics and christians shouldnt follow the ten commandments. I think everyone needs a guide of sorts. It doesnt have to be an end all but just a reference point.
And how many times have people from that religion and every other found themselves in situations where expediency ruled the day?

As Keith said, rules are fine...as a reference point. But when you are in a situation where the rules don't seem to fit...or when real sacrifice is called for to employ them, or where your life or another's is hanging in the balance...what then?

The samurai were first and foremost about expediency...rules about loyalty were jettisoned when the situation demanded. Loyalty to what...to whom??? One's lord? Yeah, right up until the time where you decided that your lord was doing something you could not tolerate. Or once you decided that lord was on the losing side. An ideal? Hitler was loyal to his ideals

Better to struggle to be a True Human Being. That won't be codified, any more than life can be codified.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:15 PM   #44
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

I think there's a big difference between following the "n tenets of being a do-bee as espoused by spiritual leader so-and-so" because you don't have any ideas of your own on which to base ethical behavior, and finding something in somebody else's teachings that casts some illumination on your own set of ethics. Maybe the teachings do a good job of articulating something that you believe, or maybe they help you refine your thoughts on something, or maybe they provide you with additional food for thought that helps you to develop your own ethics further. Spiritual teachings aren't necessarily spiritual proscriptions/prescriptions.
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #45
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Hi Mary,

What does the bible call that...True Religeon? Yep, I'm there with you. I guess I just like to make sure people have the brain engaged, and aren't just spouting the party line.

Party Lines are dangerous, just ask anyone caught up in the Cultural Revolution...

Best,
Ron (remember when a party line was that thing when you could hear other people talking on the phone??)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-22-2009, 02:05 PM   #46
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The minister of my old church was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. I never asked him what kind of helicopters he flew. I knew him as an admirable person of great moral integrity, but he never claimed that his past didn't exist. This wasn't a case of dualism, IMO, but of a person changing.
Changing from what? or in what way?

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Old 05-22-2009, 05:46 PM   #47
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

As Ron already point out, the issue is more one of being engaged and going in with a critical mind. And the problem with the concept of Bushido is that if you do that you rapidly find out that what we "call" bushido today is a modern construct that would have been meaningless as a term back when Samurai were wandering about. They weren't following any such code -- it didn't exist. the whole concept is part of the "romanticizing" of the Samurai class. While I'm sure there were upstanding, noble, etc. fellas wandering about who were for all intents and purposes following what we would today call the tenets of bushido, many, many more were not. And frankly it depends also on when, where, etc. you're looking historically.

And that very code in part helped many justify some pretty terrible behavior in China and elsewhere. Or to go to other historical events, look at sword testing on peasants. It's good to be Samurai... Not so good if you're not...

So it is rather hard to take seriously someone saying they want to follow "bushido" when in fact it never really existed. Might as well be a jedi too while you't at it. That's not to say there aren't good things there, but... It still ain't what really happened...

But of course these things may speak to an individual. And may give them things to think about, questions to ask, etc. I honestly have no problem with it. Just trying to add to the conversation.

Shrug.

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:03 PM   #48
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Changing from what? or in what way?
I don't know, because I didn't inquire. I didn't ask if he flew an assault helicopter or a medevac; I didn't ask what he was like before. I didn't want to pry, and I didn't want to judge. When I found out that he was a Vietnam vet, I asked him what he did there. "Part of the time, I flew helicopters," he said.

"What did you do the rest of the time?" I asked.

"A lot of drinking," he said.

The implications were obvious. This wasn't fun drinking, it was drinking to cope with what he was seeing and/or doing the rest of the time. Clearly it was very troubling, but I don't know exactly why, or exactly what the "it" was, or what he'd been like before.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:34 AM   #49
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
As Ron already point out, the issue is more one of being engaged and going in with a critical mind. And the problem with the concept of Bushido is that if you do that you rapidly find out that what we "call" bushido today is a modern construct that would have been meaningless as a term back when Samurai were wandering about. They weren't following any such code -- it didn't exist. the whole concept is part of the "romanticizing" of the Samurai class. While I'm sure there were upstanding, noble, etc. fellas wandering about who were for all intents and purposes following what we would today call the tenets of bushido, many, many more were not. And frankly it depends also on when, where, etc. you're looking historically.

And that very code in part helped many justify some pretty terrible behavior in China and elsewhere. Or to go to other historical events, look at sword testing on peasants. It's good to be Samurai... Not so good if you're not...

So it is rather hard to take seriously someone saying they want to follow "bushido" when in fact it never really existed. Might as well be a jedi too while you't at it. That's not to say there aren't good things there, but... It still ain't what really happened...

But of course these things may speak to an individual. And may give them things to think about, questions to ask, etc. I honestly have no problem with it. Just trying to add to the conversation.

Shrug.
I never once said that i wanted to be a samurai, or that i thought that the way they lived was to be romantisized. All i was getting at is that i like the idea of bushido, or rather trying to adhere to a code of ethics. I am not using any particular person or era as an example. Apparently everyone here thinks that i am completely misguided. Maybe i am.

Last edited by aikishrine : 05-23-2009 at 04:35 AM. Reason: added content
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:37 AM   #50
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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I never once said that i wanted to be a samurai, or that i thought that the way they lived was to be romantisized. All i was getting at is that i like the idea of bushido, or rather trying to adhere to a code of ethics. I am not using any particular person or era as an example. Apparently everyone here thinks that i am completely misguided. Maybe i am.
I don't think anyone thinks you are misguided for wanting to adhere to a code of ethics. I think everyone here aspires to do so. I think what people are really saying here is that you might not want to call that code "bushido" without being fully aware of all the history (and lack thereof) that that name implies.

In the days when samurai actually learned budo because their job was battle, there was no thing called "bushido", but there were plenty of ethical codes. The interesting thing is that they weren't called "bushido", because in a sense that name is very limited in scope. It doesn't mean "the way of the warrior" so much as the "way of the political class in power", as "bushi" was a hereditary occupation, rather than something anyone could aspire to. Rather, one common point I've found in many of the philosophies and ethics of the early schools was that they saw their ways as applicable to all people, not merely bushi. Yagyu Shinkage-ryu, for example, explicitly stated that its way was the same way from the common man to emperors. Katori Shinto-ryu and, I believe, Tatsumi-ryu made similar statements. Even Musashi, writing in a time when the four classes had become castes, explicitly states that the way of the warrior is not different from the way of any of the other three, and drives this point home by drawing parallels between the way of the warrior and the way of the carpenter.

In other words, why be stuck on this idea of "bushido", when the past masters themselves took pains to stress that their way was not anything unique to bushi? Most of us are not warriors in the sense of the word "bushi", nor are aikido practitioners practicing an art that the bushi practiced. Nor was the founder of aikido from a bushi lineage. The founders of budo took their ethics from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Shintoism. If we really want to learn from their example, and adhere to the codes they did, that's where we should look, not in the platitudes of Edo period bureaucrats, or the reconstructions of modern romantics.

Josh Reyer

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Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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