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Old 05-23-2009, 06:37 AM   #51
DH
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Excellent examples...and post, Josh-as usual.
It should be telling that the arts that actually were directly involved with the bushi class and commoners alike, like TSKSR, KSR, Yagyu, Takeouchi Ryu ryu and so on seem disinterested in promulgating some sort of romanticized view, and instead choose to talk about practicalities.
Arts that for the most part had nothing to do with the bushi class are in all the movies, hold test cutting demo's and are taught at the local strip mall with samurai paraphernalia, Samurai codes of conduct, and are either shouting and jumping, or have severely formalized teaching and practicing in silence and reverence etc. The Koryu schools and teachers I know are more informal and remind me more of a good Judo school atmosphere than anything else. I enjoy the aikido teachers I know who don't seem to take themselves to seriously and just enjoy the training and friendships. As one senior aikido teacher commented to me about some of the more serious and formal schools- "They need to get over -themselves- before they are ever going to see the art. You'd think they were going to church or something. They're missing the joy, the point of it all."
I found that quite fascinating.
Dan
Cheers
Dan
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:52 AM   #52
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Excellent examples...and post, Josh-as usual.
It should be telling that the arts that actually were directly involved with the bushi class and commoners alike, like TSKSR, KSR, Yagyu, Takeouchi Ryu ryu and so on seem disinterested in promulgating some sort of romanticized view, and instead choose to talk about practicalities.
Arts that for the most part had nothing to do with the bushi class are in all the movies, hold test cutting demo's and are taught at the local strip mall with samurai paraphernalia, Samurai codes of conduct, and are either shouting and jumping, or have severely formalized teaching and practicing in silence and reverence etc. The Koryu schools and teachers I know are more informal and remind me more of a good Judo school atmosphere than anything else. I enjoy the aikido teachers I know who don't seem to take themselves to seriously and just enjoy the training and friendships. As one senior aikido teacher commented to me about some of the more serious and formal schools- "They need to get over -themselves- before they are ever going to see the art. You'd think they were going to church or something. They're missing the joy, the point of it all." I found that quite fascinating.
Needless to say the people - I - enjoy the most in budo are those who enjoy the deadly practicality and precision, and don't take themselves to seriously to miss the joy in the practice of it all.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 05-23-2009 at 06:56 AM.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:21 AM   #53
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
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.
Hello Brian,

Some of these threads are all about language--and how it is used: with no judgment at all on the user. So, No, you are not misguided. Simply, the two questions with which you began this thread have assumptions that have to be made clearer.

Most of the posts in this thread have gradually added refinements to the two concepts you were talking about: bushido; and ethical codes, especially as related to the samurai.

I want to stress here that what you yourself mean by an ethical code, and what a samurai might have meant by an ethical code, might be quite different.

Here is a very concrete example.
In my opinion, one of the biggest problems that Japanese aikido shihan despatched overseas to teach aikido have had to deal with is sexual ethics. I mean here sexual relationships in the dojo: the general position of women in the dojo culture, or the more focused example of a happily married shihan regularly (but very quietly) bedding the female students in his dojo.

Bear in mind that one of the major tests that a prospective Japanese emperor has to pass is that of the ability to father children--and this is practically tested by means of a concubine.

So the samurai is almost always married (how happily married is always left unstated) and the role of his wife is to produce 'his' children, of whom at least one must be male. But for the rest of the time, since the quality of 'his' sexual urges determine the reproductive result, he has to train to keep his male sexual prowess in perfect condition, just as he trains to keep his martial prowess in the same condition.

Now, how would this issue affect the ethics of bushido? I can assure you that it does affect the ethics of aikido to the extent that I have had to question the present Doshu (as IAF Chairman) about the sexual ethics of one of this 8th dan shihans.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-23-2009 at 07:23 AM.

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Old 05-23-2009, 07:51 AM   #54
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I mean here sexual relationships in the dojo: the general position of women in the dojo culture, or the more focused example of a happily married shihan regularly (but very quietly) bedding the female students in his dojo.
I could also have put it the other way round:
... a happily married shihan quietly (but very regularly) bedding the female students in his dojo.

PAG

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Old 05-23-2009, 11:04 AM   #55
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I could also have put it the other way round:
... a happily married shihan quietly (but very regularly) bedding the female students in his dojo.

PAG
With all due respect Peter...This is an interesting point but you can find this behaviour in one degree or another in any Patriarchal "Code of Ethics"

Most folks kind of pass over the fact that before we are Ethical, Religious, or Moral, we are Biological Beings...The Biological Urge of Male Homosapians to pass thier genes on through as many Females as possible predates "History" Along with the very same urge for Female Homosapians to select only those Males who are at the top of the Group Hiearchy...
Heck I live in Malibu and you can see this behaviour at work everyday among the elites...LOL

So I gave up complaining about Rock Stars, Movie Stars,Sports Stars, CEO's, Shihan's, and others "getting more" than thier "fair" share or violating an ethical code. From a Biological stand point I empathize with that so called "Human Frailty"

Hows does this relate to Bushido...Well if one looks at it carefully one can see that any ethical system can be distorted to serve this kind of "need" All Male Jihadist "Martyrs" are promised 72 virgins when they get to heaven. I wonder if they would by so ready to blow themselves up if they got them on earth...Then there's the news stories about the extreme sexual abuses of the Catholic Church in Ireland this week, and then there's Bushido...

Thousands of captured woman served as sex slaves for Japanese Soldiers during the war. In the eyes of the average military practicioner of Bushido These "slaves" were the just desserts of victory on the battlefield...

In light of these facts I am very careful not to idealize anyone (or any "code of ethics") but allow them thier humanity and to "forgive them lord... For they know not what they do." or as Shoji Nishio puts it... Aikido is Yurusu Budo... The Budo of Acceptance

From Stan Pranins review of Yurusu Budo on the AJ Website

"Yurusu Budo means "budo of acceptance." In this book, Nishio Sensei attempts to explain the changing meaning of budo, from purely contentious to benevolent and giving, as was the evolution of O'Sensei's design of Aikido."

I think I'll continue to "trip on this" for the next 20 years.



William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 05-23-2009 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #56
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
With all due respect Peter...This is an interesting point but you can find this behaviour in one degree or another in any Patriarchal "Code of Ethics"

Hows does this relate to Bushido...Well if one looks at it carefully one can see that any ethical system can be distorted to serve this kind of "need" All Male Jihadist "Martyrs" are promised 72 virgins when they get to heaven. I wonder if they would by so ready to blow themselves up if they got them on earth...Then there's the news stories about the extreme sexual abuses of the Catholic Church in Ireland this week, and then there's Bushido...

William Hazen
I think you took my post in a different way than it was intended. What if you come from a culture where, "Thou Shall not Commit Adultery" is not part of the ethical code yo begin with? You then move to a culture where it is. Problems might well arise.

PAG

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Old 05-23-2009, 08:02 PM   #57
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

EDIT: Correction of a typo:

What if you come from a culture where, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is not part of the ethical code to begin with?

PAG

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Old 05-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #58
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
EDIT: Correction of a typo:

What if you come from a culture where, "Thou shalt not commit adultery" is not part of the ethical code to begin with?

PAG
I understand Peter....My point was made in the context of Bushido...I don't know one religion or ethical system that is not immune to distortion by some of it's adherents in order to justify a crime against humanity...Bushido may never be known for it's tolerance of adultery... but it may be forever associated for the horrible crimes committed in it's name...

In the very same context can you believe a former Senior elected offical of the United States of America is now touring the country trying to convince the world his authorization of the use of torture was justifed!?!?!!!

My Point being....To have Aikido associated in any way with Bushido is just as horrible and disgusting as having the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights linked to the torture of human beings.

As far as I know Aikido has no such "stain" on it's history for now.

William Hazen
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:21 PM   #59
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Hi
Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
As far as I know Aikido has no such "stain" on it's history for now.
Hm.

Was Ueshiba chief of the Oomoto kyo Security?
Did they have prisons?
Did people "disapear"?
Have people been tortured?

Was Ueshiba connected to the right wing, ultra nationalist politicians?
What about the black dragon society?
Did they meet in his dojo?
What about the Mongolian/Mandchurian "adventure"?

Is Aikido only japanese?
Why can't a westerner become hachidan?

What about high graded teachers, injuring their studends on purpose and being renowned for that?

Are there realy no stains?

Carsten
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:27 PM   #60
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
I understand Peter....My point was made in the context of Bushido...I don't know one religion or ethical system that is not immune to distortion by some of it's adherents in order to justify a crime against humanity...Bushido may never be known for it's tolerance of adultery... but it may be forever associated for the horrible crimes committed in it's name...

In the very same context can you believe a former Senior elected offical of the United States of America is now touring the country trying to convince the world his authorization of the use of torture was justifed!?!?!!!

My Point being....To have Aikido associated in any way with Bushido is just as horrible and disgusting as having the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill of Rights linked to the torture of human beings.

As far as I know Aikido has no such "stain" on it's history for now.

William Hazen
I didnt mean for this to turn into a political post, and i truly hate war and violence. However sometimes combat is ugly, and whatever means it takes to keep America safe is justified in my opinion. Until the people we are dealing with have some concept of what it is like to be human, however they are treated is fine with me. Because they cant be reached with peace and love, unfortunately.
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:31 PM   #61
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

I know may last post is very cold hearted, and doesnt reflect the Aikido philosophy, but at this point in time i know of no other way to feel.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:05 PM   #62
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hi

Hm.

Was Ueshiba chief of the Oomoto kyo Security?
Did they have prisons?
Did people "disapear"?
Have people been tortured?
I specifically mentioned O'Sensei possible "shame" of his past as a reason for the developemnt of his Post War Aikido Philosphy. Did you miss this?

Quote:
Was Ueshiba connected to the right wing, ultra nationalist politicians?
What about the black dragon society?
Did they meet in his dojo?
What about the Mongolian/Mandchurian "adventure"?
See my above reply...Do you consider His Pre War Aiki-Jujitsu practice Aikido? There are some who would make a distinction between the two...

Quote:
]Is Aikido only japanese?
Why can't a westerner become hachidan?

What about high graded teachers, injuring their studends on purpose and being renowned for that?

Are there realy no stains?

Carsten
I group all these questions together...It would appear you glossed over my posts and reacted Argumentum ad Absolutum.

If you can show where folks who have committed acts of war mass slaughter rape murder or torture AND have done so in the name of "Pre or Post-War" Aikido then by all means feel free to post the information here for my enlightenment...

As for the rest of your complaints some Like the Japanese Xenophobic protection of "thier" Martial Arts does still exist... However the Hachidan complaint does not apply just to Aikido does it....and indeed I can think of one outstanding Menkyo Kaiden of a Japanese Koryu who is Gaijin.. Toby Threadgill...Now it is true he may not reach Hachidan but with each new generation of Martial Artist that "barrier" my be breached in our lifetime...

And like me get this straight... Because some High Grade teachers act like Assholes all of them do??? And they act this way in the name of Aikido??? Where in Aikido's Philosophy does it allow for folks to act like assholes??? And how does this compare to Bushido exactly???

Don't get me worng Carsten...I have personal experiance with this complaint.. but not once did I think to "blame" Aikido when this Sensei tried to hurt me. And since I out weighed him by about 70 pounds it was simply a matter of "correction by physical suggestion"

Willaim Hazen
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:25 PM   #63
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
I didnt mean for this to turn into a political post, and i truly hate war and violence. However sometimes combat is ugly, and whatever means it takes to keep America safe is justified in my opinion. Until the people we are dealing with have some concept of what it is like to be human, however they are treated is fine with me. Because they cant be reached with peace and love, unfortunately.
How can comparing or equating Aikido with Bushido NOT be political on some level?

As for for tacit acceptance of torture All I can suggest is that you "proof" your own opinion.

While in the Service I was a participant as a young private in a S.E.R.E ( Survival...Evasion...Resistance...Escape) MTT conducted by the SF S.E.R.E. School (It may have been a Joint Services Committee since All branches of the Service can go through S.E.R.E. it was a long time ago) They gave us a class on Communist Torture Techniques and one of those methods was Water Boarding...It was done to our Servicemen in Korea and Vietnam. The PRIMARY PURPOSE of Waterboarding was to ELICIT FALSE CONFESSIONS from U.S. Servicemen for Communist Propaganda...I was waterboarded 2 or 3 times for 30 seconds each...

We also got to experiance other "techniques" and believe you me...It's torture...All through these classes the Instructors emphasized that WE DO NOT TORTURE...

Sad to say...That is not true today.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 05-25-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:29 PM   #64
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
I didnt mean for this to turn into a political post, and i truly hate war and violence. However sometimes combat is ugly, and whatever means it takes to keep America safe is justified in my opinion. Until the people we are dealing with have some concept of what it is like to be human, however they are treated is fine with me. Because they cant be reached with peace and love, unfortunately.
The core of this is at the heart of something very important I think people have to understand about Aikido. Aikido's message of peace, if taken as a warm and fuzzy view, an ideal that I would love to live in if possible. An Aikido ideal if applied butts heads up against stronger reality that has no reason to obey. I think that is why there are some Aikido that are into the pre-war, and MMA (thought I feel Aikido has it all and you don't need to cross train or out sourse your training-that's IMO). They feel they need to adjust to that stronger reality of not everyone is going to play nice, or find the light of peace and surrender to the Aikidoka's superiority. I think this happens because it is hard to understand O'Sensei's philosophy, and there is one of his students who stated that clearly, ignoring O'Sensei's vision for the world.

If you're ever are in a bad situation where you must use your training and you throw the guy with a warm fuzzy feeling attitude, and not stay on guard and do what it takes to stop the attack, then you may not see the next day. Not everyone is pre- 1970's Japanese. We see today in so many parts of the world how violent people are and have become, and how far they are willing to go to get what they want.

The time O'Sensei developed his philosophy was an unique time in Japanese history and that really only applied to Japan, and not universally to the rest of the world, or in our times, where you deal with an attacker on drugs. I think , with all due respect to O'Sensei, it was pretty nieve of O'Sensei to think it could be and he could make a change- that is understandable considering Japan being a closed nation for so long, and what he went through in his life.

I have to agree with Brian, there are people which can't be reached with peace. I add these people are not going to respond to peace either- sadly.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:32 PM   #65
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Hello, Brian,

As I mentioned in an earlier post (#53), if you raise questions concerning the 'philosophy of bushido' and the 'philosophy of aikido', it is pretty well guaranteed that some posters will interpret at least the first of these questions as 'political'. Why? Because if you dig a little more deeply into the 'philosophy' of bushido, you will see the distortions, rather like the romantic view of medieval European troubadours and knights errrant. One could argue that the 'philosophy' such as it was, was also a device for maintaining a ruthless military regime, based entirely on power / force, and which used just as much 'double-speak' as present-day North Korea does.

One can also argue, as others have done, that Nitobe's view of bushido is FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided, since it is based on an ethical system that the Japanese did not have. This was the point of my earlier post to William. It is not a matter of the moral 'gap' between an ethical system and the corruptibility of those who subscribe to it: because they do not act in accordance with the ethical principles they are supposed to: it is a matter of the basic ingredients of the ethical system to begin with. 'Western' ethics is very heavily based on biblical notions of sin and guilt--of individuals acting or not acting in accordance with ethical principles they embrace--and one cannot assume that a system based on pollution and shame is necessarily similar.

Quote:
Brian Northrup wrote: View Post
I didnt mean for this to turn into a political post, and i truly hate war and violence. However sometimes combat is ugly, and whatever means it takes to keep America safe is justified in my opinion. Until the people we are dealing with have some concept of what it is like to be human, however they are treated is fine with me. Because they cant be reached with peace and love, unfortunately.
Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 05-25-2009, 05:50 PM   #66
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello, Brian,

One can also argue, as others have done, that Nitobe's view of bushido is FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided, since it is based on an ethical system that the Japanese did not have. This was the point of my earlier post to William. It is not a matter of the moral 'gap' between an ethical system and the corruptibility of those who subscribe to it: because they do not act in accordance with the ethical principles they are supposed to: it is a matter of the basic ingredients of the ethical system to begin with. 'Western' ethics is very heavily based on biblical notions of sin and guilt--of individuals acting or not acting in accordance with ethical principles they embrace--and one cannot assume that a system based on pollution and shame is necessarily similar.

Best wishes,

PAG
I glossed over this excellent point the first time Peter, Thanks for repeating it. I completely agree with your premise.

William Hazen
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:08 PM   #67
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello, Brian,

One can also argue, as others have done, that Nitobe's view of bushido is FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided, since it is based on an ethical system that the Japanese did not have. This was the point of my earlier post to William. It is not a matter of the moral 'gap' between an ethical system and the corruptibility of those who subscribe to it: because they do not act in accordance with the ethical principles they are supposed to: it is a matter of the basic ingredients of the ethical system to begin with. 'Western' ethics is very heavily based on biblical notions of sin and guilt--of individuals acting or not acting in accordance with ethical principles they embrace--and one cannot assume that a system based on pollution and shame is necessarily similar.

Best wishes,

PAG
FWIW, because this really is a burr under my horse's saddle blacket. The comment I would like to make on Nitobe's view of bushido being “FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided” isn’t a new view. It has been a view for now what 20 years which was born out of the internet. It is an internet vogue thingy started by those who are non-Japanese directed to those who are not Japanese. I am not saying this is what bushido is or isn't. I don't know.

What I am saying the modern Japanese didn't go around and make an effort to debunk it. I think they too used it as a model for something they really consciously didn't understand. In my copy of Nitobe's book it said in the preface that Nitobe was arguing morality and ethics between Japan and Europe. And somewhere down the line that was totally missed on a lot of people thinking he was defining bushido rather using an abstract instrument in contrast to European chivalry codes of morals and ethics to relate Japanese ethics and morals in his argument. I think you need to look at Nitobe's book in this way, and not as a guide to bushido as other much older books on bushido that the Japanese took seriously.

IMO, Nitobe's book taken as I discribed it to be should not be argued if it is or isn't a defining model of bushido. If someone wants a model I can suggest what I do. You look at the Japanese solider of today to be the closed thing. Why because bushido was practiced and subscribed to by soilders, not martial artists, not ryu's etc. but the solider back than who put a weapon in his hand and marched upon that field following orders to fight, and expecting not to live to see the next day. Don't look at martial artists, because what we are, are artists after all. FWIW.

Last edited by Buck : 05-25-2009 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:03 PM   #68
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

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However sometimes combat is ugly, and whatever means it takes to keep America safe is justified in my opinion.
We've heard rather a lot of this in the past eight years, and IMO not enough of the following two questions:
1. On what basis do you assert that your "whatever" methods are, in fact, what it takes (and, implicitly, that no other methods will suffice)?
2. On what basis do you assert that your "whatever" methods produce a result that "keep[s] America safe"?

Answer these first; otherwise you're just begging the question.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:10 AM   #69
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

As i said before, i do not like war or violence. That being said it is sometimes a necessary evil. We are animals after all and animals do fight. It is in our nature, therefore i dont believe that "peace" is a truly attainable thing. However its the pursuit of peace that helps me out. Its the journey not the destination. So maybe as an Aikidoka i or we can become mirrors, and in that way peace may be attainable on some small level.

Its like i always tell green peace people that come knocking on my door to protest big business and such. Clean up your own backyard first, because after all, big business doesnt pollute the earth nearly as much as all individual people do combined. Its the same with war and violence, there is more violence on the streets of this world than our governments create it war. So we should become mirrors of that in which we want. Lead by example not by words. If we want peace, than let peace begin with me. Sorry for my ramblings.

Last edited by aikishrine : 05-26-2009 at 03:18 AM. Reason: added content
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:34 AM   #70
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Let me just say that i believe in Aikido and its philosophies whole heartedly, i also believe in the romantic notions of Bushido. I have read Nitobe's book and i find it quite good. Now there may be some falsehoods there, as with all types of ethos. But i believe that there are some simple truths to be cognizant of as well. I am greatly sorry that i have offended some people here, and as such this will be my last post.

Best Wishes to all, Brian
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #71
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Hi Phil, first I must say that I see much more effort going into making your posts understandable. Thank you for that. It is also evident that you are reading quite a bit. That is always a good thing.

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
FWIW, because this really is a burr under my horse's saddle blacket. The comment I would like to make on Nitobe's view of bushido being “FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided” isn’t a new view. It has been a view for now what 20 years which was born out of the internet. It is an internet vogue thingy started by those who are non-Japanese directed to those who are not Japanese.
I am afraid that this is just not true. There are works in Japanese that discuss this book, and that come to much the same conclusions, and well before the internet came into "vogue", or for that matter, even existed.

Quote:
What I am saying the modern Japanese didn't go around and make an effort to debunk it.
I'll post a link to a thread below which will list some possible sources to check out that should show this to be false.

Quote:
I think they too used it as a model for something they really consciously didn't understand. In my copy of Nitobe's book it said in the preface that Nitobe was arguing morality and ethics between Japan and Europe. And somewhere down the line that was totally missed on a lot of people thinking he was defining bushido rather using an abstract instrument in contrast to European chivalry codes of morals and ethics to relate Japanese ethics and morals in his argument. I think you need to look at Nitobe's book in this way, and not as a guide to bushido as other much older books on bushido that the Japanese took seriously.
I think this is probably a valid way to read that book, and in any case, opinions on the same book differ often enough where to me, it's not worth debating.

Quote:
IMO, Nitobe's book taken as I discribed it to be should not be argued if it is or isn't a defining model of bushido. If someone wants a model I can suggest what I do. You look at the Japanese solider of today to be the closed thing. Why because bushido was practiced and subscribed to by soilders, not martial artists, not ryu's etc. but the solider back than who put a weapon in his hand and marched upon that field following orders to fight, and expecting not to live to see the next day. Don't look at martial artists, because what we are, are artists after all. FWIW.
I think there are several issues with this last statement, but those are addressed on other posts, so I'll leave to the gentle reader to decide.

Best,
Ron (the thread I was speaking of can be found here: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthre...ghlight=nitobe)

PS, it should also be noted that this book was orinally written in English, and later translated into Japanese...

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 05-26-2009 at 10:40 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:19 PM   #72
Rennis Buchner
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
The comment I would like to make on Nitobe's view of bushido being "FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided" isn't a new view. It has been a view for now what 20 years which was born out of the internet. It is an internet vogue thingy started by those who are non-Japanese directed to those who are not Japanese.
Hardly. I know plenty of Japanese who happen to agree with the "fundamentally flawed" point of view. Also personally, I was introduced to this view in university, by professional academics in Japan and not on the internet. Interestingly most of the articles in English written by Westerners I have seen discussing the issue online were also written by academics with formal training and extensive work performed in Japanese universities. It has been my experience that these people are generally writing based on findings and research current among Japanese researchers. As with all things you will find some Japanese who embrace Nitobe's writings and others who reject them, often for the reasons discussed.

Random thoughs,
Rennis Buchner
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Old 05-26-2009, 10:34 PM   #73
Buck
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Rennis Buchner wrote: View Post
Hardly. I know plenty of Japanese who happen to agree with the "fundamentally flawed" point of view. Also personally, I was introduced to this view in university, by professional academics in Japan and not on the internet. Interestingly most of the articles in English written by Westerners I have seen discussing the issue online were also written by academics with formal training and extensive work performed in Japanese universities. It has been my experience that these people are generally writing based on findings and research current among Japanese researchers. As with all things you will find some Japanese who embrace Nitobe's writings and others who reject them, often for the reasons discussed.

Random thoughs,
Rennis Buchner
Let me correct any assumptions. I didn't say all Japanese nor did I imply that. It boggles my mind when things like that happen, ya know the assumptions. I didn't apply you in any way, or connected you to the internet. I was speaking to the power of the western internet and how it does incorrectly admonishes those who have naive views of Nitobe. Those on the western internet who are quick in ego to admonish the lesser learned westerner, they fail to point out the argument constructed by Nitobe was as I previously explained, to communicate to mmm...western intellects. But rather the western internet researchers attack Nitobe for his "flawed" sense of what budo is and isn't. Which I find very odd, since Nitobe was Japanese and not a western researcher and wasn't writing to definitely and definitively define budo.

I studied Nitobe in a university in the USA, keep in mind he was well versed in western thinking, and culture. So, I studied him from a western view, along with other western thinkers, not concerning budo, but rather his argument. Which again is totally missed on the western internet that is so bound and determined to show how fundamentally wrong he was about what is and isn't Japanese budo.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:48 AM   #74
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Let me correct any assumptions. I didn't say all Japanese nor did I imply that. It boggles my mind when things like that happen, ya know the assumptions. I didn't apply you in any way, or connected you to the internet. I was speaking to the power of the western internet and how it does incorrectly admonishes those who have naive views of Nitobe. Those on the western internet who are quick in ego to admonish the lesser learned westerner, they fail to point out the argument constructed by Nitobe was as I previously explained, to communicate to mmm...western intellects. But rather the western internet researchers attack Nitobe for his "flawed" sense of what budo is and isn't. Which I find very odd, since Nitobe was Japanese and not a western researcher and wasn't writing to definitely and definitively define budo.

I studied Nitobe in a university in the USA, keep in mind he was well versed in western thinking, and culture. So, I studied him from a western view, along with other western thinkers, not concerning budo, but rather his argument. Which again is totally missed on the western internet that is so bound and determined to show how fundamentally wrong he was about what is and isn't Japanese budo.
At your university, did you also study the phenomenon known as Nihonjinron 日本人論? Nitobe is part of this phenomenon, as are Lafcadio Hearn, Ruth Benedict and, to a lesser extent, Eugen Herrigel. The focus of this phenomenon is the supposed uniqueness of Japanese culture. Examples of nihonjinron are, for example, that Japanese literature is impossible to translate into other languages because of kotodama: the Japanese spirit which is believed by Japanese to exist in the Japanese language, or that Japanese are uniquely emotional because they are believed to process certain vowel sounds on the opposite side of their brains to those of 'westerners' (= all non-Japanese).

After Nitobe's book was written to communicate to western intellects, it was translated into Japanese. Subsequently, it was taken up and given a special place, along with the Hagakure, as a 'correct' view of Bushido. Benedict was also translated into Japanese and her view of Japan as a 'shame' culture also also taken up and enshrined by the postwar Japanese, as a 'correct' view of Japanese culture.

You state that you have studied Nitobe in English at university in the USA. I have taught Nitobe in Japanese at university in Japan and much of my time was spent in showing the fundamental flaws in his picture of bushido, to Japanese bureaucrats who still believed that it was an attractive picture and therefore 'probably' accurate. (They had been taught this by their Japanese teachers, who, almost certainly, were believers in nihonjinron.)

Of course, if you believe Nitobe's view of bushido is not fundamentally flawed (despite being directed at western intellects), then please argue your point. I am sure some would be happy to respond.

Yours sincerely,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-27-2009 at 02:51 AM.

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Old 05-27-2009, 06:39 AM   #75
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Aikido and Bushido

Hi Phil,

Quote:
Let me correct any assumptions. I didn't say all Japanese nor did I imply that. It boggles my mind when things like that happen, ya know the assumptions.
Ok, let's review:

Quote:
FWIW, because this really is a burr under my horse's saddle blacket. The comment I would like to make on Nitobe's view of bushido being “FUNDAMENTALLY false and misguided” isn’t a new view. It has been a view for now what 20 years which was born out of the internet. It is an internet vogue thingy started by those who are non-Japanese directed to those who are not Japanese.
You now have two people in Japan, both associated with Japanese scholarship, who interpretted your words the same as I did. And both of whom have pointed out your error. This is not an assumption...your words are on the page.

Quote:
What I am saying the modern Japanese didn't go around and make an effort to debunk it.
You don't say "some modern Japanese", you say **the modern Japanese**. If you meant some, or most, or many, you could have said that. It is not an assumption to read the words typed on the page. If you mean something different, just type something different. If you studied at university, you should know this, and being corrected on it should not be an affront...

Quote:
I was speaking to the power of the western internet and how it does incorrectly admonishes those who have naive views of Nitobe. Those on the western internet who are quick in ego to admonish the lesser learned westerner, they fail to point out the argument constructed by Nitobe was as I previously explained, to communicate to mmm...western intellects.
First, that is a rather tortuous construct of a sentence (I'm sure your university proffesors would certainly take you to task for it). But putting that aside, there really is no ego involved in this from my side, and I would think, not from anyone else's side either. At least not those engaged in conversation with you.

As far as I am concerned, no one here is lesser or greater. Some have better writing skills, some make better arguements. But no person is lesser because of that. It is just simply a fact. I cannot write or think or argue as well as Peter, or Mike or Josh. That does not cause me any undue concern...it has been years since I studied at the undergraduate or graduate level, and I wasn't all that hot then either. It is simply a fact...just as they probably couldn't install 5 routers in one day at 5 different locations...remotely. That certainly doesn't diminish them or their achievements in academia in any way, does it?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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