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Old 06-04-2011, 04:55 PM   #26
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Allen, powerful and, at the same time, tender words for your teacher and your memory of him. Nicely done and, again, powerful. Thanks

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:13 PM   #27
Allen Beebe
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

It is great to hear from you Chuck!

Thank you for your kind words. I have no doubt having had the pleasure of training with your guys on several occasions they feel similarly about you! And, of course, Aaron does you proud.

I'll never forget the last time I saw Shirata sensei. It was summer, so of course it was oppressively hot and humid, when we finished training at the Yamagata Budokan. I was in a hurry so as not to miss my ride back to Sendai. So I paid my respects, changed quickly (Who cares if I'm sweaty? I'm going to be sweaty as soon as you come out of a bath anyway!) and hurried down the two or three floors to the street where I would catch my ride back to Sendai.

I stood their panting in the heavy air. I dropped my bag, too tired to hold it while I waited. And then I felt something . . .

I turned to see who was coming, and jumped because there was Shirata sensei already standing by my left side . . . standing as if waiting too! He had come down just to see me off. I stammered, my Keigo always stunk and this moment was no exception! Nevertheless, he sensed my situation (Yes, I can't speak well in multiple languages!) thanked me for coming and wished me a safe trip back to America and good training.

My ride appeared with sensei helping with the door and waving goodbye as I drove away. I didn't know it would be the last time I would see him, but somehow I think he knew. He died of cancer not long afterward.

The first time I met sensei he gave me two calligraphy. One was Masa Gatsu A Gatsu Aikido, the other was Gen Rei Shin Ai no Ki no Do. I'm sure most are familiar with the first, the latter is Manifest/Physical, Spirit/Ghost, God/Devine (the Holy Trinity) Love, Joy, Way (the Way of Love and Joy).

What a wonderful sensei and human being! How lucky I was to know him. Here I sit typing, almost 20 years after his passing, and I'm still inspired and moved!

Hoping you are well and happy,
Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:02 AM   #28
Alex Megann
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

I have long had an interest in Shirata Sensei - I have had a copy of "The Way of Harmony" (with personal annotations by Kanetsuka Sensei, to give it added interest!) for many years, and have read through it several times. I was attracted by the combination of serenity and complete technical mastery that Shirata radiated, and also intrigued that his execution of techniques was in many cases a little different from the Aikikai "norm".

I like the way that in his demonstrations there is no trace of any desire to "show off" - even watching two of my aikido heroes, Seigo Yamaguchi and Gozo Shioda, you get the feeling that they were from time to time thinking "hey, look what I can do". This is something he had in common with Saito Sensei and also with Kisaburo Osawa.

I know Kanetsuka Sensei held Shirata Sensei in high regard, although I am not aware of whether he ever met him personally. Many years ago he said that he would very much have liked to invite him to to UK to teach, although at that time Shirata was too frail to travel.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 06-05-2011 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:36 AM   #29
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Alex,

I hope Kanetsuka Sensei's comments were complimentary. I have a copy of a book written by a certain eminent shihan, whose name it is perhaps politic not to reveal, with handwritten notes by M Sekiya Sensei. The comments were highly critical.

In another thread Ellis Amdur has mentioned the first IAF meeting in 1976. My own introduction to the darker side of aikido occurred four years later, at the 3rd IAF meeting. Shirata Sensei attended, as did another member of the old Kobukan Dojo, Ikkusai Iwata Sensei. These days Iwata Sensei is never mentioned--I doubt whether he is still alive. If he is, he would be very old. I was too busy with meetings to do much training, but since the Congress was held in Paris, I am sure that any classes taught by these two sensei would have been interesting, to say the least. Some idea of the flavor of the meetings can be given by the fact that the police were called to arrest the participants of one of the meetings attended by the two senseis, on the grounds that the meeting was illegal.

When Shirata Sensei came to Hiroshima around 1984, he taught for nine hours in total and the first three were entirely suwari-waza: a softening up process for the second and third days. In his explanations he made a point of stating that some waza were "prewar" and some were "postwar". It was not hard to see where his own preferences lay. Shigenobu Okumura Sensei, who was younger than Shirata Sensei, also occasionally made the same distinction. The difference between the two is that Okumura Sensei played a major role in the development of postwar aikido at the Hombu Dojo. Shirata Sensei played no role whatever.

In Aikido: The Way of Harmony, John Stevens slides over the question of the hiatus in Shirata Sensei's aikido training, but the hiatus is clearly alluded to in other sources. One might ask, what kind of personal training did Shirata Sensei do, in the 19 years when he was not practising aikido (at least publicly). Ernesto, the only way to find out is to go to Tohoku and talk to Shirata Sensei's old students. I had enough conversations in 2001 to know that there is still much to be learned, if you ask nicely. But time is running out.

Allen, have you come across the publications of みちのく合気? Shirata Sensei was the first head of this amalgamation of groups that organized aikido in the Tohoku region. This would have begun around 1965 and the two leading lights were R Shirata in Yamagata and M Saito in Iwama: two completely different types, but united by a sense of local pride. It was clearly a very strong grouping and enjoyed an 'aikido life', both technically and 'spiritually' (the quotes indicate a problem of meaning) that was quite separate and distinct from the aikido practiced by the 'city boys' in the Tokyo Hombu Dojo. Hence there is a huge context to O Sensei's request to Shirata Sensei to 'look after / help Kisshomaru'. He made the same request to Saito Sensei and his other old disciples.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-05-2011 at 08:42 AM.

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Old 06-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #30
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Peter,

Nice to see you posting again. As an in between question; is there a next TIE on the way?

Allow me to address a couple of points in response to your post.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I Some idea of the flavor of the meetings can be given by the fact that the police were called to arrest the participants of one of the meetings attended by the two senseis, on the grounds that the meeting was illegal.
It's a first I heard of that and it's quite interesting in that plenty of those who participated should still be alive today. I have the distinct impression not a whole lot of French aikidoka are on aikiweb or if they are, they are either in the French language section and or don't post much in the English sections.
It would be nice to read an account from one of the participants.

Quote:
In Aikido: The Way of Harmony, John Stevens slides over the question of the hiatus in Shirata Sensei's aikido training, but the hiatus is clearly alluded to in other sources.
Clearly.

Quote:
One might ask, what kind of personal training did Shirata Sensei do, in the 19 years when he was not practising aikido (at least publicly).
Well, one option, and one that isn't at all that unlikely, would be solo training in the form that was later distilled as Tandokudosa. Recently I went over these with Dan Harden (as did Allen) and his take on the matter was quite encouraging as revealing. (Lest I'm mistaken by some readers, it wasn't the case of asking Dan to enrich Shirata Sensei's Tandokudosa with an IS flavor. Dan seemed to confirm that Tandokudosa=IT, something which was encouraging as coming from Dan's expertise).

Quote:
Ernesto, the only way to find out is to go to Tohoku and talk to Shirata Sensei's old students. I had enough conversations in 2001 to know that there is still much to be learned, if you ask nicely. But time is running out.
Yes, I'm painfully aware it is. You've mentioned this before and I have not forgotten. Thankfully my life is not the whirlwind it was so in that sense it's an endeavour I now could make, in theory. It then becomes a matter of priorities and finances. Unfortunately I have one more priority at hand which forces me to postpone any trip to Japan. Fortunately the priority is getting married

Best wishes and thanks for the response!
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:43 AM   #31
Allen Beebe
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Peter,

They called the POLICE!

(Governmentally sanctioned and enforced budo eugenics in action??)

Thank you for sharing. As always, you are a wealth of information and good humored stories.

Peter, Ernesto doesn't speak Japanese, and I don't know how to be polite in English, much less Japanese, even when I try. (Shut up! You know who you are!! ) However, if we were to be accompanied by a trusted adviser . . . Or do you think the presence of such an august adviser might appear too politically charged and defeat the entire purpose? I'm serious. I haven't been back to Yamagata in about 20 years, but I'd eagerly go back for this. Might your curiosity help to clear your undoubtedly busy schedule??

Thank you very much for the みちのく合気 tip. There are, as I'm sure you are aware, recent issues online, and I'll dredge around for past ones . . . especially the more distant past ones! The remarks you shared about R. Shirata and M Saito in Tohoku are just as you say. I'll leave the "context" of their relationship to Nidai Doshu to your authoritative voice.

BTW, I will be in the Netherlands from the end of July through the beginning of August. Will you happen to be around? I greatly enjoyed our last chin wag! (You wag and I'll listen!)

All the best,
Allen

Ernesto,

Congratulations on your BIG NEWS!

Sincerely,
Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:23 PM   #32
Allen Beebe
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Quote:
Ernesto Lemke wrote: View Post
Hello Peter,

Nice to see you posting again. As an in between question; is there a next TIE on the way?

Allow me to address a couple of points in response to your post.

It's a first I heard of that and it's quite interesting in that plenty of those who participated should still be alive today. I have the distinct impression not a whole lot of French aikidoka are on aikiweb or if they are, they are either in the French language section and or don't post much in the English sections.
It would be nice to read an account from one of the participants.

Clearly.

Well, one option, and one that isn't at all that unlikely, would be solo training in the form that was later distilled as Tandokudosa. Recently I went over these with Dan Harden (as did Allen) and his take on the matter was quite encouraging as revealing. (Lest I'm mistaken by some readers, it wasn't the case of asking Dan to enrich Shirata Sensei's Tandokudosa with an IS flavor. Dan seemed to confirm that Tandokudosa=IT, something which was encouraging as coming from Dan's expertise).

Yes, I'm painfully aware it is. You've mentioned this before and I have not forgotten. Thankfully my life is not the whirlwind it was so in that sense it's an endeavour I now could make, in theory. It then becomes a matter of priorities and finances. Unfortunately I have one more priority at hand which forces me to postpone any trip to Japan. Fortunately the priority is getting married

Best wishes and thanks for the response!
Perhaps the following information should be added at this moment:

Tandokudosa is a rather generic term meaning "solo body movement exercise." However, for me the term refers to 13 solo body movement exercises that were developed by Shirata sensei to "unlock" Aikido. They directly relate to both Taijutsu and Kenjutsu. There is a Ken Kata called Niho Zenshin Zengo Giri, developed by Shirata sensei that directly reflects the Tandokudosa. So Tandokudosa is related to the "unlocking" of both taijutsu and kenjutsu. (BTW, there are further Ken kata developed by Shirata sensei that do this as well, as opposed to the many Ken kata "borrowed" from classical Kenjutsu which we practice as well, which are in turn, to be "unlocked" such that one isn't doing the classical ken kata per se (see my previous post with regards to that), rather one is doing the classical ken kata with Aiki.) (This, BTW, is IMHO [Rant mode fully on now!] a world apart from waving a stick to emulate a waza.)

"This is how we do it with Aiki."

So, I believe that for Shirata sensei his Tandokudosa and Ken Kata are of inestimable importance to the understanding and unlocking of Aikido, they are his effort to "unpack" Aikido as taught to him and I cannot imagine understanding Aikido without this treasure.

That having been said, I am, after several decades of having been introduced to the practice, still discovering the treasures contained therein.

But that isn't the purpose of this post. Here I wish to point out that when Nakajima Masanori first taught me the Tandokudosa and Ken Kata of Shirata sensei (which I later practiced in EVERY class taught by Shirata sensei in my recollection) he also taught me to do certain other exercises taught by Shirata sensei "to build my hips" or to build "Kokyu" or to build "Ki." I didn't know it at the time, but most, if not all, of these came directly from Ueshiba Morihei's Daito Ryu training. Many of these will be familiar to readers: Koshi no Furite, Shiko (Sumo Stomp), Tai no Henko, Aiki InYo Ho, Furibo Suburi, etc. Lest our my Daito Ryu friends become apoplectic, my realization that these are Daito Ryu practices came from a cumulative effect of a) Ueshiba Morihei openly crediting his teacher and his teacher's art, b) Public demonstrations by recognized heads of Daito Ryu (forgive me for not using specific titles, the complexities of Daito Ryu politics and organizations are far beyond my comprehension), c) the generous input and teaching from licensed teachers of Daito Ryu, and d) the general and sustained outcry of a, to my mind in many cases justifiably outraged at being maliciously maligned, collective Daito Ryu voice declaring, "That's our stuff!" I was taught this with the specific instruction to practice these for a specified amount of times (in the tens of thousands) first with no power (the largest time investment), then with speed (the next largest time investment), and then with power and speed (the least necessary time investment).

So, Shirata sensei taught the "stuff" to "build the hips," "Develop Kokyu, Ki and Aiki" and also a hermeneutic (His Tandokudosa and his Ken and Jo Kata) to "unpack" the Kokyu, Ki, and Aiki development into taijutsu or buki waza.

Of course the punch line is . . . to a degree one could practice the outer form of these exercises and one would attain a certain development and understanding . . . or one could miss the boat entirely, or one could "get it." How does one "separate the men from the boys?" IMO the manifestation is the "tell." Those who know can DO. (They can DO the stuff told in the stories that typify what made the renowned of the Aiki arts renowned.)

As for me, I have tens of thousands of reps to do PROPERLY (sorry sensei!) and still unpacking yet to do! (It helps to have someone look in your "suit case" and declare, "Damn! What have you been hiding!!!" Of course one has to also have a full "suit case" and the wisdom (bequeathed from the former suit case holder) to recognize a fellow "suit case" holder and ask, "What do you see in my "suit case"?"

Thank goodness for friends pointing the Way. It seems the "good stuff" is always available and there are always "none so blind and those that will not see." I'm seemingly persistent proof enough of that!

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 06-05-2011, 01:30 PM   #33
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hi Al,

Thanks! And all within five years....isn't life full of surprises?

Yes, the idea of running the countryside of Japan in the company of such an eminent, good humored and all round nice guy who also happens to be a walking wealth of information, and all in search of bits and pieces to put together the puzzle surrounding Shirata Sensei....sounds good to me!!!

Maybe combined with a joined Kodokan/Seikokan get-together-in-Japan trip? Better start saving!
Cheers
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #34
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Oh btw wanted to add a little to the Chicago tapes. I watched some of it this afternoon. I hadn't seen it in years.

Indeed, Shirata Sensei talks at length (as Al mentioned, I don't speak Japanese) without an interpretor. I find it so intrigueing (sp?) to watch because it appears as if he really doesn't mind. It's not that he doesn't seem to care, in fact, he talks on at length almost as if to really make sure people understand what he wants to convey.
As I'm familiar with the waza, I (think) I can tell what he's trying to point out at times and I can also tell that he really tries to get people to get it. (As is noted in The Way of Harmony, Shirata Sensei illustrates how shiho-nage is equated with four grattitudes and he illustrates this by loudy saying "arigato" with his hands in gassho in four directions, plus he shows waza from ken to taijutsu). His passion for teaching and aikido is contagious to watch, as is the energetic expression on his face.

Another thing I found startling is the fact his (Japanese) uke take their ukemi on the solid gymfloor. No tatami! I can't recall noticing that before.
I'll watch some more later today. Can't believe it's been so long I watched it at all.

Last edited by Ernesto Lemke : 06-05-2011 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 06-05-2011, 02:42 PM   #35
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Plus his suwari-waza shikko is truly a-ma-zing...he moves (with and without ken) in a completely relaxed, fluent but solid and also very fast way and he was 72 at the time!

I just recalled Harvey Konigsberg recollections on this (the waza, not the Chicago event)

Quote:
From http://www.aikidoonline.com/articles...an/harvey.html
You'd take a class that was physically demanding, then all of a sudden you'd take a class with somebody like Shirata Sensei whose movements looked simple but you almost couldn't follow what he was doing, and it took an intense kind of concentration to see what, exactly, he was doing, and trying to convey. I remember his demonstration. It was really amazing. He was in his 70s then, and he got up, he was on the stage and started doing it with bokken - like swariwaza with bokken. And he was very slow and methodical, and I'm in the audience and I'm thinking 'Oh, that's nice that an older man can do that.' Then all of a sudden this kiai, this noise emanated from him, and he leaped up from that position, I don't know how high. It was like a demon was let loose and he went into this whole different thing. It was very impressive. It turned my thinking around.

PS
just watched again on the ukemi on the floor thing. It appears as though the floor does seem to budge a little. It's the apparent basketball courtlines that confuses me and leads me to believe it's not a soft board floor. It's not concrete either but then it's no tatami for sure!

Last edited by Ernesto Lemke : 06-05-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:02 PM   #36
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

I apologize for posting four times in a row (am I talking to myself? Hmmm, now what does that remind me of?) but in the light of both Allen and Peter sharing their recollections, I failed to recognize there are other esteemed Voices of Experience on this board too who, considering there training time spent in, most likely would have run into Shirata Sensei (be it in name, demo, seminar or what have you) during their career.

I really do not mean to put anyone on the spot, but may I once more ask, humbly but pressing nonetheless, whether they are willing to share whatever they might recall of Shirata Sensei?
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:03 PM   #37
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Ernesto,

Actually, the police did not appear and the meeting passed without incident. Shirata and Iwata Senseis attended and followed the discussion as translated by K Chiba Shihan. The contentious issue was French law governing meetings of foreign organizations held in France. To circumvent this issue, this particular meeting was held in the US embassy.

TIE 20 is on the way. I am trying to finish it before leaving for the Netherlands on July 31. I will be there until August 17. Like TIE 19, TIE 20 and the next few columns will deal with general issues relating to Japan, though there will be a clear connection with aikido.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:34 AM   #38
Ernesto Lemke
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Peter,

From the looks of it Allen will be leaving August 3rd so there is some small overlap for a possible meeting. You can send me a PM if you are so inclined.
Best,

Ernesto
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:25 PM   #39
Allen Beebe
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello,

Not that it will matter to most Aiki web readers, but I made an unintentional omission when I said that Shirata sensei's 13 Tandokudosa reflect his Niho Zenshin Zengo Giri Ken Kata. It does, particularly Tandokudosa 4 - 6. However, Shirata sensei's Kaiten Ken kata is reflected in Tandokudosa 7 - 12 (although 9 & 10 are better represented elsewhere.)

My omission created confusion for one of my students so I thought I'd better attempt to clean up my mess for posterity's sake.

Allen

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Old 06-06-2011, 08:27 PM   #40
Marc Abrams
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Allen:

Would ever consider publishing something on those 13 exercises. The Aikido world could benefit immensely from that knowledge being disseminated. Dan talked about then and they seem like a very important component to fill in with our training.

Regards,

marc abrams
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:41 PM   #41
Allen Beebe
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hi Marc,

In brief, In my view and understanding the 13 tandokudosa and everything else that Shirata sensei taught (and there is a LOT BTW . . . I mean more than most would probably even begin to imagine) are certainly not meant to be exclusive or proprietary. Although they were clearly developed by Shirata sensei as a hermeneutic for Shirata sensei's waza, which as noted more than once on this thread differs greatly from post war Aikido (for lack of a better description.)

The question to my mind is how best to share such that there is real transference of knowledge and value. It is the contents of the vessel not the vessel per se that is of greatest value. The vessel is valuable only when it transfers "the goods." Otherwise it is just "more of the same" "piled higher and deeper."

I'm sure you understand what I'm trying to say.

Or another way to answer would be, "What? Do you really think I want Dan mad at me?"

Sincerely,
Allen

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Old 06-07-2011, 07:31 AM   #42
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Allen,

I commend the unusual delicacy with which you responded to Marc's question. You are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place, or between Scylla and Charybdis, whichever is more appropriate.

However, another way of looking at the matter is to think of yourself as the Angel Gabriel (I know this might be difficult if you are a Buddhist: I was once compared to the Angel Gabriel myself, and in an aikido context: clearly, God was shortsighted on the day of the comparison) , sent from heaven (currently in Yamagata) to announce good tidings to the waiting multitudes, searching for the one key (or are there 13?) that will unlock the secrets governing access to "the goods" or "the gods"--this could be your finest hour.

Have you seen this website, by the way?
http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/
I think I might submit that last sentence.

Hope to meet you in the Netherlands soon.

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-07-2011 at 07:33 AM.

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Old 06-07-2011, 07:52 AM   #43
DH
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

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

I commend the unusual delicacy with which you responded to Marc's question. You are clearly caught between a rock and a hard place, or between Scylla and Charybdis, whichever is more appropriate.

However, another way of looking at the matter is to think of yourself as the Angel Gabriel (I know this might be difficult if you are a Buddhist: I was once compared to the Angel Gabriel myself, and in an aikido context: clearly, God was shortsighted on the day of the comparison) , sent from heaven (currently in Yamagata) to announce good tidings to the waiting multitudes, searching for the one key (or are there 13?) that will unlock the secrets governing access to "the goods" or "the gods"--this could be your finest hour.

Have you seen this website, by the way?
http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/
I think I might submit that last sentence.

Hope to meet you in the Netherlands soon.

PAG
I think Allen's point was that the tandokudosa will reveal nothing and do little...without the keys to understanding them. Then...magically, they make an incredible amount of sense. Otherwise, as is the case with many things seen in budo, we see good men wasting a whole lot of time doing so much that yielded so little. So why would he contribute to just another pile of...well..what he said. It would appear that Shirata himself did not reveal them to just anybody.

This is a compelling body of work, by someone I had always admired. It was sheer luck that Allen and I even met and formed a friendship. We had to get to know and trust each other for a dialogue to ensue. I understood Allen's hesitation to show them to me, and I hesitated to show what was in them and what they were for to the two Shirata dojo. Out of respect for Shirata, we don't want to see his work turned into yet more crap in the hands of far to casual budo people,
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-07-2011 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:17 AM   #44
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Hello Dan,

Yes, absolutely.

However, one of the reasons why I entered this discussion was to suggest to Ernesto that he should visit Yamagata himself and talk (and, of course, train, but I think that was implied) with longtime students of Shirata Sensei, who keep themselves to themselves and do not suffer fools gladly. My reason for thinking this is that probably Allen was not the only recipient of Shirata Sensei's more recently expressed teachings.

PAG

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Old 06-07-2011, 09:36 AM   #45
Allen Beebe
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Peter,

As usual, I enjoy your sense of humor and insight. As far as "longtime students of Shirata Sensei, who keep themselves to themselves and do not suffer fools gladly. My reason for thinking this is that probably Allen was not the only recipient of Shirata Sensei's more recently expressed teachings" Indeed, as I have said repeatedly here and elsewhere.

Looking forward to talking in the Netherlands,
Allen

Dan,

Yes, that was my point precisely. (And I meant it when I said there was more, but Tandokudosa is, to my mind, of central importance . . . as are other of Shirata's solo Kata. )

You don't strike me as the type to believe or rely on luck though!

Kindly,
Allen

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Old 06-07-2011, 10:22 AM   #46
DH
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Re: Shirata Rinjiro

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

Yes, absolutely.

However, one of the reasons why I entered this discussion was to suggest to Ernesto that he should visit Yamagata himself and talk (and, of course, train, but I think that was implied) with longtime students of Shirata Sensei, who keep themselves to themselves and do not suffer fools gladly. My reason for thinking this is that probably Allen was not the only recipient of Shirata Sensei's more recently expressed teachings.

PAG
Hello Pter
While it's good to hear, it would be interesting to feel them as well. I know too many groups who "Don't suffer fools gladly" either, who never- the- less did not realize how off-track they had become. Wouldn't it be great to see a group that got what he was doing and were preserving it?
Keeping in mind that just about everybody I know was somehow convinced they were all preserving their teachers " real stuff" as well. I think what really goes on -with all of us- is in fact all over the map. I suspect it's always been that way.

Allen
Yes you're right. I don't believe it was dumb luck that brought us together.
I look forward to our explorations of many things together, not the least of which is finding out how to get that damn Japanese flute to even make a sound!!! What is this..some sort of trade secret?
All the best
Dan

Last edited by DH : 06-07-2011 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:13 PM   #47
Allen Beebe
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Confused Re: Shirata Rinjiro

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I look forward to our explorations of many things together, not the least of which is finding out how to get that damn Japanese flute to even make a sound!!! What is this..some sort of trade secret?
All the best
Dan
Eh hem . . . well . . . I of course understand your confusion. Most individuals are unfamiliar with the little understood nature of Japanese Shakuhachi Ryu Ha and how they operate. You see, here in the West one might, for example, happen to be on a rafting trip and decide to engage a local banjo player in a friendly duel with one's guitar and expect no repercussion or ill will to come from it.

In Japan, however , . . . there are these old lineages such as Kinko Ryu, Kinpu Ryu, and even modern (Ryu) lineages such as the Tozan, Ueda, and Chikuho. Also, there are tributaries from these lineages such as the Nezasa ha Kinpu ryu, or the Kinko Ryu Araki Ha. Each of these lineages is unique in their own way and, yes, they have "trade secrets" even in so simple a thing as naming tunes or note signification (some have specialized note signification and some don't have note names at all.) When one joins one of these schools one is often required to swear an oath. In fact, in the learning of Shakuhachi some have been known to swear many an oath! Anyway, no worries about "trade secrets" with me. I learned in a modern open system . . . which of course was derived from an older system. (Funny how that happens!)

Now, truth be told, the flute that I shared with you is American made not Japanese. It is built basically the same though, and although it has worked fine for me in the past, it is, I regret to say, substantially smaller than the average. Here in lies the problem I'm afraid. Although I assure you it CAN make beautiful music of a sort. The size of the instrument influences its depth of tone, but the person doing the blowing determines the quality of the music!!!

Honestly there is some technique involved, particularly in playing well. There is a commonly known saying, "Kubi furi, san nen" or "it takes three years to learn how to shake the head." But to first begin it really comes down to solo training and body development.

In this case it is probably the development of proper ombature. That shakuhachi isn't very forgiving. You have to have your ombature dead right or you'll get nothing at all. Let's see if we can set you up a bit better in the future!

~ Allen Beebe
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