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Old 03-10-2005, 09:45 PM   #1
Martin Ruedas
 
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Kototama Question

Hello People!

I got a copy of John Steven's Secrets of Aikido, and I'm interested in the Kototama. My question is, how is Kototama chanted? for example, is the kototama A-O-U-E-I chanted in one breath or one vowel, one breath? Thanks!
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:43 AM   #2
Don_Modesto
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Re: Kototama Question

Don't have a clue, myself, but Stevens also sells a set of tapes with him doing kotodama. You can sing along!

Don J. Modesto
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Old 03-11-2005, 08:19 AM   #3
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kototama Question

One breath for the whole series of vowels. Personally, I'd seek personal instruction for anything of that nature...I don't think its suited to learning to practice from books (kind of like aikido). Stevens Sensei's books are very good for learning something about kototama, but I'm not sure they are intended as a how to manual.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:32 AM   #4
gregstec
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Re: Kototama Question

Like you, I have recently developed an interest in Kototama since it appears to be the foundation of O Sensei's road map to the development of Aikido - it is always good to place yourself in the mind of those you are trying to understand.

Anyway, one good source for more information is William Gleason's book, Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, which can be found on Amazon.com. This book delves very deep into the Kototama and is very esoteric in its explanation, but it is very interesting nonetheless. However, the best source I have found for detail information on Kototama is in the book 'Inochi' that was written by Masahilo Nakazono. This is an extremely fascinating book and goes into more detail than Gleason's book and it does include guidance for the actual practice of Kototama, it also includes sound charts. The book can be found at:

http://search.ebay.com/kototama_W0QQ...fnuZ1QQxpufuZx


Greg Steckel
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Old 03-11-2005, 03:43 PM   #5
tedehara
 
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote:
...However, the best source I have found for detail information on Kototama is in the book 'Inochi' that was written by Masahilo Nakazono. This is an extremely fascinating book and goes into more detail than Gleason's book and it does include guidance for the actual practice of Kototama, it also includes sound charts...Greg Steckel
The book is produced by the folks at www.kototamabooks.com

They sell other works by Nakazono Sensei, an aikido teacher and student of the founder.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:00 PM   #6
gregstec
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
The book is produced by the folks at www.kototamabooks.com

They sell other works by Nakazono Sensei, an aikido teacher and student of the founder.
The folks from Kototama Books are the ones that have them listed on the Ebay link I provided previously. They are new books shipped direct from Kototama Books and the minimum bids are less than if you went direct to Kototama Books to buy them.

Greg Steckel
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:56 PM   #7
Fred Little
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
The book is produced by the folks at www.kototamabooks.com

They sell other works by Nakazono Sensei, an aikido teacher and student of the founder.
While I have found Nakazono Sensei's works interesting objects of study, close reading makes it clear that some of the views he presents in his books depart significantly from the Founder's take on kototama.

When one looks closely at the underlying analysis presented by Nakazono Sensei, for the most part it seems to owe a heavy structural debt to a line of Sanskrit study that is primarily found in Shingon and Tendai Buddhism, with a heavy veneer of Japanese exceptionalism.

Nakazono Sensei is not alone in this characteristics, since kototama practice is working with the Japanese written syllabary, whose mythological creator was Kobo Daishi, and the syllabary is patterned after Sanskrit.

It is difficult to find someone qualified to teach this material either in or out of Japan, and finding quality instruction in Sanskrit, or Shingon & Tendai is more likely (though not necessarily easy), and more likely to be sound in and of itself.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little
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Old 03-11-2005, 05:13 PM   #8
tedehara
 
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
While I have found Nakazono Sensei's works interesting objects of study, close reading makes it clear that some of the views he presents in his books depart significantly from the Founder's take on kototama...Fred Little
What was your source for the founder's take on kototama? Curious like a cat and all that.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 03-11-2005, 11:13 PM   #9
Fred Little
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Re: Kototama Question

Ted --

What struck me when I read Nakazono's text was a number of points at which he strongly emphasized interpretations of various aspects of practice that were diametrically opposed to major tenets of Oomoto-kyo, which he doesn't name as such, but simply describes and labels as wrong views. So I'm starting from the likelihood that the Founder accepted the Oomoto cosmology while Nakazono took a signicantly different view, which he details in INOCHI.

Whether there was any difference in practice (as opposed to interpretation), or whether any difference in interpretation might actually matter is a whole other can of worms that someone opened thousands of years ago which continues to squiggle to this day.....

Best,

Fred Little
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:39 AM   #10
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
Whether there was any difference in practice (as opposed to interpretation), or whether any difference in interpretation might actually matter is a whole other can of worms that someone opened thousands of years ago which continues to squiggle to this day.....

Best,

Fred Little
Fred-San,

Please look for my private message. Thanks.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 03-12-2005, 02:48 PM   #11
Don_Modesto
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
Fred-San,

Please look for my private message. Thanks.
Aw, man!

Two people I like hearing from gone into the corner to whisper.

Dang!

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:07 AM   #12
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
Aw, man!

Two people I like hearing from gone into the corner to whisper.

Dang!
Don,

Sorry, but I was simply addressing some things that Fred mentioned in a manner that I thought best appropriate. Should you post something that I felt would best be serverd by a private message, you know that I would not hesitate to send you one.

What I will say is that I will be sending some private messages out to a select group (of which you are one) regarding a possible opportunity that you may be very interested in.

Until then...

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:07 PM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kototama Question

{Ron raising his hand}...


Ron Tisdale
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St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:39 PM   #14
gregstec
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
It is difficult to find someone qualified to teach this material either in or out of Japan, and finding quality instruction in Sanskrit, or Shingon & Tendai is more likely (though not necessarily easy), and more likely to be sound in and of itself.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little

I have just finished reading Inochi and found it extremely interesting and thought provoking. As you mentioned, additional resources for the study of this material is extremely difficult to find, but I keep searching.

Greg Steckel
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:20 PM   #15
Don_Modesto
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote:
...additional resources for the study of this material is extremely difficult to find, but I keep searching.
http://www.aikidofaq.com/philosophy/a_section12.html

Fred's piece; excellent and most to the point of our/your interest.

http://www.kototamabooks.com/

You have this.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...?t=2329&page=2


http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6915


http://angelreiki.nu/reiki-do/kotodama.htm

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido by William
Gleason

$13.97 at Amazon. The author is a 6 DAN under
Saotome and teaches in Massachusetts. I've been to
one of his seminars and it was excellent.

The Philosophy of Aikido by John Stevens $17.00,

The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of
Morihei Ueshiba by Morihei Ueshiba, John Stevens,
$14.00

Secrets of Aikido by John Stevens, $16.97 (All
Amazon prices)

The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness by Peter Dale

Antidote to Stevens. No misty eyes here. Probably have to ge it through interlibrary loan.

Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary
Commenatries of Medieval Japan (Harvard-Yenching
Institute Monograph Series) by Susan Blakeley
Klein

Original Enlightenment and the Tranformation of
Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Studies in East Asian
Buddhism, 12) by Jacqueline I Stone

These last two discuss esoteric hermenuetics; my tentative
hypothesis is that KOTODAMA partook of this.

Also, search this lady's pages, she's written scholarly articles on the topic. I got mine through ILL.

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/wehmeyer/

Good luck.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:03 AM   #16
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
{Ron raising his hand}...

*nods in acknowledgment to someone already on the list*

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:20 AM   #17
Martin Ruedas
 
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Re: Kototama Question

Hi! thanks for all your advices! I really appreciate it.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:00 PM   #18
gregstec
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote:
http://www.aikidofaq.com/philosophy/a_section12.html

Fred's piece; excellent and most to the point of our/your interest.

http://www.kototamabooks.com/

You have this.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...?t=2329&page=2


http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6915


http://angelreiki.nu/reiki-do/kotodama.htm

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido by William
Gleason

$13.97 at Amazon. The author is a 6 DAN under
Saotome and teaches in Massachusetts. I've been to
one of his seminars and it was excellent.

The Philosophy of Aikido by John Stevens $17.00,

The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of
Morihei Ueshiba by Morihei Ueshiba, John Stevens,
$14.00

Secrets of Aikido by John Stevens, $16.97 (All
Amazon prices)

The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness by Peter Dale

Antidote to Stevens. No misty eyes here. Probably have to ge it through interlibrary loan.

Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary
Commenatries of Medieval Japan (Harvard-Yenching
Institute Monograph Series) by Susan Blakeley
Klein

Original Enlightenment and the Tranformation of
Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Studies in East Asian
Buddhism, 12) by Jacqueline I Stone

These last two discuss esoteric hermenuetics; my tentative
hypothesis is that KOTODAMA partook of this.

Also, search this lady's pages, she's written scholarly articles on the topic. I got mine through ILL.

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/wehmeyer/

Good luck.

Thanks Don - I have Gleason's book and a couple of Steven's books - the other sources sound interesting and will keep me busy for a while - thanks again!

Greg Steckel
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Old 03-17-2005, 01:16 PM   #19
rob_liberti
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Re: Kototama Question

I would caution you about Steven's book. The sources he used were not consistently using same symbology systems, which it seems he did not realise. I've been toying around with trying to correct it as a project for when I retire. It would take a LONG time and a lot of research. Maybe...

Rob
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Old 03-17-2005, 07:51 PM   #20
Charles Hill
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
I would caution you about Steven's book. The sources he used were not consistently using same symbology systems, which it seems he did not realise.
Hi Rob,

Could you clarify this?

Charles
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:44 AM   #21
rob_liberti
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Re: Kototama Question

Hi Charles,

To get into the details, I'd need quite some time (which I don't have) and a lot more research. I can quickly offer a *slightly* less surface level explanation and I hope it helps clairfy my point: I would say that what one source considered fire, water, and earth might be treated by another source as water, fire, and earth. It gets very complicated because based on that those mistakes, you'll draw false conclusions based on half-truths (or 3/5 thruths, etc.).

I'd consider that book to be analogous to a rubix cube which hasn't been solved, in that it's a bit mixed up and it might be interesting to straighten out.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 03-18-2005 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:59 AM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kototama Question

Hi Rob,

From my admitedly limited understanding of this, Stevens Sensei is using Ueshiba's assignments of fire, water, and earth as opposed to the generic ones. I believe that Ueshiba actually looked at this a little differently from the common viewpoint, and that is why they are reversed. I may try to get some clarification from Stevens Sensei on this if I have time...Charles...I believe you are more knowledgable in this area...can you confirm?

Ron (entering with water here )

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-18-2005, 11:13 AM   #23
gregstec
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Hi Charles,

I'd consider that book to be analogous to a rubix cube which hasn't been solved, in that it's a bit mixed up and it might be interesting to straighten out.

Rob
I read Gleason's book, Steven's book, and Nakazono's book in that order. I found Steven's book to be the most unclear in its explanation and Nakazono's the most easily followed and understood detail on the subject; albeit, it is still esoteric in many ways as well.

Greg Steckel
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Old 03-18-2005, 12:53 PM   #24
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote:
I read Gleason's book, Steven's book, and Nakazono's book in that order. I found Steven's book to be the most unclear in its explanation and Nakazono's the most easily followed and understood detail on the subject; albeit, it is still esoteric in many ways as well.

Greg Steckel

...and having read all of these, how has it improved your aikido? To be clear, how has it enabled your aikido to move beyond the realm of what most everyone else was/is doing out there? Anyone?

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:42 PM   #25
gregstec
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Re: Kototama Question

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote:
...and having read all of these, how has it improved your aikido? To be clear, how has it enabled your aikido to move beyond the realm of what most everyone else was/is doing out there? Anyone?
Well, it has not hurt it any

Actually, reading or obtaining any knowledge will not improve anything - what makes a difference is what action is done with that knowledge. The information contained in those books are individual perceptions and believes of the authors and can only serve as insights into what Kototama meant to them. I believe each individual needs to establish their own beliefs on what it is that motivates their life. If we can share some of the beliefs of others who have gone before us, fine - but the true motivators can only be found deep within oneself.

Greg Steckel
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