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Old 06-07-2004, 03:54 AM   #1
tiyler_durden
Location: Amsterdam
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Question Kami??

Hey,

I hope you don't mind but I guess I am the only one who reads the Doka of the day and today's has gotten me confused

Quote:
The purification techniques (misogi-waza),
I have learned from the Kami and Revelation.
Aiki is built by the Kami.
What is Kami?
And how is Aikido built on it?

Could someone please explain,I have no clue!

Thanks,

Tiyler Durden

"Deal with the faults as gently a your own"
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Old 06-07-2004, 04:37 AM   #2
Yann Golanski
 
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Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
Location: York, United Kingdom.
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Re: Kami??

Kami is the Japanese term that can be translated as "god", "delicious taste", "flavouring", "top", "head", the above" or "paper". See: here for more details and some kanji.

I am sure Ueshiba was refereeing to paper as he was a great origami master. He always described Aikido as the art of folding people.

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-07-2004, 05:25 AM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
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Re: Kami??

Quote:
Tiyler Durden wrote:
Hey,

I hope you don't mind but I guess I am the only one who reads the Doka of the day and today's has gotten me confused



What is Kami?
And how is Aikido built on it?

Could someone please explain,I have no clue!

Thanks,

Tiyler Durden
I think the best English word for 'kami', in the sense intended by Morihei Ueshiba, is 'deity'. The Founder believed that he was the reincarnation of several deities, which are mentioned in the early Japanese myths collected in the 'Kojiki' and are worshipped (I am not sure if this term is entirely appropriate) in various parts of Japan. Such worship is commonly called 'shinto'. Thus, in a very real sense O Sensei believed that aikido was built on kami.

'Misogi' is a term which also has a long history and involves ritual purification, as a preparation for calling forth the deity. Such preparation is also performed in contemporary Japan, as an important preparation for festivals, which are also traditional encounters with local deities. An interesting book by Carmen Blacker, called "The Catalpa Bow", explains this in much more detail.

One of the problems with Jun's 'Douka of the Day' is the lack of any cultural context. Thus, there are aikido practitioners who are happily agnostic, because they cannot accept a Christian god with all the implications, but who will happily accept the much more mysterious trappings of ancient Japanese animism, with its 8 million deities, just because O Sensei himself believed it and used it as the conceptual underpinnings of aikido.

Finally, I will be in Holland in the summer, from August 10 onwards. I am very willing to meet you in Amsterdam if you wish to discuss these and other issues further.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 06-07-2004 at 05:28 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:41 AM   #4
tedehara
 
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Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
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Re: Kami??

Here is a personal understanding of what the doka is about:

Misogi are various rituals for spiritual purification. These rituals he learned through the spirit (Kami) and personal insight (Revelation).

Union with the universal ki (Aiki) is constructed (built) by the spirit (Kami).

From Shinto, everything has a spirit or kami. Rivers, trees, mountains all have a spirit (kami). Since he is not specifying where this spirit is from, I am interpeting this to be a generalized concept of spirit. Because he learned spiritual purification rituals directly from the spirit and personal insight, there is no human teacher or tradition. His understanding is unique. It comes from a direct understanding of nature (the universe).

I am interpeting his use of ki as universal ki since the doka is set on a universal level. Union (ai) with the universal ki (ki) is not the martial art of Aikido. Aiki at this level means becoming one with the universe. This state of becoming one with the universe is constructed by the spirit. Therefore the spirit is no longer an individual diety of a rock, hill or glen, but becomes a transparent way to understanding the universe.

An important idea of this doka is having a direct spiritual experience. Because of this, you are not confused by the errors of others or misinterpeting tradition.

This idea of aiki (becoming one with the universe) is paralleled on the mat when you join with the spirit of your uke. The parallel construction is:
  • You/ Universe - Universal level
  • Nage/Uke - Dojo level

Last edited by tedehara : 06-07-2004 at 07:47 AM.

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Old 06-07-2004, 10:22 AM   #5
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Kami??

I liked the way Peter and Ted described this...

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:22 AM   #6
AsimHanif
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Re: Kami??

I think Ted had an excellent interpretation.
Tiyler, I too read the doka - don't always understand but I read....
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