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Old 10-13-2005, 12:01 AM   #1
tedehara's Avatar
Dojo: Evanston Ki-Aikido
Location: Evanston IL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 826
The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

An article by Gaku Homma that gives an informed view. Thanks to David Yap for bringing this to our attention.

The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 10-14-2005, 07:33 AM   #2
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

This quote from Gaku Homma''s article sums up a great deal about how to placate the concerns of Western montheistic thought when placed in a Japanese context:

"Remember however, we can't judge these activities to be the activities of a serious religion nature. This is Japan, remember.
... Always good to have a god or two on board."

Erick Mead
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Old 12-02-2005, 10:06 PM   #3
Chizikunbo's Avatar
Location: Kansas City, MO
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 16
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

I dont see why this is so far fetched to some people, the man was that of great wisdom, and strength, in japanese culture we are taught that after you die you join the spirit world or that of the kami. In the west we know that energy is never created, lost or destroyed only reshaped, so does this not seem relevent...
Yours in aiki,
--joshua paszkiewicz
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:13 AM   #4
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

What a fantastic and well written article! Many thanks for bringing it to out attention Ted. I think it is unfortunate that there are not more writers on the history of Ueshiba. Although John Stevens has obviously made a valuable contribution to aikido publications, I can't help reading his own personal religious intentions behind most of what he writes.


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:34 AM   #5
Dojo: Unity Aikido
Location: Hobart
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 19
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

My understanding is a bit basic and simple but I would like to share it anyway.
There is in history many examples of Prophets Messengers Saints etc who as a result of there sincere devotion to their God/gods have purified their hearts to such a degree that they become a mirror reflecting the attributes of their God/gods. For example Homma Sensei discribes after making some mistakes having to visit O'Sensei dreading that he was going to be severly reprimanded. This did not happen O'Sensei was Merciful Loving and Compassionate and he also gave Guidance on how Homma Sensei could act in a better way in the future. To me O'Sensei was reflecting Mercy an attribute of God in the monotheistic traditions or for the Japanese there would no doubt be a god (who's name I don't know ) of Mercy.Likewise he was reflecting the Loving Kind the Most Compassionate and the Guide. The Living is what is operating through us all when we are alive and breathing and as Aikidoka we know this attribute of God or kami as Ki. My personal belief is that all revealed spiritual traditions come from the One source and Unity from my limited knowledge is the highest priciple of both the Western and Eastern traditions. The Holy Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him said "In the beginning there was only God and he remains exactly as He was."
Another concept that I find quite simple to understand is when Homma Sensei wrote:
" In Japan, according the teachings of its Shinto religion, when a person dies, they become a "god." So in this sense for the Founder to become a god after his passing is nothing out of the ordinary; in fact it is quite normal in Japan. In Japan, everyone becomes a god when they die."
I am trying to live the tradition of Sufism(Esoteric Islam) we say on hearing of a persons passing "From God we come and on to Him we return". So although the language is different in Western and Eastern traditions the underlying priciples are the same.
Peace be on you all Ilyas.
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:21 PM   #6
Edwin Neal
Dojo: Ronin
Location: Henderson, North Carolina
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 597
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

yeppers... we are all gods... some have thunderbolts, some have pot bellies, some have both! I like the reference to the matter energy conservation principle, as god is in all things and all thing are in god... peace

Edwin Neal

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:34 PM   #7
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Posts: 1,224
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

In Japan there are even trees that are Gods and you can get a black belt drinking sake.
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:10 AM   #8
Josh Reyer
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Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

Mark Uttech wrote:
In Japan there are even trees that are Gods and you can get a black belt drinking sake.
Kyu and dan ranks in shogi and go, too.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 01-11-2006, 10:11 PM   #9
Dojo: Washinkai (Kizu)
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 123
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

In Japan there are even trees that are Gods
there's are trees in southern kyushu that are 3000 years old.
if they aren't gods..
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Old 01-19-2006, 10:01 AM   #10
Fred Little
Dojo: NJIT Budokai
Location: State Line NJ/NY
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 632
Re: The Founder Morihei Ueshiba, a God?

Last night, I discovered that a new Kinokuniya Bookstore had opened in the Palisades Mall near where I live. So I had to go in and buy something, which turned out to be Basil Chamberlain's 1906 translation of the Kojiki. I haven't gotten far yet, but I found the following in the introduction:

Of all the words for which it is hard to find a suitable English equivalent Kami is the hardest. Indeed, there is no English word which renders it with any near approach to exactness. If therefore it is here rendered by the word "deity" ("deity" being preferred to "god" because it includes superior beings of both sexes), it must be clearly understood that the word "deity" is taken in a sense not sanctioned by any English dictionary; for kami, and "deity" or "god," only correspond to each other in a vary rough manner. The proper meaning of the word "kami " is "top," or "above'' and it is still constantly so used. For this reason it has the secondary sense of "hair of the haid;" and only the hair on the top of the head,--noth the hair on the face,--is so designated. Similarly the Government, in popular phraseology, is O Kami , literally "the honorably above"; and down to a few years ago Kami was the name of a certain titular provincial rank. Thus it may be understood how the word was naturally applied to superior in general, and especially to those more than human superiors whom we call "gods." A Japanese, to whom the origin of the word is patent, and who uses it every day in contexts by no means divine, does not receive from the word Kami the same impression of awe which is produced on the more earnest European mind by the words "deity" and "god," with their very different associations. In using the word "deity," therefore, to translate the Japanese term Kami we must, so to speak, bring it down from the heights to which Western thought has raised it. In fact Kami does not mean much more than "superior." This subject will be noticed again in Section V of the present Introduction; but so far as the word Kami itself is concerned, these remarks may suffice.
Translator's Introduction to the "KO-JI-KI," or Records of Ancient Matters, Section II, p. xx, Tuttle Publishing 1981. ISBN 0-8048-3675-2

Chamberlain certainly did his part to lay the question to rest a century ago, but given the translator's own description of the Kojiki as "a very dry piece of reading," the reason his insight has not gained wider currency is not at all unclear.

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