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Hirotaro
10/14/2006 8:55am,
Hello,

I am a professor of philosophy in Hiroshima University and have trained in aikido for many years.

I run a dojo in Hiroshima (I teach aikido to mainly Japanese students, in Japanese).

Yoroshiku onegai-itashimasu

johnny3443
10/26/2006 3:17am,
Welcome to Bullshido. -john

slideyfoot
10/26/2006 5:46am,
Hello,

I am a professor of philosophy in Hiroshima University and have trained in aikido for many years.

I run a dojo in Hiroshima (I teach aikido to mainly Japanese students, in Japanese).

Yoroshiku onegai-itashimasu

Nice to meet you - given your experience, do you have any thoughts on how aikido is taught in the West, if you're at all familiar with schools outside of Japan?

sochin101
10/26/2006 5:51am,
Hello,

I am a professor of philosophy in Hiroshima University and have trained in aikido for many years.

I run a dojo in Hiroshima (I teach aikido to mainly Japanese students, in Japanese).

Yoroshiku onegai-itashimasu

Welcome to Bullshido.
I found your handling of the request for the closure of the UK Soke thread on E-Budo to be skillful and equitable.
I hope you enjoy your Bullshido experience.

Do you teach Western philosophy, or Eastern?

DAYoung
10/26/2006 6:07am,
Hello,

I am a professor of philosophy in Hiroshima University and have trained in aikido for many years.

I run a dojo in Hiroshima (I teach aikido to mainly Japanese students, in Japanese).

Yoroshiku onegai-itashimasu

Welcome to Bullshido. When you say 'Professor', do you mean tenured lecturer or faculty head?

More importantly, what are your areas of interest?

Hirotaro
10/26/2006 8:15am,
Nice to meet you - given your experience, do you have any thoughts on how aikido is taught in the West, if you're at all familiar with schools outside of Japan?

Hello,

Sorry for the late response (actually, I had forgotten all about this thread).

I started aikido in the UK and trained there for over 10 years before moving to Japan. All my teachers were Japanese and all had to 'prove' that they really taught a real martial art. So training was severe.

The problem with aikido is that the creator was extremely weird in some ways and never conceived of teaching students in a way a modern dojo would need to operate. He did not need to, for his family was wealthy. He was also a member of a very unusual religion, even by Japanese standards. So his translators have a major problem in articulating his writings to westerners. This is in the context of the fact that aikido was created when Japan was at war, and the defeat has also coloured how the Japanese see their own martial arts history.

Since aikido became a 'general' martial art (I suspect that this was to ensure its survival) and has not been tied to any particular philosophy (unlike Doshin So and Shorinji Kempo, for example), after the war it became tied to 'world peace'. I live in Hiroshima and can tell you that there is a whole propaganda industry here dedicated to 'world peace'. Of course, world peace is fine as an ideal, but to dedicate a whole art to world peace--and a MARTIAL art at that, is, in my opinion, putting the cart way in front of the horse.

In the west, the general nature of aikido as a 'peaceful' art has led to a vast range of interpretations, especially in, e.g, the UK or USA, where the martial arts operate on free market principles. And these interpretations will influence the way it is taught.

In Japan the martial art world is generally considered 'right wing' and some older Japanese have memories of how martial arts clubs were recruited to provide 'goon support' for the police in controlling the demonstrations, when the US/Japan treaty was ratified in the early fifties. To see what I mean, do a web search for Toshio Kodama and Ryoichi Sasakawa.

So the Japanese are less hung up about martial arts having to be 'real'.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury

Hirotaro
10/26/2006 8:18am,
Welcome to Bullshido.
I found your handling of the request for the closure of the UK Soke thread on E-Budo to be skillful and equitable.
I hope you enjoy your Bullshido experience.

Do you teach Western philosophy, or Eastern?

Hello,

I teach western philosophy, specifically, the philosophy of language (Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Wittgenstein), with a dose of what the Japanese call kotodama.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

Hirotaro
10/26/2006 8:30am,
Welcome to Bullshido. When you say 'Professor', do you mean tenured lecturer or faculty head?

More importantly, what are your areas of interest?

Hello,

I am a tenured professor in the Japanese academic system (which has the ranks of Assistant, Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Professor). I also happen to be head of one of the academic departments in my faculty (for undergraduate teaching) and also head of department in the graduate school to which I am attached. Actually, I have a piece of paper bearing the seal of the Japanese Minister of Education, but it is not as impressive as the diplomas of the soke or kodansha who populate the martial arts world.

As for areas of interest, do you mean academic, martial, or other? My academic areas of interest are kotodama, language and comparative culture, especially Japan vs. the west.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

slideyfoot
10/26/2006 8:42am,
Hello,

Sorry for the late response (actually, I had forgotten all about this thread).


Heh: no problem, I should have checked the date. Didn't realise this thread was almost two weeks old already, so many thanks for the thoughtful and interesting reply.

DAYoung
10/26/2006 3:47pm,
Hello,

I am a tenured professor in the Japanese academic system (which has the ranks of Assistant, Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Professor). I also happen to be head of one of the academic departments in my faculty (for undergraduate teaching) and also head of department in the graduate school to which I am attached. Actually, I have a piece of paper bearing the seal of the Japanese Minister of Education, but it is not as impressive as the diplomas of the soke or kodansha who populate the martial arts world.

As for areas of interest, do you mean academic, martial, or other? My academic areas of interest are kotodama, language and comparative culture, especially Japan vs. the west.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

Thanks, PA. I was interested in your academic areas. Have you written on philosophy and the martial arts? In any case, you might be interested in this conference, held recently in Melbourne: http://www.philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/staff/Young/maphil.htm

GoldenJonas
10/26/2006 4:03pm,
Actually, I have a piece of paper bearing the seal of the Japanese Minister of Education, but it is not as impressive as the diplomas of the soke or kodansha who populate the martial arts world.

Wait...so your piece of paper actually means something? It actually signifies academic expertise in a particular are of study? What a novel idea. The thousands of outstanding certificates signifying that an instructor is recognized by "The World Head of Family Sokeship Counsel" seem fairly insignificant by comparison.

Welcome aboard Prof. (the real kind).

sochin101
10/26/2006 5:13pm,
I teach western philosophy
Ok, thanks for the response. I'd be doubly impressed if you'd been teaching Eastern philosophy to Japanese students, though! Coals to Newcastle and all that.

Hirotaro
10/27/2006 5:29am,
Ok, thanks for the response. I'd be doubly impressed if you'd been teaching Eastern philosophy to Japanese students, though! Coals to Newcastle and all that.

Well, I do teach a course on comparative culture, which involves examining the creation myths in Genesis and in the Kojiki. I have them read the early chapters of the Kojiki in Japanese, The kambun text is next to impossible for them, but even the 'modern' Japanese translation is is very difficult.

Some students are stunned to be introduced to a text that underpins the Japanese sense of identity by a foreigner. According to traditional Japanese thinking, this is actually impossible.

Similarly, some Japanese find it impossible to learn a Japanese martial in Japan in Japanese at the hands of a foreigner.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury

Hirotaro
10/27/2006 5:38am,
Thanks, PA. I was interested in your academic areas. Have you written on philosophy and the martial arts? In any case, you might be interested in this conference, held recently in Melbourne: http://www.philosophy.unimelb.edu.au/staff/Young/maphil.htm

Not really. There are one or two articles over at Aikido Journal and some stuff published in Japanese in academic journals over here.

I wish I had known about the conference. I would have pulled some strings to be present.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury

sochin101
10/27/2006 7:47am,
Well, I do teach a course on comoarative culture, which involves examining the creation myths in Genesis and in the Kojiki. I have them read the early chapters of the Kojiki in Japanese, The kambun text is next to impossible for them, but even the 'modern' Japanese translation is is very difficult.

Some students are stunned to be introduced to a text that underpins the Japanese sense of identity by a foreigner. According to traditional Japanese thinking, this is actually impossible.

Similarly, some Japanese find it impossible to learn a Japanese martial in Japan in Japanese at the hands of a foreigner.

Best wishes,

P Goldsbury
If you knew how much of your post I had to google to actually understand any of it, you'd be embarrassed for me!
Thanks for the enlightening reply. I now know exactly 100% more about the Kojiki than I did this morning.

Hirotaro
11/10/2006 7:01am,
If you knew how much of your post I had to google to actually understand any of it, you'd be embarrassed for me!
Thanks for the enlightening reply. I now know exactly 100% more about the Kojiki than I did this morning.

Hello,

I am being chastised by Bullshido for not posting recently.

Try reading the Kojiki in English, especially the early sections that deal with Izanagi and Izanami, two very important deities for the Japanese. There are two English translations. One, fairly scholarly, is by Donald Philippi, the other is by Basil Hall Chamberlain, with all the 'naughty bits' in Latin.

Some of the 'naughty bits' involve Izanagi and Izanami having a conversation. They ask each other, "How are you formed?". Izanagi answers, "Well I am pretty complete, but I have something sticking out in front of me." Izanami answers, "Well, I am pretty complete also, but I have a sort of gap in front of me." Thus Izanami replies, "Well, why don't I put my part that sticks out into your 'gap' and so we can create the land (= Japan).

So they do this this, but the whole operation is a failure. Izanami gives birth to a leech. So the deities hold a meeting and decide that the foreplay was no good. The woman initiated the foreplay and this led to the unfortunatel result. So they repeat the operation and the man (Izanagi) initiates the proceedings and the result is much better: they give birth to Japan.

Finally, in the 1930s a Japanese professor named Tsuda was stripped of his post and prosecuted by the Japanese government for suggesting that the above account was not completely factual.

Best wishes to all,

P Goldsbury,
Professor,
Hiroshima University