James Mitose's 10th Dan in Aikido

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by kenpojujitsu, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. kenpojujitsu

    kenpojujitsu Guest

    Apparently, the 10th Dan in Aikido that James Mitose (the founder of the Kenpo-Jujutsu arts in Hawaii that grew into American Kenpo) has been verified as being authentic.

    There is an American University Professor living in Japan named Goldsbury, who has examined and authenticated the certficate. This is absolutely astounding news.

    This will change a lot about Aikido history and "legitimate" Aikido lineage here in the U.S.. I guess you never know what to believe and not to believe any more.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Grandmaster

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    Who was his teacher, and who issued the certificate? O-Sensei himself?

    If this is not the case, I would find it doubtful. Mitose may have trained in Aikido, that I don't know and cannot argue one way or the other. But 10th dan I think would have had to come from Uyeshiba...
     
  3. jujutsu_indonesia

    jujutsu_indonesia Black Belt

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    If I'm not mistaken, this 10th Dan is honorary and were given to Mitose sensei by Tohei Koichi sensei (after getting an okay from Uyeshiba sensei).

    I read somewhere in E-Budo that Mitose sensei got this honorary Dan because he promised Uyeshiba sensei to help the spread of Aikido in USA.
     
  4. kenpojujitsu

    kenpojujitsu Guest

    That is the basic story that I heard.
    But it has also been said that Tohei never gave him such a certificate.
    Now it is documented that it was in fact issued.
    To my knowledge, there was no mention of being "honorary".
    A 10th Dan from Tohei carries a lot of weight and adds a lot to the reputation of the holder of such a ranking.

    I know Mitose spent his last years in jail and was not a good person. But this recognition adds much to his martial arts legacy and causes one to question statements that go to discredit his other martial arts claims.
     
  5. jujutsu_indonesia

    jujutsu_indonesia Black Belt

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    Mitose sensei's skills and knowledge in self-defense can't be denied. People came to him to study self-defense. And that include streetfighters like Prof. Chow.

    The claims about the Kosho temple and the lineages etc can be seen as "exagerration", well let's say just the stuff people need to have a great campfire talk or something :)

    But the fact remains that many of his students go on to become martial artists with good skills.
     
  6. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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  7. P A Goldsbury

    P A Goldsbury White Belt

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    Hello,

    I chanced upon this site and saw the above post. It is not quite correct.

    I have a copy of the diploma in front of me, and it is a statement in Japanese to the effect that James Mitose has been awarded an honorary 10th dan. It is signed by Koichi Tohei, 10th Dan, Head of the Instruction Section of the Aikido General Headquarters, and Chairman of the All-US Aikido Federation. It is dated 22 March 1970.

    Though authentic, in the sense that it was indeed signed by Tohei Sensei, the document does not bear comparison with a real Aikido 10th dan, such as the one Tohei himself received from Morihei Ueshiba.

    Finally, I have UK nationality and am a professor at a Japanese university, specifically Hiroshima University.

    Kind regards to all,

    P A Goldsbury
    Hiroshima Daigaku
     
  8. Jonathan Randall

    Jonathan Randall Senior Master

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    Thank you very much for the information and Welcome to Martial Talk! I hope that you will stay and contribute much here as I know from lurking in other forums that you have quite a bit of knowledge to share. Honored to have you here!
     
  9. BlackCatBonz

    BlackCatBonz Master Black Belt

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    Hi Peter, welcome to martialtalk!
    How easily would a document like this be obtained?
    Would Mitose have gotten it simply by calling the "aikido folks" and asking for it?
    There are a few different stories out there about how he obtained it, why it was given etc.
    Any insight?
     
  10. P A Goldsbury

    P A Goldsbury White Belt

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    Hello Shawn,

    There are probably no easy answers to your questions at this time. The article cited by Punisher 73 owes much to Tohei Sensei himself, but he left the Aikikai in 1975 and I suspect that the Aikikai has not kept records. I also suspect that Tohei Sensei had a relatively free hand in the US at that time, in view of his position in the Hombu and his reputation. Morihei Ueshiba was notorious for giving out high dan grades like confetti and so I do not think he would have declined a request for an honorary 10th dan, if it had come via Tohei Sensei. On the one hand, I do not want to hold Tohei Sensei entirely responsible for awarding such a grade: on the other hand, from my knowledge of the Hombu, without further evidence I do not think he was merely carrying out O Sensei's order. The Founder died in April 1969 and this diploma was issued one year later.

    Best wishes,
     
  11. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    thanks or the information and the link folks.
    It dose shed a different light on things but it will still raise more question I'm think
     
  12. Brian Jones

    Brian Jones Blue Belt

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    In light of Mitose's history I think antying he claimed come sunder suspicion. If teh document is authentic, you can be sure there was a deal made for it some how.

    Brian Jones.
     
  13. green meanie

    green meanie Master Black Belt

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    Welcome Peter and thanks for the info! Hope you continue to share. :)
     
  14. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise Living on the Razors Edge Staff Member

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  15. Matt

    Matt Black Belt

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    The article linked earlier included a translation of the certificate done my a native speaker of Japanese. For another perspective, check out Kensho Furuya's take on the situation. You'll have to scroll down to the part where it talks about aikido and southern california.

    Matt
     
  16. Brian Jones

    Brian Jones Blue Belt

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    I tend to beleive Kensho's Furruya's comments. Mitose was suspect in so many areas. And I cantell you beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mitose was not a minister in the Methodist church. I am a United Methodist minister, and the records to support Mitose's claims aren't there.

    Brian Jones
     

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