The Way of the Samurai

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Ivan, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    I wrote an article on the lives of the samurai and their philosophy. It is mainly based off the information in the Hagakure, a book I have read twice and I am reading a third time, although I am mainly using the first two chapters of the book for this, since it’s writer Yamamoto Tsunetomo didn’t have the biggest the biggest influence on the Japanese people. What are your thoughts? Feel free to correct any incorrect information :)
    Martial Fury
     
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  2. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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  3. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Black Belt

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    Pretty good article, Ivan, capturing several good points.

    I don't know if there is a "Samurai philosophy" in the epistemological sense of the nature of the world. I would think that Buddhism would be mostly its philosophical roots. "Samurai" was more a code of behavior and values of the warrior class - What was important to them. Not about the nature of the world, but how they reacted to it.

    I think the basis of their code was action in the face of death, and accepting the consequences of that action. Musashi also wrote, "the way of the warrior is death." Whether the action required by this code resulted in life or death (theirs or others) was irrelevant. This gave a purity, an elegance, to their life. This acceptance of the possibility of death seemed harsh, but also allowed for the appreciation of beauty. Many Samurai warriors, as you point out in your article, were artists and poets. When death might be just around the corner, why not live for and enjoy the moment?

    With the end of the civil wars in 1600 and the prospect of violent death diminished, so was the Samurai ethos. Hagakure did not really get spread around till almost the Meiji era when the old ways were being set aside and Japan was looking to the future. I think this is why the book did not, as you say, have a large influence on the Japanese people. They were on to other things and the ideas in Yamamoto's book were curiosities of the past, maybe like books of the old American Wild West were in the US.

    * Also, it is important to keep in mind that the great majority of the Japanese were not Samurai and did not identify with that particular culture and so were little influenced by the book and its contents. But this fact does not takeaway from the book as a window to a most interesting era.

    By the way, Ivan, glad to see you are embracing the concept of "Bunbu ryodo."
     
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  4. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    Thank you very much for your thoughts.

    As for Bunbu Ryodo, it’s always been a part of my life. I grew up with martial arts and fitness and sparring and school fights and my spare time was always concentrated on writing, running websites (as this isn’t my first one) and other creative outputs (a lot of video games too). It was never something I particularly embraced it’s just how it’s always been for me.

    I am sure it’s the same for all of us of here, since we all have to dedicate time to other interests and duties in these modern times.
     
  5. Tenshin

    Tenshin Yellow Belt

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    Kuji Goshinpo was also used by other Koryu schools, Otake Sensei has even mentioned it in his book Deity and the sword for Katori Shinto ryu there is also other works that are non Ninja related that makes mention of it. Besides Budo using it, there also exist in other systems such as Mikkyo, Shugendo, Onmyouji, and Shinto.

    There is a lot of influence of Shingon and Tendai Buddhism in koryu especially before Zen Buddhism became popular. Hagakure was written in a time generally peaceful and it is doubtful the writer ever saw any major war or even dueled. There is a lot of superstitious things that Samurai did so the whole Zen like thing is not 100% accurate.
    Anyway the blog has a lot of romantic ideas but I think the writer does not train in Koryu, and is not an Obosan.
     
  6. BrendanF

    BrendanF Green Belt

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    It's a nice website you've made Ivan. Unfortunately most of your blog is just reproducing pop history ideas of who the samurai were, much of which is pretty inaccurate. As others have mentioned, the Hagakure is not regarded as a good source, particularly in isolation.
    Your discussion of the kuji no in and other Buddhist practices is also problematic. Esoteric Buddhist practices were influential early, but many different religious groups exerted profound influence on the samurai through various era, including Christianity and others.
     
  7. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    I am afraid I would have to disagree. Though I have mentioned the Hagakure was not regarded as an influential book, the Buddhist practices discussed are accurate and legitimate, since the author of this book spent much of his life as a Zen, and Buddhist monk. I mentioned, in my article, precisely 3 different factors in which the Samurai were affected:
    • Buddhism
    • Cultural Chinese values
    • Confucianism
    It is also majorly incorrect to assume Christianity had a factor worth mentioning on the samurai, given that it was banned throughout the entire Edo period until 1873. I also gave perfect, historical examples of the “pop history” idolisation in the way which they lived during times of peace I.e. their affinity for art and literature. The Hagakure is a good source of information, just not an influential one - that’s a big difference.
     
  8. BrendanF

    BrendanF Green Belt

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    What do you mean by influential? By poor source I mean that it is not an accurate reflection of the culture it describes, and your belief that it is changes that not one whit. I would recommend doing some study before aiming to teach.
     
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  9. Tenshin

    Tenshin Yellow Belt

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    There was a thread on ebudo some time ago about how much influence Zen had on the ryu-ha in Japan.
    Zen Buddhism impact In some ryu-ha had a greater impact such as in Yagyu Shinkage ryu but I don't see that in Katori Shinto ryu. I think your article presents a not so accurate portrayal. Yes Zen had an influence on Samurai but other influences most likely had more of an influence. Yes, Ninja may have practice Kuji but so did other ryuha that may not have much to do with Ninja. As for Samurai and Christians there was the Shimabara.
     
  10. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Black Belt

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    I agree that Buddhism did not play a huge part in the everyday life of the Samurai, but it did form the undercurrent of their general Japanese belief system. Christianity was adopted, but did not replace the Buddhist streak that pervaded their culture. The two, along with Shinto, co-existed side by side, and do so to this day to some extent. This is a Japanese phenomenon - the combining of the old and new, even thought they may seem incompatible to us.

    My impression (may be wrong...) is that the Samurai were pragmatists, concerned with the arts, true, but at heart were warriors and beholding only to their peers. Things like religion and money were not their main priority. Easy to romanticize them, especially with all the movies glorifying them. There was a lot to admire, yes, but the peasants who suffered under their thumb may have had a different view.
     
  11. BrendanF

    BrendanF Green Belt

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    The 'samurai' existed across the better part of a millenia. They were a far from uniform class, and their society and culture varied region to region, and drastically through discrete time periods, let alone across the entirety of their history as a class. Trying to distill 'samurai culture' in it's totality is indicative from the outset of an overly simplistic and elementary understanding of Japanese history and the samurai's place in it.
    To clarify, I didn't say that samurai 'were' Christian, just that Christianity exerted influence, not solely politically, on the culture of certain bushi at certain times.

    Another thing I didn't say. The impression I have is that Buddhist, Shinto and Neo-Confucian practices featured pretty heavily in the lives of a number of bushi; to the extent that several famous examples 'took the tonsure' and retired to become priests. As another poster mentioned, Zen didn't seem to be practiced as often as other, often more esoteric Buddhist lineages but it did also feature. The founder of the Yagyu line of Shinkage ryu retired to become a Zen priest and took the name Sekishusai. With his son Munenori appointed as sword instructor to the Tokugawa shogun this became a fairly famous connection, and may have influenced the overemphasis on Zen's connection to the bushi (together with DT Suzuki and others..)
     
  12. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    Belief comes from perception. There is no way for us to come to the conclusion that is 100% correct since many historically accurate depictions about Japan’s history were lost due to the outcome of WW2.

    Arguing the extent of the impacts that different philosophies had has always been a topic that is debated among historians; not just for Japan, but any culture you come across. Just because your perception of this is different, does not mean either of us are wrong because the word “impact” is very relative.

    I know Samurai are romanticised, just like any other prevalent warriors throughout history, such as Romans and Spartans and Persian Immortals. I know very well they weren’t saints, and I also know that some were paedophiles and only abided by their code of honour whenever they saw it benefitted them.

    Then again, please don’t try to assume I have not studied the history. I have written multiple essays and a 9 page dissertation, and read about the topic for over half a decade. The Hagakure is a relatively accurate source as the man who wrote about stayed under the tutelage of a master for around 30 years. His thoughts on Buddhism are also not something to scoff at, since he remained a devout monk for a huge period of his life. You can argue that the effects of Zen Buddhism and Confucianism were little if you’d like, but that doesn’t change that a huge portion of the Samurai population were raised under those two.

    Miyamoto Musashi - Buddhist, known for his sword mastery
    Kusunoki Masashige - Buddhist, known for his embodiment of loyalty
    Uesugi Kenshin - became a devoted Buddhist, well known for his honour and military tactics
    Minamoto no Yoshitsune - trained as a Buddhist monk from infancy, known for building military weapons and his romantic exploits

    The fact that Buddhism suffered in the edo period doesn’t change the influence it had up until that point, or even after it.

    These are just some of the most famous Samurai that were Buddhist, and I am sure I could list many more. Especially if I included Confucianism. If you believe that their religion didn’t have a big impact on them, that’s a bold belief since it made up a large fraction of their infancy and education, but again “impact” is a relative word.

    Lastly, I know that I haven’t mentioned Shinto, but please understand - articles can’t be too long or readers lose interest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  13. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm, I think this is the first time I've quoted an entire thread in one post....

    Hi Ivan,

    To be honest, much of what you have written is, at best, partially correct. I might go back and cover the whole blog post after this, but for now, let's deal with the conversation we have here. Suffice to say that your blog is not one I'd send people to for much genuine insight or information... we may cover parts of why as we go.

    Ha, well, Ivan really did the job for you... name a thread "The Way of the Samurai", and I'm certainly at least going to check out what is being said!

    Hmm.... I don't think I'd put it that way, either... No, there is/was not a singular form of "samurai philosophy", especially not a universal approach followed over the near-millennia that the samurai were in existence as a social force, not even in a single smaller period of time across the many areas and domains of Japan (not even getting into the stratification of ranking within the samurai class themselves, or the distinction between more "rural" samurai and their urban counterparts, and so on).

    I'm also unsure what you mean when you say "'Samurai' was more a code of behaviour and values of the warrior class"... "Samurai" were the warrior class... they were a social class, not an approach to anything, nor a set of beliefs or anything else. If you mean "Bushido" was more a code of behaviour etc, then... yeah, that's still incorrect on a number of facets. Mainly in that bushido, really, didn't exist (which is one of the issues with the blog).

    Well, there really wasn't a "code" in the first place... so that's not really correct. As far as the idea of "action in the face of death", that, I would suggest, is a more Western (and modern) thought... as with much of this, there is a lot more nuance (and context) needed to really get a grasp on this idea... more realistically, I would suggest that a better interpretation of much of samurai ethos is commitment to an intent... in an idealised fashion, that can be seen as commitment regardless of the cost, provided the cost is not that of honour (of course, reality was often quite different).

    No, he didn't. That was Tsunetomo.

    This, I cannot disagree with more. Whose death is of paramount relevance... the idea of throwing your life away indiscriminately is antithetical to samurai (or any warrior) ideal... and, while a retainer might not overly differentiate between whether a particular action would be a lethal one or not, the context is vitally important. Additionally, if there is no care as to whether or not the action results in your own death, or if it results in the deaths of others, then there are some serious psychological problems at play.

    I get the romanticised imagery of that reasoning, but I don't feel that it's overly accurate. They didn't engage in poetry, and tea ceremony, and calligraphy, and becoming patrons of various arts such as kabuki and noh theatre, was less to do with a mental pre-occupation with their own death, and more due to factors such as the influence of Chinese culture in establishing Japanese (Heian) social norms and expectations. In a real way, they engaged in such activities, as thinking only of killing people and being killed doesn't make for very comfortable company... and is not a good image to present as a ruling class.

    Again, I'd dispute this in a few ways... the end of the Sengoku Jidai, and the final steps in unifying Japan under the newly established Tokugawa Shogunate, gave rise to a period of peace, yes... but that, in many ways, lead to a greater development and spread of the "samurai ethos"... as many new samurai traditions were founded, developed, and distributed around Japan. These arts became much more sophisticated than in previous generations, and more time was spent looking to the ideals and teachings beyond the physical combative techniques (these teachings had always been present, of course, but they took more of a frontline position now). Samurai became more involved in actually running their domains, acting as everything from the highest officials and rulers, down to police and firefighters.

    Now, if you're meaning that the removal of constant warfare lead to a slackening in the warrior mentality, there are arguments in both directions... one is that, removed from the crucible of war, the focus shifted, and the edge was lost to a degree... on the other hand, it allowed younger warriors, especially when acting as ronin (and, it must be noted, being a ronin was hardly the "badge of dishonour" that it is often shown as... it was a situation that many samurai found themselves in at times, with some daimyo [regional lords] insisting that their samurai spend a period of time as a ronin as part of ensuring they got experience outside of the domain) to travel around both learning and testing their skills against other warriors. This, naturally, lead to a greater spread of warrior traditions, and of the "samurai ethos". Of course, both arguments are true, and it varied across Japan, and over the 250 years of peace that endured.

    Well... to be technical, it was after the Meiji-jidai (ending in 1912) when Hagakure Kikigaki began to be circulated outside of Saga (in the 1930's, largely)...but that's a minor point. More importantly, one of the biggest reasons for Hagakure not enjoying a larger influence on Japanese culture (such as that of Takuan Soto's letters to Yagyu Munenori, and other documents) is that, in a number of areas, the writing was problematic (politically), due to Tsunetomo's rather unveiled criticisms of some of the Tokugawa policies, as well as persons in the area he lived... as a result, it was seen as a "secret document", passed around only within trusted circles in Saga itself.

    In fact, a large part of it's success in being shown to a wider public was almost the opposite of the idea of being a "curiosity"... instead, it was used to help push a nationalistic message from the government and military factions, capitalising on other works, such as Nitobe's book on Bushido (a seminal, but problematic work in itself).

    Eh, I wouldn't describe it that way... it's a window into the thinking of a retired bureaucrat, who never saw combat, and fantasised about it, romanticising the "days of old" and lamenting his lack of being born in such a time. By today's standard, Tsunetomo would be considered a rather right-wing, highly conservative individual, someone who represents a more fringe, rather than mainstream belief and attitude, and far from a typical understanding of what a "samurai" would have been.

    Addressed next.

    Hmm... that's not really what bunbu ryodo refers to, though... that's just doing different things. Bunbu ryodo has more of a sense of a committed study of both cultural (including literary) and martial (military) teachings and skills... interestingly, while bunbu ryodo is the most common term, Musashi used the term "bunbu nido"... very similar, but with a slightly different emphasis... but, more to the point, if you were dedicating yourself to developing your skills as a writer, by studying (doing courses, finding an author to mentor you, consistently working on improving your usage of syntax and structure, then moving onto metaphor and imagery, and so on), then that would be more along the lines of the concept itself... and, while I don't want to be too critical, your blog suffers from both lacking information, and a fair number of writing issues as well.

    It might be interesting to look into the history of kuji-no-ho and so on in Shinto Ryu.... oh, and welcome aboard!

    The view of Zen being such a big influence in koryu is highly exaggerated... as you say, there were many other forms of Buddhism, as well as Shinto, Taoist, and Confucianist concepts that were a larger influence. As mentioned, Tsunetomo never saw any form of combat, as far as anyone has been able to ascertain.

    Ha, yeah... I'd agree.

    This.

    Okay... to be clear, Brendan is correct.

    Well.... no.

    The Buddhist practices you discuss aren't really brought up much in Hagakure... in fact, the quote you attribute to Hagakure, implying that it was from the text of the book itself (meaning Yamamoto Tsunetomo's teachings), discussing Buddhist practices is this: "This requires great courage as well as concentration, for after the ego is gone one finds out that the self no longer exists, and one has died what Zen calls the Great Death: daishi".

    The problem is that.... well, there's a number of problems. Let's start with the fact that there's little to no context as to what, precisely, requires such courage and concentration... it's a comment on the practice of zazen (seated meditation), which you briefly mention at the end of the preceding paragraph, but don't make a strong link to your quote (one of the writing issues I mentioned earlier... not the biggest, but still...). Next, there isn't really much mention of such practices as zazen throughout Hagakure itself... some mention of "setting your mind", but that's hardly unique to zazen, nor indeed specifically referring to it. But the biggest issue, of course, is that it's not from Hagakure.

    This quote is from the introduction to William Scott Wilson's translation of the book, and not part of the book itself. It is part of a larger discussion of some of the concepts that may have informed Tsunetomo's world-view, and is Wilson's description. In fact, looking through the introduction there, it seems that you have spent more time plagiarising that than anything else (your translations of the Analects are directly lifted, largely without the surrounding context, from Wilson's publication)... and missed most of the contextual message in it. After all, Wilson is rather explicit in highlighting one of the few comments linked directly with Tsunetomo's Zen study, where he points out the lesson that "religions are for old men", meaning that, while he was introduced to such teachings early, his real foray into the field (including becoming a monk) was in his later years... in fact, it was specifically because he was forbidden from following his lord into death in a ritual suicide (junshi - literally: "proper death"); robbed of this option, he instead shaved his head, took tonsure, and became a monk... being a form of "junshi" from his life as a samurai...

    Would you like a list of Christian Daimyo during the Sengoku period? Early Edo?

    That said, like with much discussed here, it really depends on the particulars... Christianity was more prevalent in Kyushu than the rest of Japan... and, while Hideyoshi was quite concerned with it, his persecution ended with his death, and Tokugawa took a while to do much about re-invigorating the zeal... even when he did, Christianity survived as an underground religious teaching. It's also worth noting that it was dominantly the Catholics who were targeted... other sects were bothered less, or largely ignored.

    Except that was not really how it worked... the ideals of a combination of cultural development and warrior skills was largely an imported concept from China in the 10th and 11th Centuries, and was in place from the dawn of the samurai class.

    It's a good insight into a particular individual's beliefs and attitude... I wouldn't say it's a good source of information, however... that's a big difference.

    I'll do you one better... here's a brilliant article on the concept: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/108831/1/article_4921.pdf

    Out of interest, Tenshin, who do you study Shinto Ryu with? Oh, and... the whole "ninja" thing... yeah..... too many movies and kabuki....

    I don't know that I'd put it quite like that... Buddhism had a fair amount of influence, depending on the faction, the time, the place, and so on... but I'd point to the various factions of Shinto as being more of the undercurrent of the general Japanese approach to religious concepts and understandings. And even more so when it comes to martial approaches and the samurai. After all, looking through the histories of koryu systems, there is a huge predilection towards Shinto deities being involved in the founding of many schools, with large numbers being centred around particular shrines... the most famous being the Katori and Kashima ones in Kanto, but also including literally hundreds of others. Combine that with most houses having a Shinto shrine, and most dojo having them as well, and the pendulum swings away from Buddhism, I would suggest.

    Christianity to a lesser degree than the other two, really... but largely, yeah.

    Yeah... you may be wrong.

    Again, it depends entirely on the context... at times, the samurai were largely bureaucrats... or accountants... additionally, "beholden only to their peers"... the question would be, what peers? Japan is a highly stratified society, with everyone occupying a position in a hierarchy above or below others... an ashigaru is hardly a peer to a hatamoto, let alone a daimyo... realistically, they were beholden to their superiors, not their peers anyway...

    A samurai might be "at heart... warriors", concerned with that first and foremost... but it was not the only approach. In fact, some of the more stoic figures would often lament the lack of focus on warrior skills in their fellow samurai.

    Ha, true... of course, the point of military might is the gaining and securing of power... which leads to riches and wealth... so the idea of money not being a priority might be a somewhat "glass half full" way of viewing things as well...

    Once again; this.

    The big thing to emphasise in Brendan's comment is "certain bushi"... the Shimadzu being a big example.

    Very true. It should also be noted that most of them did so much later in life, so it was not a major factor during their "active days", as it were.

    Yep!

    Actually, this is interesting that you say... it's actually the other way around. In (rather) simple terms, your experiences/memories (I ate some ice-cream) inform your beliefs (I like ice-cream/don't like ice-cream/don't like cold food/like cold food/whatever), which then forms your values (I value the ice-cream/eating cold foods on a hot day/don't value highly ice-cream/don't value the pain of eating cold food with sensitive teeth), which then gives you your perceptions (ice-cream will be enjoyable/ice-cream will hurt my teeth/whatever), eventually shaping your behaviours (buy the ice-cream/don't buy the ice-cream).

    Of course, if your experiences change, the rest will as well... someone tells you that you are putting on weight, that gives you the belief that you are overweight/out of shape, the value that you don't like feeling overweight, or being perceived as "fat", the perception that your diet is a big influence on your weight, and the behaviour of not buying and eating the ice-cream. No, it doesn't always make logical sense, but that's not the point... seemingly random things can have almost unseen effects... but my main point is that, no, beliefs do not come from perception, your perception comes from your beliefs and values. Little thing, but interesting.

    Firstly, while there were a number of losses of historical records and artefacts during WWII, it was hardly a case of them being completely lost in all cases... there is still a lot of material out there. Second, Brendan is a member of two classical schools who maintain their own records.

    Here's the thing. We have done the study (and continue to do so). You, from the blog post you have written, and your responses here, have not. That is Brendan's point.

    While that is true, in this case, you appear to be arguing something that Brendan isn't... he's pointing out why Hagakure Kikigaki is not considered a particularly good resource, especially in isolation from a larger context...

    Er..... okay?

    Well, I'll put my 30 years aside, then... you've read about the topic for over half a decade?

    You may want to look around a bit before thinking that's something laudable....

    And written essays? Look, this is only because you're referencing it here, and because you made a thing about bunbu ryodo earlier... but if that article is an example of your essay writing, then... no. That's not meaningful at all. You jump from topic to topic with no linkage whatsoever... you don't finish thoughts... you start an explanation of bushido (out of pretty much nowhere), then change how you're breaking it down from numbered points, to having the second point not following the structure of the first point, then abandon that entirely to address the second part of the word, before dropping the explanation entirely before addressing the third part of the word... seriously, just a mess (oh, and for the record, "bushido" appears exactly zero times in Hagakure... the term was largely popularised by Inazo Nitobe, a Japanese ex-patriate Quaker living in Canada in the early 20th Century who wrote a romanticised and largely Christian-ised exploration of his native culture for the Western audience, 40 years after the samurai class was abolished, and believed he'd invented the word "bushido" as he'd never heard or read it before)... and feature a number of largely plagiarised and mis-attributed quotes, devoid of context.

    Okay, that was a bit harsh, and I don't want to smack you round too much... but perhaps you're over-reaching a bit in your estimation of your level?

    Hagakure is relatively accurate as the recollection of a young samurai's conversations with an older, largely embittered, retired samurai, lamenting the lack of what he thought samurai should be in the current generation in one place at one time, often going against many of the common sensibilities of the time... with reliability then also depending on the translation, which copy it was translated from, and exactly what selection of passages were chosen for the particular translation... that's about it.

    Not Zen... and also known for the phrase "Respect Buddha and the gods (Shinto), but do not rely upon them."

    Now, Kusunoki is an interesting one... yes, he was known as a dedicated and devout Buddhist (again, not Zen), but naturally observed Shinto practices just as diligently... additionally, when the Tokugawa's moved from a form of State Shinto (that would return later) to a form of Neo-Confucian as a basis for social structure and moral absolutes, Kusunoki was put forth as a stalwart of the new "religion"... despite the fact that he'd been painted as a traitor to the Northern Court for centuries following the Nambukocho period.

    You may notice some patterns developing here... many Japanese turn towards Buddhism as they get older, as one of the central concepts relates to ways of approaching death... especially samurai. So finding samurai that "became" devoted Buddhists is hardly surprising... of course, I'm not sure what the "honour and military tactics" have to do with Buddhism... after all, Buddhists aren't meant to kill... which is a bit problematic for a professional warrior...

    Yoshitsune was spared in the Heiji Disturbance (as it became known) when Taira Kiyomori killed his father, and was sent to a temple near Kyoto (the capital at the time), where he was looked after and trained by the monks there from the age of around 10. When he was 14 or 15, he left, as he had no interest in becoming a monk himself, ending in the care of the Fujiwara, learning military tactics and strategies, as well as combative methods there, eventually helping his half brother gain vengeance as the eventual victors of the Gempei Wars.

    Of course, I wonder what the point is, bringing up 4 people from over 450 years of history, each of which just show that Buddhism is part of the Japanese culture...

    The "state religion" of Japan has changed a number of times, always as a reflection of the culture of the time... and no-one has said that Buddhism didn't have influence. What has been said is that Zen Buddhism's influence is largely overstated.

    No one has said that. I repeat: No one has said that. Perhaps we try without arguing a strawman?

    Yeah... your article was nowhere near long enough to have that as a reason to ignore one of the most culturally important religious aspects, I feel... this post, on the other hand... sorry for anyone who read the whole thing![/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
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  14. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    [/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
    Thank you for humbling me, and informing me. I’ll take the article down, and maybe repost it with more accuracy in a decade or so if it is still of interest to me.

    Personally, I don’t feel this was my best article I have written but I was quite proud of it. If you have the time, I encourage you to look through my other articles and reach out to me with some criticism. Though I understand it’s a time consuming task, so please don’t do so unless you feel it’s worth your time.

    If you’re interested, my dissertation is on there too (Article 1).

    Again, thanks for your criticism and information. I know I might come across as arrogant some times, but it’s people like you that help me correct that. Thanks again.

    And I am sorry if I insulted anyone here at all.
     
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  15. Tenshin

    Tenshin Yellow Belt

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    Hey Chris,
    The Tokumeikan does Katori Shinto ryu under Sugino's line, though the focus is more on Yagyu Shinkage ryu from the Arakido line if I recall correctly. The Tokumeikan did a seminar last year and some of the members also do Ono ha itto ryu. Because of the Arakido connection the seminar had Yagyu Shingan ryu.
    Who We Are | Tokumeikan
    I am also part of
    Centre Samourai Koryukan

    Which has Heiho Niten Ichi ryu, Daito ryu, and Yamato Tenshin ryu. Yamato Tenshin ryu I do not know much if its koryu, gendai or a small family art.
    It has some interesting things like Tanbo and double Tambo besides its Bojutsu.

    I admit though I am not as well versed in these but that is why I keep practicing.
     
  16. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
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    Hi Ivan,

    Don't worry too much about insulting anyone... I don't think you even came close! I love the enthusiasm, but it needs to be tempered a bit with patience and restraint... it's how you last long enough to learn!

    Hey Tenshin,

    You're with Doug Tong? Cool! I've seen him post a number of clips and photos of Shinto Ryu, but we (Sugino-dojo) aren't aware that he has a current relationship with us. Of course, he's welcome any time, but we haven't seen him for a long time...

    The Koryukan.... you're a part of Miyagawa-sensei's line, yeah (HNIR)? As for Yamato Tenshin Ryu, no, it's not koryu... then again, I don't consider Daito Ryu koryu either, and obviously that is hardly a detriment to the art!
     
  17. Tenshin

    Tenshin Yellow Belt

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    [/QUOTE]
    Thank you for humbling me, and informing me. I’ll take the article down, and maybe repost it with more accuracy in a decade or so if it is still of interest to me.

    Personally, I don’t feel this was my best article I have written but I was quite proud of it. If you have the time, I encourage you to look through my other articles and reach out to me with some criticism. Though I understand it’s a time consuming task, so please don’t do so unless you feel it’s worth your time.

    If you’re interested, my dissertation is on there too (Article 1).

    Again, thanks for your criticism and information. I know I might come across as arrogant some times, but it’s people like you that help me correct that. Thanks again.

    And I am sorry if I insulted anyone here at all.[/QUOTE]
    Hi Ivan,

    No problem. I read some of the other articles, I am not well enough versed in the other topics, though the one on Karate couple of minor Pinyin errors I think Qigong was Quigong and Shuai Jiao used the other wade giles writing. writing is a skill no doubt and writing informative articles the author must write with an authority type presentation to lend the article credibility, or as my college professor would say write what you know. Usually if you write an article before it is published you have a peer review it, and usually the peer is an expert in that field. You don't have to go as high as Karl Friday or the Diane Skoss but reaching out to actual koryu especially in terms of the ryuha you are writing about. In terms of Japanese Buddhism speaking to an Obosan could help.
     
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  18. Tenshin

    Tenshin Yellow Belt

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    Yes Tong Sensei.
    I am not sure if he has a current relationship,
    The main focus is Yagyu Shinkage ryu, but we do Katori Shinto ryu as well. Yes I believe it came through Okabayashi Sensei who created his version of Daito ryu Hakuho ryu. I think Okabayashi Sensei also studied Ono ha Itto ryu and most places that teach his art also teach Ono ha Itto ryu, but its cool that he also did Niten Ichi ryu.
     
  19. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    Thank you for humbling me, and informing me. I’ll take the article down, and maybe repost it with more accuracy in a decade or so if it is still of interest to me.

    Personally, I don’t feel this was my best article I have written but I was quite proud of it. If you have the time, I encourage you to look through my other articles and reach out to me with some criticism. Though I understand it’s a time consuming task, so please don’t do so unless you feel it’s worth your time.

    If you’re interested, my dissertation is on there too (Article 1).

    Again, thanks for your criticism and information. I know I might come across as arrogant some times, but it’s people like you that help me correct that. Thanks again.

    And I am sorry if I insulted anyone here at all.[/QUOTE]
    Hi Ivan,

    No problem. I read some of the other articles, I am not well enough versed in the other topics, though the one on Karate couple of minor Pinyin errors I think Qigong was Quigong and Shuai Jiao used the other wade giles writing. writing is a skill no doubt and writing informative articles the author must write with an authority type presentation to lend the article credibility, or as my college professor would say write what you know. Usually if you write an article before it is published you have a peer review it, and usually the peer is an expert in that field. You don't have to go as high as Karl Friday or the Diane Skoss but reaching out to actual koryu especially in terms of the ryuha you are writing about. In terms of Japanese Buddhism speaking to an Obosan could help.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks for the advice. Sadly, I don’t have the luxury of knowing people in such fields. I am still young, and I don’t have any friends interested in these topics to correct me, or the money for professional advice. It’s why I post them here.
     
  20. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    [/QUOTE]
    Thank you for humbling me, and informing me. I’ll take the article down, and maybe repost it with more accuracy in a decade or so if it is still of interest to me.

    Personally, I don’t feel this was my best article I have written but I was quite proud of it. If you have the time, I encourage you to look through my other articles and reach out to me with some criticism. Though I understand it’s a time consuming task, so please don’t do so unless you feel it’s worth your time.

    If you’re interested, my dissertation is on there too (Article 1).

    Again, thanks for your criticism and information. I know I might come across as arrogant some times, but it’s people like you that help me correct that. Thanks again.

    And I am sorry if I insulted anyone here at all.[/QUOTE]
    The article definitely needs (or needed I guess) major reworking. I didn't want to say that since this is very far from my area of expertise, but now you've gotten advice on it from those who actually do focus on it.

    But I don't think you should give up on it. Take what chris, brendan, and tenshin said, see what you can salvage, and start it again. This would actually be the best time to do it, while their criticism's still fresh in your mind, and if you post a new one, posters here would have it fresh in their mind to compare.123
     

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