But to take in on yourself to speak for Hatsumi seems a bit presumptious. It is his place, and unless I got specificly charged by him to do so, I would let he or those he has in positions of authority decide how to deal with the matter.
Don Roley said:Every situation I can think of where someone decided to be the spokesperson for Hatsumi's will, it turned out they were running their own game.
I did not say that one should be "speaking for Hatsumi" in these situations. I *DO* feel that as seniors in the dojo we have an *OBLIGATION* to right wrongs within the dojo our of respect to Soke, though. Soke cannot and will not take responsibility for everyone, but if someone is disrespecting the dojo or posing a danger to others, then it is our responsibility to stand up and be men/women.
I believe that if you have a "good heart" and you make a solid choice, given the information at hand, to take steps to protect the dojo, Soke would only be pleased. I have *EVERY* reason to believe this.
Speaking frankly, I think that there are a lot of people would rather bury their heads in the sand and complain about things behind people's backs than actually handle the problem right then and there....
If senior members of the dojo are not willing to step up and take on responsibility for the dojo, then who will?
Sacha Baron Cohen (of "Borat" fame) was recently on NPR here in the States where he talked about how indifference can lead to terrible things. You can find the interview on www.NPR.org, btw, and I highly recommend it.
The exact quote was of Ian Kerschl, a historian of the Holocaust, saying, "The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference."
I am certainly not equating allowing drunks to train at Hombu as the equivalent of Nazi rule, but the general point is that the unwillingness to stand up to true wrongs can lead us to bad places.
In general, I think that if a little more reprimanding was used by people who know better that *MOST* of the problems that people rant about on the net (i.e., Trash at Hombu, Rudeness in Noda, etc.) would go away. But so long as people are not *TOLD BY THEIR ELDERS* that what they are doing is wrong, they can always claim ignorance. And they do. And the problems get worse and worse....
As an example, Don, you say when someone is being lascivious on the train platform, you would rather duck away and hide. Why not turn to them and say, "Not cool, dudes. You don't need to understand Japanese to know that you are being a twerp. Moreover, you are dirtying Soke's home turf. Not cool at all...."
The Japanese woman would know, without understanding English, that you had stepped in to point out the wrong of the comments, which would (1) provide a clear signal to her that not all foreigners are like those guys (i.e., your expressed goal of hiding) and (2) *PREVENT* future recurrences (i.e., impossible if you hide).
I think there are far too many senior gaijin in Japan who would rather complain about things than actually do anything about it.
YES! YES!!! We *SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE TO USE THEIR BRAINS*, but they don't.
And ranting about it without being willing to fix the problem is not the best action *AS A SENIOR IN THE DOJO.*
YES! YES!!! There *ARE* even more senior people than you (and the other gaijin), *BUT* they don't speak English and don't understand where the perpetrators are coming from.
This has nothing to do with people "speaking for Hatsumi", it has to do with "doing what's right", "respecting the dojo", "respecting Hatsumi-sensei", and "ensuring the safety of all."
If a senior student at Hombu was aware of someone training drunk, and someone ended up hurt as a result of that drunkenness, I would hold those seniors partially responsible. No amount of claiming, "It's not my responsibility" would absolve those individuals of being spineless weenies and being poor examples of leadership within the dojo.
If our seniors are not willing to look out for the safety and sanctity of the dojo environment, then who will?