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Thread: "Kannagara" or "Shinto"

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    Default "Kannagara" or "Shinto"

    I was reading Kannagara No Jutsu (The Art of Shinto) by the founder of Aikido (http://aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=525) and began to wonder what the difference between Kannagara no michi and Shinto is.

    Thanks for any input.
    Don J. Modesto
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
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    http://theaikidodojo.com/

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    Default Re: "Kannagara" or "Shinto"

    Originally posted by don
    I was reading Kannagara No Jutsu (The Art of Shinto) by the founder of Aikido (http://aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=525) and began to wonder what the difference between Kannagara no michi and Shinto is.

    Thanks for any input.
    Hello Don,

    I am at home and so do not have access to all my heavy-duty language material. So, you will have to be content with the Kojien for the time being.

    For a start the kanji are slightly different.

    'Kannagara', or 'kamu-nagara' is a reading for two combinations of characters:

    Nelson 6460 + shin = sui-shin
    Nelson 1890 + shin = I(ru) shin

    The Kojien has a helpful explanation of 'nagara':
    Na is the same as the particle no
    Kara has the meaning of 'seishitsu', or nature. Thus Kami-nagara (kannagara), or kamu-nagara, would mean something like 'becoming kami nature' or 'having kami nature' and this is given as the meaning:

    Kami de o ari ni naru mama; kami toshite: becoming a kami; as a kami
    (Mama has the sense of confirming the state one is in, as in 'suwatta mama hokoku shimashita' = 'he gave the report sitting down' , i.e., not standing, as one would usually do.)

    Kami no mikokoro no mama de jin?i wo kuwaenai mama. Shinryo no mama.
    By the will of the kami directly, with no human agency involved.

    ---no michi:

    Jindai kara tsutawatte kite, shinryo no mama de, jin?i wo kuwaenu Nihon no koyu no michi = The way that is particular to Japan, directly conforming to the will of the kami, as handed down from the Age of the Kami.

    Shinto. The Kojien notes that it is the same as shinto, but this is putting it too simply. K no michi is more like shinto with balls, so to speak.

    Note that M Ueshiba gave the talk in 1933.

    Best regards,
    Last edited by P Goldsbury; 24th July 2004 at 06:08.
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Default Re: "Kannagara" or "Shinto"

    Hello Don,

    Further to my last post, I recommend you read anything you can get hold of by Nobutaka Inoue. He is the chief editor of "Shin Shuuykou Jiten", which is a massive dictionary of the new religions that arose in Japan from around late Tokugawa onwards (the Japanese love compiling dictionaries, as much as they love religions!). There is an abridged edition, called "Shin Shuukyou Kyoudan Jimbutsu Jiten", listing all the groups and people, but without the analytical essays on the growth of the new religions. This smaller edition has an arresting blurb wrapped round the dust jacket, which indicates that one in ten of all Japanese are believers in new religions.

    I myself met one of these believers not too long ago. A Japanese lady with two grown-up sons had recently divorced her husband and wanted to marry someone else, preferably a foreigner. I was lined up by her Japanese friends as a possible second husband. At one dinner party I attended, she produced a large glossy book full of colour photographs. The book was about a new religion, one of the offshoots of Tenri-kyou, I believe. There were many photos of the founder, or it might have been the present leader, sitting on some throne in a huge building surrounded by a sea of adoring admirers. It reminded me of a papal audience at the Vatican, or Onisaburo Deguchi in one of his more outlandish getups, with hair net. I was most fervently assured that this religion was the way to world peace, the cure of all known diseases, etc etc and that it was just a matter of time before the entire world followed the lead of the Japanese in becoming aware of this. I think our meetings ended shortly after this, but unfortunately this Monty Python element has always coloured my reading of Deguchi's works. Which is a pity, since O Sensei took him so seriously.

    The above works by Inoue are in Japanese, but Inoue has edited another book, called "Shinto: Nihon umare no shuukyou shisutemu" (Shinto the religious system born in Japan). This is a general book on Shinto and has been translated into English with the title of, "Shinto: a Short History" (published in 2003 by Routledge Curzon in the UK). The translators are Mark Teewen and John Breen, which should give you a good idea of the high quality of the contents.

    It is easily the best introductory book on shinto I have come across. It is right up there with Kuroda, Grapard, and the essays in the early volumes of the Cambridge History of Japan.

    Best wishes,
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Default

    I think our meetings ended shortly after this, but unfortunately this Monty Python element has always coloured my reading of Deguchi's works. Which is a pity, since O Sensei took him so seriously.
    Dear Peter,

    It is kind of hard for me to take some of the matters dealing with Onisiburo seriously...even leaving the cross-dressing aside. And yet as you say, Ueshiba and even others such as Rinjiro Shirata seemed to take Omoto-kyo pretty seriously. Has your research led you to have any idea why? Apparently the 2nd Doshu wanted Omoto-kyo to take a back seat as well...again, do you have any idea why?

    Thanks for any clues,
    Ron

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    Default Re: "Kannagara" or "Shinto"

    Hello, Peter.

    Thank you for responding.

    For a start the kanji are slightly different . 'Kannagara', or 'kamu-nagara'.... The Kojien has a helpful explanation of 'nagara': Na is the same as the particle no Kara has the meaning of 'seishitsu', or nature. Thus Kami-nagara (kannagara), or kamu-nagara, would mean something like 'becoming kami nature' or 'having kami nature'....
    Peter, your patient explanations are such a boon to this terminal monolingual. Thank you.

    I have a very interesting Monumenta Nipponica paper from 1940 by Kono Shozo, "Kannagara no Michi". (I’d thought I’d lost it when I posted the question, but your answer spurred me to look harder and I found it in a different folder than I’d expected.) The article goes into much of the etymology of the term, but I found it hard to grasp the implications of the sometimes seemingly slight differences.

    While it's useful for getting a feeling for the times, more interesting is that the editors--and the journal is published by a Catholic University, Sophia--saw fit to append an extensive commentary (4 out of 21 pages) by one Dr. D.C. Holtom which recasts and contradicts some of Kono's points.

    You write:

    K no michi is more like shinto with balls, so to speak.

    Note that M Ueshiba gave the talk in 1933.[/B]
    (LOL)

    This is why I wrote. Despite being aware of Osensei’s proclivities for ultranationalism, I was still taken aback to see “Kannagara No Jutsu,”. Holtom writes, "[N]umerous modern exponents of the national faith have adopted the designation Kannagara-no-Mich in place of Shintoo, 'Shintoo' smacks of its Chinese source and the indigenous Japanese religion should have an original name of its own, made of of true Yamaoto kotoba."

    I like “Shinto with balls.”

    …. a new religion, one of the offshoots of Tenri-kyou, I believe….this religion was the way to world peace, the cure of all known diseases, etc….but unfortunately this Monty Python element has always coloured my reading of Deguchi's works. Which is a pity, since O Sensei took him so seriously.
    I wonder about that. Did Osensei buy into that or did he just regard it as a necessary evil in order for Deguchi to achieve political currency, kind of like the necessity of smacking someone in the mouth in order to “harmonize” with him? There is a long history in Buddhism (and other religions) of cynical proselytization gambits like this—faith healing, rain-making, Zen monks defeating intransigent KAMI with KOAN, etc. I think the formal rationalization is Skillful Means. Giving his own proclivities for exuberant flights of imagination, allegory and puns—aikido as the second opening of the cave door, ai as love, himself as this or that god, angry outbursts as momentary possession by some angry god—he might have felt quite at home with such a mercurial individual.

    Originally posted by Ron Tisdale
    It is kind of hard for me to take some of the matters dealing with Onisiburo seriously...even leaving the cross-dressing aside. And yet as you say, Ueshiba and even others such as Rinjiro Shirata seemed to take Omoto-kyo pretty seriously. Has your research led you to have any idea why? Apparently the 2nd Doshu wanted Omoto-kyo to take a back seat as well...again, do you have any idea why?
    I’m not Peter but…Osensei wasn’t alone in this admiration. Onisaburo had legions of followers in high places. Thomas Nadolski writes that at one of Onisaburo’s convocations, “Among the three thousand guests who jammed into the hall were various dignitaries who by their presence acknowledged the importance they attached to Onisaburo’s patriotic efforts. The speaker of the Lower House of the Diet, Akita Kiyoshi, and Tsumura Shigeie, a member of the Upper House, represented the Diet at the ceremonies. Four Lieutenant Generals represented the Army. From the Okada government itself, the Home Minister Goto Fumio was in attendance, and ironically Onisaburo received a congratulatory telegram from the Communications Minster Tokonami Takejiro, who had served as Home Minster in the Hara Cabinet during the first suppression of Omoto. In addition to those in attendance, many other high-ranking personages had indicated personal support for the organization. Their names were read to the assembly. They included the Minister of Education and of Agriculture and Forestry, four members of the Upper House of the Diet and ten members of the Lower House, two major generals, the Army General Medical Inspector, three vice-admirals, three rear-admirals, and others….Of course Uchida Ryohei and Toyama Mitsuru attended.”

    So evidently, aside from some of his harebrained qualities, he was very charismatic. If you’ve read The Great Onisaburo Deguchi, you know he was quite a clever punster and very creative. He seemed to hold a great many people in thrall.

    (Thomas Nadolski, THE SOCIO-POLITICAL BACKGROUND OF THE 1921 AND 1935 OMOTO SUPPRESSIONS IN JAPAN (a dissertation). If you really want to know what Omoto had to say and what it was trying to do, this is a much more pertinent read than The Great Onisaburo Deguchi. I got Nadolski through inter-library loan but you can purchase it from Digital Dissertations-- http://wwwlib.umi.com/dissertations-- for $36, $45, or $56—unbound, softcover, hardback, respectively.)

    The above works by Inoue are in Japanese, but Inoue has edited another book, called "Shinto: Nihon umare no shuukyou shisutemu" (Shinto the religious system born in Japan). This is a general book on Shinto and has been translated into English with the title of, "Shinto: a Short History" (published in 2003 by Routledge Curzon in the UK). The translators are Mark Teewen and John Breen, which should give you a good idea of the high quality of the contents.

    It is easily the best introductory book on shinto I have come across. It is right up there with Kuroda, Grapard, and the essays in the early volumes of the Cambridge History of Japan.[/
    Thanks for the references. I've put the few Nobutaka Inoue articles available in English on ILL and just recently discovered SHINTO – A SHORT HISTORY. FWIW to others who’d like to see it, http://netlibrary.com has this book, SHINTO – A SHORT HISTORY, online.

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation and the references, Peter.
    Don J. Modesto
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    ------------------------
    http://theaikidodojo.com/

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