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#357989 - 08/23/07 12:59 PM Samurai Mon
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Not sure if this one should be in the general forum, since its Samurai specific, for me at least i decided to post here.

Does anyone know any websites with information about the Mon, family crests? Im looking for something that will show a picture of the Mon and which house it belonged to. We are choosing Mon in my class and I would like to know which family the one I chose belongs to. The one I chose looks like this or like this but with a circle around it. Any help is greatly appreciated.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357990 - 08/23/07 01:47 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
Halley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 126
Some time ago, my sensei showed me a thick book that was dedicated to the hundreds (if not thousands) of different crests. I don't have the title of that book but I have seen similar resources on the web. I expect proper googling will find enough for your purposes.

Here's a book reference, for a different book, apparently in French: http://www.ilab.org/db/detail.php?booknr=342866782

Here's a geocities page, which I can't view from our work proxy: http://www.geocities.com/kazenaga23/crests2.htm

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#357991 - 08/23/07 03:11 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Halley]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Thank you! I had found the 2nd link you posted and so far its really the only one that has been of any use. I didnt even think of checking for books, though cash is in short supply maby i can find something on amazon.com to buy later. Again, thank you!!
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357992 - 08/23/07 06:59 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
The japanese name for the crest (or kamon) is "itowa ni chigaikuginuki" if the circle is thin or "maru ni chigaikuginuki" if it is fat. An awkward translation could be "interlocked pincers in a (thread) circle", maybe? You can see the one with the thin circle here. Don't know what family it represents, but I think the text on that page at the right indicates that the thread circle around the crest could be used to indicate a branch family instead of a main family, or something like that.

For what it's worth, I can't seem to find who used the interlocked pincers without a circle either. However, the single pincer was apparently used by a samurai called Mori Tahei, who worked for the Kuroda family. The same crest was also used by the Horishi family.

If you're motivated and can handle japanese, you could buy the Nihon Kamon Daizukan (Illustrated reference book to Japanese family crests).

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#357993 - 08/23/07 07:18 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: splice]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Right on! Thanks for the links and info. I doubt i could do much with Japanese characters, my girlfriends cousin lives in Guam or some island in the chain and speaks Japanese. She tried to show me how to translate, but i couldnt get it... Ill bring the sheet my sensai gave me with all the mon, is it mon or kamon, to work and scan it so you can see the one I chose. The one I wanted looked like ocean waves cresting (white caps) inside of a circle, but one of the other studients beat me to it.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357994 - 08/24/07 11:24 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
"mon" means "symbol" or "crest". "kamon" means "family crest". Kamon is more specific than mon but both are used.

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#357995 - 08/24/07 11:55 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Splice is correct.

But I have another question...Why don't you simply use the mon/kamon your instructor uses?

To me (& many other Nikkei), the use of kamon for disign is like using the stars-&-stripes as a design for fashion...somewhat disconcerning ("myo-na") & typically "gaijin". To someone of the family you choose, it may be down-right insulting. Imagine an Asian wearing a specific Tartan to the Highland games when he's clearly not a Scot.

If your instructor isn't Japanese possibly his instructor is/was Japanese so think long & hard about this. It might be a simple issue of design to you but it's so much more to Japanese

owari
_________________________
Ed Ichihara Smith - Shukokai

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#357996 - 08/24/07 12:17 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
There is a more or less generic Mon which MJER and a few other styles use. Here is a picture of it http://24.155.86.214/public/photos/Iaido/HayashizakiShrine/kamon-sample-mag.jpg

It is kind of the default mon when you don't have another one readily available for use.


Edited by Charles Mahan (08/24/07 12:19 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#357997 - 08/24/07 02:35 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Im not using my senseis because he wants each studient to pick a different mon to carry. Each of us were to pick one that had meaning to us, his for instance is a square on its corner inside a circle. At each corner the lines overlap and touch the inner edge of the circle. He said that to him it represents his family, his son, wife, mother and his father. He said that it is common in Japan, according to Nishiuchi Sensei, my sensei's sensei, to pick a mon and carry on the tradition.

I understand how someone might be offended but that is not the intent. I for one wouldnt mind if someone carried my family crest weather or not they are portuguese a few centuries after my death. We are carrying on a tradition and in that regard we are showing honor and respect to the family whos crest we adopt.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#357998 - 08/24/07 03:18 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
Halley Offline
Member

Registered: 06/13/05
Posts: 126
Quote:

Each of us were to pick one that had meaning to us..., to pick a mon and carry on the tradition.




I can get behind that sentiment, as it rationally fits within the sense of modern and international iaido study. Just like the kamon, a particular ryu used to be a closely guarded local tradition. Today, people who have no familial or geographical connection to the koryu still study them. If we didn't, the koryu would be gone. Nobody has legal claim to them: the bushi class is no more. The few who have "valid" claim to them geographically or by family lineage are less and less likely to also have the means to uphold them with a dedicated lifestyle.

The other example was Scot tartans. If a Chinese guy respectfully wore a kilt to a Scotland sporting event, I think it would probably get him a free mug of beer, regardless of the family indicated by the weave. Of course, if the Chinese guy was otherwise acting like a jerk, there might be some who took offense and the cultural garb might exacerbate it.

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#357999 - 08/24/07 08:36 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Quote:

He said that it is common in Japan, according to Nishiuchi Sensei, my sensei's sensei, to pick a mon and carry on the tradition.




I've never heard of this (doesn't mean it's not true, I admit). And how would you know what the family's "tradition" (what they believed, what they did or anything) was/is?

I think that the design looked "cool" to you, period. There is no meaning, connection or value.

Quote:

I understand how someone might be offended but that is not the intent.




So if you really understand how someone may be offended, why do it? Do they know your intent? And what is your intent if you haven't studied the family's tradition & values. You're looking @ this from a Western perspective (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) & not from a Japanese perspective.

In a similar but less emotionally-charged example, no matter how you say the "N-word" ("niggah"), doing so among a Black population will get you some very disturbed looks (@ best).

This is how I see it as a half-Japanese MA-ist raised in both cultures. Can any other Nikkei out there identify?

owari

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#358000 - 08/24/07 09:47 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I have heard of top folks in the MJER org saying it was perfectly fine to pick a mon and use it. It's not unheard of. I have also heard of top folks in the MJER org say that those who do not have a family mon of their own should probably use the mon of their sensei or the more generic Mon which I posted earlier. So it can be done either way.

I would not pick a mon at random. Not without running it by someone higher up the chain as it were. It would be most unfortunate if I were to show up in Japan with the soke's mon on my montsuki quite by accident. Or perhaps a mon which has a negative connotations.

My current montsuki has a single lion rampant inside a circle. It's drawn from a family crest inside a book of about Mahan family geneology. Single lion rampant blue on gold. The blue on gold is obviously out, but it was very easy to put a single lion rampant inside a circle. This is in keeping with a mon which my instructor uses. His is 3 wolfheads. That comes from his family history. You can see an image of my mon at the following url: http://www.kendo-world.com/forum/member.php?find=lastposter&t=15504

My next montsuki will have the Mon which I posted the link to earlier. It will draw far fewer funny looks in Japan.


Edited by Charles Mahan (08/24/07 09:54 PM)
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358001 - 08/24/07 11:07 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Your right, i dont know about the families history. But I intend to research it and find out as much as I can. And no, I didnt pick it because the design looked cool. I picked it because its a familiar symbol to me. It looks like an infinity symbol, life ever lasting. I had two choices in mind, that was my second. I spent hours looking at them and trying to find a resource on line to do my "homework" which is why I started this thread.

You and I, it would seem, think and feel very differently regarding this topic. I dont know how to explain my thoughts and feelings clearly through text on a web page... I dont think that anyone would be offended by this at all. I understand how they could be, but I think its more likely ill get struck by lightning than offend a Japanese family because I adopted their kamon.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#358002 - 08/25/07 03:05 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
It's difficult trying to explain the Japanese mind/soul to "Gaijin". Just thought you were more interested in honest feedback - not just getting a generic rubber-stamped "go-for-it".

Maybe I'm just old-school & it doesn't matter, but to me, it's something I'd shake my head & roll my eyes at.

owari
_________________________
Ed Ichihara Smith - Shukokai

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#358003 - 08/25/07 10:49 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
I would personally feel uncomfortable wearing something that I was not entitled to. My kimono does have the lotus mon that Charles linked to, but as he mentioned that is accepted for MJER use.

Would it be distasteful if I decided that I liked the design and "self sacrifice" symbology of a purple heart, and then had that embroidered on my kimono? (I'd hate to try to explain my choices to someone who actually earned the right to that display.)

One thing that I noticed is that if you guys are all choosing a mon at once, then it can't be much of a tradition for you. Why the sudden decision to add this to the program?

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#358004 - 08/27/07 10:57 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Borrek]
ScottUK Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 13
Create your own Mon based upon something in your life (vocation or location?).


Edited by ScottUK (08/27/07 10:57 AM)

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#358005 - 08/29/07 02:01 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Oh, no, im not looking for a go for it... I just wanted to know if any one had any resources for me to get some info from. I knew that there were going to be people with a totally different take on it than me. Its just that some times things can get a bit to emmotionaly charged and people start taking offence and I want to avoid that. I deffinately respect your position, dont get me wrong, I just have a different one...you know?
_________________________
-Dave-

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#358006 - 08/29/07 02:09 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Borrek]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
It wasnt a spur of the moment thing, its been in discussion for longer than ive been practicing, I joined in Feb this year and at one of my first classes my sensei and other stuients were discussing it.

And this is why I started this thread...heres a question for all of you. Regarding the kamon being worn on a samurai's kimono...was it an earned right? I thought it was something everyone did to show the family they belonged to, I didnt think a samurai needed to earn the right to display his family crest... All im trying to do is learn...to find out about the kamon or mon, what family went with what one, where I can find info on the internet or what books would be a good resource...I just wanted information, i didnt ask if it was ok if I wore it and I didnt want a discussion on personal beliefs...just some information.
_________________________
-Dave-

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#358007 - 08/29/07 02:28 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
This is a pretty good book
http://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Encycl...2050&sr=8-5

This one's not bad either
http://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Design-Mo...2050&sr=8-5

I don't know that either are going to be able to give you a family history for the mon presented though.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358008 - 08/30/07 01:50 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
awesome, thank you for the info, I appreciate it!!
_________________________
-Dave-

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#358009 - 08/30/07 03:23 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
Richard_Norris Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/06
Posts: 43
Quote:

I would not pick a mon at random. Not without running it by someone higher up the chain as it were. It would be most unfortunate if I were to show up in Japan with the soke's mon on my montsuki quite by accident.




I'd say that the closer one's relationship with folks in Japan, the more the arbitrary selection of a historical mon will not be helpful. I think the previous suggestions of using one's instructor's mon, or some generic version promulgated by a dojo, seems a lot more reasonable. Frankly, in Japan, one would sensibly be wearing some informative zekkan, so mon would be an unnecessary decoration. But hey, that's just me. I know dojo that have created their own from whole cloth, and James Williams' group modified one from one of the books linked above to come up with one for the group ...

RN

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#358010 - 09/10/07 02:07 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Halley]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Wow, I don't know about just usurping someone's family crest...

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#358011 - 09/17/07 01:43 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Alternate opinions ...
The vast majority of folks in Japan have no real knowledge of, nor interest in, any particular kamon. Very much like coats of arms, there is only a very limited number of people that pay much attention to them. Montsuki are still considered formal attire in Japan, and you can rent them there for formal occassions just like you can a tuxedo in the U.S. Montsuki come with five mon on them, and most folks who rent one don't usually care what those mon are. Once kamon began being used by commoners after the Meiji restoration, they lost the majority of their significance. Consider the fact that there are some 30,000 different Japanese kamon, and some 127 million different Japanese people to use them.

Of course, the martial arts are one of those groups of people that tend to pay a little more attention to kamon since the arts we study are directly descended from the samurai. Many of the ryuha, and the folks who preserve them, trace their roots back and have their own kamon on their formal attire for embu and demonstrations.
_________________________
Paul

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#358012 - 09/17/07 02:25 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: pgsmith]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Quote:

Alternate opinions ...
The vast majority of folks in Japan have no real knowledge of, nor interest in, any particular kamon.






Well, I don't know where that statistic comes from, but it seems that the question of the propriety of taking someone's family crest for 'fun' still needs to be considered. Maybe not the most important question in the world, but...

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#358013 - 09/17/07 04:29 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

Well, I don't know where that statistic comes from, but it seems that the question of the propriety of taking someone's family crest for 'fun' still needs to be considered.



Not a statistic, just my experience. By your same reasoning, should I be upset whenever someone changes their name to "Smith" since they are 'taking my family name'? There are bunches of people that use my family name, just as there are bunches of people that use any given kamon. There are very few that are not in general use.
_________________________
Paul

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#358014 - 09/17/07 05:08 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: pgsmith]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Would someone take the name 'Smith' to try and look cool or play with another culture for fun? A better example was the coat of arms that you mentioned. Would someone from Japan learning an Anglo traditional art of some sort assume the identity of another family (or even families)? Now maybe many people who really are members of the family that coat of arms comes from know next to nothing about it and/or don't give a rat's behind who uses it, but it is someone else's family crest. If it were true that most people don't know or care, there are still some who legitimately do. In any case, I think the question (to the extent, if any, that this is important at all)would be on the part of the 'usurper.' Would that person think about it at all, or feel a little strange about taking a person's name for no particular reason?

Anyway, this is hardly an earth-shattering issue. Just something to waste some time when I should be working.

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#358015 - 09/17/07 09:23 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:

Would someone from Japan learning an Anglo traditional art of some sort assume the identity of another family (or even families)?




Why not, Amtgarders, and SCA folks do it all the time here. The vast majority of the Japanese just don't take them all that seriously anymore. Back in the day, sure they did, but not anymore. It's pretty much the same with westerners and family coat of arms. Back in the day you could get in serious trouble for wearing the wrong livery, but now people will just look at you funny and think you're on your way to a renfest or something.

Still as Paul mentioned, the handful of the Japanese populace which practices traditional budo, tend to also be in the tiny minority who know anything at all about kamon. That's why my next montsuki is going to have the more generic Mon. It will be something I can wear to Japan where my lion rampant mon would draw too many eyes. Eyes that will already have too many other things to criticize. No need to paint yet another target on tukus.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358016 - 09/18/07 11:52 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
pgsmith Offline
Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 275
Loc: Texas
Quote:

Eyes that will already have too many other things to criticize.



Sorta like using a sword with a dayglo saya. Nothing says you can't, but you'd better be perfect if you're going to draw everyone's eyes to you.
_________________________
Paul

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#358017 - 09/21/07 12:43 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: pgsmith]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
smith is basically correct. In the daily lives of most Japanese, one's occupation has more significance. But during formal affairs such as weddings, funerals & other important family gatherings, the significance of the mon resurfaces. Not in an obvious way but a more subtle way (difficult to explain to non-Japanese).

No one would consider burying a family member w/ a headstone bearing another family's mon. And the rented attire utilize generic mon (much like "smith" vs. "the smiths from Manchester").

In my family, our mon had significance due to our family history (which I won't bore you w/). I was always aware of the documented history that goes back about 1200 yrs. However, the common Japanese in those days didn't even have last names.

Is it archaiac? Possibly. Is it relavent? Only if you choose to maintain the lineage.

Americans have a habit of doing any damn thing they want, often disregarding the others' feelings/opinions. This is not a Japanese trait - much the opposite. That's why it doesn't make sense..."it's just a logo" attitude cheapens & dismisses the heritage & ansestors that built the family/clan. You, as potential mon-usurpers don't need to understand all the intricacies, just that it's not proper & to respect the cultural value.

owari

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#358018 - 09/21/07 01:39 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
I think what I was getting at is in there somewhere.

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#358019 - 09/24/07 12:21 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
So...PsychoDave, it's been nearly a month since you last posted. What did you decide? If you adopted a mon, how did you make your decision?

(or did you simply disappear because you got opinions that conflicted w/ yours)

*not a personal dig but it happens a lot here.

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#358020 - 09/24/07 11:09 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Quote:

Americans have a habit of doing any damn thing they want, often disregarding the others' feelings/opinions. This is not a Japanese trait - much the opposite. That's why it doesn't make sense..."it's just a logo" attitude cheapens & dismisses the heritage & ansestors that built the family/clan. You, as potential mon-usurpers don't need to understand all the intricacies, just that it's not proper & to respect the cultural value.





Although I am sure you meant as little harm from this statement as possible, I still am rather offended. And I won't go into any back and forth bickering, but every culture as their bad apples; and as your encounter with Americans may have been unfortunate there is still a sense of honor in most Americans today. So, please, keep what you say impersonal.
_________________________
Saya no uchi de katsu

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#358021 - 09/24/07 11:49 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: fatguy]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
I tend to agree. Your comments smack of more than just a little prejudice.
_________________________
Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358022 - 09/25/07 02:19 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I'm a proud American of mixed parentage, raised in Japan & USA.

My statement is a generalization & if it doesn't apply to you, don't be offended. But Americans need to open their eyes...we don't always know best (from a cultural perspective).

If you're offended, imagine Japanese sensibilities being offended when some "Gaijin" tries to play samurai. It's a little ridiculous, a little embarrassing, a little infuriating, a little short-sighted.

So unless you have an ingrained appreciation for Japanese culture & history (& I don't mean you can count to 10 in Japanese during your Krotty lessons), I don't think your opinion carries much weight

owari
_________________________
Ed Ichihara Smith - Shukokai

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#358023 - 09/25/07 04:47 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Quote:

I'm a proud American of mixed parentage, raised in Japan & USA.

My statement is a generalization & if it doesn't apply to you, don't be offended. But Americans need to open their eyes...we don't always know best (from a cultural perspective).

If you're offended, imagine Japanese sensibilities being offended when some "Gaijin" tries to play samurai. It's a little ridiculous, a little embarrassing, a little infuriating, a little short-sighted.

So unless you have an ingrained appreciation for Japanese culture & history (& I don't mean you can count to 10 in Japanese during your Krotty lessons), I don't think your opinion carries much weight

owari




I understand what you mean about Americans as a whole, as Americans have the opportunity to be self-isolated, many only know English. While in all other countries, everyone knows at least 2 different languages (just for one example). And, being raised in Japan and America I can see how you might feel that your opinion is more valid.

But as for me (and I am sure most of those reading this)my training in the Japanese arts is coupled with extensive research. My problem is that I never learned kanji, which makes things a little more difficult, but google still works a lot and I come on here to ask questions.

And yes there are those people who just want to take a JSA just to "black belt" and don't really care about its history, they just do the kata and tell sensei they really do care. But, I've been to dojo's in the UK, Italy, Greece, and South Korea and there are people like that in all of them. But those guys don't really hang around for very long, they usually quit after a year or so.

And I personally didn't take the JSA because I was interested in Japanese culture and history. Although I am, I can study that without becoming an iaidoka. I started my JSA training because the benefits you receive in this training fits what I want, and I think it is fun to do.

And to say that the Japanese wouldn't do the same if the situations were switched is.... ludicrous.

America is so young that it has a very small history and little culture to take advantage of. In fact, most American culture is taken from other cultures (since Americans stem from other countries.) For this reason, there is too little of culture for anyone to attempt to practice.

One thing that I can say is American is the Automobile. I mean sure, now American cars are not as good as some of their foreign counterparts, but they were invented in America. It can then be construed that cars are an original part of American culture. Since it was better than any other transportation mode, most other countries took the car idea and made their own. I don't know about you but I'm not bitter.
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#358024 - 09/25/07 05:57 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Quote:

I'm a proud American of mixed parentage, raised in Japan & USA.

My statement is a generalization & if it doesn't apply to you, don't be offended. But Americans need to open their eyes...we don't always know best (from a cultural perspective).

If you're offended, imagine Japanese sensibilities being offended when some "Gaijin" tries to play samurai. It's a little ridiculous, a little embarrassing, a little infuriating, a little short-sighted.

So unless you have an ingrained appreciation for Japanese culture & history (& I don't mean you can count to 10 in Japanese during your Krotty lessons), I don't think your opinion carries much weight

owari






Wow, a controversial, but pretty good, post!

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#358025 - 09/25/07 05:59 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: fatguy]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Quote:



America is so young that it has a very small history and little culture to take advantage of.






THIS I really, really disagree with.

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#358026 - 09/25/07 04:04 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
(Detour)
When you walk in Vienna, Austria on streets of paving stone that were originally laid by Romans or walking through a temple over 1000 yrs old, you realize how short our history is in the US.

America has a culture unlike all others. It's actually a patchwork of other cultures & sub-cultures. That's why it's impossible to identify an "American culture".

(I'll end here before this turns into a cultural anthrapoplgy dissertation)

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#358027 - 09/25/07 10:48 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Quote:

If you're offended, imagine Japanese sensibilities being offended when some "Gaijin" tries to play samurai. It's a little ridiculous, a little embarrassing, a little infuriating, a little short-sighted.




Would you care to explain these comments a bit. Sounds to me like you are implying that only real Japanese people can dare train in real Japanese Martial Arts. That's a patently offensive arguement to make. I sincerely hope that is not what you are saying.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358028 - 09/26/07 04:33 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
hedkikr Offline
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Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Of course I'm NOT implying "only real Japanese people can dare train in real Japanese Martial Arts".

I said what I mean & I mean what I said, no more - no less. No implications, subtle messages or hidden agenda.

For the record, I presented another POV - my perspective as someone who is sensitive to & understands Japanese mind. I'm not speaking for all Japanese (that would be silly, wouldn't it) but my comments are valid; they're not something I'm making up just to be contentious.

Fact is that I've met many Gaijin in Japan who have assimilated into Japanese culture &, in some ways, are more Japanese than me.

I understand why many Gaijin see Japanese reverance for ancestors & traditional culture archaic &, in the midst of popular high-tec culture, a bit odd. But I understand how & why this dichotomy exhists becuase of my bi-cultural upbringing.

Just accept that Japan & it's people are a collection of contradictions & leave it @ that. If you want to understand, you can but it's usually more effort than most Gaijin are willing to expend. Not a bad thing...it's just the way it is.


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#358029 - 09/26/07 04:36 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Quote:

So...PsychoDave, it's been nearly a month since you last posted. What did you decide? If you adopted a mon, how did you make your decision?

(or did you simply disappear because you got opinions that conflicted w/ yours)

*not a personal dig but it happens a lot here.




Hey, whats up? Actually my computer caught on fire...luckly I was home when it happened. Kinda nerve racking.

First let me say I appreciate everyones feed back and oppenions. I knew some people wernt going to agree with me, its nothing new. I must admit the initial responce kinda made me want to stay awas because I was initially just looking for resources of information regarding the mon, not peoples personal openions on its use, and it seemed that rather than giving me info people wanted to jump down my throat and tell me im an idiot.

I just read through a few pages and the discussion is quite thought provoking. You all have some very good points regarding the subject and I am taking them into mind when I say this...

I have adopted a mon, weather or not I will use it is to be determined, I probably wont use it because I cant find any information on the family. Im also thinking of taking the same design and changing it a bit, but that doesnt seem quite right to me... At first I was against the Idea of designing my own, but that may work, or I will use the mon of my dojo, which after reading through the thread again makes the most sense...
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#358030 - 09/26/07 08:25 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Glad to see that you didn't just cut-&-run. Also glad to see that you're now thinking on a deeper level than simple cosmetics.

Hope that your new computer kicks azz.

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#358031 - 09/27/07 12:39 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
iaibear Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Ever thought of designing your own mon with a purely American motif? Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, a vintage Ford car, a Harley Davidson?

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#358032 - 09/27/07 12:53 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: iaibear]
hedkikr Offline
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Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
V-rod's nice ride

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#358033 - 09/27/07 02:58 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Quote:

Glad to see that you didn't just cut-&-run. Also glad to see that you're now thinking on a deeper level than simple cosmetics.

Hope that your new computer kicks azz.




Just grabbing one and going was never the intention. I just wish I could find some info on the one I chose...what family it belonged to, where they lived, what they did...something...anything, but I can not find any resources at all...its dissapointing to say the least
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#358034 - 09/27/07 03:02 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: iaibear]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Quote:

Ever thought of designing your own mon with a purely American motif? Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, a vintage Ford car, a Harley Davidson?




Ive been considering it more and more lately. Im in love with the ocean...wish I had gotten into marine biology or oceanography instead of realestate, oh well. Some sort of ocean creature, like a Mantis Shrimp or something might be cool...I just gotta make sure there is little detail because I dont want it blurry when its shrunk...I would need something crisp, a simple design...
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#358035 - 09/28/07 12:09 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Quote:

Ive been considering it more and more lately. Im in love with the ocean...wish I had gotten into marine biology or oceanography instead of realestate, oh well. Some sort of ocean creature, like a Mantis Shrimp or something might be cool...I just gotta make sure there is little detail because I dont want it blurry when its shrunk...I would need something crisp, a simple design...





hmm... maybe a wave then? thats a simple squiggly line
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#358036 - 09/28/07 09:45 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: fatguy]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
Hedkikr,

While I understand where you're coming from and the points you are trying to make, I think it would be a good idea to remember that JSA's are very traditional in nature and tend to attract people who are somewhat more aware of and appreciative of Japanese culture than the normal populace.

I will take your word for it that what you meant by "playing samurai" were the folks who take it to a bizarre extreme. There have been others who said things that were similar, but meant something very different.

There is nothing wrong with gaijin training in tradtional Japanese arts, although you are certain to find some of the more ultra-conservative folks in Japan who still don't approve. They should not be practiced in such a way that ignores Japanese culture, but it is not necessary to try to BE Japanese in order to practice them either.


Edited by Charles Mahan (09/28/07 09:46 AM)
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#358037 - 09/28/07 12:26 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Correct...people who play "saa-mur-eye" are the Star Wars & Highlander geeks who think twirling a sword is cooler than a single diagonal cut.

I appreciate & admire people of all backgrounds, ethnicities & nationalities who dedicate a major portion of their lives to an archaic artform purely for the appreciation of it's simple beauty, perfect body mechanics, rich history, spiritual oneness & the weapon itself.

And you're wrong about 1 thing...there are VERY few hard-line conservative Japanese who oppose Gaijin training in JSA. This small minority might be akin to the KKK but in smaller numbers. They don't represent the majority of Japanese just as the KKK definately don't represent the South. It's a myth held over from post-WWII when it was true. Remember, the older Sensei grew up in the Imperial ultra-nationalistic days. No, Japanese are very proud & impressed when they see Gaijin represent their heritage (as long as they represent proficiently & not bring embarassment). That's where the Star Wars & Highlander geeks fall WAY short.

owari

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#358038 - 09/28/07 12:47 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
hedkikr Offline
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Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Just another note (not meaning to beat the dead horse) to clarify some cultural perspectives:

Having read the previous post, please accept the fact that unless you've lived in Japan for an extended period, among Japanese & immersed in the culture it's still a copy. I'll describe it in terms you may understand:

If you've trained in authentic JSA for many years, you can tell by looking, who embodies not only the external movements but the internal features of the art. You'll pick miniscule clues in their state of mind (mushin), balance (feet), core (hara) & follow-through (zanshin). Non-practitioners will never pick-up these subtle clues.

Japanese culture/mind is more than knowing not to stick your "hashi" in a bowl of rice as you drink your tea. It's more than knowing how to take "ofuro". This isn't an accusation of insincerity, stupidity or mindlessness. It just is. I appreciate people who want to understand my culture.

Just an example: A friend approaches you & congratulates you on your son's selection as Valadictorian. What is your response?

(answer to follow)
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#358039 - 09/28/07 01:08 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
Charles Mahan Offline
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Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
You come across as very condescending, but I suspect you mean well. While I have not yet visited Japan, I am well aware of my limitations in this area.

I am fortunate enough to have spent the last decade training under a gentlemen who lived in Japan for a decade and has been practicing MJER for more than 25 years. We are well connected with Japan through the Dojo at which my sensei trained in Chiba. It is as good a training enviornment as there is this side of the Pacific.

While I agree that living and training in Japan is the ideal scenario, I disagree that it is the only way to reach a high level in any particular koryu martial art. Nor is living in Japan sufficient. Proper understanding does not come through geography, but through quality Jikiden instruction and many many years of hard work. Mind, I'm not saying that koryu JSAs should or even can be divorced from the culture in which they were created, but I am saying that good quality instruction can be had outside of Japan. The key is to find genuinely high quality instruction with good solid ties back to Japan.

Will this kind of training give you a deeper understanding of the Japanese psyche? Probably not a much deeper understanding, but maybe a little. But then, that's not really what I'm after.
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#358040 - 09/28/07 01:38 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Charles Mahan]
hedkikr Offline
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Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I don't agree that I'm coming off as condescending. I'm stating cultural POV's. Is it condescending when a football coach cuts a player & tells him that he doesn't have what it takes? No it is what it is.

I'm NOT even saying you (or any of your fellow Iaido-ka) don't have what it takes. I'm not even saying that you need to train in Japan to become proficient in your chosen MA.

What I'm saying (& this ties to the original point of this thread) is that unless you've been immersed in Japanese culture, you won't really know it. As you said, you have a basic understanding & a greater appreciation of Japanese culture compared to the average MA due to your traditional training. And since that's not your goal in your training, it doesn't really matter. You'll still benefit from your training.

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#358041 - 09/28/07 01:59 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: fatguy]
PsychoDave Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 47
Loc: California bay area
Quote:

Quote:

Ive been considering it more and more lately. Im in love with the ocean...wish I had gotten into marine biology or oceanography instead of realestate, oh well. Some sort of ocean creature, like a Mantis Shrimp or something might be cool...I just gotta make sure there is little detail because I dont want it blurry when its shrunk...I would need something crisp, a simple design...





hmm... maybe a wave then? thats a simple squiggly line




LOL!! That would deffinately work...One of the Mon I was first looking at look live waves...if i take a lunch today ill get the orderform we were given and scan it and upload it so you can all see the different Mon. Its not all of them by any means, from my understanding alot of the Mon were not listed because they were ones used by Christians...
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#358042 - 09/29/07 01:28 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: PsychoDave]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5823
Loc: USA
PsychoDave

You might also check some books on Japanese hearaldry and symbolism----they often contain generic dipictions of things like the sea or water or waves (and a host of other motifs) that would have the "look" your going for without too much specific meaning attached to specific clans/people.

Just a thought.
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I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

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#358043 - 09/29/07 06:22 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Quote:

I don't agree that I'm coming off as condescending.




You don't have to, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

Quote:

I'm stating cultural POV's. Is it condescending when a football coach cuts a player & tells him that he doesn't have what it takes? No it is what it is.




Being condescending is not necessarily about what you say, but instead about how you say it. Things like this:

Quote:


Americans have a habit of doing any damn thing they want, often disregarding the others' feelings/opinions

So unless you have an ingrained appreciation for Japanese culture & history (& I don't mean you can count to 10 in Japanese during your Krotty lessons), I don't think your opinion carries much weight

did you simply disappear because you got opinions that conflicted w/ yours

glad to see that you're now thinking on a deeper level than simple cosmetics.

I'll describe it in terms you may understand




To me (and apparently some others) they do sound condescending. Whether or not you have a point, you could make it without taking the attitude demonstrated above.

Just my opinion.

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#358044 - 09/29/07 01:51 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: splice]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Have I stated anything that was untrue?

Have I leveled any personal insults like "you're stupid for not comprehending how other cultures think"?

Have I stated that because I've had the benefit of living within 2 cultures, I'm somehow better than any one else?

No,No & No.

Everyone has an expertise or insight that another person will not have. By pointing it out, it's not a measure of quality, just information that should be considered.

If you FEEL like this is condescending, I suspect you need to look into your self-esteem. How does anyone learn their MA if they can't bear to be corrected?

Has PC come so far that if ANYONE FEELS like another is being condescending & they get their feelings hurt, it's the other person's fault?

Man-up. I've grown tired of nearly 50yrs of misconceptions about "Orientals". I try to educate people about the differences - & not in a "mine is better, yours is worse" fashion - so non-Asians can better understand & appreciate Asians.

If you don't believe that around the world, Americans are considered arrogant, than you're blind. Where do you think the term "Ugly American" came from?

I don't need to validate my patriotism but whenever I go to a foreign country, I try to represent my country in the best light possible. I never demand American-style amenities or expect them to speak English & I always eat everything they offer. I remain humble & try to be aware of the local social graces. By keeping my eyes & ears open, I learn to appreciate the ways of other cultures.

If you've never been told this, I'm glad you had the opportunity to read my posts. But if your feelings got hurt because you felt I'm condescending, too bad you wasted your time.

owari

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#358045 - 09/29/07 10:36 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Although it may very well be true that post world war II gave Americans the image of disrespectful ogres, and no one is denying that many cultures around the world still see America as that, you say:

Quote:

Man-up. I've grown tired of nearly 50yrs of misconceptions about "Orientals". I try to educate people about the differences - & not in a "mine is better, yours is worse" fashion - so non-Asians can better understand & appreciate Asians.




you understand misconceptions and try to correct them... thats cool with me... but then you say:

Quote:

Americans have a habit of doing any damn thing they want, often disregarding the others' feelings/opinions




completely contradicting yourself by stating a stereotype while you fight to end stereotypes of Asian descendants.

Quote:

If you FEEL like this is condescending, I suspect you need to look into your self-esteem. How does anyone learn their MA if they can't bear to be corrected?




we lost the topic of MA and moved to a topic of shear etiquette. Its not about self-esteem and your not really correcting anything, merely announcing a stereotype of a nature that you yourself said you try to correct in other people.

However, I feel this topic has moved too far from Sword arts and more into a simple poor choice in words which caused offense.

And although, being both young and Caucasian, I may not fully understand the level of racial stereotypical abuse you may have had hedkikr, I do understand what your talking about.

I simply caution that two wrongs don't make a right.
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#358046 - 09/29/07 10:55 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: splice]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Quote:

Quote:

I don't agree that I'm coming off as condescending.




You don't have to, but that doesn't mean it isn't true.

Quote:

I'm stating cultural POV's. Is it condescending when a football coach cuts a player & tells him that he doesn't have what it takes? No it is what it is.




Being condescending is not necessarily about what you say, but instead about how you say it. Things like this:

Quote:


Americans have a habit of doing any damn thing they want, often disregarding the others' feelings/opinions

So unless you have an ingrained appreciation for Japanese culture & history (& I don't mean you can count to 10 in Japanese during your Krotty lessons), I don't think your opinion carries much weight

did you simply disappear because you got opinions that conflicted w/ yours

glad to see that you're now thinking on a deeper level than simple cosmetics.

I'll describe it in terms you may understand




To me (and apparently some others) they do sound condescending. Whether or not you have a point, you could make it without taking the attitude demonstrated above.

Just my opinion.






Some good points there.

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#358047 - 09/30/07 08:41 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
hedkikr, everything you say is about how you're right and how what you say is true. I would argue your statement about not being insulting but it doesn't really matter.

Again, you can be right but still be condescending. You haven't changed my opinion.

At any rate I did what I could to help answer Psychodave's question and I don't really have much reason to reply further. Have a good one.

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#358048 - 09/30/07 02:01 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: splice]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Aaaah, the virtues of youth...light in life experiences but heavy in opinions.

Maybe you'll understand in 20 yrs.

BTW, if you really understood, the subject centered around a non-Japanese considering doing something I believed would be in poor taste or uninformed. I would have done the same if a Japanese proposed doing something that had the same conotation in America.

So it's not a simple issue of contradiction (although on the surface it might appear so). If you were able to see deeper, you'd see this. My general comment about Americans because I was addressing Americans. My personal experiences regarding were specific. I noted that you train in a traditional JSA dojo. I wonder if you had any discussions w/ your Japanese Sensei. Just ask.

Ask what Japanese may feel about a Gaijin adopting a kamon for personal reasons.

Ask his feelings regarding the bastardization of ttraditional JSA.

Ask him if Americans/Europeans have difficulty understanding Japanese culture/mind/soul.

You think you have it all together & any opinion that upsets your view of the world is condescending. (and yes, I meant that sentence to be condescending). Grow up & don't get your feelings hurt so much. (that was condescending too)

Have a good one.

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#358049 - 09/30/07 03:54 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< Just an example: A friend approaches you & congratulates you on your son's selection as Valadictorian. What is your response?

(answer to follow) >>

Still waiting for your answer.

However, my answer would be to smile in appreciation that my friend had noticed and cared enough to make the compliment. Then I would say something like,"Thank you kindly. But you should know he was not selected. He earned it."

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#358050 - 09/30/07 07:43 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
splice Offline
Member

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 230
Loc: Ottawa, ON
Quote:

Aaaah, the virtues of youth...light in life experiences but heavy in opinions. Maybe you'll understand in 20 yrs.

BTW, if you really understood [...]




You know what I find really funny? For all your diatribe about being the wise old man who is lowering himself to the level of the dumb youths who don't know a thing, I never said I disagreed with your point. You're tripping over yourself telling me I don't have the experience and deep insight to understand your logic, yet you don't seem to have a damn clue that I agree with much of what you say but find the way you say it distasteful and insulting.

Main Entry: con·de·scend
Pronunciation: "kän-di-'send
1 a : to descend to a less formal or dignified level : UNBEND b : to waive the privileges of rank
2 : to assume an air of superiority

I hope you'll think about this, but I know that they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Good day.

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#358051 - 09/30/07 07:50 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: iaibear]
Charles Mahan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/14/04
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denton, Tx, USA
See this is why condescencion is a bad way to make a point. After awhile, your intended audience stops listening to the points you are trying to make.

We as a community are not here to be lectured by you or anyone else. You are of course free to take on a lecturing tone and be as condescending and even as rude as you like, so long as you don't run afoul of the forum rules. The forum readers are of course free to ignore you or list their own counter observations and arguements.

If you are genuinely interested in changing opinions and spreading information, you would be well advised to do so in a more diplomatic manner.
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Iaido - Breaking down bad habits, and building new ones.

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#358052 - 09/30/07 08:17 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Quote:

Aaaah, the virtues of youth...light in life experiences but heavy in opinions.

Maybe you'll understand in 20 yrs.

BTW, if you really understood, the subject centered around a non-Japanese considering doing something I believed would be in poor taste or uninformed. I would have done the same if a Japanese proposed doing something that had the same conotation in America.

So it's not a simple issue of contradiction (although on the surface it might appear so). If you were able to see deeper, you'd see this. My general comment about Americans because I was addressing Americans. My personal experiences regarding were specific. I noted that you train in a traditional JSA dojo. I wonder if you had any discussions w/ your Japanese Sensei. Just ask.

Ask what Japanese may feel about a Gaijin adopting a kamon for personal reasons.

Ask his feelings regarding the bastardization of ttraditional JSA.

Ask him if Americans/Europeans have difficulty understanding Japanese culture/mind/soul.

You think you have it all together & any opinion that upsets your view of the world is condescending. (and yes, I meant that sentence to be condescending). Grow up & don't get your feelings hurt so much. (that was condescending too)

Have a good one.




LOL! This attitude is so over the top that it almost seems intentionally comical.

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#358053 - 09/30/07 08:41 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: chingei]
Borrek Offline
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Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Am I the only one seeing the major irony of people getting bent out of shape by someone who is culturally defensive in a thread about defense of cultural usurping? Maybe the topic at hand means more to Japanese than even those of us who tread lightly understand.

In a clash of patriotic pride, who wins in the end? The one who stops talking and listens...

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#358054 - 09/30/07 09:24 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Borrek]
fatguy Offline
Member

Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 146
Quote:

Am I the only one seeing the major irony of people getting bent out of shape by someone who is culturally defensive in a thread about defense of cultural usurping? Maybe the topic at hand means more to Japanese than even those of us who tread lightly understand.

In a clash of patriotic pride, who wins in the end? The one who stops talking and listens...




Wise words... I guess I lost

Quote:


Aaaah, the virtues of youth...light in life experiences but heavy in opinions.

Maybe you'll understand in 20 yrs.

BTW, if you really understood, the subject centered around a non-Japanese considering doing something I believed would be in poor taste or uninformed. I would have done the same if a Japanese proposed doing something that had the same conotation in America.

So it's not a simple issue of contradiction (although on the surface it might appear so). If you were able to see deeper, you'd see this. My general comment about Americans because I was addressing Americans. My personal experiences regarding were specific. I noted that you train in a traditional JSA dojo. I wonder if you had any discussions w/ your Japanese Sensei. Just ask.

Ask what Japanese may feel about a Gaijin adopting a kamon for personal reasons.

Ask his feelings regarding the bastardization of ttraditional JSA.

Ask him if Americans/Europeans have difficulty understanding Japanese culture/mind/soul.

You think you have it all together & any opinion that upsets your view of the world is condescending. (and yes, I meant that sentence to be condescending). Grow up & don't get your feelings hurt so much. (that was condescending too)





You should really take your own advise...

in fact, you really haven't defended any of your previous statements. you just said im young and dont understand yet. Well, other people here are older and more experienced than I and they think your self-contradicting and arrogant as well. So I am young, I admit it, dont take my advice... I mostly ask questions anyway. But you cant ignore the fact that EVERYONE disagrees with you. And you cant play the "im the old guy so i am wiser than you" card on everyone. The fact still remains that you made a beef-headed comment about Americans in general, are in fact wrong in doing so, and refused to admit any fallacy.

My conversation stopped being about the komon, and gaijin acceptance in Japan today. I am simply offended at the blunt generalizations you make about all Americans. And after you stopped refusing that you said anything condescending, you told everyone to just get over it. You tell everyone else that they need to learn more and yet your the only one who is not willing to listen to anyone else...

As I stated earlier though, and as Borrek stated, this conversation is going nowhere. More so, its rather childish and I should not have contributed as much as I did. On that note, feel free to reply but, since psychodave has made his decision, I am finished with this thread and will read but no longer post any more rebuttal.
_________________________
Saya no uchi de katsu

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#358055 - 09/30/07 10:51 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: fatguy]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
I'm afraid I agree with several aspects of both sides of this little donnybrook.

1) the usurpation of a family's crest is something to give careful consideration to at the very least.

2) the blanket denoucements of American culture and history were short-sighted and indicated a poor understanding of what culture is and how modern history has unfolded

3) the "I'm the only human being with experience and the rest of y'all need to grow up and keep your mouths closed for 20 years!" is just silly and self-effacing in its effect if not its intention.

So...

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#358056 - 10/01/07 01:40 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: hedkikr]
Emily_Egan Offline
Stranger

Registered: 09/30/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Friendswood, TX
Quote:

...
Just an example: A friend approaches you & congratulates you on your son's selection as Valadictorian. What is your response?





Based on what I have read and observed, I think the proper Japanese response would be to first emphatically deny the compliment, possibly pointing out some flaw in the person being complimented, then express gratitude for the thought.


Edited by Emily_Egan (10/01/07 01:43 AM)

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#358057 - 10/01/07 03:53 AM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Emily_Egan]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
LOL! That sounds about right!

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#358058 - 10/01/07 12:00 PM Re: Samurai Mon [Re: Emily_Egan]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
Thank-you, Iaibear for playing along & the prize goes to Emily for the correct answer.

This is a very good example of cultural differences - not a question of wrong vs right. My point throughout was & is that any action can be interpreted in many ways & that consideration should be given to the people/cultural the action is impacting. This can be as simple as taking a mon to international diplomacy.

Somehow, my pointing out that Americans (I know, a wide generalization) tend to see things less from an international perspective & more from a national perspective bent some members out of shape. I speak from my experience as we all do. I've been in 7 foreign countries, not as a tourist but w/ family/friends so I was privy to local talk & opinions. When gross generalizations about Americans run contrary to the norm, I speak up & educate them as well.

Did I go over the top in my last thread? Yes, & for that I apologise to the members as a whole. But I'm not running away, making excuses or retracting my comments. I don't understand why a few let it get personal.

owari

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