Picking up at the end of Kungfu Podcast 94. Following the subjects of the research study as they share what they are looking for and finding through the process of practicing the Martial Art, Aikido. There is much more to it for them, than punch and kick. It is about finding pieces of themselves.
Dr. Kevin Tan is an Anthropologist. As part of his dissertation he embedded himself into an Aikidio Training Hall in Calgary, Canada. In episode 94, I laid the backdrop of the how and why he chose this Martial Art, research terms that are important for this cultural exploration
Here you are going to get to listen to questions and responses from the subjects
Dr. Tan: "Do you think you’ve become more Japanese?"
Jonathan: "..in a sense, being Japanese or not...people look at skin colour, hair colour and how you act, which of course is a valid definition...but at the same time I’ve had Japanese people tell me that I am more Japanese than they are...so in that sense, culturally I tend to pick up certain things and certain mannerisms really naturally and automatically better than they do...while they try and tend to change that...to me it fits really well...so I mean...in that sense I am already Japanese, but whether or not I can be Japanese according to other people isn’t something that I can answer anyway...but as long as you are not defining it by the idea of citizenship... ideas or..."
Dr Tan: How has your experience in Canada been like?
Koichi: "Always have problems. Difficult in some ways...umm...that’s part of the reason I started Aikido...I was becoming Canadian...trying to be a Canadian...live like a Canadian...but every morning when I look in the mirror I see myself as being Japanese...first of all you deny...I wanna be Canadian...but you cannot deny what you are...and wake in the morning – I am Japanese...so better do something Japanese...so Aikido is Japanese...that’s one of the reasons why I do Aikido...so living in Canada as a foreigner or immigrant is very difficult...white people treat me like Asian...yellow monkey...I try to be normal people...struggle all the time...that’s the hardest thing...but I have to keep my identity...to stand up...I am Japanese – so what?...that’s why I have to...stand up, otherwise when I turn my back around...(say) sorry I’m Japanese...(I’m) not like that anymore..."
Koichi: Before I started Aikido...I realized i needed to get my identity back...I should be Japanese ... so I thought I should do something Japanese...I cannot deny who I am.