my shrine is better than your shrine?

This post originally appeared on my AikiWeb blog…

About 3 weeks ago, I got an English-teaching job. It turns out one of my students takes Aikikai aikido in Kyoto. At the beginning of each class, students go around the table and tell what news they have from the previous week. My Aikikai student has gotten in the habit of telling what’s gone at her dojo, in a way that’s vaguely challenging to me. I find it rather annoying.

Last class, she told about a seminar that was held at the Heian Shrine here in Kyoto. In case you don’t know, the Heian Shrine is a biggy. My dojo has weekly classes at Shiramine Shrine, which is not nearly as well known as the Heian. However, both are are listed as “jingu” class of Shinto shrines. Jingu are shrines closely associated with the Imperial family. Shiramine is dedicated to two emperors and Minamoto no Tametomo, which is why it has its own dojo and multiple martial arts practice on the shrine grounds in order to mollify the martial spirits of its kami.

I’d like to snarkily invite her to do hajime geiko with us sometime, but I have a professional demeanor to maintain.