Jonesy, on 24 July 2010 - 03:52 PM, said:
Interesting - who else then has enjoyed this designation?
I am assuming that this is a matter of semantics. Japanese often use the term 'shihan' to refer to the head-sensei of a dôjô. In that sense, there obviously have been and are hundreds of 'shihan'. I have even seen Yamamoto Shirô wear a belt that says "Yamamoto Shirô shihan". But, that obviously does not mean that he has ever been bestowed the title of shihan from any organization which employs and has the rank of 'shihan' as an award of merit and knowledge or skills.
It is similar to the 'professor' thing. There are a bunch of idiots in martial arts who call themselves 'professor' because they want to indicate probably that they teach and are better than other 'instructors'. One could thus erroneously say there are dozens of such professors in martial arts. As we know very well, the number of people in jûdô who have been bestowed a personal Chair and full professorship by an accredited institution of higher education are far less.
Kanô did bestow a couple of times the title of 'hanshi', but he did so to a couple of people who even did not hold a rank in jûdô, and he appears to have done so via his function in the Butokukai, not directly from the Kôdôkan. Most people though like Isogai, who did obtain the title of hanshi directly received this title from the Butokukai.
As Jon Z usually has sources to back up what he writes I cannot further comment on his post without knowing further specifics. Usually when there is an apparent disagreement between myself and Jon Z regarding such historic issues, it can be explained by semantics. We also should not forget that though that many things we write here have the functional purpose to quickly address something in a way that addresses and immediately concern or a general understanding. It is unfortunate, but we can't for most of our discussions write a dissertation with footnotes. But when someone decides to really dig into something in the Japanese sources, then the previous thread is challenged to a higher level. It then depends on whether the previous respondents are still around and are willing to invest the time to move to that level and continue the discussion there, which then usually implies an exponential increase in time commitment. But no doubt, that many myths to exist. When I first joined the forum my reaction was similar to that of Jon Z, and in the end it probably has been one of the main motivators for what I have contributed to this forum.
I am glad though that we now have people like Jon Z, NBK, close to the sources who take their task seriously. It is a motivator to maintain a certain standard, and it is a reminder not to screw up or to show accountability when we do. Last but not least, their contributions, critiques, challenges may help increase our knowledge and accuracy of facts presented. For me personally, there is an extra perk. I'd rather have someone point out an eventual error about a post of mine, so that I can correct it or redo my research, then to screw up and get the same comments about my book. There will be errors obviously, but I'd like to reduce them to as few as possible. I remember that probably I learnt the most about research through peer reviews. That doesn't mean I always agree with my reviewers. But I always think, if they come up with that concern, then likely other people might come up with it too, and it should be possible for me to rewrite or reprocess so that the concern is no longer a concern. The only main difference I guess is that in science the trolls are easily dealt with while their activity here on the forum, something that is probably best called 'anti-posting' can linger on, and on, and on.
Guys like Teatime or RealJudo kept polluting the forum over and over, often with things disguised as apparent serious questions. This was not a matter of challenging established opinions, no, not at all. We know their techniques, extensive use of fallacies, often after absurd pseudo-dialogues leading to self-conclusions that they have proven their point and we're right. Just look at the TeaTime quote which RITF retained in his signature. It was exactly 'that'. Often they have extraordinary ability to intrigue and start an issued, provoke others here and there, with the issue rapidly evolving into an uncontrollable melt down that often has little to do anymore with the original question.
As we know ... "a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. In addition to the offending poster, the noun “troll” can also refer to the provocative message itself, as in that was an excellent troll you posted.
As described by Robert Bond in The International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, trolls usually exhibit a typical pattern of behavior:
In "The Art of Trolling" published on the web it is suggested that "in Usenet usage", a 'troll' is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers by, but rather a provocative posting to a news group intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses. The content of a “troll” posting generally falls into several areas. It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction or common knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of the news group or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.
In academic literature, the practice was first documented by Judith Donath (1999). Donath's paper outlines the ambiguity of identity in a disembodied "virtual community" such as Usenet:
"In the physical world there is an inherent unity to the self, for the body provides a compelling and convenient definition of identity. The norm is: one body, one identity ... The virtual world is different. It is composed of information rather than matter." (...)
Donath provides a concise overview of identity deception games which trade on the confusion between physical and epistemic community:
"Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they — and the troll — understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll's enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group." (...)
Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling — where the rate of deception is high — many honestly naïve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one's online reputation." (...)
This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 24 July 2010 - 10:15 AM