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Michio Hikitsuchi Shihan remembers…

He also told us to have a sense of gratitude. Be thankful for others and to nature. Without gratitude we cannot become true human beings. The power of nature, the sun, gives us everyhing. When rain falls, the field produces rice. Fruit and grain grow. This is the gift of the earth. Therefore the keiko is very important.

- – - in Remembering O-Sensei, ed. Susan Perry, p.101

O’Sensei no kuden: Furitama

You are standing with one foot put on the rock of the sky, and the other foot on the rock of the earth.

- – - recorded by Tamura Nobuyoshi Shihan,  reported by Jim Baker of Aikido of Norfolk (retrieved May, 2014)

…Fourth of July Jinja-Mairi!!!…


SenseitoSenseiCROPThis summer I was able to visit Tsubaki America Shrine for my O-Mairi.  It has been many years since I was able to go,  so I was really happy to be there and experience the transformative atmosphere of the Shrine,  and even more:  Guji-San’s amazing talent as a shrine-keeper.  We were able to visit a little bit, but it was a very busy time for him, too. So, all the more, we enjoyed so much his hospitality, and hope to return soon.

We are hoping to collect a group of dojo-members who might be  interested in experiencing shrine technology and take them up for a little trip.

I want to extend my incredible gratitude to Sensei for the years of work that have created this Shrine.  He’s one of the few people that I’ve ever met who have that level of commitment that they can make something that everyone says is impossible  actually happen, and happen in a bigger and more incredible way than anyone could have imagined.

- – - Kimbal Anderson Sensei,   August 2014


…a feeling that wells up and comes out naturally…

If a conversation is truly something wonderful, it is kototama….When the desire for everyone to be in harmony is present in what you say, I feel your words are kototama. If the heart of love and gratitude permeates every word, that is kototama….    When O’Sensei chanted the sounds A…O…U…E…I… and other kototama, he would say that the sound had to emerge naturally, of its own accord. “A”…is a feeling that wells up and comes out naturally in a sound. While O’Sensei was sounding the kototama, he would say, with “A” the sound emerges naturally, and with “ME” the sound goes out and circulates….

- – -  Motomichi Anno Shihan – Journey to the Heart of Aikido,   pp.248-9

O’Sensei no Kuden: sword(4)

The form of budo must be love.  One should live in love.  This is aikido and this is the old form of the kamae in kenjutsu.

- – - radio interview recorded in Aikido,  by Nidai Doshu, Kowada edition, 1957.  Translated in Aikido Journal.

O’Sensei no Kuden: Kokyu

Breath out while breathing in, and breath in while breathing out.

- – - reported by Nobuyuki Watanabe Shihan – in Gekkan Hiden,  Aug. 2007.  Interview translated by Christopher Li Sensei,  Sangenkai website.

O’Sensei no kuden: in-yo(4)

It is essential to give yourself over to the action of the sub-conscious, which alone can reconcile “yin and yang”.

- – – translated (and possibly paraphrased in translation) by Itsuo Tsuda, recorded by André Nocquet Shihan in his Hombu training diary, 1955-57. Published in Maître Morihei Ueshiba: présence et message p.195

Theater as Mandala…

…”O-Sensei told stories, and I listened”…

Aikido Today:   How did you associate with O-Sensei outside the dojo?

Hikitsuchi Shihan:   O-Sensei told stories, and I listened.  He spoke of a variety of things.  Whenever I was with him,  I was always paying attention.

- – - from the Aikido Today interview,  translation revised by Peter Shapiro

…the Chinese connection (2)…

O-Sensei went to Mongolia, to China on business and for religious matters. I understand he did some research on martial arts while there. The same thing occured with Chinese martial arts as when O-Sensei studied Japanese martial arts; his spirit became part of the martial art. So, for example, when O-Sensei did the Kashima sword style, it became the Aiki sword. His way of using ki and turning his hips were completely different.

- – - Morihiro  Saito Shihan  – Aiki News  interview,  June 1975,  p. 6