Category Archives: Translations

O’Sensei no kuden: in-yo(17)

When the Triangle, Circle, and Square become one, this unity becomes alive in a spherical rotation which is united with the flow of ki, and the Aikido of Sumikiri is made manifest.

– – – translated (and possibly paraphrased in translation) by Itsuo Tsuda, recorded by André Nocquet Shihan. Published in Shobu aïki. La victoire selon l’art chevaleresque de Morihei Ueshiba, by J-D. Cauhépé and A. Kuang,  p.101

…Mi o kaete…hitori kaeruru…

A different man,
I’ve come back alone
to this mountain village
– – – so many times I’ve heard
the wind blow through these pines – – –

– – – from the Genji Monogatari

Tenchi no hajime no toki…

Heaven and Earth are here-and-now ceaselessly creating and beginning again and again.  The beginning of Heaven and Earth that is laid out in the Kojiki is not the origin of physical matter that is discussed in astronomy, physics or history. And this is not because the Kojiki’s chapters on the Age of the Gods deal with things that happened spontaneously a long, long time ago – but nevertheless after that point in time. Now and – for that reason – here  – which is to say “in the here-and-now” – is the place where all the time Heaven and Earth are beginning. That is to say:  Heaven and Earth in reality are ceaselessly – both here and now – continuously being formed and are continuously creating. This “now” is called “the eternal present”.

– – – Koji Ogasawara,   Kototama Hyakushin,  p. 17

…Nenpi-Kannon-riki…

Up till now,  aiki – as budo – has been a thing of one kata after another, BUT  now that it has fundamentally forgotten all of that,  it has become a matter of where you put your spirit.  If you don’t have,  in your own heart, a heart of love, then there is no way you can produce these magnificent waza that are about protecting the whole of creation:   in just the same way, we know, as our traditional Japanese kamae seigan, is very, very much a kamae of love. The inner truth of being without forms,  is that Japanese budo does not force the opponent into a series of moves:  it does not force him to be aite…  And the  [standard mental attitude and fundamental tactic of]  not resisting is so very much a gesture of the spirit – an act, as it were, in the spiritual world – that it has a [spiritual] name:  nenpi-Kannon-riki.  It is the innermost hidden secret [ – the gokui – ] of bu that there are no forms.  Bu arises  spontaneously from our deepest impulses, and it is fundamentally, and from the very outset, a matter of ki controlling everything.

These things were  all  revealed to me in my training by

SARUTAHIKO-NO-O-KAMI.

and then on December 16th, 1942, in the time between 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock in the morning, all the kami of Japan were good enough to show their presence and congratulate me on the advent of  [true]  Aiki.  [Which with] training in Yamato-damashii, and the swordsmanship of Sho-Chiku-Bai, and with the double-edged sword that unifies Heaven and Earth, using the movement of the heart, washes away the world’s impurities.  And in that regard, the very first thing [that had to happen,] was that the Great Pacific War had to be ended.  It’s a hard thing to talk about, but I had been blessed with the opportunity to make a great new beginning, and so I had retired – [after which I found] divine providence manifesting itself  from every possible direction – and  I  built in Iwama a 36 tatami Aiki-Jinja.  And soon after that, when the atom bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which made me all the more resolute, His Majesty, with an Imperial Proclamation, ended the war. From that time, when you look at Japan, you see that everyone has been bound together with bonds of aiki and mutual concern.

O’Sensei,  probably audio-recorded by by Masatake Fujita, transcribed by Sadateru Arikawa Shihan,  published in Aiki-Shinzui,  p.129-130

…the spirit of O’Sensei…

 – – – Kanshu Sunadomari Shihan:

There are many kinds of aikido and that is alright.  As I already said,  techniques evolve and that is perfectly natural. What is essential is your heart,  the state of your spirit.

As time passes, you will doubtless come to practise differently. It is not right simply to pass on what you studied: you, yourself, will take part in the creative process. Techniques will arise of themselves if you think to unite yourself with aite,  instead of thinking of knocking them down. That is an important point.

If you do not enter the world of the spirit,  then you will continue to work on forms which have no meaning, and you will finish by returning to the world of competition and strength. You must train keeping in your heart the spirit of Ueshiba Morihei.  Dojos where the spirit of O’Sensei is preserved and those where it is absent are very different. You feel it instantly.

– – – from French language interview on the Budo no Nayami website

…some waking up haiku, renku, kanbun and waka…

The First Dream of the Year

The year’s first dream:
still in my nose –
the heart of what it is to be a flower…

– – – Chiyo Ni

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O’Sensei no kuden: Ame no Torifune

These rhythmic movements that I perform with accompanying sounds show the way in which with each movement I am absorbing and expelling the energy of the universe.

– – – translated (and possibly paraphrased in translation) by Itsuo Tsuda, reported by André Nocquet Shihan in  Maître Morihei Ueshiba: présence et message  p.77

Gérard Blaize Shihan on Torifune…Furitama…

CHINKON KISHIN NO HO:  the method for calming the spirit – – –

Most practioners of aikido still begin each practice with exercises combining body movement, the chanting of names, and breathing associated with vizualisations, similar to those which the Founder of Aikido used to practise.

These exercises are, in Japan, designated by the term “CHINKON KISHIN NO HO” – which translates as: “the method for calming the spirit”.  This definition will come as a surprise to many aikido practitioners, who undoubtedly have no suspicion that such is the goal of these exercises.

But what are these exercises?  Why are they still practised today?   What utility do they have?

*  The CHINKON KISHIN NO HO exercises and their origin

We owe these exercises to a Shinto/Buddhist [sic] monk,  KAWATSURA BONJI (1862-1929).   It was he who brought back into current usage a system of self-purification (misogi) which had existed in pre-Nara Shinto practice: at a time when it had not yet been influenced by Buddhism or Confucianism. This system consisted of a series of exercises with names that are difficult for a Westerner to pronounce: FURUTAMA [FURITAMA] – OTAKEBI – OKOROBI – IKUBI NO HO – AMA NO TORIFUNE. [AME NO TORIFUNE]

FURITAMA: this exercise is done sitting seiza. After reciting the NORITO SOJO,…

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Andre Nocquet Shihan’s first student: on Ame-no-Torifune

Tama no Hireburi                          Fune kogi

1> Calming
Entering a state of receptivity

2> Left foot forward. Hypate.
Bringing the energies of Fire to yourself.
Birth, growth of the tree towards the Zenith.
red          TRIANGLEUPcauhepeSMALL

EI-O

3> The accumulation of knowledge
and virtue only happens with gentleness.
Rising of Fire corresponding to receptivity to the
complementary Element, [Water]..

4> Right foot forward. Mese.
Bringing the energies of Water to yourself.
Life develops harmoniously through the reciprocal interpenetration of the two Elements [Water and Fire]. Heaven and Earth become unified. The branches of the tree deploy.
TRIANGLEDOWNcauhepeSMALLgreen-blue 

E I-SA

5>  The ‘ethers‘ of Heaven and Earth
fuse to produce internal fire which will rise.

6> Left foot forward. Nete.
Air is born of the union of Water and Fire in an
unceasing continuum. The “Child” of this union
Ki-Lightning-THunder” is let loose, and “bursts out”, spreading peace in the 4 directions. The sound is the “result” of the shock between the yang of the ether and the yin of the internally  accumulated submission. Blossoming of the tree’s blossom.
TRICIRCLESYMBOLcauhepeSMALL

White-golden.

EI-EI  1)

 

7>  Peace engenders humility and the
seven  successive modifications of being.

1) which curiously evokes its Japanese homonym: “Ei-ei” – “eternally”.

Le jeu des energies réspiratoires, gestuelles et sonores dans la pratique de l’aikido,   J.-D Cauhépé and A. Kuang,   p. 167

Shigenobu Okumura Shihan on O’Sensei’s warm-ups…

Here is [Webmaster: an extract from] an article by Okumura Shigenobu sensei for the magazine Aikido Tankyu #5.

The original title is: Aikido no shugyo o hajimeru hito no tame ni (for people who are beginning their shugyo in aikido). Aikido no jumbi undo ni tsuite (on preparatory exercises for the practice of aikido).

“Ei-Ho, Ei-Ho, Ei-Ho”… The traveler on the early morning bus can, from as far away as the main street, hear and be astonished by this strange chant. The neighbours of Hombu Dojo, on the other hand, are used to this unusual wake up call, around 6:30, the tradition of which goes back more than half a century: these are the preparatory exercises, a kind of gymnastics which combine preparation of the spirit with that of the body.

The practice of the martial arts, of course, requires a physical preparation to ward off accidents and injuries.

In aikido, the preparation is composed of:

1. “purification” exercises (misogi-taiso) – kawa mo shiki [correct movement and utterance for in the river already] – ishi no ue shiki [correct movement and utterance for on the stones beside the river]

2. health system methods (kenkyo ho) – makko hoNishi shiki [Nishi system]

3. various breathing exercises (shinkokyu)

There are thus a variety of preparatory exercises and health systems in the aikido practised today. Ueshiba Morihei, the founder, used to say: “This is good, but that is good too”.  Consequently, the number of exercises was always growing.

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