…early in the 1961 Japan TV documentary,   Aikido 1),    O’Sensei is seen lecturing in front of this exposition of TRIANGLE, CIRCLE, SQUARE…


[and see also the recent translation by the indispensable Stanley Pranin Sensei of an article on ‘Triangle, Circle, Square’ by Sakura Mai]


  • [TRIANGLE <PLUM>]  In the 3,000 worlds all at once the  [plum-]tree-blossom – the ki-energy – of aiki is opening…  in that light and in those miraculous sounds that are being produced, take control!
  • [CIRCLE <BAMBOO>]   Izu and mizu manifesting as a cross, as intersecting vertical and horizontal, as tate-yoko…  this is aiki…  now, on the golden bridge,  act as if you are fulfilling the destinies of Mount Fuji and of the whirlpools of Naruto!
  • [SQUARE / SHIKAKU <PINE>]  With the tate-yoko cross of aiki manifesting as [kotodama]  voices, as  light and as shadow…  in the light be aware of something like charcoal (sumi) 2)  and something like spirit…
1)  reissued on the Aikido Journal DVD,   Founder of Aikido
2)  Sasaki Masando Shihan used to refer to a verse by Ikkyu which describes kokoro as a sumi-e drawing of something intangible and ungraspable. There is a specialist meaning of kokoro, outlined  inter al  in eighteenth century versions of the Kujiki-den. In this schema, kokoro is the very first, subtle impulse of intent (the thing that O’Sensei was famously able to tune in to), this impulse becomes ri, the mind at work, which becomes ki just before it manifests in the “real” world as actual utterance or action.

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