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aikishrine
06-10-2009, 10:03 PM
If it wasnt for WWII, do you think that O'SENSEI would have left the name of his art Aikibudo?

In the book "The Spirit Of Aikido" by his son, he states that when Japan was getting ready to enter into the war, they created a martial arts union for all of the martial arts of Japan to enter in at that time. And that he didnt want his art to be lumped into it so he changed the name to Aikido and retreated to Iwama. And it was the name Aikido that was entered into that association.

I am just wondering if anyone else has read this book and has come to the same conclusion that i have, that he probably would have preferred to keep the name Aikibudo.

Carsten M÷llering
06-11-2009, 03:45 AM
Hi

Hm, I think it is a known fact, that Ueshiba didn't create the name "aikido" himself but only accepted it.
And also that Hirai can't be seen as a representativ of the kobukan or as a deshi of Ueshiba.
The name "aikido" came up completely without Ueshibas involvement.

The budo of Ueshiba had had several other names before.
And the term "aikido" is also used (was at first used?) for the art of Hirai Minoru who is also entitled "o sensei" and sometimes in some branches of aiki jujtsu.

So one should not put too much meaning into that word.

Carsten

Amir Krause
06-11-2009, 06:20 AM
If it wasnt for WWII, do you think that O'SENSEI would have left the name of his art Aikibudo?

In the book "The Spirit Of Aikido" by his son, he states that when Japan was getting ready to enter into the war, they created a martial arts union for all of the martial arts of Japan to enter in at that time. And that he didnt want his art to be lumped into it so he changed the name to Aikido and retreated to Iwama. And it was the name Aikido that was entered into that association.

I am just wondering if anyone else has read this book and has come to the same conclusion that i have, that he probably would have preferred to keep the name Aikibudo.

Look around, you may find the history is not exactly as it was described in this book. There is actually a thread going on just about this issue:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16295

Hi

Hm, I think it is a known fact, that Ueshiba didn't create the name "aikido" himself but only accepted it.
And also that Hirai can't be seen as a representativ of the kobukan or as a deshi of Ueshiba.
The name "aikido" came up completely without Ueshibas involvement.

The budo of Ueshiba had had several other names before.
And the term "aikido" is also used (was at first used?) for the art of Hirai Minoru who is also entitled "o sensei" and sometimes in some branches of aiki jujtsu.

So one should not put too much meaning into that word.

Carsten

As a practioner of Korindo Aikido (the art Hirai Sensei created) myslef, I was always told Ueshiba used the name Aikido for his art, before Hirai. I also never heard anyone call him "O Sensei" seems his direct students felt he would not have liked that and prefered to be called only "Sensei".

One should also recall, Hirai Sensei headed the commitee which set the name "aikido", he did not invent it, the honour of that act goes to Mr Tatsuo Hisatomi from the Kodokan.

BR
Amir

Peter Goldsbury
06-11-2009, 07:57 AM
Hello Brian,

Many apologies for the length of this response, but I think your post needs a more detailed response than has been given so far. Discussing the history of aikido is like entering a mine field and you need to be aware of this, especially in a forum like Aikiweb.

If it wasnt for WWII, do you think that O'SENSEI would have left the name of his art Aikibudo?
PAG. What are you trying to achieve by asking the question? Of course you can ask the question, but what kind of answers are you expecting? I think there is no direct evidence either way here. Ueshiba's art was also known by other names.

In the book "The Spirit Of Aikido" by his son, he states that when Japan was getting ready to enter into the war, they created a martial arts union for all of the martial arts of Japan to enter in at that time. And that he didn't want his art to be lumped into it so he changed the name to Aikido and retreated to Iwama. And it was the name Aikido that was entered into that association.
PAG. Since this goes against the evidence, cited by Amir in this thread and by Ellis Amdur in another thread, it is reasonable in a forum like this that that you be asked for the page reference. In my copy, the discussion is on Page 100:

"The outbreak of the Pacific War in December, 1941, and the increasing shift towards militarism in Japanese society could not but hinder aikido's growth. With the majority of Japan's young men being drafted into the armed forces, the number of aikido students was greatly reduced. One of the government's moves in attempting to mobilize the country for the war effort was an order to unify the diverse martial arts groups into a single body under its control. In 1942 various traditions of judo, kendo and other martial arts joined together to form the Greater Japan Martial Virtue Association.

"Although the Founder did not voice his objections to this government directive, it appeared that he as definitely unhappy that the budo he had developed as distinct from other forms was to be forced to become part of such an organization. Strongly opposed to being merged with other groups as just another martial form, he came to feel that the name Kobukan Aikibudo suggested that it was merely the Kobukan branch or style of some broader art. He decided to proclaim the new name Aikido to identify his art as a unique and distinct form of budo and then entered the association under the new name. In February, 1942, aikido was officially recognized as the name of the Founder's school. Twenty-two years had elapsed since the birth of the Ueshiba Juku in Ayabe."

Another account appears in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of O Sensei, published in 1978. The relevant section is on Page 266 of the English translation (entitled, A Life in Aikido):

"New students continued coming to the dojo in Wakamatsu-cho, Ushigome, but with more and more people being called to active duty, the days of glorious expansion were certainly over. This was not the only effect of the war--government regulation and control extended its reach to include the martial arts. Aikido, at that time variously known as Aiki-Budo, Ueshiba-ryu Aiki-Budo, or Kobu-Aiki, was to be incorporated into a larger organization, the Butoku-kai, as Aikido-bu, the Aikido section. (It was at this time that O Sensei decided that he would integrate the name as "Aikido.") For this reason, until the end of the war, Aikido also used the ranking classification of Hanshi, Kyoshi, and Renshi. Frankly speaking, it was at this point that O Sensei determined to move to Iwama. He did not openly oppose the actions of the government, but his integrity would not allow the art he had built in his own lifetime, through blood, sweat and tears, to be subsumed into a mere section of a larger bureaucratic organization.

""I am not good at shuffling paper," he said. "I need to go on training." With these words, O Sensei left for Iwama, leaving Minoru Hirai, an uchideshi, in charge of general affairs at the dojo. Minoru Hirai, who has since started a group called "Dai Nihon Korindo Aikido", was adept at managing the relationship with the Budokai."

I am just wondering if anyone else has read this book and has come to the same conclusion that i have, that he probably would have preferred to keep the name Aikibudo.
PAG. With respect, I think that the evidence provided by the book does not really allow you to come to the conclusion you have reached. Have you read the interview conducted by Stanley Pranin with Minoru Hirai in Aikido Journal #100? When I read Stanley's interview, I felt some frustration, since there were many questions Stan did not ask. This is a major problem with the interview method, by comparison with a questionnaire. With a 'free response' you cannot really assess the response with any objectivity, by making comparisons with the responses to other questions, or with different responses (by other interviewees) to the same question.

Best wishes,

PAG

aikishrine
06-11-2009, 08:50 AM
Hello Brian,

Many apologies for the length of this response, but I think your post needs a more detailed response than has been given so far. Discussing the history of aikido is like entering a mine field and you need to be aware of this, especially in a forum like Aikiweb.

PAG. What are you trying to achieve by asking the question? Of course you can ask the question, but what kind of answers are you expecting? I think there is no direct evidence either way here. Ueshiba's art was also known by other names.

PAG. Since this goes against the evidence, cited by Amir in this thread and by Ellis Amdur in another thread, it is reasonable in a forum like this that that you be asked for the page reference. In my copy, the discussion is on Page 100:

"The outbreak of the Pacific War in December, 1941, and the increasing shift towards militarism in Japanese society could not but hinder aikido's growth. With the majority of Japan's young men being drafted into the armed forces, the number of aikido students was greatly reduced. One of the government's moves in attempting to mobilize the country for the war effort was an order to unify the diverse martial arts groups into a single body under its control. In 1942 various traditions of judo, kendo and other martial arts joined together to form the Greater Japan Martial Virtue Association.

"Although the Founder did not voice his objections to this government directive, it appeared that he as definitely unhappy that the budo he had developed as distinct from other forms was to be forced to become part of such an organization. Strongly opposed to being merged with other groups as just another martial form, he came to feel that the name Kobukan Aikibudo suggested that it was merely the Kobukan branch or style of some broader art. He decided to proclaim the new name Aikido to identify his art as a unique and distinct form of budo and then entered the association under the new name. In February, 1942, aikido was officially recognized as the name of the Founder's school. Twenty-two years had elapsed since the birth of the Ueshiba Juku in Ayabe."

Another account appears in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography of O Sensei, published in 1978. The relevant section is on Page 266 of the English translation (entitled, A Life in Aikido):

"New students continued coming to the dojo in Wakamatsu-cho, Ushigome, but with more and more people being called to active duty, the days of glorious expansion were certainly over. This was not the only effect of the war--government regulation and control extended its reach to include the martial arts. Aikido, at that time variously known as Aiki-Budo, Ueshiba-ryu Aiki-Budo, or Kobu-Aiki, was to be incorporated into a larger organization, the Butoku-kai, as Aikido-bu, the Aikido section. (It was at this time that O Sensei decided that he would integrate the name as "Aikido.") For this reason, until the end of the war, Aikido also used the ranking classification of Hanshi, Kyoshi, and Renshi. Frankly speaking, it was at this point that O Sensei determined to move to Iwama. He did not openly oppose the actions of the government, but his integrity would not allow the art he had built in his own lifetime, through blood, sweat and tears, to be subsumed into a mere section of a larger bureaucratic organization.

""I am not good at shuffling paper," he said. "I need to go on training." With these words, O Sensei left for Iwama, leaving Minoru Hirai, an uchideshi, in charge of general affairs at the dojo. Minoru Hirai, who has since started a group called "Dai Nihon Korindo Aikido", was adept at managing the relationship with the Budokai."

PAG. With respect, I think that the evidence provided by the book does not really allow you to come to the conclusion you have reached. Have you read the interview conducted by Stanley Pranin with Minoru Hirai in Aikido Journal #100? When I read Stanley's interview, I felt some frustration, since there were many questions Stan did not ask. This is a major problem with the interview method, by comparison with a questionnaire. With a 'free response' you cannot really assess the response with any objectivity, by making comparisons with the responses to other questions, or with different responses (by other interviewees) to the same question.

Best wishes,

PAG

Thank you Peter this is exactly the type of response i ask for.

Some of my questions on these forums may sound silly or redundant, but i am searching for my own way, and i need all the help i can get.

Carsten M÷llering
06-11-2009, 11:14 AM
Hi

As a practioner of Korindo Aikido (the art Hirai Sensei created) myslef, I was always told Ueshiba used the name Aikido for his art, before Hirai.

But mosty I refer to the Book "K˘rind˘-Aikid˘, Das Budo-System des Hirai Minoru" of Shinjűr˘ Narita, Nordestedt 2007, ed. Gerhard Hackner. It is the transcription of lectures and is written in German. I don't know whether a English edition exists?

On p.321 Hackner cites Mochizuki Minoru who states, that the term "aikido" originally was used to describe the art of Hirai.

In the foreword on p.12 Hirai is called "the founder of aikido" and stated that the term "aikido" was first used to name his budo in 1942.

The Author points out, that the development of the art of Hirai was already accomplished when he entered the kobukan. He did this to compare his art to the aikibudo of Ueshiba. Hirai was not a deshi of Ueshiba.

This is an important point because other versions state that Hirai was sent by Ueshiba and was a scholar of him. The author points out that Aikido (Hirai) is not a derivate of Aikido (Ueshiba) but an independent art.

Don't get me wrong: I have no problems with that! aikido is just a term, a word.
Important to me is, how we fill it on the mat.

I also never heard anyone call him "O Sensei" seems his direct students felt he would not have liked that and prefered to be called only "Sensei". Yes, I can imagine that. But now he may be called O sensei, being the founder of the art?

You the text of Ellis Amdur, Improvisations, Aikido Journal, Vol. 24, no. 1, 1997:

"About twenty years ago, I visited the dojo of Minoru Hirai's Korindo. In the course of watching their fascinating practice, a senior member of the dojo spoke to me about their art, and I asked a question that included the word, O-Sensei. The man looked puzzled for a second, and then said, 'O-Sensei who?' I said, 'Morihei Ueshiba, of course.' 'The only O-Sensei we know of is Hirai O-Sensei,' was his reply."

Again: No problem with that If it's true. In the book I mentioned Hirai is alway called "the founder".

One should also recall, Hirai Sensei headed the commitee which set the name "aikido", he did not invent it, the honour of that act goes to Mr Tatsuo Hisatomi from the Kodokan.I am not sure whether this can be said so exactly. But yes: Hisatomi plays at least a key role in this process.

Thank you for your comments!
Carsten

Amir Krause
06-14-2009, 03:37 AM
Dear Carsten

Please see my answers to you below, I fear these responses kind of Hijack the original Question of aikishrine, I hope P.A.G. answer above was sufficient for him.

Hi

But mosty I refer to the Book "K˘rind˘-Aikid˘, Das Budo-System des Hirai Minoru" of Shinjűr˘ Narita, Nordestedt 2007, ed. Gerhard Hackner. It is the transcription of lectures and is written in German. I don't know whether a English edition exists?


I wish I had that book, and knew German. I do not, so I have to relay on my own understanding: from reading on the web, asking people, including a bit of Q&A with Hirai son - the late Tomohiru Hirai, in Japan when I visited at 2002, I did not have the honor to meet Narita. I also learned from my Sensei (Shlomo David, who by the way practiced with Hackner in Japan) who told me of his own research.


On p.321 Hackner cites Mochizuki Minoru who states, that the term "aikido" originally was used to describe the art of Hirai.

In the foreword on p.12 Hirai is called "the founder of aikido" and stated that the term "aikido" was first used to name his budo in 1942.


Hirai developed Korindo Aikido, and his the un-disputed founder of this M.A. Hirai did not develop Ueshiba Aikido.

Reading the interview Stanly Pranin had with Hirai. And listening to some of the teachers (such as Shihan Shono Seiki), my understanding supports the conclusion Ellis wrote about: Aikido was supposed to be a generic name for a large group of practical ju-jutsu systems. "Aikido" was not intended as the name of a single M.A. (think - why would Hirai need an official committee to decide on the name of his M.A.? )


The Author points out, that the development of the art of Hirai was already accomplished when he entered the kobukan.

I will not dispute that, I mostly agree with it. I doubt one could say a person of Hirai magnitude stopped the development of his art when he was at the kobukan. I believe Hirai had progressed in the development of his own martial way before he met Ueshiba. The fact is he started teaching before moving to Tokyo.


He did this to compare his art to the aikibudo of Ueshiba.

I have no information on that.
Hirai got an invitation from Ueshiba to come to the kobukanat Tokyo. The gists I got were he considered it as a good opportunity to move to Tokyo, not nesserily just for the M.A. (Hirai was a buisness man and not just a martial artist).

Hirai was not a deshi of Ueshiba.
I am not sure enough of the meaning of deshi to agree or disagree.
My own understanding of their relationship was that it was more similar to young (Hirai) to older (Ueshiba) siblings, then to a father-son relationship. I am sure there was influence, but, less of the kind of direct transmittance - teaching, and more of the indirect one.


This is an important point because other versions state that Hirai was sent by Ueshiba and was a scholar of him. The author points out that Aikido (Hirai) is not a derivate of Aikido (Ueshiba) but an independent art.

Fully agreed, I have been writing about this all over e-budo, Aikido Journal and of-course Aiki-web for nearly a decade now.


I also never heard anyone call him "O Sensei" seems his direct students felt he would not have liked that and prefered to be called only "Sensei".

Yes, I can imagine that. But now he may be called O sensei, being the founder of the art?

You the text of Ellis Amdur, Improvisations, Aikido Journal, Vol. 24, no. 1, 1997:

"About twenty years ago, I visited the dojo of Minoru Hirai's Korindo. In the course of watching their fascinating practice, a senior member of the dojo spoke to me about their art, and I asked a question that included the word, O-Sensei. The man looked puzzled for a second, and then said, 'O-Sensei who?' I said, 'Morihei Ueshiba, of course.' 'The only O-Sensei we know of is Hirai O-Sensei,' was his reply."

Again: No problem with that If it's true. In the book I mentioned Hirai is alway called "the founder".


"O-Sensei" is a title that is aimed at showing the honor you have to a teacher. It does not designate a founder of a M.A.
As I said, I never hear anyone in Korindo refer to Hirai this way. Your examples, actually solidfy my statement:
* In the book, that title is not used to describe Hirai.
* This is the reason it took a while for people to respond to Ellis Amdur, while from the point of view of a Korindo practitioner, the title could fit Hirai, it was not used.

According to my limited understanding of these Japanese titles, Sensei and Shihan are terms that describe a relationship - a position related to you. Sensei is "my teacher" and not just "Teacher", Shihan is "the teacher of my teacher" (or something along the road), and accordingly O-Sensei would mean "my great\old\.... teacher of teacher". Thus Hirai studenst would not consider Ueshiba to be the "Great teacher of their Teacher" and he would not be their O-Sensei.



One should also recall, Hirai Sensei headed the commitee which set the name "aikido", he did not invent it, the honour of that act goes to Mr Tatsuo Hisatomi from the Kodokan.

I am not sure whether this can be said so exactly. But yes: Hisatomi plays at least a key role in this process.

Hirai said so to Stanly Pranin in his interview. I believe him.

Carsten
I am happy to discuss with you, are you a student of Korindo yourself?

Amir

Carsten M÷llering
06-15-2009, 06:22 AM
Hi
Aikido was supposed to be a generic name for a large group of practical ju-jutsu systems. "Aikido" was not intended as the name of a single M.A. (think - why would Hirai need an official committee to decide on the name of his M.A.? )Yes, it was intended as a generic name. But Hirai and Ueshiba both used it as Name for their art.

This is the reason it took a while for people to respond to Ellis Amdur, while from the point of view of a Korindo practitioner, the title could fit Hirai, it was not used.
Ok this makes sense.

I am happy to discuss with you, are you a student of Korindo yourself?No, I practice Aikikai Aikido in the line of Endo Seishiro and Christian Tissier.

Greetings,
Carsten

Ellis Amdur
06-15-2009, 02:56 PM
Amir is right on, but lest there be any mistake. I wasn't being told that "we" (Korindo) call Hirai sensei Osensei. It was one of those lovely multi-layered communications.
1. We don't do aikido
2. Ueshiba is not our founder
3. It's a little disrespectful, son, to visit someone's school and not do your homework enough to know what not to say.
4. We hold Hirai sensei in awe - equal to the way you aikido people seem to hold Ueshiba

Afterwards in the conversation, I referred to the man in question as Hirai Sensei, because:
1. He was not my "osensei"
2. I got #'s 1-4 above.

Best
Ellis Amdur

Amir Krause
06-16-2009, 02:25 AM
Amir is right on, but lest there be any mistake. I wasn't being told that "we" (Korindo) call Hirai sensei Osensei. It was one of those lovely multi-layered communications.
1. We don't do aikido
2. Ueshiba is not our founder
3. It's a little disrespectful, son, to visit someone's school and not do your homework enough to know what not to say.
4. We hold Hirai sensei in awe - equal to the way you aikido people seem to hold Ueshiba

Afterwards in the conversation, I referred to the man in question as Hirai Sensei, because:
1. He was not my "osensei"
2. I got #'s 1-4 above.

Best
Ellis Amdur

For some reason, I am not surprised :D :D

May I ask, when did you go and visit?

The funny thing here (Israel branch) is that it took my sensei quite a few years (after he was in Japan and returned) to really get to understand it is a different M.A.. So, at the first few years, he and an Aikikai Sensei tested their students toghether :) Then, once their students started to progress, they realized they were looking after different things.

Amir

Carsten M÷llering
06-16-2009, 04:19 AM
Hi

thank you very much Amir and Ellis for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Carsten

Ellis Amdur
06-16-2009, 11:04 AM
Hi Amir - it was 1976, summer, I think. That incredibly stuffy, claustrophobic dojo in a sub-sub-basement near Tokyo tower. HIrai sensei's son was there, as I recall. And there were more maroon hakama (4th dan and up) than the white/black striped ones.
Best
Ellis