View Full Version : To buy, or not to buy...Budo Renshu
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08-12-2005, 01:01 PM
I've been eyeing this book for two or three weeks now. It's the rerelease print from the nineties.
My concern is that it's been re-edited in such a way that it's not really worth having.
Does anyone know how close to the original this book is?
08-12-2005, 01:03 PM
No, but I'm glad i have my copy. In conjunction with Budo, it gives a good representation of the early practice of aikido. Line drawings aren't as good as photos, but hey, take what you can get, in my opinion. There are too few records of those early days.
08-12-2005, 01:08 PM
Well, hey Ron, thanks for the help!
I think the name of it is "Budo". I'm not certain. I had just read "Aikido Masters: Prewar". The woman responsible for the drawings was interviewed and a couple of her sketches were in that book.
I said, "I've got to have that book." I started searching for it with no luck. Then, I was just flipping through pages of books and saw those sketches...got excited and read the intro which said it was the republication.
It's not the same name as the original, so maybe we're talking about the same one?
08-12-2005, 01:16 PM
Well, there is Budo, which is photos and doka, by Ueshiba M., and there's Budo Renshu (budo training in aikido) which has the drawings. They arent here with me, so I can't give the publishers or dates. Budo has a dark cover, with a photo, and some red lettering I believe, BR has a blue cover I think, with some of the sketches.
08-12-2005, 01:24 PM
This should be the original:
I can't find the one I have online...but this page has both books...
08-12-2005, 02:27 PM
Budo Renshu was translated by Larry Bieri who is or was teaching in Detroit, Jean. Maybe you could find him and train with him.
08-12-2005, 03:15 PM
Ron is right, there are two different books, in fact, they are the only two books O'Sensei ever wrote. "Budo" is the book that most contemporary references are about. It has been translated into English and published in hardback in 1991, and then published in softcover by Kodansha in 1996. I do not know exactly how true-to-life the translation is, but the book does have an intro by Kisshomaru Doshu, so I would think it has his approval. There is also a book by Saito Sensei, "Commentary on 'Budo'", which was published in softcover in 1999. This volume attempts to explain or interpret Saito's take on the earlier work by O'Sensei.
The other book, "Budo Renshu" is more obscure. The 1978 translation by Larry Bieri is itself a rare collector's piece, which will set you back $400-500 if you can find one at all. It has accurate reproductions of the drawings which appear in O'Sensei's 1933 original, and text in both English and Japanese. It is put together in authentic Japanese fashion, with hand-bindery and back-to-front reading. This translation is the only one thus far of the original, although numerous references exist in works by other authors. I don't think any in-depth commentaries exist, like they do for "Budo".
08-12-2005, 05:13 PM
Neither "Budo" nor "Budo Renshu" are really text heavy, so translation isn't much of an issue there (English translations of both books that I've seen seem, to me, to be accurate enough). The main attraction for those books are the drawings ("Budo Renshu") or the photographs ("Budo"). The approach to technique in "Budo Renshu" may not make much sense unless you have some familiarity with Daito-ryu.
There are two other books by Morihei Ueshiba, "Take Musu Aiki" and "Aikido Shinzui", which are both collections of essays published after his death. Although they are only available in Japanese, I found them quite a bit more interesting than either "Budo" or "Budo Renshu".
08-12-2005, 07:03 PM
I do not know exactly how true-to-life the translation is, but the book does have an intro by Kisshomaru Doshu, so I would think it has his approval.
The translation was commisioned by the Doshu. Also, the translator, John Stevens, worked closely on it with his teacher, Rinjiro Shirata, who was a student of the Founder during that period.
08-12-2005, 07:07 PM
Although they are only available in Japanese,
Aikidojournal.com has sections of Takemusu Aiki online in English. I also really like Ellis Amdur's three part essay "Aikido is Three Peaches." on Aikidojournal.com which deal with the book.
08-12-2005, 07:20 PM
I also really like Ellis Amdur's three part essay "Aikido is Three Peaches." on Aikidojournal.com
Amdur Sensei does have a unique and often entertaining way of cutting through the crap, doesn't he?
08-13-2005, 06:52 AM
Sorry guys, yesterday was a long day... I neglected to mention in my earlier posts that there is a later publication of Larry Bieri's translation of "Budo Renshu". It was put out in 1997 by Sugawara, and is titled "Budo Training in Aikido". This later version is a conventional softcover book, without the bilingual Japanese text, but it has faithful reproductions of the original drawings. Unlike the 1978 version, it is readily available at reasonable cost.
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