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09-14-2005, 04:26 PM
Posted 2005-09-14 15:23:58 by Jun Akiyama

Oscar Ratti, perhaps best known in the aikido world for his graceful illustrations in his book (co-authored by Adele Westbrook), "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere," (http://www.aikiweb.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=147) passed away on August 11th, 2005 in Manhattan at the age of 76.

He was born on September 11th, 1928, in San Terenzo (the sea coast also known as the Gulf o the Poets and also home of the Shelleys) and moved to Naples when he was quite young. Tuttle Publishing states, "He received his degree in classical studies and law from the University of Naples where he was intercollegiate Greco-Roman wrestling champion and a member of the championship judo team. He later came to the United States and began to study aikido with Yasuo Ohara, one of the first instructors to teach in New York."

In addition to the classic "Dynamic Sphere," Mr. Ratti also helped author and/or illustrate Code of the Samurai (http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=0804831904), Secrets of the Samurai (http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=0804816840), The Tales of the Hermit Vol 1 (http://www.goviamedia.com/publishing/toh.html), Vol 2 (http://www.goviamedia.com/publishing/toh2.html), and Vol 3 (http://www.goviamedia.com/publishing/toh3.html).

His illustrations have grown to be immediately recognizable in the world of aikido and have become a part of the bookshelves of countless aikido practitioners (myself included). My condolences go out to all of Mr. Ratti's friends, family, and loved ones.

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09-14-2005, 05:09 PM
I have always enjoyed the wonderful drawings of Mr. Ratti. I still recommend his book Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere to my students as a classic. His contributions to the Aikido world will always be valued. My condolences to his family and friends.

Jerry Miller
09-14-2005, 05:32 PM
I can remember when "Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" first was published. There were several people in the Dojo with copies. I did not get my own until just a few years ago. I wonder if he knew the influence this publication had. It is indeed a sad day.

09-14-2005, 07:43 PM
This is indeed a regrettable loss. Although not active for many years in the global Aikido community, his beautiful artwork for "Dynamic Sphere" has long since set the standard by which such work is judged. May he rest in peace.

Paul Kerr
09-15-2005, 12:52 AM
Sad news. Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere was the first book I ever bought on Aikido. I suspect there are many who can say the same thing. Those illustrations are iconic in our community. My condolences.

James Davis
09-15-2005, 11:32 AM
Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere is not only a great aikido book, it's one of my favorite books, period. Everyone at my dojo is familiar with it, and I'm sure Mr. Ratti's passing will sadden my fellow students.

09-15-2005, 12:52 PM
What a sad day. I remember being enthralled by the illustrations and the analytic nature of Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere when I purchased my first copy years ago. I love the text, but always seem to end up passing it on to friends who are interested in Aikido because the illustrations do such justice to the art. My condolences to his loved ones.

Eric Webber
09-15-2005, 02:27 PM
I am truly saddened to hear of Mr. Ratti passing on, his works have been an inspiration to the aikido community for over 30 years. He will be missed tremendously. My condolences to his family and friends, as well as to the aikido community as a whole. May his memory always live on with us.