Ted Ehara wrote:
Really? Or is he just transposing Omote cosmology into Aiki terminology?
I absolutely have no idea what you mean by this statement... what do you mean he is "just"
transposing cosmology into Aiki terminology?
Of course he was transposing Omotokyo ideas into somethjing new which he created out of his spiritual practice and his martial practice. O-Sensei had an extensive Shingon background as well as a deep commitment to Omotokyo. He had a varied martial background with a primary influence of Daito Ryu. His creation of Aikido was a unique interpretation of those elements.
As far as O-Sensei's view that aikido was primarily a spiritual practice and not just a new way of fighting... that is pretty much indisputable as far as I am concerned. There is pretty much nothing that he siad or did after WW2 that would indicate otherwise.
The fact that his son Kisshomaru and his grandson Moriteru have seen fit to rework O-Sensei's Aikido to fit their ideas of what the modern world can understand and accept is a separate issue.
Every one of the Deshi did as Peter has described... each one came up with an interpretation of Aikido that fit his own interest and ability to understand what O-Sensei had taught.
In a conversation with Stan Pranin and Saotome Sensei I had in Colorado, I asked who the deshi had been who most tried to understand Aikido the way O-Sensei himself had done. The answer was Sunadomari Sensei, Abe Sensei, and Hikitsuchi Sensei. I don't think that anyone would argue that any of them thought that O-Sensei's art was some revamped fighting art. Anyone who says that has an agenda of some sort.
That doesn't mean that the teachers like Shioda Sensei, who weren't interested in the spiritual vision, weren't doing highly proficient Aikido from a technical standpoint. But they certainly weren't doing Aikido as O-Sensei envisioned it. As I say, to maintain that O-Sensei did not see Aikido primarily as a form of spiritual development (which is not in the least inconsistent with its designation as Budo) would be to force some sort of gross misinterpretation on his writings, his lectures, his interviews, his oral teaching in class, etc