As for #2, I have a hard copy of an Aikido Journal with an interview with Mr. Takahashi in which he says that he travelled to Iwama about once a month and O'sensei dictated the book. If I remember correctly, he said that he was not allowed to record the talks and that made him nervous. He would bring what he had written down and O'sensei would look over it, making minor corrections. He does not say if O'sensei was aware or not that the final product would be a book. The sense he gives is that these were not speeches, public talks, instead that it was the two of them, O'sensei talking, Mr. Takahashi taking notes.
PAG. This is not quite correct. In his afterward to the book, Mr Takahashi states that the pieces were articles to be published in the monthly Byakko
magazine: O Sensei knew that they would be published.
Do you have further info on how Shinzui came about? I believe that I have read through your words as well as others that Arikawa Sensei was a big part of the newspaper section from which the book came. How accurately can we take it to reflect O'sensei's thought?
PAG. I think it is vary hard to judge. Arikawa Sensei was a devoted supporter of the Ueshiba family and especially of Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I have noticed one or two changes between the articles published in the Aikido Shimbun
and the text of Aiki Shinzui
. However these changes are far less than the very heavy editing that has taken place in the English text published by Kodansha. I have stated before that John Stevens must have had a difficult task: of producing a text that is fairly accurate, but readable by contemporary aikidoists who know nothing about Omoto or Japan's early myths.