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Old 05-14-2009, 08:14 PM   #6
Nathan Scott
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Dojo: Nichigetsukan / Tsuki Kage Dojo
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17
Re: "Transparent Power" (Sagawa Yukiyoshi) book translated

Hi William,

Good to hear from you. You're always welcome at my place - just give me a call and give me a heads up.

* *

Here are a couple more quotes, though they are probably not verbatim with that of the phrasing used in the upcoming edition.

This quote was written by the author in 1995, translated from the original Japanese edition preface:

"On the other hand, Sagawa Yukiyoshi Sensei, Shihan of Daito-ryu Aiki Bujutsu, allows several of us students – all of whom have trained for several decades – to realistically attack him, suddenly and simultaneously. Sagawa Sensei is consistently able to blow us off and throw us down in the blink of an eye. Sagawa Sensei is now over ninety-two years old, but the sharpness and strength of his techniques have not declined, and this fact can only be described as unbelievably astonishing.
Ability such as this becomes possible through the use of an inner technique of the body that renders the opponent powerless ( aiki 合気 ).
Aiki is an instantaneous technique that causes the opponent to completely lose their ability to function, which, in turn, causes them to lose their ability to resist. By utilizing this transparent power, one can then apply any number of techniques freely."
Sagawa Sensei called this "transparent power" Tomei na Chikara in Japanese. Obviously, at this time Sagawa Sensei was still alive. One of the biggest benefits of this book being written (as the author notes), is that Sagawa Sensei was available to carefully read, correct, and advise the author on the content of his text. This is the only book to my knowledge that he "endorsed", and had a hand in contributing to.

This is a story as told by Sagawa Sensei (retold by the author) regarding Ueshiba Sensei's first encounter with Sokaku:

"Sagawa’s father taught Ueshiba Morihei, who later became the founder of aikido. In February of 1915 (Taisho 4), Yoshida Kotaro, who taught Daito-ryu to the founder of Kyokushin Karate, Oyama Masutatsu, brought Ueshiba Morihei to the Hisada Inn in Engaru to meet Takeda Sokaku. Coincidentally, at that time Sagawa’s father happened to be teaching Daito-ryu there as a kyoju dairi.
Since Ueshiba Morihei had already studied various jujutsu arts, he had a lot of confidence, and behaved arrogantly saying things like “What?! He is just a country bumpkin of a martial artist!” As a result, Mr. Ueshiba was thrown about for some time by Takeda Sokaku, who applied a variety of techniques, including “kime-waza” (a kind of technique in which the opponent is immobilized, and which is often very painful). Afterwards, Mr. Ueshiba was over in a corner of the dojo shedding tears.
Takeda Sokaku used to talk about how “Ueshiba shed the tears of wild geese.” * But in any case, through this experience Ueshiba understood the real power of Takeda Sokaku and became devoted to his art.
Ueshiba Morihei would often come from Shirataki to Yubetsu to buy miso and rice at Sagawa Nenokichi’s store. Since the railway of the time only extended as far as Nayoro, goods and supplies had to be shipped by boat to the harbor town of Yubetsu in the summer time months (the sea was deeply frozen during the winter time). Therefore, before meeting Takeda Sokaku, Ueshiba and Sagawa’s father already knew each other very well.

* “Tears of wild geese” is a direct translation of “gan no namida” ( 雁の涙 ). The author asked Sagawa Sensei what this means, and he replied, “I’m not sure, but perhaps it comes from the image of a flock of wild geese flying across the sky, lined up in single file, or, flying in a “V” formation. In any regard, Takeda Sensei often used this expression.”
I also spent some time trying to figure out where this analogy might have come from, and concluded that it is likely drawn from animated cartoons (manga and anime), in which children are sometimes rendered with upside-down "V" shapes of tears pouring out of each eye. This type of rendering is used to denote someone bawling their eyes out (the tears come out so hard they almost spray out in an upside down V shape), as opposed to that of just sniffling or lightly weeping. I figure, even though Sokaku was illiterate, that doesn't mean he couldn't have been exposed to comics. When you can't read, pictures are about all you have to look at.

I realize this story does not come off as completely flattering in regards to Ueshiba Sensei, but it is interesting, and also helps explain what it was that caused Ueshiba Sensei to follow Sokaku so seriously, and to later base his own art almost exclusively off of.


Last edited by Nathan Scott : 05-14-2009 at 08:18 PM.

Nathan Scott
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