I would just like to say thank you to you, Ellis, for this amazing book, and for your research.
To me, one of the standouts of the entire book was this part of the history..with Takeda Sokaku at a focal point. The way you portray Takeda was startling and, to my knowledge, unique. I have not ever read such a compassionate portrayal of the man. The hardships (read; torture) he endured as a young man, and the empathetic analysis you did of his mindset and motivations. Here I am thinking of the way he simultaneously protected himself and reached out via aiki... it was poignant. It puts a great many things in a shifted perspective. It was heart-rending, not to put too fine a point on it. Not to mention the very real world you show us (the reader /me) and not the least of which are the other giants of budo, how and who they were and the connections between them.
-Also; it occurs to me that there is here now playing out a synchronicity between people in different times/motivations doing the same things. An intense sharing and teaching of aiki.
-Also; the mighty poem on p. 99; The Ageless Voyage. It is compelling and very special (to me). "Be honest as you can and the wind is likely to change in your honor as a man". Thank you for your words.
p.s. in a coupla' years....you should write the ‘How To'..not just the ‘It Exists' one...
Thank you for the book, for your research, for your time and effort.
It is very much appreciated by many, I am sure.
p.s. thanks for the autograph(s) too Mr. Amdur!