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Old 07-17-2010, 08:35 AM   #98
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,219
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18

Hello Dan,

Re Saigo Tanomo / Hoshina Chikanori

The first doubts cast on the received opinion that Saigo Tanomo was Takeda Sokaku's Daito-ryu / aiki teacher were cast by Stanley Pranin. The discussion is on pp. 21-22 of Stan's book Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. Stan makes the point that:

"Hoshina scholars have, however, found no evidence of Chikanori having undergone any extensive martial arts training or having taught such arts. Had Chikanori been a skilled martial artist in his own right, surely some records of his talents and exploits would have survivied."

I do not know how many Japanese sources Stan looked at, but all the Japanese evidence I have seen so far supports Stan's statements. There is no evidence that Takeda Soemon ever taught in the Nisshinkan and there is no evidence that Saigo Tanomo was known in Aizu as a martial artist. In fact, the book cited by Scott Harrington is quite telling here. The encyclopedic dictionary Scott refers to lists all the samurai in the Aizu domain during the Tokugawa era. Kurokochi Kanenori, whose daughter married Takeda Sokichi, is listed and the entire biography is concerned with his skills as a martial arts expert. Saigo Tanomo / Hoshina Chikanori is also listed, but there is no reference at all to his martial skills.

This view is supported by Sagawa Yukiyoshi, if we accept that what is recorded on pp. 119-120 of Transparent Power is true. Sagawa states quite clearly that,

"It's said that Aiki was transmitted to Takeda Sensei by Hoshina/Saigo Sensei, although I believe that it was actually Takeda Sensei who created it."

Sagawa does not accuse Takeda of lying, but, equally, he is clear that he does not believe that Saigo taught Takeda aiki skills.

It remains to consider whether Saigo learned some secret ( = totally unrecorded) family martial art, separate from his training at the Nisshinkan, which would have given him aiki skills. In this respect my research is continuing.

Best wishes,


P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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