Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 18
Ah, I see I have stirred up the beginnings of a hornets' nest.
First, I have known Isoyama Shihan for many years and have had many conversations with him that have never entered the public record. In the Aikido Journal interview Isoyama Shihan talked largely of tanto-dori, tachi-dori and jo-dori, which are featured in all the demonstrations given by the present Doshu that I have seen so far.
Of course, I do not deny that weapons training still goes on in the Ibraragi Shibu Dojo and I am quite happy about this, After all, I practise and teach it myself in my own dojo here.
My point is that O Sensei's weapons training in Iwama has largely been associated with Saito Morihiro Sensei and this is why he receives attention in Ellis's book. The weapons training in Shingu and Kumamoto was different to what was going on in Iwama and Saito Sensei devoted his life to maintaining and nurturing what he had been taught in by O Sensei in Iwama. I suspect that 'Iwama no kokoro', to adapt a phrase that is often used here, is being kept alive largely by Hitohiro Saito, who is devoting himself to maintaining and nurturing the legacy he inherited from his father.
As for the statue, well, there is an ura aspect to this whole project, as well as the omote that you see. For me, it is notable that O Sensei is not depicted holding a weapon, like a sword or staff. He just stands there on his plinth, like a shrine guardian.