Not a liar, of course, but maybe he wasn't telling all the truth or all the relevant data.
If we read Tokimune's bio of his father, we find Tanomo not as teacher of martial skill but
Sokaku studied under Chikanori Hoshina (aka Tanomo Saigo) who was an assistant priest of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Mt. Futara. He studied the secret mind reading technique of aiki and acquired various super-human powers such as an unyielding spirit, clairvoyant power, and prescience.
This after his musa shugyo years around Japan.
Sokaku was sent by his father to Tanomo, for being tamed and for making him a priest, but after some time Sokaku (a teenager) escaped and tried to join Takamori Saigo troops. Musa shugyo stars.
I think about Tanomo as the cherry on the cake, not as what the cake is made of.
I think these comments, these sorts of "snapshots" of history, still need to be taken with a grain of salt. They tell us very little and since Daito ryu itself has no verifiable history, and the little that we have is surrounded in goofy, odd, disconnected and very unusual pedagogy.
If Takeda had not been so damn good, and had not produced a string of such exceptional men (thus vetting a method) most would have written his story off with that of the Ninja crowd.
Is this comment by Tokimune supposed to be definitive?
Heck lets add this one too.
Takeda also said. "The secret of aiki is to overpower the opponent mentally at a glance and to win without fighting."
I'm not at all to surprised to read of mind reading or enhanced perception as a side effect of ki in Asia. If we want to go down that road we can present a better argument than a few passing comments:
Stories of other of Takeda's students,
Yoshida Kotaru. Who was himself supposedly immersed in mind control and occult and himself also considered by many to be a man of incredible martial skills
One of his students tells of learning things in this regard... to watch an individual who was on the other side of the room and begin to explain everything about the individual and how ‘it all made sense'. He watched the way the person walked and said, ‘you can tell everything you need to know about a person by the way they walk'. He watched how they were dressed, watched the way they ate their food, watched their eyes, and anything else that was evident and this could helpt you read them as a person Sound familiar? Just like Takeda watching the women at the inn and saying she was crazy because he could read her mind?"
He later recounts Yoshida's interest in hypnosis.
And then of course we have Ueshiba... yet another of Takeda's men, off channelling the gods!
You can see these referrences in the modern age with a student of Kodo, Nishikido Sensei, who chose to name his own art "Hikarido the way of light." According to Nishikido, when you learn true aiki, your body will shine wherever you go, all the time. Oh my!
What would be reading a hundred years from now if Nishikido turned out to be a martial genius?
Worthy of not in that time period Yamguchi was involved in mind control, hynosis and the occult. All of these things have as much credibility as a tengu birthing Takeuchi ryu and TSKSR itself being founded by scroll from heaven.
I do not and would not...assign too much to these things.
How do these few comments stack up against so many quotes and stories of Takeda wherein he routinely refers to aiki as a very real and physical manifestation, as noted and supported by several students accounts? Taken as a whole, I think the student accounts present Takeda as a man immersed in the practical. His mentioning "mind reading" a couple of times (in an era where this stuff was popular anyway) during his eighty six years on the earth doesn't phase me in the least in light of the students many accounts of him dicussing aiki as a physical skill. There were too many times when he was asked about aiki and it was all body control. We also now know that Sagawa stated there were solo exercises and a body method to aiki in creating an aiki body, they were told never to reveal (gee what a surprise). In fact he see that when given the opportunity when asked about there being otherworldly things; wall passing techniques and flipping tatami and such Takeda dismissed them saying "Not to be foolish and believe in such nonsense." Hardly seems like a guy who would assign his learning aiki....to court ritual or a mental skill. Until proven otherwise there is no reason I can see to discount what he said.
Little is conclusive with Takeda. I can't get attached to any statement or find any conclusions yet to Takeda's history. Ellis put flesh on the mans bones with some assertions of his own. And he offered some interesting possibilities with Tanamo's possible involvement with ICMA. But all we have our these "snapshots" of a mans life we know little about.