Re: Legacy and the Founder
Hi George and Clark,
I hope I can help out a little bit here. Clark mentioned in one of the threads that a demo by the late Ed Baker Sensei inspired him to begin Aikido. Baker Sensei was interested in Saotome Sensei's manuscript while it was in process at the original publishing company. Ed showed it to his professor of sociology or anthropology, Dr. David Jones, whom you may know, he does Aikido probably as a result of being Ed's academic teacher, and of reading the manuscript. Dr. Jones thought that the book should have more of the Japanese background for Western readers and either wrote to Saotome Sensei or visited him or both. The rest is history. I think you will find Dr. Jones in the book as writing the introduction.
Many people helped with the revision, some adding Saotome Sensei's articles from the Sarasota-published small magazine.
Paul Kang greatly facilitated this process. Paul was from the dojo Terry Dobson founded with Ken Nisson, and I feel greatly contributed to Saotome Sensei's ability to communicate with those who did not know Japanese, or didn't know enough to deal with the topics in detail.
Saotome Sensei's wife, "Patty" Patricia Saotome I guess formally, is a beautiful writer in her own right, and I'm sure she should take much credit for the appearance of the book in its ultimate form. She was one of his first students in the U.S. and the secretary of the dojo at the time he came over.
The original publisher? The revisions were essential, and it was fortunate Ed passed the book to his professor to read. But by the time the revisions were completed the original publisher had financial problems and it turned out to be best for another publisher to take over. I think Christian Tissier was the contact for this.
Sorry to ramble so much, but it seems to be an important question. Sometimes delays are absolutely necessary in order to properly produce something without leaving out important elements.