They did, but things weren't as standardized as they are now. Hiragana was associated with flowery, "beautiful" writing, often used when kanji were written in a flowing script such as gyousho or sousho, or even without kanji at all. It was also thus still associated with "women's" writing. Katakana, OTOH, was often used when one was writing "print" style, for clear, easy to read characters, and more pragmatic matter of fact content. See, for example, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's novel, "The Key", which is written in epistolary format representing the respective diaries of a husband and wife. The husband writes his diary in kanji and katakana, while the wife write's hers purely in hiragana.
No, "degrees" is written with 度. �' represents angles/corners. Thus 四�' - four corners = square. 三�' - three angles = triangle.
常に - tsune ni - means "always, ever".
Well, in the Special "Budo" edition of Saito Morihiro's "Takemusu Aikido" series, is not a complete translation of the original book, but rather Saito's commentary on the original book, with only a few passages used verbatim. However, the use of "roppou" does come up there, and is interpreted by Saito (and Mr. Pranin) as "hanmi", suggesting that the term "hanmi" was not used by Ueshiba at that time, and that "roppou" was borrowed from kabuki.
Sure, what Josh says. I'll put up a translation, but it may take a while, I'm playing with Mike Sigman this week and with Takeshi Yamashima next week. Of course, Josh could do it (hint)
When I look at the special edition of Budo it seems to me that the English translation, and even much of the Japanese commentary has a few problems. For example, in the section on suwariwaza kokyu-ho on page 154 Ueshiba's original Japanese reads "Always turn both palms inward, put strength/power ("chikara") into your fingertips, focus your intent and push down the enemy with the feeling of swinging a sword."
Saito's Japanese got the "strength/power in your fingertips" right, but the English translation reads "put ki energy into your fingertips", although both Japanese texts use "chikara", not "ki". Also, both Saito's Japanese and the English translation omit "focus your intent" part which seems, to me, an essential element - if not the
As far as kamae, both Saito's commentary and the English translation represent "always open your legs in six directions" as an archaic way of saying "hanmi", but I have my doubts, especially given the other problems in the other translations.