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Old 10-23-2011, 12:02 AM   #1
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 567
Correctly Translating and Understanding the Works and Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba

This is an interesting and important topic, and has been brought up more frequently in recent threads.

I have only rudimentary Japanese language skills, so I will have to ask those of you here who have a deep understanding of the language and culture to contribute to this thread. Peter Goldsbury, Josh Reyer, and Chris Li come to mind, but anyone can pitch in.

I have always instinctively felt that John Stevens' translations left something to be desired. Of course, this is not to say that they have no value at all.

We may also have the benefit here of the translators being able to share how they arrived at their translation, or what they found lacking in the older translations.

I hope that we can all use this thread to compile these translations, so we can avoid the often tedious process of referring to and then searching for long lost threads, and then have a place to discuss them, compare them to older translations, and hopefully, come to a better understanding.

Here are a few translations that I didn't have to dig too deep to find, presented in no particular order, and with no regard to format (maybe something consistent will develop) or who made the translation (sorry):

"It would not be correct to say that my Takumusu Aiki emerged from religion. True budo illuminates religion. It guides incomplete religion to completion."

"I think that if you cannot understand Ichirei Shikon Sangen Hachiriki, breath (kokyu) and Aiki, then even if you practice Aikido the true power of Aikido will not come forth."
Chris states that Ueshiba described the "Hachiriki" as physical forces
Active force, quiet force, Pulling force, loosening force, splitting force, combining force, melting force, congealing force

"Manifest yo (yang) in the right hand, change the left hand to in (yin) and guide the opponent."

(Old Translation)
"Manifest yang in your right hand, balance it with the yin of your left, and guide your partner."

<念>にもとづき『気の妙用』をはかるには、まず五体の左は武の基礎、右は宇宙の受ける気結びの現われる土台であると心得よ。この左・右の気結びがおのずから 成就すれば、 あとの動きは自由自在となる。
"In order to achieve the mysterious workings of ki based upon intent, first realize the appearance of the foundation that is the ki connection (ki musubi) between the left side of the physical body grounded in the martial and the right that receives the universe. If you can achieve this connection between the left and the right then you will be able to move with complete freedom."

"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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