Re: Morihei's changing picture.
Stan has revised the blog and included all four photos now.
In the first photo the top of the scroll (reading Daito ryu Aikijujutsu) is significantly higher than the horizontal line between top of the shoji and the wood line of the wall behind it.
In the second altered photo the scroll vanishes and more of the wall appears revealing the end of the shoji panel to the right. The place where the scroll was is obviously whited out and a new uniform shading of wood appears
In the third altered photo it appears they took out the portion of the scroll above that horizontal line between the wood and the shoji and also whited out the remaining bottom of the kanji for ryu. It is obvious that the scroll has no "top" ending point at all. Now only Aikijujustu remains
Here is yet another altered version of the photo that was published in a book titled "Aikido Shintei," by Kisshomaru Ueshiba in 1986. In this image, yet a different alteration appears with the "ryu" character of "Daito-ryu" being cut in half, with the characters for "Aikijujutsu" being faintly visible below. The quality is very poor, and the photo quite small.
Four different photos, spanning eighty four years. Sending at least one clear message. We want to erase his connection to Daito ryu.
Then we have the Black Dragon scroll and that calligraphy disappearing as well. Was the message as Fred suggests -to erase ties with that affiliation as well?
Since this is so obvious, and the implication clear, is it unprecedented?
Comparatively speaking many budo organization openly discuss their founders origins, leaving their founders training history intact while typically recounting epiphanies and awakenings, solo aesthetic research and so forth, for their founders "uniqueness." Some are indeed quite colorful. The histories help explain some things that cannot be hidden-which remain obvious to the more educated budoka; such as essence of movement, similar waza, use of weapons , solo aesthetic research etc., while also illuminating the departure from the past and how and why their founders changed course. Some arts- including some Koryu- have seen some dramatic changes, the origins of which largely remain held, indoors. It is even going on today with Menkyo taking in influences from outside to alter their arts.
It is in this light, that we can review these attempts to reduce or alter Ueshiba's training history by the aikikai. By greatly reducing the influence of such strong ties and personalities that now ran contrary to their goals-it helped further the idea of a completely unique creation that the family could then own, similar to a Koryu model. Given the colorful history of Takeda and Deguchi one could argue that we can hardly blame them. It is quite difficult to be unique standing next to those two. You could also make a strong argument that it was precisely because of his past that he turned a corner into something new, thus the full story would have actually given people a greater appreciation and fuller understanding of both his experiences and his vision to see past it.
In the end he still ended up unique, but for different- and to many of us- even more compelling reasons. Budo is filled with men with skills. He had power most had never seen and made a very unique path in which to use it. In his life story, it was the obvious change in direction that I found most interesting.
Last edited by DH : 01-12-2012 at 12:13 PM.