Attached is one of the ORIGINAL photos that accompanies the recent article (Sagawa Yukiyoshi, Masaru Takahashi and Breath Training in Daito-ryu - In-yo Aiki-ho, Kokyu-ho and Chousaku (Regulating the Breath) by Chris Li.
The photo is taken from the 1918 book entitled "Training in the Mind-Body Method" by Shunichi Ema, a longtime politician in Japan.
It seems that there were several Japanese books written regarding what I like to call "Martial health books" which would then be altered to "Martial Martial books" as the consumer market varied back and forth between longevity to combat effectiveness. This marketing technique also applied to western martial arts books in the United States.
The book by Ema shows a few exercises to enhance the "ki forging" through breath. There is a recent DVD available that shows these to enhance "Aiki" -- available thru www.budovideos.com
Excluding the all white dapper outfit (which Tom Wolfe slavishly copies), the Ema book stresses health benefits. There are other ‘methods' at the beginning of the 1900's, some zen derived.
Takeda Sokaku would have been 59 years old when the Ema book came out, so I don't think he copied it.
It could very well be that Sagawa Yukiyoshi went looking to other sources to try and imitate / copy / perform / the remarkable things that Takeda Sokaku was able to do, much like Tohei did regarding Ueshiba.
For those that like translating things, it would be interesting to know what the original captions say.
More pics available if interest shown.