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Old 09-25-2011, 06:26 PM   #11
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
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Re: Where did O-Sensei get his sword training?

Who was it that kept trying to show up at Ueshiba's door? Who was the one who was never there?
Mark - not quite. In an interview with one of the prewar deshi from the 1930's, (I can't remember who of the top of my head), he described his admiration for Ueshiba's absolute fidelity to service to Takeda when he came, that this was the thing that made the greatest impression on him. Stan Pranin enumerates Ueshiba training with Takeda through fairly late in the 1930's.

There was only one time that Ueshiba "was not there," the time leading to their break. For those who don't know the story (check AJ for details), one of the deshi was at the dojo and heard screaming outside and there was Takeda cracking a nikkyo on a taxi-driver whom Takeda thought had overcharged him. He then went in to the dojo, prowled around looking for attackers, pulled a table up against the wall to barricade himself, accused the deshi of possibly poisoning him, and when he found out that Ueshiba was in Osaka at his new gig at the Asahi newspaper, went there and walked in, said essentially that Ueshiba didn't know what he was doing and took over. THAT'S when Ueshiba made a de facto break, by simply leaving town. In the context of the disciple-master relationship, particularly with one as difficult as Takeda, I think Ueshiba just threw up his hands, not able to conceive of a way to successfully resign face-to-face. If the song had been available at the time, I imagine Ueshiba was singing this one all the way back to Tokyo.

On the matter of "peace-and-love-in-DiaitoFighto," it is very possible that in his latter years, Takeda paid lip-service to harmony in the human sphere, but he was a nasty old coot, a man who stabbed his own son when he tried to cover him up on a cold night, and blamed the little boy for getting himself wounded in the first place. (And NO, this is not normal behavior for bushi of that or any other period. It is the behavior of profoundly traumatized folks with PTSD or those who are simply paranoid) - AND - I truly do not believe that THIS was what Ueshiba meant when he said that Takeda sensei showed him "true budo"

One point, by the way, that most writing about this period don't mention. That not only Ueshiba, but Takeda took this as a goodbye - a way of making a break. Ueshiba continues to travel to Osaka, and to teach in various venue, and all the while, Takeda was there as well, teaching at the Asahi newspaper. Takeda never sought him out either.
Ellis Amdur

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 09-25-2011 at 06:35 PM.

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