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Old 05-05-2013, 12:05 PM   #1
ChrisMikk
 
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Shioda: farm boy to sensei

In another thread, a writer mentions that Shioda Gozo suddenly disappeared from Ueshiba's farm and popped up again with the founding of the Yoshinkan dojo.

In Shioda's Aikido Jinsei, recently translated by Payet and Johnson, the story of the Yoshinkan's founding is pretty well laid out. However, the disappearance from the farm is kind of glossed over.

From Shioda's narrative, it is pretty clear that he went to Ueshiba's farm just because he was trying to find a way to put food on the table in the post-war economic chaos. He doesn't really say anything about the circumstances surrounding his leaving the farm.

If I had to guess, I'd say working the farm wasn't an adequate way of making a living for Shioda. Maybe he was even a net drag on resources for Ueshiba. I'm wondering what alternative theories there might be about Shioda's exit. Anybody heard one?

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Old 05-05-2013, 06:04 PM   #2
Chris Li
 
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Re: farm boy to sensei

Quote:
Christian Mikkelson wrote: View Post
In another thread, a writer mentions that Shioda Gozo suddenly disappeared from Ueshiba's farm and popped up again with the founding of the Yoshinkan dojo.

In Shioda's Aikido Jinsei, recently translated by Payet and Johnson, the story of the Yoshinkan's founding is pretty well laid out. However, the disappearance from the farm is kind of glossed over.

From Shioda's narrative, it is pretty clear that he went to Ueshiba's farm just because he was trying to find a way to put food on the table in the post-war economic chaos. He doesn't really say anything about the circumstances surrounding his leaving the farm.

If I had to guess, I'd say working the farm wasn't an adequate way of making a living for Shioda. Maybe he was even a net drag on resources for Ueshiba. I'm wondering what alternative theories there might be about Shioda's exit. Anybody heard one?
Kisshomaru said that he was there one day and gone the next - nobody was sure where he went, and that he (Kisshomaru) always thought that he left because he didn't like the farming lifestyle in Iwama.

I think that the next time that they heard anything about him he was putting on that public demonstration held by the Life Extension Society, and then when he opened the Yoshinkan. It was pretty easy for people to fall out of touch in those days.

Best,

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Old 05-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

In post-war Japan beating commies was more rewarding than farming.

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Old 05-05-2013, 10:16 PM   #4
David Yap
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

From an interview with Morihiro Saito shihan which appeared in the Aikido Today magazine #47:

Morihiro Saito Sensei: I joined Iwama Dojo in 1946. That was just after Japan had lost the war, and there were not many resources available; it was a very poor time. Born and raised in the town of Iwama, I joined the dojo when I was 18 years old. Not long afterward, a few of the Founder's uchi deshi from Hombu Dojo came to Iwama. Gozo Shioda [the Founder of Yoshinkan Aikido] moved in with his family of six (which surprised me a little). They stayed for about two years. Koichi Tohei [Founder of Ki Aikido] also came at about the same time, after being discharged from military service. I remember wondering at the time whether the war had made him tough and strong. He left the dojo when he got married. And there were two other students who became uchi deshi at the same time I did. One has since become a regional education director, and the other is now a member of the Diet. I am the only one left still hanging around Iwama! [Laughs]

Two years do not seem to be like "there one day and gone the next".
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
Chris Li
 
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
From an interview with Morihiro Saito shihan which appeared in the Aikido Today magazine #47:

Morihiro Saito Sensei: I joined Iwama Dojo in 1946. That was just after Japan had lost the war, and there were not many resources available; it was a very poor time. Born and raised in the town of Iwama, I joined the dojo when I was 18 years old. Not long afterward, a few of the Founder's uchi deshi from Hombu Dojo came to Iwama. Gozo Shioda [the Founder of Yoshinkan Aikido] moved in with his family of six (which surprised me a little). They stayed for about two years. Koichi Tohei [Founder of Ki Aikido] also came at about the same time, after being discharged from military service. I remember wondering at the time whether the war had made him tough and strong. He left the dojo when he got married. And there were two other students who became uchi deshi at the same time I did. One has since become a regional education director, and the other is now a member of the Diet. I am the only one left still hanging around Iwama! [Laughs]

Two years do not seem to be like "there one day and gone the next".
I meant that he dissappeared unexpectedly, and nobody knew where he went, not that he was there for a brief time.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:24 AM   #6
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

Okay, this is slightly embarrassing, but after revisiting Aikido Jinsei, I see that there is more specifics about leaving the farm than I remembered. I will relate the events as told in Payet and Johnson's translation...
  • Shioda moved to the Iwama farm in June-July 1946 with his family.
  • He says that none of the former students living on the farm could keep up with Ueshiba's pace of work. He relates Ueshiba saying that they were no good as farm hands.
  • In August 1946, there was an aikido demonstration for occupation officers from the Yokohama base.
  • "About 10 days later," Shioda received an invitation to become a secretary for a businessman. Ueshiba said, "There is learning in everything. Why don't you try becoming a secretary?"
  • After that, Shioda moved from Iwama to Tokorozawa at the end of August, 1946. The text doesn't say if his family went with him (they lived apart for periods during the war and post-war period), so perhaps they stayed on the farm.
  • Shioda worked for his company as secretary until 1949, when he went back on unemployment. He did "odd jobs" for 8 months, then in July 1950, his infamous anit-Red union busting activities began.

I interpret this to mean that Ueshiba took the first opportunity to invite Shioda to find employment elsewhere. However, Shioda implies that he was training in aikido throughout the late 1940s, so I don't know if he means he traveled back and forth to Iwama or if he means he was on his own.
  • From 1950-1954, Shioda worked in security and trained security guards for private companies.
  • Due to connections with the police, he also started a tour of 83 police stations, giving aikido demonstrations.
  • In 1954 was the famous Life Extension Society demonstration. Shioda says that he represented the Yoshinkan while "Mr. Tohei demonstrated for the Ueshiba Dojo".
  • In September 1954, Shioda gave a demonstration, arranged for him by friends and attended by wealthy businessmen, using the dojo of the Metropolitan Police Department. This was the origin of the Yoshinkan's sponsorship that made the Riot Police Course and senshusei programs possible.

Although the Yoshinkan dojo wasn't established until after this demonstration, the Yoshinkan name was apparently floating around even before the Life Extension Society demonstration. I suspect that Shioda was using it when he was teaching aikido to security guards, even though he was technically an employee of Nippon Kokan.

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
From an interview with Morihiro Saito shihan which appeared in the Aikido Today magazine #47:

[i]Morihiro Saito Sensei: I joined Iwama Dojo in 1946. That was just after Japan had lost the war, and there were not many resources available; it was a very poor time. Born and raised in the town of Iwama, I joined the dojo when I was 18 years old. Not long afterward, a few of the Founder's uchi deshi from Hombu Dojo came to Iwama. Gozo Shioda [the Founder of Yoshinkan Aikido] moved in with his family of six (which surprised me a little). They stayed for about two years.
Thanks for typing this in! I interpret this to mean that Shioda's family remained living on the farm while he was working as a business secretary and, probably, commuting to the farm for training on weekends or some such.

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Old 05-06-2013, 05:30 AM   #7
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Re: farm boy to sensei

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Kisshomaru said that he was there one day and gone the next - nobody was sure where he went, and that he (Kisshomaru) always thought that he left because he didn't like the farming lifestyle in Iwama.
Yes, I don't think Shioda would have made a good farmer and from his text, it seems Ueshiba was happy for him to go. I think this quote from Kisshomaru is odd, however, in that apparently Shioda's family was living on the farm for a couple years after he "left." I would assume the Aiki-En was receiving part of his income through that period.

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Old 05-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
Scott Harrington
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

Regarding the late Gozo Shioda, and his moving to the Iwama location with O'sensei and Saito, It is my belief that he did this not go for food, though that would have been nice in early post-war Japan, but went for that essential item called DISTANCE.

Having himself and his father being quite well connected to the Black Dragon Society (and a host of other organizations that just changed names, not ideology) with its fascist / militant beliefs, the best thing to do was get out of Dodge.

Having already had one O'sensei student executed for war crimes committed in the Philippines, I think he didn't know how far down the list USA (and Britain, Australia, and other allied nations) would go to balance the scales of justice.

The communist presence required Japan being turned into a forward base to hold off the red menace. That was the only reason the Allies backed away from retribution.

The very idea of Shioda as a ‘back to green' advocate hoeing the land is a great laugh. From what I've heard Saito say about him, I have the feeling he probably brought money to keep them (this rag tag band of Jujutsu misfits) alive and below the radar of Allied Occupation.

You have Tomiki in captivity for three years in Siberia by the Soviets - do you think Shioda would have been exempt from Stalin's henchmen's attention if he had been caught in Manchuria?

I've said it before, Fascism was the ‘new thing in the 30's & 40's, the problem (besides its basic nature) was that Japan not only fell for it, but did it crudely. It's one thing to massacre spear-chucking Ethiopians (praised by the West but greatly resisted by the brave natives) than it is to cutting off Chinese heads in Nanking (which even the resident Nazi thought abhorrent - strange.)

Look, they all had drunk the Greater Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere Kool-aid. In one way or another they dodge / alter / lessen the truth against that time and each other.

What needs to be remembered is, as messy as its birth was, Aikido emerged -- in many forms -- to be a worldwide entity.

Oh, and Shioda was no FARM BOY.

Scott Harrington
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Old 05-07-2013, 10:56 AM   #9
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

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Having himself and his father being quite well connected to the Black Dragon Society (and a host of other organizations that just changed names, not ideology) with its fascist / militant beliefs, the best thing to do was get out of Dodge.

Oh, and Shioda was no FARM BOY.
Thanks. Farm boy was poetic license for the title.

This is an interesting idea. Certainly, it's plausible. There are a few points against it. One is that Shioda makes it very clear how difficult it was to make ends meet after the war. His father was dead and the family fortune gone. I don't see any reason to doubt he was having financial difficulty, just like many other Japanese in the post-war period. Second, being at Iwama didn't save Ueshiba from being investigated by the authorities. It's not like the Aiki-En was equivalent to hiding out in the mountains. They were, after all, putting on demonstrations for the occupation. If you wanted to get away from the authorities, going to live with a famous person would probably not be the best idea. Third, Shioda was very well connected. He even helped Ueshiba when Ueshiba was investigated. I doubt he had much fear of being arrested. But again, it's certainly a plausible theory.

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Old 05-07-2013, 12:49 PM   #10
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Do symbol Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

1. Yes, it was difficult after the war for all of them. But just imagine he had something called GOLD. There was a reason Japan was plundering Manchuria, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Burma, etc. And would 18 yo. Saito know or more importantly talk about this new cash flow.

2. My belief is Ueshiba's fame was a lot less than put on. I bought an Omoto Kyo book thinking they'd have some stuff on him and it was a one line sentence. One sentence.

I did run across a neat New age book in the late 30's about Supermen where they had a chapter on him, but really. Judo owned the market - just look at the number of books listed from 1900 to the war. Ueshiba had one hand made book and then a picture book before the war. Heck, Takuma Hisa's Soden (11 volumes) probably had a larger circulation. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle in the United States taught thousands hand to hand combat in the U.S. for both WWI and WW II, had a movie made about him, and still most people don't know who he was. Heck, if it wasn't for Stanley Pranin, Takeda Sokaku would be just a name in Draeger's book describing how Daito ryu was one of the arts that 'influenced' Ueshiba.

3. So Shioda is connected but he's poor; he soon starts breaking up red menace strikers and teaching police but his father is dead; he mentions seeing war atrocities in one of his books but they wouldn't really come after him.

I have a neat series of films (now converted to dvd) of a Terry Dobson goes asian clip. Ellis Amdur once mentioned how did this guy Ueshiba always look so good on film. When I watched this, I knew - editing. Great clip of Kisshomaru looking at the camera, looking away, looking back wide eyed. Other scenes too had the look of amateur night teaching the lame westerners.

I'll be first to thank O'sensei and his son for spreading this art. It would still be some rarely taught, rarely know about, sometimes brutal combat art taught only to military and police. Just let's be real.

Scott Harrington
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:26 AM   #11
ChrisMikk
 
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Re: Shioda: farm boy to sensei

I'm not sure I follow all your reasoning...

Quote:
Scott Harrington wrote: View Post
1. Yes, it was difficult after the war for all of them. But just imagine he had something called GOLD. There was a reason Japan was plundering Manchuria, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Burma, etc. And would 18 yo. Saito know or more importantly talk about this new cash flow.
I don't know what it is Saito said, but Shioda is quite open about his activities in Aikido Jinsei (which can now be read in English translation thanks to Jacques Payet--see the book review section on Aikiweb). During the war, after he was in China, he was sent to SE Asia. While there, he lived like a king and amassed a small fortune, although it is sounds like most of that came from dubious management of company funds. He does say he had everything he could think of gold-plated. However, when the war ended, he was placed in a camp of some kind run by the Allies until he was cleared to go back to Japan. While in the camp, he lost basically everything he had.

Now, it is possible that he stashed a fortune that he retrieved at some later time. But there is no reason to think that. He lived in near-poverty and near-starvation for a long time and relied on sponsors to support his dojo. All indications are that he didn't have "GOLD".

Quote:
Scott Harrington wrote: View Post
2. My belief is Ueshiba's fame was a lot less than put on. I bought an Omoto Kyo book thinking they'd have some stuff on him and it was a one line sentence. One sentence.

I did run across a neat New age book in the late 30's about Supermen where they had a chapter on him, but really. Judo owned the market - just look at the number of books listed from 1900 to the war. Ueshiba had one hand made book and then a picture book before the war. Heck, Takuma Hisa's Soden (11 volumes) probably had a larger circulation. Anthony J. Drexel Biddle in the United States taught thousands hand to hand combat in the U.S. for both WWI and WW II, had a movie made about him, and still most people don't know who he was. Heck, if it wasn't for Stanley Pranin, Takeda Sokaku would be just a name in Draeger's book describing how Daito ryu was one of the arts that 'influenced' Ueshiba.
Not sure how this applies. Ueshiba wasn't hypothetically investigated, he was in fact investigated.

Quote:
Scott Harrington wrote: View Post
3. So Shioda is connected but he's poor; he soon starts breaking up red menace strikers and teaching police but his father is dead; he mentions seeing war atrocities in one of his books but they wouldn't really come after him.
Yes. A lot of people saw war atrocities. Not much happened to most of them. Anyhow, seeing war atrocities and committing them aren't the same thing. Unless Aikido Jinsei is completely made-up, I don't think it sounds like Shioda was focused on killing or ripping off the local populations so much as chasing skirts and eating at good restaurants. Most of his war-time stories follow the pattern "and then I saw I my old friend X who I thought was dead and we went out and ate a feast like I hadn't had in a long time".

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