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Old 11-28-2002, 11:25 PM   #1
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Did Osensei smoke?

Hi all,

I was reading the last issue of the french magazine Aikido & Aikibudo, and there was this article about Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei. In this article, there is a picture of Osensei and Hikitsuchi Sensei sitting at a Japanese style dining table with a few cups of tea. And Osensei is holding a cigarette in his fingers. The picture is not very clear so I cannot confirm 100% that it's not my imagination playing tricks on me.

I find it interesting to know that Osensei used to smoke. Of course at that time, no one ever heard about nocive effects of smoking, and knowing the love of the Japanese (and the aikido Shihans in particular ) for alcohol and cigarettes, I would be surprised if Osensei didn't smoke. Still this was the first time I see a picture of him with a cigarette in his fingers.
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Old 11-29-2002, 09:55 AM   #2
ian
 
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I'm aware that Ueshiba was pretty much vegetarian and did not drink any alcohol, so I'd be suprised if he smoked; but maybe he did not feel this was injurous to his health?

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-29-2002, 10:28 AM   #3
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
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I wouldn't be surprised if O'Sensei did smoke socially, even if he did not carry on this habit into his everyday life.

I smoked cigars, and other tobacco products at work, but never at home. I stopped daily consumption in 1988, but still will have a cigar for wedding, funeral, birth of a baby, or social occasions for five or six events a year.

Not everyone is a tobacco addict carrying over the smoking of tobacco in daily life.

This might be another lesson of how human we are, and how contrary the lives of our heroes are when viewed in retrospect. I say, this is a trivial question that reflects your own journey overshadowing the lives of your heroes. You need to find your own way in life that works for you. There will never be an absolute perfect person to base you life upon, but you can take some of the good qualities of others, and make them your own.

I would be surprised if O'Sensei did not own a pipe and occasionally smoke it when talking about farming.
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Old 11-29-2002, 10:47 AM   #4
erikmenzel
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Well, O sensei was human.

I have seen pictures of O sensei smoking so I guess he did smoke. Funny how these pictures dont show up in the books. I always liked the pictures that show O sensei from a normal human side best. They gave me the reasurance that what he did is within the reach of normal humans.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
kokoro o makuru taisanmen ni hirake
Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:06 AM   #5
sceptoor
Dojo: http://ctr.usf.edu/aikido/
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One day I attended a seminar in Orlando held by Saotome and as I walked toward the dojo I was surprised to see him SMOKING. It didn't taint my opinion of him or anything, as I smoked for 18 years until quitting some six months before this takes place. I guess at the time it seemed oddd that an 8th Dan Aikido Shihan would be smoking, especially since I see those guys as being so formal and all. Perception I guess. Then someone explained to me that it is quite common among the Japanese.

C. Martin

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Old 12-04-2002, 09:31 AM   #6
Bud
Dojo: Aikido Philippines
Location: Manila
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Quote:
Chris Martin (sceptoor) wrote:
One day I attended a seminar in Orlando held by Saotome and as I walked toward the dojo I was surprised to see him SMOKING. It didn't taint my opinion of him or anything, as I smoked for 18 years until quitting some six months before this takes place. I guess at the time it seemed oddd that an 8th Dan Aikido Shihan would be smoking, especially since I see those guys as being so formal and all. Perception I guess. Then someone explained to me that it is quite common among the Japanese.
Yeah, I've seen some visiting shihan smoke after training. I've never been to Japan but friends who've gone to Hombu say smoking is pretty common.
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:56 AM   #7
diesel
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
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Japan
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Confused

Quote:
Buddy Acenas (Bud) wrote:
Yeah, I've seen some visiting shihan smoke after training. I've never been to Japan but friends who've gone to Hombu say smoking is pretty common.
They are only human.. I am sure there are some that drink also!
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Old 12-05-2002, 08:33 AM   #8
aikigreg
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Having drunk plenty of beer with Saotome sensei one night I can tell you he hold his liquor, too!
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Old 12-07-2002, 03:41 PM   #9
Jim23
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I know that Shioda smoked a lot and drank the hard stuff.

I was at a seminar/demonstration and was shocked to see the senior instructor (won't mention any names) puffing away outside the building every chance he got. I think it was seeing a cigarette, a dogi and hakama together that looked strange.

During his demonstration he coughed a lot and he kept telling the audience that he was fighting the flu. When I was leaving the parking lot I saw him sneaking out a side door, lighting one up.

I have a question: was Ueshiba's smoking responsible for his visions?

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 12-07-2002, 10:37 PM   #10
Dean H.
Location: Birmingham, AL
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smoke?

Here is a quote from Rinjiro Shirata, 9th Dan, from Aikido Masters: "[O'Sensei] occasionally would drink a little, but his face would turn red. Once in awhile he would puff on a cigarette for fun but he didn't inhale. He had a playful streak in him. When he became excited, he would sometimes puff cigarettes."

So...smoked, but didn't inhale?

My sensei forbids his black belts to smoke because of the obvious health hazards and, I believe, because he observed so many Japanese Aikidoka and others have had their lives cut short by this terrible habit.

-Dean
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