Takemusu Aiki is a series of lectures by Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido. These talks were transcribed and edited by Hideo Takahashi of the Byakko Shinkokai (see interview in AJ115) and originally published in Japanese in 1976 as Takemusu Aiki. The importance of these lectures as the primary source of reliable material on the spiritual views of Morihei Ueshiba cannot be overstated.
Readers wishing to plumb the depths of the philosophy of the founder will face a challenge when exploring these texts. The symbology and metaphors employed by O-Sensei originate from Shinto texts such as the Kojiki and are, moreover, influenced by the Omoto religion and its co-founder Onisaburo Deguchi. Also abundant are references to the kotodama, a Shinto belief system incorporated into the Omoto religion that holds that primordial vibrations before letters and sounds have an intrinsic value capable of influencing physical reality. The meanings of many passages are obscure and therefore we have often resorted to the use of footnotes in an effort to assist the motivated reader in navigating the difficult text. The extensive use of footnotes will necessarily oblige the reader to refer to previous issues of the magazine and we apologize in advance for this unavoidable inconvenience.
I would like to sincerely thank Sonoko Tanaka for her diligent efforts in rendering the Japanese into comprehensible English and for researching the material used in the footnotes. — Editor
It is a great pleasure for all of us who have been studying aikido day after day to know that Takemusu Aiki will be reprinted in a new and better binding.
Takemusu Aiki is a collection of talks by the founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, and I express my appreciation to Mr. Hideo Takahashi for his wonderful work. I imagine it must have been an exceedingly arduous task to transcribe and edit so faithfully such difficult content.
As you know, the signficance of the Path O-Sensei illuminated has attracted attention in various fields since he taught about the relationship between body and spirit, especially at a time when mental disorders are considered universally to be a great social problem and this fact has contributed to the growth of aikido.
Of the numerous books on aikido, Takemusu Aiki is the work most representative of O-Sensei’s thinking and strongly speaks to us about fundamental truths. It is, therefore, a book we should always keep at hand.
Moreover, O-Sensei commented, “There is no one other than Goi Sensei who knows my mind.” Goi Sensei was my father’s intimate friend and Mr. Takahashi, a student of Goi Sensei, dedicated himself wholeheartedly to recording O-Sensei’s talks and the compilation of Takemusu Aiki. It can be said that it is high time to publish this new edition and that this book will be considered as a precious record to be read widely by people from diverse fields.
Please accept my sincere congratulations on the new edition of Takemusu Aiki.
Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.
- Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
- Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
- Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
- Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
- Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama1 and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).
Those who deeply believe in this Way must serve in the administration2 of the founding of a Universal Nation.
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