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A Diamond in the Rough

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by Stanley Pranin

Aiki News #64 (November 1984)

In this issue of AIKI NEWS we offer a special text which we consider to be of great historical value. You will find a faithful transcription and our best attempt at an English translation of a radio interview of O-Sensei which was aired sometime in the mid-1960’s. The content of the interview is utterly fascinating in that one is exposed to the actual words of the Founder “in the rough” as it were. We have made virtually no attempt to edit the Japanese text. As a consequence, quite naturally, there are some unusual phrasings and awkward sentence constructions in the text. Keep in mind that it was this same sort of speech and these same thoughts and images that the many students of O-Sensei were confronted with and left to decipher for themselves. What we have rather opted to do is provide a series of rather detailed notes which we hope will assist readers in grasping the symbolic meanings of the often obscure allusions of O-Sensei, a man formed in the Meiji Period and heavily influenced by the beliefs of the Omoto religion.

In addition to Bansen Tanaka Sensei, Chief Instructor of the Osaka Aikikai, to whom we are indebted for providing us with this rare tape recording, we also wish to express our deep gratitude to Miss Fukiko Sunadomari (elder sister of Kanshu Sunadomari, the subject of our featured interview in this number) and Mr. Hideo Takahashi of the Byakko Shin Kokai.

Miss Sunadomari was a close disciple and confidant of O-Sensei during the latter years of his life and often accompanied him on his travels to various parts of Japan. She spent many hours at the AIKI NEWS office working with us on the transcription of the tape and was able to explain a great number of the metaphors used, particularly those reflecting the Omoto philosophy.

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