Aikido Journal Home » Articles » Researching O-Senseis' Life Aiki News Japan

Researching O-Senseis’ Life

Available Languages:

by Stanley Pranin

Aiki News #33 (March 1979)

I think that it can be safely said that those who study Aikido in some way look upon their senseis as models. The respect that one feels may be inspired by the teacher’s technical proficiency, philosophical orientation, strength of personality, etc., or more likely a combination of such factors. Further, it is not unusual that students display an interest in learning about their teacher’s background and experiences. It is as though a knowledge of the key events in the letter’s life may provide valuable insights and much-needed guidance for those who newly walk the Path.

Historically speaking, considering the brief span of time (less than 40 years) since Aikido came into existence, few of us are more than two or three generations removed from the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, himself. Thus, in a like manner, many students of Aikido have expressed a keen desire to gain an insight into the details of O-Sensei’s life. However, foreign Aikidoists are immediately confronted by the often seemingly impenetrable language and cultural barriers which effectively bar them from accessing this information. Even today’s Japanese, and especially the young generation, feel socially and psychologically distant from 0-Sensei since he, himself, was formed during the Meiji era and experienced his prime in the Taisho and early Showa periods. These difficulties notwithstanding, AIKI NEWS is making every effort to provide its readers, in Japan and abroad, with a continuous stream of information concerning the Founder which will, at least in part, serve to lift the veil of obscurity which surrounds many aspects of his fascinating life and philosophy.