During a recent interview with Mr. Zensaburo Akazawa, a pre-war deshi of the Founder, the AIKI NEWS staff had its first opportunity to see a copy of a rare technical manual entitled “Budo” authored by O-Sensei in 1938 (see above photos). It measures 18 x 26.7 cms, contains 49 pages and is divided into two parts: an introductory section including a series of short essays on the nature and meaning of martial arts together with twenty-six “haiku”; this is followed by a technical section presenting some forty-eight techniques together with 119 photographs measuring 5.4 cms square. According to Mr. Akazawa, whose interview will be appearing in the near future, only a few hundred copies of this manual which served as a technical training aid and a fundraising device during those difficult times of the pre-war era were distributed.
This manual “Budo”, an earlier volume entitled “Budo Renshu” (a limited edition of which was republished some three years ago in a bilingual format). and the 1935 film featuring O-Sensei which surfaced in 1979 are among the only extant documents which graphically capture Ueshiba O-Sensei’s technique during that period of his development.
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