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Meeting with Doshu Regarding “Budo”

by Stanley Pranin

Aiki News #43 (December 1981)

AIKI NEWS met with Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba at his home on August 21 and again on August 31 to discuss the possibility of the republication of the 1938 O-Sensei technical manual entitled “Budo” (See AIKI NEWS No. 42). As it turned out, our talk dealt with a variety of topics. But first, let me communicate Doshu’s feelings with regard to a new edition of “Budo”. Doshu indicated that he felt that the time was not ripe for the republication of this manual as the general Aikido public would not be capable of understanding its content and problems would thus ensue. Doshu was also of the opinion that there apparently is little interest in this sort of historical material given the poor sales of “Budo Renshu” (a technical manual containing line drawings republished in 1978). It would be interesting to have feedback from readers with regard to this point. He did add that he would keep our proposal in mind for the future. Doshu went on to reiterate that he was the foremost authority on the life of the Founder and that Hombu Dojo was the repository for most of the important documents concerning the history of the art. This would presumably include written documents, photographs, films, etc. Doshu left us with the impression that he was planning to gradually release these materials. Our main concern is that the extraordinarily heavy work load undertaken by Doshu will prevent him from completing the massive amount of work which would be required to organize the vast amount of materials in the Hombu archives. This taken together with the fact that Doshu was seriously ill about two years ago makes us fearful that many of the source documents which are the legacy of future generations of Aikidoists will continue to gather dust and for all intents and purposes be lost.

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