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On Kunigoshi Sensei

Aiki News #47 (April 1982)

In this issue we bring you an interview with Takako Kunigoshi Sensei. Ms. Kunigoshi, who is a teacher of the traditional arts of flower arrangement and the tea ceremony, kindly permitted us visit her at her home in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo. Our interview took place in the quiet atmosphere enhanced by one of her beautiful flower settings in the tokonoma alcove and a pair of paper fusuma doors illustrated by Sensei with her own hand. A little known fact is that Kunigoshi Sensei was the person who illustrated the Aiki techniques for Ueshiba 0-Sensei’s early book entitled “Budo Renshu”.

Although it is impossible to print the entire text of the three hour interview, we want to bring you some of the most significant and meaningful of the stories about 0-Sensei, Aikido in the 1930’s and other topics that are sure to stimulate your interest. Moreover, I’m sure that this interview, along with the introduction of Japanese calligraphy presented by Seiseki Abe Sensei in AIKI NEWS No. 45, will make clear to our readers the close relationship between the essence of those traditional arts of calligraphy, tea ceremony, and flower arrangement and the essence of the Aikido of 0-Sensei. An interesting relationship, indeed.

Kunigoshi Sensei is of the same generation as Yonekawa Sensei; she, too, is the possessor of a wonderfully healthy body despite her advanced age. She answered our questions in a voice whose clarity left a deep impression on the AIKI NEWS staff members present. Although this is the first time in all our encounters with various Sensei that we have interviewed a woman, AIKI NEWS continually endeavors to bring its readers stories and interviews dealing with a wide variety of topics and viewpoints.

Beginning in next month’s issue No. 47, Aiki News plans to introduce some of those 1933 vintage illustrations by Kunigoshi Sensei as well as a number of photographs of O-Sensei from his book entitled “Budo”, which was briefly mentioned in issue No. 42. So be on the look out for these special features as well as Saito Sensei’s Technical Notebook in upcoming issues.