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The Web version of the Encyclopedia of Aikido is essentially the same as the original edition published in 1991. It does contain a number of minor updates mainly involving changes in rankings, personal details, factual additions, and death dates for those who have passed on since the book was first published.

At the present time, the author is not regularly updating the Encyclopedia and has no definite plans to do so. We believe the book still has considerable value since much of the content is of an historical nature and is therefore not subject to change. Anyone consulting the Encyclopedia of Aikido should keep in mind the date of publication—1991—and the fact that changes will not be forthcoming anytime in the near future.

If readers do wish to submit corrections, additions or suggestions to the author, they will be accepted and filed for future reference with the understanding that they may not be acted upon immediately.

Preface to the Print Edition

Aikido has now matured as a martial art. There are perhaps 200,000 active practitioners worldwide while several millions have had direct training experience in the art. Hundreds of books have appeared on the subject in many different languages. Most of these are of a technical nature while a few authors have adopted a philosophical approach to the art. In contrast to previous publications, The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido is an attempt to produce a comprehensive reference work allowing immediate access to a wide variety of aikido-related topics. The Encyclopedia contains the features of a Who’s Who, a dictionary, and a director—all in a single volume.

The need for such a work will be obvious to any practitioner or researcher of aikido. The majority of source materials on the subject are in Japanese and this fact has proved an insurmountable barrier to most Westerners interested in the art. Hence, books and articles dealing with the origins of aikido which have appeared in European languages tend to be rehashes of the material in the few available English translations of Japanese texts. The numerous errors contained in these books have been blindly repeated and new ones have been introduced. The result is that most materials written in the West attempting to cover aikido’s history and development are factually unreliable and reveal an inevitable superficiality due to lack of direct access to sources on the part of their writers.

My personal involvement in aikido began 28 years ago. Having always been interested in the history of the art, I began publishing Aiki News in 1974. This magazine has over the years been the primary outlet for the results of my research on aikido. In 1977 I moved to Japan where I have lived continuously and thus the material on which this book is based is largely from Japanese sources. In many cases, I have been able to interview the participants in various historical events directly. Much of the important information published in back issues of Aiki News has been collated, classified and presented in book form in the Encyclopedia of Aikido for easy reference and in an effort to reach a wider audience.

Responsibility for accuracy of the information contained in this book rests entirely with me. I have tried to limit myself to areas concerning which I have direct knowledge, reliable documentation or where testimony of first-hand witnesses exists. Readers are invited to provide feedback regarding any errors or omissions they may discover and their observations will be reflected in future editions.

Stanley A. Pranin
Tokyo, Japan
October 1990