Recommended reading: “Interview with Shigemi Yonekawa, Part 2” by Stanley Pranin

The article below has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. We believe that an informed readership with knowledge of the history, techniques and philosophy of aikido is essential to the growth of the art and its adherence to the principles espoused by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba.

I first met Ueshiba Sensei and got to know his Budo when I took part in an “Aiki Budo” training and lecture course. I was so impressed by the uniqueness, the subtlety and the depth of 0-Sensei’s art that there sprang up in me a desire to make it one of the things I would try to learn, and it was at that time that I joined his group. I suppose the next question is why I didn’t continue in my Budo training. Well, I moved to Manchuria in the middle of my studies, and there I got involved in the “Shiso-Undo” (Liberal Politics Movement). Also, at that time in Manchuria, there was Ninjutsu (the art of stealth) and other things of that sort. It was nothing for some showman or charlatan to rent a theater or some place and put on a show of walking bare-foot on the blades of Japanese swords or jumping up and down, full force, on slivers of broken beer bottles. These were the kind of things that were going on there when I went over.

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