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.
Central to O-Sensei’s thought at this stage of his life were the concepts of “loyal devotion” to one’s country and the essential role of Japanese budo, martial arts, in the realization of the ideal of the “Imperial Way” wherein Japan represented the “model form for the perfect world.” This first theme of service to one’s country is a recurring one that can be found over and over again in various materials dealing with the life of the Founder. Doshu, Kisshomaru Ueshiba, repeatedly emphasizes this point in his authoritative biography of his father’s life (see the chapter summaries in each issue of AIKI NEWS) and, to this day, a portrait of the Emperor and his wife hangs in O-Sensei’s room in his home in Iwama. The concept of the “Imperial Way” and the pre-ordained mission of Japan were normal views given the political and intellectual climate of Japan in the prewar years. These beliefs were undoubtedly rein forced by the extensive contact of O-Sensei with high-ranking military officials whom he taught at that time.
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