Out of the turmoil of a culture in which expressions of violence had been institutionalized, formalized and even spiritualized, and from the frustrations of a tragic world war a Japanese man, Morhihei Uyeshiba, has brought to the world a message of pure and unconditional love. Paradoxically this message is couched in the terminology and activity of the very martial arts from which previously sprang much misery.
Born into the turbulent era of the Meiji Restoration, when modernization was thrust forcibly onto a nation long frozen in feudal lifestyles, Uyeshiba was exposed early to diverse spiritual influences. It was to be some years before these contacts were to result in the maturation of the spiritual form which Uyeshiba offered to the world community after the tragedy of the Pacific War. Long before he developed his spiritual mastery, however, he was acknowledged as one of Japan’s greatest martial artists, a master of weapons and unarmed combat. This background was to direct and mold the unique character of his personal spirituality.