Recommended reading: “Interview with Mariye Takahashi (1)” by Stanley Pranin

The interview below with Mariye Takahashi 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.

It happened that my elder brother Kazunari Yano was friends with Tetsuo Yoshizato (former Operations Bureau Chief of the Nishi Nihon News and an acquaintance of Kisshomaru Ueshiba). He was practicing aikido and he recommended it to me as something well-suited to women. That was in 1960, back when the old Hombu Dojo was still a traditional residential-style building. As soon as I opened the door, an uchideshi garbed in a splashed-pattern kimono and hakama came rushing out into the small foyer from the front room to greet me. It was Kazuo Chiba [currently of the San Diego Aikikai]. He didn’t have a samurai top-knot, but in all other respects I was sure that I’d run into a real samurai! He dropped into a formal seated bow, hakama pleated immaculately, hands on the floor in perfect form, and said: “Welcome….” I immediately thought to myself, “Oh my, this is it! This must be what I’ve been looking for! There must be something here for me….” (laughs)

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