Recommended reading: “Interview with Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba,” by Stanley Pranin

Kisshomaru Ueshiba (1921-1999)

The interview below with Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba has been selected from the extensive archives of the Online Aikido Journal. It was conducted by Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin in 1978 following the publication of the Doshu’s biography of Morihei Ueshiba, the most authoritative source on the Founder of Aikido. Kisshomaru talks about his research and the challenges he had in writing this book.

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 the Founder.

There are many people who idolize Morihei Ueshiba as “almighty” or as a kami (a divine being). I think it’s a fine thing as long as it inspires hard training. However, as long as he’s a human being, he cannot be almighty. So I think the most important thing in aikido is to cultivate your own individuality, or rather, better individual characteristics through one’s own aiki training having an understanding of the efforts made by the Founder to construct the aiki path.

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