“The figure of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, is an elusive one for chroniclers of martial arts history. This is the case despite the fact that there are still hundreds of first-hand witnesses to his life and work, including his son and successor, Aikido Doshu Kisshomaru. Ueshiba. Ueshiba’s life, which reads like an adventure novel — unfolded in a cultural and religious setting quite foreign to modern Japanese.
In particular, a clear understanding of the crucial roles played by Sokaku Takeda and Onisaburo Deguchi in Ueshiba’s development is essential in order to grasp the spiritual and technical evolution which culminated in the creation of modern aikido. Takeda was the disseminator of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu in twentieth century Japan, and Onisaburo Deguchi was the leading light of the influential Ornoto religion. Takeda’s art provided the physical basis for Ueshiba’s expression — in the form of martial techniques—of the universal spiritual insights gleaned from Onisaburo’s religious teachings.”