Oct
05

“Memo to Japanese Aikidoka and All Readers from Editor,” by Stanley Pranin


発刊の言葉
道主 植芝 盛平
 世の創めより天地は生成発展を重ね、天運循環、照徹弥益々に栄光を放つ昭和三十四年目出度く初春を迎え、茲に国土挙ってことほぎの声一同勇み立つの時とはなりました。この時にあたり宇内創成の精神にのっとり、世の為め国の為めに万有の上を憂いつつ武産合気紙即ち合気道新聞の発刊に至りましたのは宇宙真理完成への誠の現れであります。

私も世界の一分身、一分業として生成化育の道を愛護するに日夜の精進を続けて居る者であります。身変る聖者の如く、又顕幽神三界を万古より守護なし来れる木花姫の神(観世音)の御神業、和合達成に神習い引添いて世を守るのが真の日本の道であらねばなりません。この日本の道を産み顕すを武産合気と申します。さて此の世の生命であり此の経営の根元たる至愛の上に愛を守る愛の働きは、言霊の妙用となりみそぎの道となります。吾人は万有万神の律法を明らかにし、宇宙の真理を把握し、身を以て自己の使命に当り、地上経綸完成の為め、人生の勤めを達成せねばなりません。それには至誠の道を練磨する事であります。至誠は本を忘れず自己を知り、自己完成大生の道であります。世の完成を望む者は自己も又幸福なる完成をせなくては人の真のつとめは望めません。茲に合気の道を愛究される誠友は先ず真空の気と空の気を、性(さが)と業とに結び合い、喰い入り乍ら業の上に科学以て錬磨するのが修業の順序であります。私も老いて愈々益々広く天下の士と交り、濁流を清め、幸福の御代を迎え、共によろこびを讃えたいと誓い、一歩、一歩と怠らず修業を致します。

次回よりは最も合気に必要な言霊を説き其の実行を教え、又人たるの理解を示し武産合気の本文に進講致し此の合気道新聞発刊の挙に懸命の奉仕を致し度と存じます。

合気道新聞
昭和34年4月10日
(transcription by Kaoru Vaiasuso)


The words for Publishing
The Master; Ueshiba Morihei

Since the beginning of this world, it had kept on progressing and developing. When this new year came, all in this nation were filled with delight, because the destiny of the universe has completed its cycle and it has been and still is, a glorious light which shines all over the world. Now is the time for all cheering with the voice of congratulations throughout all the country. As we were concerned about everything that happened in the world, expecting for a better world and the national Aikido News Journal or Takemusu-Aiki Journal was issued which is followed the great spirit of the creation of the world. Issuing certifies that it was revealed the first creation of the truth of universe. I am also a part of the universe and love to do work that is specialized toward the way of seisei-kaiku*, thus I am the one who is devoting myself for this mission day and night. Japan has to go to the way to protect this world with following and learning after Konohanahime-no-kami(kanzeon)* who has done the job of unity and protection of this world, the spirit world, and God’s world for a long time and a sage who disguised himself. The name of the way that Japan has to create and express is Takemusu-aiki*. There is a universal love which nurtures and is a foundation for life. In addition, the operation for the love to protect the way of love, leads the spiritual function of Kotodama* and becomes the way of misogi. I will be dedicated to reveal the universal providence, grasp the universal truth and throw myself into the task for my mission. Also, I have to complete my job in life to settle this world completely. To achieve those missions, what we need to do is practice the way of utmost sincerity. It means knowing yourself without losing the truth. That is the way of completely discovering oneself. The people who hope the completion of this world have to complete their own happiness first or they won’t be able to expect to do any of the duties for their true selves.

To all the members who love and take the way of Aiki, you are supposed to practice the following order. First, you must connect the Shinku-no-ki* and Ku-no-ki* with the Saga* (subconcious mind) and “Goh* (behavior). Second, keep in mind the first concept and keep cultivating your mind in a scientific way. As I have grown older, I have been and would like to continue pledging and mingling broadly with best Aikido experts, purifying dirty streams, welcoming glorious days, and sharing the happiness. Thus I will just train step by step without slacking.

In the future, I would like to mention Kotodama, which is most important word in Aikido, how to practice it, setting an example of understanding of what is supposed to be a person, and main lecture of Takemusu-Aiki. I would like to be a dedicated contributor for this Aikido-Journal.

10th of Apr. the year of Showa Emperor 34(1959) Aikido News Journal

Reference

生成化育;heaven, earth and nature raises everything in this world and manage the universe.
木花姫の神(観世音)Konohanahime-no-kami(kanze-on);the name of whom it guides spiritually. Konohana is from a god’s
story in Japan, and Kanze-on is from buddism. Both are female.
武産合気 Takemusu-Aiki;
言霊 Kotodama ; Word spirit
真空の気 shinku-no-ki; The ki which is filled in universe. It is needed for quick technique.
空の気; Mainly it wraps around people’s body and protect their body.
(translation by Kaoru Vaiasuso)


I have been waiting a long time to test out this idea. The project I am proposing here will benefit everyone who loves aikido, and wishes to insure the steady growth of the art, and the preservation and dissemination of its heritage.

The archives of Aikido Journal contain over 200,000 documents including written and printed materials, photos, audio recordings, films and videos, etc. Only a small portion of these items have been published even though we have been active for 37 years. Most of the written documents are in Japanese for obvious reasons.

With the resources we currently have at our disposal at this time, the Aikido Journal staff (=me) will only be able to produce a slow trickle of new publications in the years to come. Unless a new approach is adopted, the vast majority of these archives which remain unpublished will disappear when my time has come and gone.

Fortunately, there are solutions made possible by the information technology available today. A major step in the ongoing process to bring the contents of our archives to the aikido public has been taken with the creation of the Aikido Journal Members Site. This new site will be both the repository and dissemination point for the vast pool of materials in our possession. Each and everyone who has found that aikido holds an important meaning in their lives has a stake in the outcome of our efforts from this point forward to preserve this precious heritage.

I envision the formation of teams of volunteers–both English and Japanese speakers–to tackle various projects involving the digitalization, editing, translation and publication of important documents. Versions in both languages, the original Japanese and English translations, will be preserved together. English is the lingua franca of our times and is the vehicle for reaching an international audience since there are more than a billion people on the earth capable of using the English language sufficiently for purposes of communication.

What I now propose to put this idea to the test is a simple experiment. At the top of this blog is an image of a brief article attributed to O-Sensei titled 発刊のことば (“A Word about the Publication of the Aikido Shimbun”) that was published by the Aikikai Headquarters in the first issue of the “Aikido Shimbun” in 1959. There are many other articles bearing the Founder’s name in subsequent issues.

The image above is low resolution. If you click on it you will see a higher resolution image that is easily readable. Here is what I would like to ask be done:

  • A Japanese language speaker volunteers to digitize the text by submitting a comment below informing our readership that he or she will undertake this task within a specified time, e.g., three days or whatever time interval. The first person to volunteer gets the assignment.
  • The volunteer digitizes the text either by using OCR software or by keying the text in within the specified time.
  • When finished, the volunteer posts the digitized text as a comment below.
  • A second person (or it could be the same person), volunteers to do an English translation within a specified time frame. The first translatior to volunteer gets the translation assignment. The completed translation is posted as a comment below within the specified time.
  • If the translated English text requires editing, a volunteer editor’s services is requested. The first volunteer editor–a person preferably with some knowledge of Japanese–gets the assignment and commits to complete the task within a specified time frame. The volunteer editor posts the edited text as a comment below.
  • I will look at the final edited text to make any additional changes to the final version.
  • I will then post an image of the original text, the digitized Japanese text, and the English translation as a single post on the Aikido Journal Members Site for subscribers to access. The names of the collaborators will be included in the post and their efforts recorded as our token of gratitude.

In this way, if the world aikido community works as teams, it should be possible to preserve, prepare and disseminate a huge body of important documentation that would otherwise be lost.

So that is my proposal. I have done and will continue to do my part until I can do no more. Will you join me in this effort?

If so, post your comments below and let’s get started!

In Aiki,

Stanley Pranin

Click here to sign up for a free subscription to the Aikido Journal Members Site and see the vast amount of documentation already in place.

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Comments

  1. Janet Rosen says:

    This is a wonderful idea. I am only sorry that I cannot help, having no Japanese language abilities. If ever simple English copy-editing is needed please count me in as an experienced and willing volunteer!

    • Thanks very much for your words of encouragement. We most definitely need people with good English editing skills. Feel free to volunteer whenever a text reaches that stage.

      Stan :)

  2. Alister Gillies says:

    Count me in for English copy-editing.

  3. Sounds great! Wish I had some language skills to help.

  4. …I will also be happy to edit translations, but unfortunately have no Japanese.

  5. This sounds like a workable plan. I would raise one point though. Unlike a BBS post, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to remotely keep track of progress, i.e. new posts, when they are attached to a blog like this. The blog then falls off the front page and into obscurity. Unless you manually check there is no alert for new activity.

    I have Japanese translation skills.

    • Doug,

      I have anticipated this and once we get going I will set up a forum to facilitate coordination among the translators and editors. Your Japanese translations skills are most welcome. Do you know any Japanese aikido practitioners who might be interested in participating?

      Cheers!

      S.P.

      • Unfortunately I don’t have any contact with Japanese aikido practitioners.
        Looking forward to seeing how this project develops.

  6. Autrelle Holland says:

    Count me as an English editor if needed sir.

  7. 薫 Kaoru Vaiasuso says:

    Hi, I am native Japanese speaker and studying translation.

    I would be honor if I can help you and translate O-sensei’s words into sophisticated English.
    As I look this article, it looks O-sensei used various religious words,
    thus I’m not sure how deep should I translate those Shinto-religion words into
    plain English.

    Anyway, please let me know if you need my help. :D

    • Dear Kaoru-san,

      We’re very happy to have you as the first Japanese translator for this important project. As I mentioned in my blog, the first step would be to either key in or run an OCR program on Morihei Ueshiba’s article to get the text into digital form.

      As for the specialized religious terms. if they are the names of kamisama, you can leave them in romaji, and we can deal with that later. I have a bit of experience with many of these terms, and of course I’ll be available to help.

      So please as you progress along, don’t hesitate to ask when you have a question.

      First, if you can digitize the text and ask any questions you like. You can paste your text as a comment below here. I will be happy to help and collaborate with you. Also, we have several volunteer editors waiting to assist you.

      Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!

      Stan Pranin

  8. I’m afraid I don’t have the time to help right now, but I would very much like to. Hopefully you will get this off the ground and I will be able to help out when things settle down a bit for me.

    I am a translator (J->E) and an aikido practitioner.

  9. Clark Bateman says:

    Stan, you already know that I’ll do whatever you need this ol’ language-challenged country boy to do…

  10. Well, the only thing I can do (and did before) is translating from english to french. You seem to suggest that this kind of work is no more needed on this site. Let me say I’m really sorry for that : actually, I don’t think the vast majority of aikido practicionners can speak english…

    If you change your mind, I’ll be able to help…