Rinjiro Shirata was born in 1912 in Yamagata Prefecture. He was from a family of Omoto believers whose mother practiced Aiki Budo at a dojo of the Budo Senyokai in Japanese-occupied Manchuria. Shirata Sensei joined Morihei Ueshiba’s Kobukan Dojo in 1933. He was known for his exceptional physical strength. Shirata was later dispatched to Osaka where he taught until his induction into the Japan Imperial Army. He resumed teaching aikido c. 1960 in Yamagata continuing until shortly before his death. Shirata supervised publication of the 1984 book in English, Aikido: The Way of Harmony by John Stevens.
In this demonstration that Shirata Sensei gave at the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration in 1986, he first reads aloud a scroll containing a poem in praise of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei written by the religious leader Masahisa Goi. This is followed by a free-style sword kata that includes elements of sword movements practiced by O-Sensei in the prewar period. Shirata Sensei next demonstrates a series of jo kata of his own creation. The finale consists of multiple attacks by four opponents wielding the jo and bokken with the finish featuring a classic Daito-ryu pin!
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