“A Biography of Rinjiro Shirata – Part 3,” by Kozo Kaku

“When I faced O-Sensei, his eyes appeared large and his “ki” came towards me with great energy.”

“The Kobukan Prodigy” goes to the Continent
and makes great efforts in Postwar Japan

Dreamlike Days

A scroll hung smooth and quiet in the altar of the Kobukan Dojo. There were kamisama there and a bamboo blind neatly screened it off. Every morning the uchideshi, Rinjiro Shirata, thought, “Ueshiba Sensei’s being is exactly the same!” But when facing his teacher in the dojo, it wasn’t like that at all.

Morihei Ueshiba started advancing slowly from a long distance, yet there was still a separation of two mats. While Morihei moved another step forward, he slowly raised the arms that had been hanging down naturally to in front of his chest.

Thinking, “He’s driving into me,” Rinjiro let out a shout, “Ii eh ii!”, from the bottom of his core, readied his hand blade and shortening the distance himself, moved to strike preemptively. Mind, spirit and body were unified. Certain victory with a single stroke… He expected his hand to strike the top of Morihei’s head, but instantly Morihei moved his body and slipped behind him. He earnestly launched another cut and a fist, but all of them cut the air as if it had been prearranged. Morihei, who was weaving his way around, wasn’t hit at all; Rinjiro couldn’t even lay a hand on him.

“It’s… it’s no good!”

Even though he was the “Kobukan Prodigy,” this teacher was the only one with whom he could do nothing.

In later years, Rinjiro recalled what it was like to face Morihei, in the following way.

“When I faced O-Sensei, his eyes appeared large and his “ki” came towards me with great energy. When facing him, all my “ki” would be absorbed and my power ended up amounting to nothing. The more earnestly you faced him, the greater the effect of the “ki” from Ueshiba Sensei. It isn’t comprehensible, if one hasn’t experienced this kind of confrontation.”

Morihei was reading Rinjiro’s intentions as if they were an open book. As soon as Morihei felt the faint signals, he immediately stopped those movements, and in the next moment, he bent Rinjiro’s body like a large bow, immobilizing him. Afterwards, the finish was said to be like yonkyo, but Rinjiro didn’t even have a chance to confirm that; all he could do was endure the intense pain and struggle to somehow slip out of the technique even though he knew it was useless. Contrary to the struggle in his mind, his body didn’t even twitch.

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