Rare book: Stanley Pranin’s “Encyclopedia of Aikido” now an ebook!

“The most in-depth reference book on Aikido available!”

Stanley Pranin’s 1991 book titled “The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido” is now available in ebook form for the first time. This book, long out of print, is a one-of-a-kind aikido reference work containing a cornucopia of essential information about every aspect of the art. In it, you will find hundreds of biographies of aikido personalities, rare photos, addresses, definitions of specialized terms, a bibliography of books, even capsule histories of the art for the world’s major countries up to the time of the publication of the book.

To give you an idea of how readers have reacted to the work, we have excerpted a few comments about the book found on amazon.com:

“Author Stanley Pranin includes a huge variety of information in this encyclopedia on people in all different branches of Aikido and related arts, places of historical interest, specific events, different styles of aikido and their founders, and styles related to Aikido. Unfortunately, this volume has been out of print for some time…

Includes information about Ueshiba Morihei, Ueshiba Kisshomaru, Takeda Sokaku, Tohei Koichi, Saotome Mitsugi, Saito Morihiru, Tomiki, and many more. Japanese and non-Japanese instructors are covered, and Stanley Pranin has gone through the trouble of authenticating many of the ranks held by prominent Aikido people. I hope someday we will see an updated version in print!”

“Pranin has researched aikido as has no one else–American OR Japanese–and this book is a goldmine of information that’s hard to get elsewhere. Whatever style of aikido you practice (and maybe jujutsu or the ken, too) this book will have information on it. A lot of the scuttlebutt on the acrimony between the various teachers of harmony, too. Highly recommended.”

Preface to the Print Edition

Aikido has now matured as a martial art. There are perhaps 200,000 active practitioners worldwide while several millions have had direct training experience in the art. Hundreds of books have appeared on the subject in many different languages. Most of these are of a technical nature while a few authors have adopted a philosophical approach to the art. In contrast to previous publications, The Aiki News Encyclopedia of Aikido is an attempt to produce a comprehensive reference work allowing immediate access to a wide variety of aikido-related topics. The Encyclopedia contains the features of a Who’s Who, a dictionary, and a director—all in a single volume.

The need for such a work will be obvious to any practitioner or researcher of aikido. The majority of source materials on the subject are in Japanese and this fact has proved an insurmountable barrier to most Westerners interested in the art. Hence, books and articles dealing with the origins of aikido which have appeared in European languages tend to be rehashes of the material in the few available English translations of Japanese texts. The numerous errors contained in these books have been blindly repeated and new ones have been introduced. The result is that most materials written in the West attempting to cover aikido’s history and development are factually unreliable and reveal an inevitable superficiality due to lack of direct access to sources on the part of their writers.

My personal involvement in aikido began 28 years ago. Having always been interested in the history of the art, I began publishing Aiki News in 1974. This magazine has over the years been the primary outlet for the results of my research on aikido. In 1977 I moved to Japan where I have lived continuously and thus the material on which this book is based is largely from Japanese sources. In many cases, I have been able to interview the participants in various historical events directly. Much of the important information published in back issues of Aiki News has been collated, classified and presented in book form in the Encyclopedia of Aikido for easy reference and in an effort to reach a wider audience.

Responsibility for accuracy of the information contained in this book rests entirely with me. I have tried to limit myself to areas concerning which I have direct knowledge, reliable documentation or where testimony of first-hand witnesses exists. Readers are invited to provide feedback regarding any errors or omissions they may discover and their observations will be reflected in future editions.

Stanley A. Pranin
Tokyo, Japan
October 1990

Stanley Pranin’s “Encyclopedia of Aikido” is an essential reference work that covers many aspects of the history of aikido, the Founder Morihei Ueshiba, top aikido instructors, terms and definitions, bibliography and more. You will have your personal copy safely downloaded to your computer and be reading this volume within minutes of your purchase. This 224-page ebook in PDF form costs only $4.99. It is no longer necessary to pay for shipping, customs charges, or lost packages. Nor is there any need to wait!

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