“These records provide convincing evidence of the extent of Takeda’s influence in prewar martial arts circles and the prominent social standing of many of his students.”
Sokaku Takeda was one of the outstanding figures of 20th century Japanese martial arts. For over fifty years he taught his art of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu to nearly thirty thousand students, including Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. Today, Daito-ryu is perhaps the best known of the Japanese jujutsu styles, but there has been surprisingly little information in print in any language on this fascinating and complex art. Daito-ryu aikijujutsu: Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters is the first book in English to explore the life of Takeda, the history of his art, and the techniques that are practiced in Daito-ryu today.
The heart of this book consists of a series of interviews with the leading exponents of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu–including several direct students of Sokaku– featuring Tokimune Takeda, Yukiyoshi Sagawa, Chieko Horikawa, Yusuke Inoue, Takuma Hisa, Keisuke Sato, Katsuyuki Kondo, Hakaru Mori and Seigo Okamoto. Also, a rare newspaper article from 1930 that spotlights Sokaku is featured.
In addition, Conversations with Daito-ryu Masters includes an authoritative essay on the life of Sokaku Takeda and the history of the art by Aikido Journal Editor-in-chief Stanley Pranin.
An excerpt from “An Introduction to Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu”:
There is strong argument for considering Sokaku Takeda, the disseminator of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, as the leading jujutsu exponent of twentieth-century Japan. The art he perfected and taught to some thirty thousand students remains today the most vigorous of Japan’s classical jujutsu schools. Moreover, the Daito-ryu system constitutes the technical basis for modern aikido. Despite its relative importance within a martial arts context where most of its historical brethren have long ago disappeared or been transformed into sports, Daito-ryu has remained little known to the general public. This stands in contrast to the popular success both in Japan and abroad of its derivative art, aikido, the creation of Morihei Ueshiba.
To date, no in-depth history of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu or Takeda has appeared even though Sokaku’s activities are among the best documented of the major martial artists of the first half of this century. Active as an instructor for more than fifty years, Takeda kept meticulous track of the participation and payments of his students in the form of enrollment books (eimeiroku) and payments received ledgers (shareiroku). These records provide convincing evidence of the extent of Takeda’s influence in prewar martial arts circles and the prominent social standing of many of his students.
File size: 239 mb
Dimensions: 7″ x 10″