“There was this old man doing strange techniques up in the mountains near Iwama.”

Ueshiba was in his sixties and the possessor of a powerful physique resulting from decades of hard training. Freed for the first time in many years from heavy teaching responsibilities, the founder could at last pursue his personal training and ascetic activities with undistracted intensity. Although Ueshiba had taught tens of thousands of students prior to the war, the aftermath of the horrible conflict left him severed from all but a handful of his former disciples. The practice of martial arts had been prohibited by the General Headquarters of the Allied Forces, but this edict was unevenly enforced even in urban areas and was of little consequence in the countryside of Ibaragi Prefecture.

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