“How War and Religion Shaped Modern Aikido” by Stanley Pranin

Morihei’s spiritual master, Onisaburo Deguchi challenged political and religious authorities through the widespread activities of the Omoto sect. He publically criticized Japan’s leaders accusing them of the misuse of the imperial system to further its aims. The result of Onisaburo’s in-your-face opposition to the establishment was the nearly total suppresion of the Omoto religion.Morihei, for his part, chose a path of non-confrontation using budo by totally redefining its basic concept and assigning to it a life-affirming role, “katsujinken,” (life-giving sword) in contrast to the traditional view of martial arts as “satsujinken,” (killing sword). He turned the notion of budo–historically the tool of rulers and tyrants–on its head…

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