Former Aikikai Employees… by Stanley Pranin



Stanley Pranin’s comments in reply to a posting on Facebook by a gentleman who will remain unnamed regarding the “Expunged” figures mentioned in his video blog.

Thank you, Sir, for your observations which motivate me to express a few views of my own on this fascinating subject. With any luck, I’ll be able to peddle a few more subscriptions due to the controversy in progress to which you have graciously added fuel. I’ll place my comments after yours in quotes so readers will be able to more easily follow.

“It’s fun to spin conspiracy theories and may help the Aikido Journal sell more subscriptions as well as other products. However, I don’t know of a single company that makes any efforts to extol the virtues of former employees that were either fired or left on their own to set up competing organizations.”

SP: It’s no secret that the Aikikai has a long standing policy not to recognize certain historical figures who have fallen out of their good graces, regardless of how important, in print or otherwise. One merely has to look at Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei’s biography of O-Sensei, “A Life in Aikido”. If I have alleged a conspiracy on the part of the Aikikai and implied that they have acted in secret, perhaps you could tell me what has led you to believe that I have done so.

To develop my “Expunged” hypothesis, I have mentioned six historical figures: Sokaku Takeda, Noriaki Inoue, Kenji Tomiki, Kiyoshi Nakakura, Koichi Tohei and Morihiro Saito. As an aikido history buff, amateurish as I may be, I’m having difficulty understanding who among them you might consider an Aikikai employee.

Sokaku Takeda, Morihei’s teacher, was actually quite well-to-do and predated the Aikikai. Cross him off the list.

Noriaki Inoue was the son of an extremely rich man who happened to marry Morihei’s elder sister. Inoue’s father, Zenzo, and uncle Koshiro helped finance Morihei at an early stage of his life and made donations to the Kobukan Dojo at least through the 1930s. Since the Inoues were filthy rich, donated money to Morihei, and predated the Aikikai, it can’t be Inoue to whom you refer either.

Next is Kenji Tomiki. He was a school teacher, then a martial arts instructor in Manchuria, perhaps paid a salary by the Kwantung Army (I don’t know for sure. Remember I am only an amateur historian) and Shinkoku University where he taught. After the war, Tomiki was a professor at the elite Waseda University. Perhaps the Aikikai gave him some travel money from time to time when he taught there, but I doubt that he could be considered an employee either before or after the war. I will take the liberty of scratching him off the list too.

Next is Kiyoshi Nakakura who married Morihei’s daughter and lived at the Kobukan Dojo from 1932-37. He was given the name of Morihiro Ueshiba. He was a star in the kendo world and was being groomed to be Morihei’s successor.

Maybe you mean him? But somehow I don’t think so. In any event, he predated the Aikikai, so this is a moot point.

Then we have Koichi Tohei. Perhaps we’re zeroing in on your target, no? His ranking was of course the first 10th dan issued by the Aikikai. He filled the position of Shihan Bucho — chief instructor — of the Aikikai for many years. He was the leading light of the Aikikai, a charismatic teacher, an author, the pioneer of aikido in Hawaii and USA. But… I’m sure he DID receive money from the Aikikai. That must be the Aikikai employee you mean! Well, he wasn’t fired, he actually resigned. And I suppose you could say he set up a competing organization. We have finally found an employee among the list.

One more to consider. This would be Morihiro Saito, my personal teacher. He worked his entire professional life for the JNR (Japan National Railways) and could travel free by train anywhere. This made him cheap to have teach because you didn’t have to cover travel costs. Oh, I almost forgot, he learned aikido a bit from O-Sensei. Also, he and his wife were servants of Morihei and his wife Hatsu in Iwama for almost 20 years. But since he was a government employee, I don’t think we can justify calling him an employee of the Aikikai. He died wealthy, but not because of the Aikikai, but because he was a damn good teacher!

So, by process of elimination I can guess that you mean Koichi Tohei was the employee you were thinking of. Sorry it took so long to figure it out.

“So, in this case, neither are the so called “Expunged” innocent victims nor is the Aikikai guilty of any nefarious action. Koichi Tohei left the Aikikai and became one of its largest competitors. He also openly disparaged the technical prowess of his teacher, Morihei Ueshiba, in an Aikido Journal interview. Under the circumstances, what duty does the Ueshiba family have to preserve and praise his memory?”

SP: Your next comment opens up a bag of worms. First of all, who stated that the “Expunged” were innocent victims? Do I detect a straw man argument here somewhere? You see, as I mentioned in my video, I had some or extensive contact with all of these figures except of course for Sokaku Takeda who died before I was born. I can confirm what you say that they were all critical of the Aikikai, except for Kenji Tomiki who was a gentlemanly type figure who did not speak that way to me. You’re right that Tohei Sensei openly disparaged Morihei. In fact, he did the same thing to me in private when he called me into a room on the second floor of Hombu and chewed me out! Boy, was I pissed at him too! I got over it eventually, and even was able to get on good terms with him years later and interviewed him several times.

He may have wished to compete with the Aikikai, but he did not succeed. His organization is dwarfed in size by the Aikikai. I doubt that the Ki Society is even one-tenth the size of the Aikikai.

I agree that the Ueshiba family has no duty to preserve and praise his memory. I’ve done it for them. Tohei Sensei was not my favorite person in the world, but I’m big enough to recognize his preeminent role in the development of aikido. With me, it’s a moral obligation to recognize these important figures, my personal feelings aside.

Let me tell you what’s wrong with the Aikikai ignoring these people. First, the books authored by Kisshomaru and Moriteru are perhaps the most widely read works on aikido. Many of them were published by Kodansha, Japan’s largest publishing house. If you pretend to write about the history of the art, use a large publisher, and your books sell the most, you’d better do a good job of it. If you don’t, some cheeky, upstart American is going to come along and put your thesis under the spotlight. And then the discrepancies between the two views will come to light. If you’re the Aikikai, you’re going to have some explaining to do. You can remain silent, but the Internet will judge you harshly. You’ll lose in the world of public opinion because your tactics are untenable.

“Morihiro Saito openly derided Hombu and successive generations of the Ueshiba family for decades while remaining an Aikikai employee and residing on Ueshiba family property. After his father’s passing, Hitohiro, in gross insubordination tried to claim an “inheritance” that, in his rank of a junior Aikikai shihan, wasn’t his to demand.”

You are indeed correct that Morihiro Saito, my teacher, derided the Hombu Dojo. He did it in my presence a thousand times. I repeated to him privately over and over again that I thought that this was a bad policy. But he didn’t listen and continued. We have seen the consequences of his actions.

An Aikikai employee? Do you refer to monetary gifts he received to cover costs to keep up the Iwama Dojo, the Aiki Shrine, and Ueshiba property? Was this a salary he received? He lived on Ueshiba property? Sir, you know not of what you speak. The Saito home in Iwama next to the dojo and opposite the Aiki Shrine is SAITO property! The land was a gift from Morihei to Morihiro Saito for having helped settle a land dispute that O-Sensei was involved in in the early 1950s. O-Sensei told him to build a house there. Saito Sensei did so. It was understood that Saito Sensei and his wife would serve Morihei and Hatsu for their rest of their lives. And that was what they did. They were not ungrateful freeloaders, but accepted a subservient position out of Morihiro’s love for the Founder.

As to your unkind remarks about Hitohiro Saito Sensei, I doubt that you have any first hand information. I will limit myself to offering a link to Hitohiro Saito’s comments in an open letter about his resignation from the Aikikai. You may not agree with what he writes, but at least readers will get his side of the story.

“What, in turn, has the Ueshiba family said about any of this in public? Nothing. Not one word. Is this due to some conspiracy? Hardly! The Aikikai does not memorialize any of its deceased or departed Shihan. The Hombu website makes no mention of ANY deceased Aikikai Shihan (i.e. Kisaburo Osawa, Shigenobu Okumura, Sadateru Arikawa, Michio Hikitsuchi, Seiseki Abe, Hiroshi Kato, Shiji Nishio, Nobuyoshi Tamura, Seigo Yamaguchi, Aikira Tohei, Masando Sasaki, or Mitsunari Kanai)”

SP: I would agree with you here. The Aikikai has done nothing in public. They act behind the scenes. I have been the target on several occasions where unscrupulous means were used by those at the highest levels of the organization to attack me. I am battled tested, my friend. I know who I’m dealing with.

A final thought. Neither does the Aikikai memorialize the Founder of Aikido, not just departed shihan. Morihei Ueshiba is just a fatherly figure who lends credence to the Aikikai cause. His life, his techniques, and his philosophy have very little impact in the aikido world thanks to their non-efforts. You praise their silence. I am saddened by people who don’t practice the concept of “ongaeshi”, the return of gratitude for services rendered. We’re talking here about the Founder of Aikido. He surely merits prominent mention.

But that’s ok, I’ll do it for them.

Stanley Pranin has been researching the origins of aikido, the life of its Founder and related topics for over 40 years. Information on this huge body of research and publications is available here.

[The continuation of our exchange can be found in the comments below the blog.]


  1. Nicely written Pranin Sensei. M

  2. More from the same poster on Facebook:

    Thanks as always for your very passionate response. However, you appear to be eagerly avoiding the point as you proceed to pummel me with overwhelming quantities of irrelevant historical Aikido trivia. The statement of, “I don’t know of a single company that makes any efforts to extol the virtues of former employees that were either fired or left on their own to set up competing organizations” was intended as an analogy. When people leave any type of group,especially when they do so on bad terms, those that stay behind do not feel obligated to praise or even remember the departed. That’s a simple factof human nature practiced globally and, in my opinion, is not worthy of an “Expunged: Calling Aikido Journal…” level of sensationalism.

    With the statement, “Your challenge is to try and find the name of Morihiro Saito at the official website of the Iwama Dojo”, you implied that the Aikikai, in some deliberate and underhanded manner, was actively “expunging” only select individuals from Aikido history. The fact of the matter, however, is that the Aikikai, for whatever reason, does not commemorate any deceased shihans on any of its websites. As you so eloquently stated, you’ve dedicated your life to doing this commemorative work for them.

    Terrific! So where’s the harmony in berating the Aikikai for not doing your job? It sounds like your biting the hand that feeds you. When you are the President of the United States, there will always be large groups of people with huge egos eager to harshly judge your actions no matter what you do. You will also, occasionally, need to make incredibly difficult decisions that you think are in the long-term best interests of the country.

    When you are the principle figure of the Aikido world, things seem to be much the same. The Ueshiba family takes a lot of harsh criticism (most publicly through the forum you have created with the Aikido Journal). They, in turn, however NEVER publicly criticize anyone. I’m sure that you have been privileged to hear the issues from the detailed and heavily biased perspective of Koichi Tohei and the Saito family. I will also assume, however, that you were not provided the same level of access into the Ueshiba family’s perspective on these same difficult issues.

  3. My reply on Facebook to the above comment:

    Well, Sir. I won’t make a detailed response at this point, but I will continue to give you a forum to express your views. You have impugned me professionally and disparaged me while stepping inside my house.

    Your analogy of “fired employees” might be appropriate in some situations, but you belittle these giants when you liken these great men who played indispensable roles in the spread of aikido to low-level employees. Be prepared to duck.

    You have also ignored a number of the most important points I attempted to make. I don’t consider the historical observations I made to be irrelevant, but I suppose that’s a matter of opinion.

    “The hands that feeds me?” I have felt the hand of the Aikikai, the backhand.

    I didn’t realize that you were a member of the inner circle of the Aikikai, privy to insider information, and were acting as their spokesman. So continue to express your views and perhaps members here will have their own opinions and a few questions to pose if you would be so kind as to address them.

  4. I think the point is we should try to be as accurate, complete and objective as possible when we write history.
    History should include ALL relevant information whether good or bad. Therefore, Aikikai should acknowledge the roles of these giants in the development of aikido if it is to maintain any credibility.
    However, if all they want to do is to create a legend, then they can tell whatever fairy tale they want to promote.

  5. Mr. Pranin’s views are correct.

  6. Gambatte, Pranin Sensei!!!!

    – – – fascinating, is it not, that your interlocutor finds the most suitable analogy to the aikikai to be a modern-day corporation? The cognitive dissonance we are always, over and over, discussing here is between the concepts of “lineage”, “heritage”, and that of “corporation”. The aikikai is, essentially, “selling” the impression of “lineage” and “heritage”.
    – – – Yet, O’Sensei told Sunadomari Shihan (I think him worthy of emulation so I use the word “shihan”) –
    “there is no iemoto system in aikido”.
    – – – I also find it interesting that Shioda Shihan started his Tokyo-based organization precisely as O’Sensei was finishing up establishing his network of personally affiliated dojos in Shingu, Osaka, Southern Kyushu (and maybe Tanabe?) – – – this is BEFORE the Hombu organization started its post-war expansion – – –
    – – – may I say, personally, that what seems to fit the data is that O’Sensei thought of the above-mentioned network of dojos – that in many cases he ASKED a trusted student to build – as something very traditional, and very UN-corporate. And that he felt his spiritual practice, the Shrine and Dojo he built in Iwama, to be the heart of that network.

    We are all related, in O’Sensei’s aikido – – –

    – – – okagesamade….

  7. Further reply from original poster:

    Hi Stan, Thanks for playing along. Stan Pranin said: “You have impugned me professionally and disparaged me while stepping inside my house.” To be sure, on the whole, I believe you’ve done an excellent job over the years and have shared invaluable historical information. As you well know, I was a long-standing subscriber to the print version of the Aiki News/ Aikido Journal and have read all of your books. Looking at the same set of facts, however, I can’t always reach the same conclusions you seem to. As to impugning you professionally and disparaging you while stepping in your house, let’s be fair here.

    You’ve been impugning and disparaging various figures in the Aikido world for decades and the Internet is hardly “your house”. Are you, in turn, claiming infallibility?

    Stan Pranin said: “Your analogy of ‘fired employees’ might be appropriate in some situations, but you belittle these giants when you liken these great men who played indispensable roles in the spread of aikido to low-level employees.” You’re putting words in my mouth. At no point did I belittle anyone. People at all levels routinely get fired, including Fortune 500 CEO’s and heads of state.

    Stan Pranin said: “I didn’t realize that you were a member of the inner circle of the Aikikai, privy to insider information and were acting as their spokesman.” Again, you’re drawing conclusions that are not supported by the facts. In my statements, I neither directly stated nor implied that I am a spokesman for the Aikikai. For the record, everything I’ve stated are my personal views and opinions. As so many or your on-line followers know, there is enough bad blood in the Aikido world. Why stoke the fires by spinning additional conspiracy theories? Be the Aiki News and not the FOX NEWS trying to make more out of Benghazi than the tragedy it was.

  8. Hopefully my last response to this gentleman is this:

    “Thanks for participating in this discussion. I leave you, Sir, with the last word.

    Our exchange is memorialized here where I do not mention you by name:

    • Hello Stan,
      It’s clear to me from the interlocutor’s last sentence that you are in a debate with a liberal. I have observed over the years that liberals are anything but liberal except with lies and false innuendos. It is a minor mental disorder perpetrated by the liberal run education indoctrination system. These people are not taught to think, just regurgitate rhetoric. They are taught to make a difference in the world, but mainly all they leave in their wake is destruction and messes for others to clean up. I’m in the middle of liberal “paradise” here in north central Florida and it’s a thorough mess. Oh well.

  9. Rohan Mitchell says:

    I LOVE Aikido. I do. But I can’t find anywhere to train because of all this kind of conflict, which in my poor, 3rd Kyu view, is completely at odds with everything I’ve read of O’Sensei. All dojos and organisations I have trained with demonstrate similar conflict in their political machinations to remove HDIs, or promote the agenda of an individual, rather than Aikido, or argue over which technique or school is best, etc etc etc.

    Didn’t O’Sensei say … “the techniques are not Aikido”?? If that is the case, and I believe it to be so, then what IS Aikido? is it what we’ve read here on this page? No, I don’t think so.

    One piece of wisdom I have learned for this is, simply, to “train, train, train” … but where oh where shall I train? :-( :-( …. but I shall keep practising every day, the best I can.

    • Well said, Pranin Sensei. You can’t keep everyone happy all the time, and, so long as we have an open forum and people keep it respectful, then let everyone say what they have to say.

      Personally, the history is helpful to an extent, but only a small amount. Time on the mat is time on the mat, and today’s training is all that really matters.

      There are groups out there that do their best to leave the politics off the mats, within reason of course.
      If you’re in the US, shoot me an email and I’ll try to help – don’t know of any internationally, personally.

      Even in the best organizations, the dojo very much takes on the personality of the Dojo Cho. Just like in a job, who you work for (who you train under in this case) makes all the difference. They say people don’t quit jobs, they quit a boss. Likewise, we don’t quit an organization, we quit a Sensei/Dojo Cho.

      Keep searching, there are plenty of good people out there.

  10. Vincent Murphy says:

    Thank you, Stan, for your first rate historicism. Without your tenacious, meticulous and unbiased research over an extended period, and in the most difficult of circumstances, this would not even be a debate. But as it is, we observers, those of us who would never had have access to the source material that you have freely shared, are in a position to properly consider the arguments as stated. This is not what the Aikikai would want, but the truth is the truth, regardless of what people (or organisations) want, It is sad that the Aikikai has sought to distance itself from key historical figures; it is ridiculous that key historical texts are not available in Japan. You have been a tenacious seeker of the truth and it is, of course, the truth that will set us free. We are greatly in your debt; it really is as simple as that …

  11. There I was, ignorant of the fact that Hitohiro Saito was now on his own. Thus is explained the lack of interest in my Iwama style material in local Aikikai affiliated dojos. Too bad for the Aikikai. They have turned their back on a workable teaching system rooted in the skills of the Founder of their house. I’m also happy to have started aikido before the Tohei split and have some of his material I’ve found useful over the years. It’s possible for a dog to walk on three legs, but four is easier. I’ve heard of coyotes chewing off a leg to escape a trap, but this goes beyond that.

  12. No wonder O sensei moved to Iwama. He should have perhaps moved further north. :)

    Ain’t love grand?

  13. Bruce Riddick says:

    My view is straightforward. Stanley’s research and writings are a valuable contribution to Aikido and he deserves everyone’s thanks for that. Building a thesis around “expunged” historical figures is a stretch, as is any conspiracy theory. Frankly, I tend to ignore derogatory writings altogether; but the historical information itself and the added information in the debate are aspects I find helpful in learning more about Aikido’s history. The reality is there always has been and always will be politics in any human endeavour. Many years ago I naively asked Doshu (Waka Sensei at the time) if there were any politics in Aikido and he replied that whenever two people get together there are politics. I experience that myself having had roles in my own national organization, provincial organization and in the dojos I’ve belonged to. The solution for me is simple, practice, train, learn, help others. That gives me a solid place to stand; the rest is only the wind blowing in the trees, uprooting some, caressing the leaves of others, but still only swirlying around my chosen place to practice, train, learn and help others.

  14. It’s not just the Aikikai! Look how the Yoshinkan overlooks the contributions of Takashi Kushida.

  15. Sylvain Landreville says:

    Thank you Stanley,

    There was a post on FB a few months ago attempting to dismiss Minoru Mochizuki as someone who had hardly practiced Aikido… Wow!

    Fortunately the historical facts are strong and can be used to deal with such misinformed opinions.

    Those individuals you mention as well as other past and present prominent figures in martial arts are truly exceptional beings on their own without whom we would not benefit of such a rich legacy today. Obviously your endeavour to record all that pertains to Aikido puts you in a special position and your contribution is truly unique and historically important.

    To compare the Aikikai to a corporation is unfair. It is like comparing a corporation to a hockey team.
    Such analogies only pull us away from the real issues because everything becomes over simplified and tend to distord statements and events and serves to no good in the end.

    My two cents.

  16. Your work in the preservation and promulgation of historical archives has been highly commendable. As a balance to possibilities of an unhealthy Aikikai monopoly evolving, your role as the devil’s advocate has also been invaluable. However, I do believe at the expense of objectivity, bordering on a vendetta. As the top post says, this obsession afflicted Saito Sensei to his detriment. The Ueshiba’s may alienate through silence, and be far from philanthropic in some of their strategies, but beyond that, no. Beware of conspiratorial delusions. Actually, I met you socially during the first Friendship demos, trained and dined with Saito Sensei and his family in the mid-80s, and have trained and worked closely now with three generations of Ueshibas. I do feel qualified to speak and my observations bear me out. This is by no means an attack on you and your excellent work, which I have supported since its inception.

  17. Sensei Stanley Pranin is respected and trustworthy on his extended researches on Aikido and Budo history. He conveys the truth and always holds to integrity of presented facts in righteousness as a modern day warrior should. I am glad he speaks boldly and exposes falsehood because people need to know the truth not fairy-tales.
    (On behalf of Christian Martial Arts Association – International)

  18. Ken deHaan says:

    That’s it in a nutshell Vince, Mr P. does it tenaciously, meticulously with unbiased research over a long period of time. It seems that we can all learn to strive to be better at what we do. We all know what to do, so what’s stopping us? Ask 100 people from all walks of life and you will get the same answer.

    My hope is that aikido with all its complexity in running a local dojo or indeed a world organisation will have the courage to rise above itself and produce some magnificent example for future generations of correct attitude, attention to detail and follow through in its leadership role. We don’t have to look too far to find many examples of how this works

    My feeling is that we all in the same soup. (No one is getting out of here alive) But it is clear that some of us are better at what we do than others.

    I’m all for Carlos Casteneda’s approach. I’ve already jumped off the cliff, for those old enough to remember.

  19. David Brown says:


    The very fact that you have engaged FB poster to the extent that you have and in the manner that you have just continues to speak to your integrity and openness. And, if I may add, your integrity as an historian is damn near above reproach, as near as I can discern.

    You are so much more than a mere “chronicler”. Yes, the foundation of a true historian at work lies in the thoroughness of their research. Getting access to original sources – documentation and in-person interviews with relevant participants and witnesses. It is a fascinating blend of archeology (fact gathering), CSI type investigation (fact testing and comparing), and courtroom presentation (fact based argumentation).

    A true historian both investigates and interprets.

    In my experience, you have always been scrupulous in your approach to both.

    Your research is without parallel in these matters. And you have always noted and qualified your interpretations and conclusions as your own. What gives them such weight … is your unprecedented and painstaking research combined with an insatiable quest for the “truth” as a direct function of your personal ethos.

    [I happen to go back a long way (I began Aikido in 1971) and can remember fondly visiting your Dojo in Monterey, CA many, many times in my early days. I have always respected and appreciated your approach to the Art, your intellectual and scholastic rigor, and your commitment to the proposition that open, accurate, and insightful discourse is essential to an enriched and salutary experience.]

    Dig under, look behind, peel back, and reveal the truth – is Step No.1. Now let’s move from the technical to the prosaic and articulate these discoveries in well thought-out and cogent presentations – Step No.2. Now we can proceed to the more poetic phase of personal interpretation and the assignment of significance, relevance, and consequence – Step No.3.

    You have always striven to imbue your efforts (as student, teacher, and historian) with the maxim:

    “I do not look to Authority for truth, rather I look to Truth for authority.”


    One Last Thought Department:

    This exchange of yours with the FB poster and its open revelation – IMHO – serves as a very healthy paradigm for all such discussions / debates. I am on the side-of-the-line that always favors accuracy and openness over their opposites … whenever possible.

    Honorable and reasonable men can (and often will) disagree … fact o’ life.

    I have commented in the past on this Forum that you have provided for us, that my own “take” is that the “JAPAN, INC.” mentality will ultimately condemn formal Aikido to the status of a quaint but largely irrelevant historical phenomenon.

    For all his “Japanese-ness”, O’Sensei was an extraordinary maverick for his time and culture. He evolved into a global sense of the “human dynamic” that completely transcended tribal, ethnic, nationalistic, and ideological boundaries.

    It is an arduous Path. And it must be walked with a fierce commitment to discovering and embodying the very best and finest that the Domain called “human” can reveal. Like a beautiful “katana” we too must also be forged in the repetitious process of heat and pounding and shaping until a work of awesome power and beauty is fashioned.

    Thank you FB poster. Thank you Stan.

    ~David Brown

  20. John Hillson says:

    I was looking into Noriyaki Inoue. His father was the financier. You have written how there was a “vague financial relationship” between Morihei Ueshiba and Takeda.

    The second Omoto Kyo incident was in December 1935, and Ueshiba’s actions were harshly judged by Inoue causing a rift.

    Over a year later, Ueshiba and Takeda break ties.

    Question – Did the Inoue family bankroll O Sensei throughout his relationship with Takeda; and did the relationship between Morihei Ueshiba and Takeda end in part (indirectly or directly) because Ueshiba O Sensei lost his access to the Inoue fortune?

  21. Pranin Sensei dropping some hard truth! Peace! In my opinion, this clown is not even worthy of a response. The truth is in plain sight! Crazy!

  22. To original poster, Mr Pranin and Neil, regarding the three paragraphs below:

    Original poster, “Morihiro Saito openly derided Hombu and successive generations of the Ueshiba family for decades while remaining an Aikikai employee and residing on Ueshiba family property. After his father’s passing, Hitohiro, in gross insubordination tried to claim an “inheritance” that, in his rank of a junior Aikikai shihan, wasn’t his to demand.”

    Stanley Pranin, “You are indeed correct that Morihiro Saito, my teacher, derided the Hombu Dojo. He did it in my presence a thousand times. I repeated to him privately over and over again that I thought that this was a bad policy. But he didn’t listen and continued. We have seen the consequences of his actions.

    Neil, “As the top post says, this obsession afflicted Saito Sensei to his detriment.”

    The following came to mind and I think may be, from an empathetic perspective, a way to consider Morihiro Saito’s apparent inability to be tactful regarding hombu dojo:

    “In a mad world, only the mad are sane.” ― Akira Kurosawa (Not to say anyone’s mad, but to say that it depends on your perspective, your truth)

    I also thought of this:

    “They must find it difficult, those who have taken authority as truth, rather than truth as authority.” ― Gerald Massey

    A bit random, but there it is nonetheless



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