Sunday, March 22, 2015

Imaizumi on O Sensei

I recall this visit well...
In spring 1972, Koichi Tohei Sensei ordered me to go to California for about three months to spread ki principles and aikido ...  After three months, on June 18, I left Los Angeles for Seattle. This was a vacation for me to visit Yoshihiko Hirata Sensei, then Chief Instructor of the Northwest Aikido Federation, who was a friend of mine from Japan. We became friends in January 1965 and he recommended that I join the Tempukai in Kokokuji, Tokyo. I left Seattle on June 23, again passing through Honolulu. After a week's stay at the Hawaii Aikikai Hombu Dojo, I left for Japan arriving on June 30. This was a wonderful trip for me.
I was teaching the childrens' classes from 6-7pm three days a week, and Imaizumi Sensei was teaching one night during this visit.  He sat seiza among the children and delighted them with his expert and gentle throwing.

From that same interview, here is an interesting observation:
As Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei handled all daily matters both inside and outside the dojo, the role of O-Sensei ... only concern was the future of aikido under the Ueshiba family as he was the kind of man who would follow the old ways. O-Sensei would often refer to the art as "Ueshiba-ke-no-aikido," that is, Ueshiba family aikido. In the same way that the Shinkage-ryu or Itto-ryu sword schools belonged to the Yagyu and Ono family, O-Sensei believed that aikido should belong to the Ueshiba family as he himself was its founder. So O-Sensei believed that the Hombu Dojo should be controlled by the Ueshiba family. I think that Kisshomaru Ueshiba Sensei, as the founder's son, and O-Sensei's grandson Moriteru Ueshiba have firm control over the daily matters of the Aikikai in accordance with the wishes of the founder.
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