Monthly Archives: July 2012

Aikido Shihan Hiroshi Tada: The Day I Entered Ueshiba Dojo

Hiroshi Tada, 6th Dan, being thrown by Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei (1958)
Hiroshi Tada was born in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan December 13th 1929. He began training at Aikikai Hombu Dojo on March 4th 1950. He was sent to Rome, Italy in October 1964 and established a dojo in 1966. He was Instrumental in the growth and development of Aikido in Italy.Until he left for Europe in 1964 he also studied breathing exercises and yoga with Tempu Nakamura, who is well known for his influence on Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido (心身統一合氣道) Founder Koichi Tohei. He also studied with the Ichikukai (一九会), which was founded to continue the teachings of Tesshu Yamaoka by his student Tetsuju Ogura. The "1-9" Group was named to memorialize the day of the month (the 19th) on which Tesshu died, and is famous for its rigourous Misogi training.Hiroshi Tada later developed his own system of breathing and meditation exercises called Ki no Renma (気の練磨 / Cultivation of Ki) as a supplement to Aikido Training. The following article is a translation of the Japanese article that originally appeared in "Aikido Tankyu" (合氣道探求 / Aikido Quest), a magazine published by the Aikikai Hombu Dojo.

Profiles of the Founder: Nobuyoshi Tamura, Part 2

Nobuyoshi Tamura with Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei and Koichi Toheimeeting Hawaii Governor William F. Quinn in 1961
This article is Part 2 of the translation of an interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura which originally appeared in "Profiles of the Founder" (開祖の横顔), published in Japanese in 2009. See "Profiles of the Founder of Aikido: Nobuyoshi Tamura, Part 1" for Part 1 of the interview.
When Tamura arrived in Hawaii as Morihei Ueshiba’s Otomo in 1961 he was immediatly nicknamed "the Stone Wall" because of his ability to remain immovable before the efforts of the local Hawaiian Aikido students.

Profiles of the Founder of Aikido: Nobuyoshi Tamura, Part 1

from the brochure for the 1961 Aikido demonstration at McKinley High School in Honolulu Hawaii 
Born in 1933, Nobuyoshi Tamura entered Aikikai Hombu Dojo as an uchi-deshi in 1953. He is frequently seen taking ukemi in post-war films of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. In 1961 he accompanied the Founder to Hawaii as his Otomo (attendant) for the dedication of the Honolulu Aiki Dojo. In 1964 he arrived in France, where he would be instrumental in the growth of Aikido throughout France and Europe. He passed away in July 2010, shortly after accepting an invitation to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of O-Sensei’s visit to Hawaii, which would be held in February 2011."Profiles of the Founder" (開祖の横顔) was published in Japanese in 2009. Some of the content was previously introduced in the article "Morihei Ueshiba – Profiles of the Founder". Also, some (but not all) of the quotations in the article "Aikido and the Unknown" came from "Profiles of the Founder".What follows is part 1 of the translated text of the interview with Nobuyoshi Tamura from "Profiles of the Founder".

More on Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

Ansai Yamazaki (1619-1682), founder of Suika Shinto
Ansai Yamazaki was an Edo Period Confucian scholar who started out as a Buddhist monk and was one of the first people to spread Neo-Confucian thought in Japan. Interestingly, Zhang San Feng(张三丰), the legendary creator of Tajiquan in China, was also influenced by Neo-Confucian thought.
Yamazaki was also the founder of the Suika Shinto sect, and his work on Shinto theology was instrumental in breaking Shinto thought out from the specialized provenance of the shrines to a more general population. We’ll get back to how this relates to the Floating Bridge a little bit later.