for Spiritual Treasure
by Tokuyu Uza
In November 1984 I met Abe Sensei and it caused one
of the most drastic changes to my life. I would like to talk about things which
I learned from Abe Sensei through our conversations.
The ten days which I spent with Abe Sensei were
extremely meaningful to me. We had breakfast together, walked together on quiet
hills, and talked together in a house in the mountains of
At this point, let me briefly explain about Kojiki.
Early in the eight century, the Yamato court edited the origin of the Japanese
emperor. The Kojiki is one of those documents and an old book explaining ancient
The next morning, I had prepared a light breakfast
for Abe Sensei with brown rice and miso soup. While he was having a breakfast he
said, “Kojiki should not be something mysterious. It should be understood by
scholars, artists, and people in general at same time on the same level”. His
translation of Kojiki is based on words (Yamato Kotoba). It is not the
translation from Chinese character (Kanji), which most of scholars does this
way. He also said with deep emotion that the translation of Kojiki is one of his
missions in his life.
I was as much as possible, seeking the opportunity
to ask Abe Sensei about Aikido, O Sensei and Kojiki. Therefore, I was looking
forward to making breakfast every morning for Abe Sensei. I asked him, “Abe
Sensei, there is a “breathing power” in the core of Aikido techniques. Would
you explain concretely what kind it is?” The original notion of Aikido
techniques’ breathing power can be found among the ancient people in Kojiki.
This “breathing power” is not simply inhaling and exhaling. It is a method
to pull out an unlimited power from the human body, and it uses Aikido’s own
concentration. Such as; 1) Powerful thought, 2) Using the lower abdomen, 3)
Extension of the finger tip and 4) Lower abdominal breathing and 5) Voice. When
all these elements are united, the real “breathing power” will come forth.
According to Kojiki, from Abe Sensei’s
explanation, during the Okuninushi-no-mikoto era, the countries of Isumo and
Yamato nominated one person in order to achieve a conclusion to the war, and
each was to measure his strength against the other’s. When the person on Izumo
side squeezed the person from Yamato’s hand as hard as he could, the hand of
the Yamato representative was cold and hard as an icicle. Suddenly, it became as
sharp as a sword, and when he squeezed back the Izumo representative’s hand
was smashed. Based on Abe Sensei’s interpretation, the representative of
Yamato knew the “breathing power”.
The value of harmonizing is central to Aikido. This
philosophy was born in ancient