Mikao Usui and the Navy

Frans StieneArticles, English 1 Comment

Usui and Navy

It is said that Usui-san changed his teachings when he started to teach people from the navy, including Chujiro Hayashi (image on left), due to political and spiritual reasons.

I just read a wonderful work on Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, and came across these three statements;

“One possible objection to spirituality in aikido is the apparent disjunction between Ueshiba’s teaching of peace and harmony and his links with the navy, army and police, especially at the time of Japan’s militarisation in the 1930s.”

“It is clear, too, that Ueshiba never wholly shared the military outlook. Interviewed by the Shukan Yomiuri newspaper in 1956, he said that the military could not understand the spirit of aikido: “Military officers base themselves on battles but I was based on myself, on Aiki”.”

“His distance from the military point of view now becomes apparent, for he considered that it was their “emphasis on the self which, ” if applied generally on a large scale, would bring destruction to the world”.”

Is this why Usui-san also changed his teachings to suit the more external based viewpoint taught to the navy and military at that time?

To read the whole study where these quotes are from please click the link:
Aikido and spirituality: Japanese religious influences in
a martial art

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