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ALife in Aikido The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba by Ueshiba, Kisshomaru ( Author ) ON Oct-03-2008, Hardback Hardcover – 3 Oct 2008


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Hardcover, 3 Oct 2008
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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Kodansha International Ltd (3 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 477002617X
  • ISBN-13: 978-4770026170
  • ASIN: B0092HZFKC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,782,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`A Life In Aikido' is the biography of Morihei Ueshiba as written by his son Kisshomaru. Originally written in 1978 and translated in 2008 this fine work is finally available for English speaking Aikidoka to enjoy. This follows the life of O Sensei and the development of Aikido in it's various guises. It is clearly written and Kisshomaru is both self deprecating and stringent in upholding the memory of his father. The chapters in the middle explaining O Sensei's time involved with Omoto became a little boring at times, only because it goes into great depth about the philosophy of Omoto and how Omoto developed, which didn't really add to the story of O Sensei's life. This is the only minor gripe. Kisshomaru goes to great length to ensure the many people who helped in the development and growth of Aikido are given credit and there are many names enclosed. The main strength of this book is the stunning photography which illustrate the book throughout. The images of O sensei and the those involved in his life make for wonderful viewing. If you'd like an alternative, slightly more coherent biography of Morihei Ueshiba then track down `Abundant Peace' by John Stevens, but for his sons insight and perception this can't be faulted. This is worth a look if you're a dedicated Aikido practitioner but if you have only a passing interest go for `Abundant Peace'. This also includes a preface by the third and current doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, the founders grandson. This is a classic Aikido text, which is happily translated at last.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Ellis on 2 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good book that gives a good insight into The Founders life and experiences! A must for any Aikido enthusiast who wishes to learn more about O'Sensei! Enjoy!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Beato on 8 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent and essencial to any true Aikido student, from the simple white belt, to follow and lead you through your path in the Art.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A definitive biography 1 April 2012
By John Litchen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An inspirational book that has taken too long to be translated from Japanese.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba died in 1999 and the Japanese original was published in 1978.
It is a beautifully produced book on quality paper that does justice to the many photographs, quite a few of which are original to this publication. Others we have seen before, but never so well presented.
Kisshomaru, the 2nd Doshu and only surviving son of Morihei Ueshiba, O Sensei, the Founder of Aikido, relates here the life of his father, clearly delineating the influences and discoveries that led to the development of Aikido.
Unlike other biographies of the Founder of Aikido, this one is told from a unique perspective that embodies familial love and respect that no other third hand version of O Sensei's life can capture. Kisshomaru lived Aikido from his earliest moments, and often acted as his father's training partner. His constant work in promoting Aikido in Japan and around the world is hinted at but not gone into in much detail as this book is about his father. And on the passing of his father he naturally became the next leader. This gives the book a viewpoint that is personal and private and reveals much about O Sensei that has not previously been known. Though some parts are overlong in general it covers all anyone would want to know about Moriehei Ueshiba, the person, not the legend others have created around him.
What most impressed me was when Kisshomaru related that almost on his deathbed his father told him "You did well." These were the only words of praise he ever said to his son. And just before he slipped into a coma he told his disciples to keep everyone together and support Kisshomaru. How must Kisshomaru have felt at that moment?
"Carry on, won't you," were his very last words to his son. He died early the next morning.
This is the definitive biography translated by Kai Izawa and Mary Fuller, and I would recommend it highly to any and every serious Aikidoka. They should read this book.
John Litchen,
Author of Aikido- Basic and Intermediate Studies.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Life in Aikido 30 Jan. 2011
By Spider Monkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
`A Life In Aikido' is the biography of Morihei Ueshiba as written by his son Kisshomaru. Originally written in 1978 and translated in 2008 this fine work is finally available for English speaking Aikidoka to enjoy. This follows the life of O Sensei and the development of Aikido in it's various guises. It is clearly written and Kisshomaru is both self deprecating and stringent in upholding the memory of his father. The chapters in the middle explaining O Sensei's time involved with Omoto became a little boring at times, only because it goes into great depth about the philosophy of Omoto and how Omoto developed, which didn't really add to the story of O Sensei's life. This is the only minor gripe. Kisshomaru goes to great length to ensure the many people who helped in the development and growth of Aikido are given credit and there are many names enclosed. The main strength of this book is the stunning photography which illustrate the book throughout. The images of O sensei and the those involved in his life make for wonderful viewing. If you'd like an alternative, slightly more coherent biography of Morihei Ueshiba then track down `Abundant Peace' by John Stevens, but for his sons insight and perception this can't be faulted. This is worth a look if you're a dedicated Aikido practitioner but if you have only a passing interest go for `Abundant Peace'. This also includes a preface by the third and current doshu Moriteru Ueshiba, the founders grandson. This is a classic Aikido text, which is happily translated at last.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
A great life, a great man. 18 Oct. 2010
By The Monkey Boy H Bomb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have bought several copies of this book for friends... it's possibly the best story of Morihei and Aikido I've read. A lot of the books on this subject try to get mythical and mystical about Aikido and Morihei Ueshiba. This a biography about a man and to me it is far more interesting than the myth. He was a dedicated, hard working man with a soul that yearned for harmony in his war torn nation. A great read.
Loved reading it, hated finishing it. 11 July 2013
By nate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a fascinating book about a fascinating man, told by his own son no less. Although I've not been fortunate enough to learn Aikido myself the book still drew me in and I found myself wanting to learn more and more about him. Early on Kisshomomaru calls his father divine, respectfully always referring to him as "O Sensei" and by the books end it's hard to think of him as otherwise. That the book does this simply by telling his story and not getting preachy is a testament to him.

Admittedly the book is not perfect. There are times when Kissho seems to go on tangents about things not related to the man, and other times where he's quoting at length from so many other sources that you start to wonder if this is a biography, or a compilation of things said of Morihei. Others might also have issues with Kissho inserting himself into the story to speak personally of his own experiences with his father but I personally found those scenes touching and did enjoy them. I must also mention that if someone picks up this book hoping to learn any actual techniques they'll be disappointed. I didn't, so I wasn't, but I can see why others might, This is a straight up biography, not a guide book or manual on Aikido.

I consider those complaints but mere nit picks, however, and still thoroughly enjoyed the book. This is one of those rare books that I knew, upon finishing it, I would inevitably read again. It's not too long, told very naturally, and is just such a fascinating read. I cannot recommend it highly enough and urge anyone with any interest in martial arts or just history or both to read it.
another classic 30 Mar. 2013
By Urs Zuber - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this book is just a classic and must read it for every true aikidoka ...

there is no more to say ...

and besides, it has wonderfull pictures and photos of O sensei in the book.

you will like it ...
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