Ernesto Lemke
18th January 2001, 20:35
(I posted this one on the aikido forum already but since no one has replied so far I thought I might give it a try here as well).

Greetings all!

For some time now Iíve been researching into the life and person of the late Rinjiro Shirata Sensei as I train in a ryu which follows his teachings. Shirata Senseiís name came up a couple of times in several threads and I was sort of hoping if any of you could or would help me with my research.
Iím especially interested in a couple of points.
- Itís rumoured Shirata Sensei was offered the position of Chief Instructor of Hombu Dojo before K. Tohei Sensei. Can anyone confirm or deny this?
- Does anyone know whether Shirata Sensei actually taught at Hombu Dojo on a regular basis? Iíve been told there are a couple of Hombu deshi who studied under Shirata Sensei at Hombu but was wondering about the frequency of his teaching there.
- Shirata Sensei was one of the few deshi that accompanied O-Sensei on his shugyo to Mount Kurama. Does anyone know more of this (in general)?
- Thereís an interesting connection between Shirata Sensei and Saito Sensei which even resulted in the creation of a Federation surrounding the both of them. Perhaps someone knows more of this. Incidentally, their relationship is something of interest to me as well. Shirata Sensei adopted and adapted several technical aspects from the Iwama system which presents an interesting way of looking at the same techniques from a different perspective.

Anyway, hopefully someone is willing to respond, in which case: Thank you!

Best regards,

Ernesto Lemke

Joseph Svinth
18th January 2001, 20:57
My knowledge of aikido internal politics is minimal, but if you go to Google and type "Rintaro Shirata," you get 127 hits. Some look interesting, too. For example, http://omlc.ogi.edu/aikido/talk/osensei/bio/mori2.html and
http://expert.cc.purdue.edu/~aikido/htmls/hist.html . An example is the latter, where one learns: (QUOTE)

Rinjiro Shirata, full of talent, was considered a prodigy and admired as the pride of Kobukan. A few episodes from his life may show the temperament of the deshi of that time. He knocked on the gate of the Master [Ueshiba] in 1933 and studied for five years, until he departed for the front lines with the army. Those were the most gallant days of the Kobukan. In 1934, one year after entering, he was dispatched to the Okayama Branch of the Budo Enhancement Association with fellow deshi Mr. Hashimot o. They were challenged to a match by two locals who were boastful of their abilities. Shirata declined solidly saying, "There is no competition in Aikido. A match means killing each other. Moreover it is the principle of 'Aiki Budo' not to fight." They wouldn't listen to him. So he stood up from necessity and threw one of them and pinned his hands. He then joked, "You see? Can you resist the world of non-resistance?"

The Aikido Journal forum is probably a better place to ask such technical questions, as Stan Pranin is, so far as I know, the subject matter expert in English.

Ernesto Lemke
18th January 2001, 21:08
Dear Joseph,
thanks for the speedy reply but believe me, there's nothing on the net about Shirata Sensei which I'haven't located so far. Unless, of course, it's new and recent.
I'm a regular on Aikido Journal's Bulletin Board and have posted similar questions there frequently. Basically, I was rather hoping some other (non B.B.) people could help me out since Shirata Sensei's name came up a few times on this forum.
Anyway, thank you for your concern.

Ernesto Lemke

BTW great site!

19th January 2001, 12:57
There is lots of Info on the Internet concerning Rinjiro Shirata, if only Joe had spelled it correctly. On Google.com, I found approximately the same number of entries and the same article(s) from which he quotes.