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Thread: ARCHIVE: Related discussions on the AJ BBS

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    Following are old threads on the Aikido Journal Bulletin Board system regarding the Seishinkai issues, in chronological order. There is ALOT of valuable information in these threads, so please consider reading through them as time permits.

    Since the links on AJ change from time to time, it will be necessary to perform a search on AJ using the following thread titles:

    -The Official Daito-Ryu?

    -Daito Ryu & Menkyo Kaiden

    -[Open] Letter Response

    -Kondo Sensei = "Scapegoat"?

    -Daito-ryu succession (1)

    -Daito-ryu succession (2)

    -Daito-ryu, technical matters (3)

    -Daito-ryu, technical matters (4)

    -Reply by Stanley Pranin to Tomasso Leonetti's posts

    -Their Sequence of Events

    -Questions to be posed to Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei

    -Kondo Sensei answers questions posed by bulletin board members!

    -Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei's replies to Questions #2 and #3

    -Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei's replies to Questions #4 and #7

    -Daitoryu

    -Technical Accuracy: Abashiri vs. Kondo

    -Abashiri

    Following in this thread are relevant quotes from the AJ discussions noted above.
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 4th November 2003 at 04:07.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "The Official Daito-ryu?"

    Discussions regarding confusion about about the "official" DR Honbu:

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 03-22-2000:

    Hi,

    If by official you mean the site run by the successor of Tokimune Takeda, the late headmaster, then it is Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei. I know this to be true because I have seen all the documentation from Tokimune Sensei and watched Kondo and he interact on several occasions.

    The Daito-ryu world fragmented shortly before and after the death of Tokimune. The husband of the eldest daughter unilaterally claims to be the headmaster. Also, the younger brother of Tokimune makes the same claim. It appears as though a distant cousin is also making the same claim. Thus there are 2-3 self-proclaimed soke (headmasters).

    That's just a brief overview of the situation.

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 03-22-2000:

    I'd like to reply to the two recent posts. First of all, Katsuyuki Kondo is not the headmaster. The title he uses are the titles given him by Tokimune Sensei. They are Dojo-cho and Somu-cho, chief instructor and general affairs director, respectively.

    The people in Abashiri who have a website claiming to be the official site are a group of senior students of Tokimune Sensei who separated from the Daitokan dojo of Tokimune after the latter was hospitalized. That is, they left Tokimune's organization while he was still alive. I have seen their letter of resignation. It thus seems strange to me that they would claim to be the "official" group since they left the Daitokan.

    The second part of this post concerns the Takumakai. This is certainly a legitimate branch of Daito-ryu that bases its teachings on the arts of both Morihei Ueshiba and Sokaku Takeda. It is a hybrid art, so to speak, and a very well run organization. In later years they were also influenced to a certain extent by Tokimune Sensei. They also maintain good relations with Kondo Sensei's group in Tokyo.

    I hope this is helpful to clarifying a confusing situation.

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Tim Haffner, 03-22-2000:

    I appreciate the correction on my nomenclature!

    On reflection I recalled the 39th All Japan Daito-ryu Demonstration tape where a multitude of Aiki arts representatives paid their respects to Kondo sensei and referred to him as Dojo-cho and Somu-cho. I also made reference to the Aiki News publication "Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu" where Kondo sensei is "official representative of the headmaster....and has assumed leadership of the mainstream Daito-ryu organization following the death of Tokimune Takeda in 1993." (pg153) The following interview mentions that Tokimune sensei designated him Soke Dairi. It appears that Kondo sensei is performing the role of headmaster regardless of his title, and I am sure that he is more concerned with the maintenance of the organization than petty titles.

    Perhaps I got lost in the technicalities, but this line of thought has brought me to a more profound question:
    Amidst all of the turmoil in the Daitokan and the many would be successors to the headmasters title, how will the official title be determined? It is clear that Kondo sensei is the sole candidate that deserves the title. Where can he turn to resolve the matter?

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 03-23-2000:

    Tim,

    You bring up several good points in your post. Historically, it is usually the son of the headmaster, or if there is no suitable son, they might take in a skilled "yoshi" or adopted son either by marriage or directly. Occasionally, the senior students might consult with the family if the headmaster had not chosen a successor prior to his demise. A few arts have had female headmasters.

    As far as the question of who is the "legitimate" successor, it then boils down not only to technical skills, but to organizational matters and who is capable of attracting the most dedicated following. This is always a subjective element in this sort of thing and there is never unanimous agreement.

    I think this thread will provide a good background for those interested in Daito-ryu.

    Stanley Pranin
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the thread "Daito Ryu & Menkyo Kaiden"

    Discussions regarding confusion about about the DR menkyo kaiden. Louis Butto is a member of one of the former Seishinkai groups:

    Posted by Louis Butto, 04-02-2000:

    Dear Fellow Practitioners:

    I would like to try to pose, as tactfully as possible, a question that may rub some people the wrong way. Furthermore, it is only related to formality. I read Stanley Pranin's wonderful book on Daito Ryu and I would like to ask a question regarding it. It seems that Sokaku Takeda only awarded two menkyo Kaiden's in his life (Full mastership) and both of them went to the Osaka Asahi Dojo students -- Hisa san and Tonedate san. Takeda Tokimune, Sokaku's own son never received this certification from his father. I wonder why? Then how could Tokimune give out menkyo Kaidens himself, having not received one? Like I said, this has only to do with formailty, and I feel Tokimune Takeda and his students are fully qualified. Thanks in advance for any comments you have on this issue.

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 04-02-2000:

    Here is the situation on the award of menkyo kaiden in Daito-ryu. It is true that Sokaku Takeda only awarded this certification to two individuals: Hisa Takuma and Tonedate Masao. Both were high-level employess at the Osaka Asahi News office in the late 1930s. Hisa Sensei was certainly an enthusiastic and skilled practitioner. Tonedate it seems was a bigwig and did not practice very much. Thus, his rank was mostly honorary in nature.

    Why didn't Tokimune Takeda receive menkyo kaiden from his father? The reason is simply that as the successor to the headmaster he did not receive any kind of ranking at all. You can see the same phenomenon with the present Aikido Doshu and with his father before him. They have no ranking. They are the inheritors of the art. They give ranks. This is very common in Japan.

    Incidentally, the only menkyo kaiden given by Tokimune Sensei was to Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei, the present Hombu Dojo-cho of the Daito-ryu in Tokyo. I have seen the original documentation.

    Stanley Pranin
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "[Open] Letter Response"

    Discussions regarding the debate that was taking place on the daito-ryu.com BBS:

    Posted by Fabio, 06-20-2000:

    Greetings Stanley and Aikido Journal subscribers. I just wanted to let you all know that I submitted a comment to the Hokkaido alleged Daito-ryu group's bulletin board. I checked their bulletin board and my questions were not listed on it. I guess they deleted my questions and suggestions since it asks them to authenticate their credentials. Here is a copy of the questions and suggestions that I submitted to their bulletin board:

    "Greetings Mrs. Oshima and gentlemen.

    I have viewed your web site after learning about it in the Aikido Journal
    web site. While your web site is informative, it also presents
    controversial information which causes confusion. You lay claim to being
    the authentic Daito-ryu school yet there is a Daito-ryu school by Kondo
    sensei in Tokyo as the main line Daito-ryu school. See, how this is
    confusing? Which school are us prospective students to believe is the
    authentic and official school to apply to?

    For example, you claim that all of your information on your web site is factual. Yet, you do not authenticate nor validate your claims by posting (1) a copy of the alleged will, and (2) a copy of the alleged teaching licenses of your current teachers. Copies of these items on your web site would help your claims immensely.

    Additionally, if you had a statement of endorsement in writing from Mrs.
    Oshima, her sister, and Kondo sensei and posted them on your web site, do
    you not agree that it would put an end to the doubts that your web site is
    creating in so many people? Kondo sensei has a copy of his license on his
    website and all of his credentials are available for public viewing and
    validation. Are your credentials available for public viewing and
    validation?

    Another question that comes up is that in your bulletin board, a prospective
    student asked how can a foreigner make contact with your organization. You directed him to find out how from your student in Italy. Why did you not
    answer him directly instead referring him elsewhere? Your reaction to the
    prospective student seems to indicate the type and kind of cooperation and
    treatment that a non-Japanese would receive in your dojo.

    I ask that Mrs. Oshima and not only you kindly address my questions and
    kindly do not refer me to the student in Italy to respond to my questions.

    Thank you in advance for your time and information.

    Respectfully,

    F.C. "

    You all have a great Aiki day.

    Fabio

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-21-2000:

    Kevin-san,

    [you said:] "Nathan, I'm still willing to bet my paycheck that these gentleman will avoid the issue and not answer your questions. Maybe my career in Law Enforcement has made me a bit pessimistic, because my gut feeling says they're dishonest."

    You may be right, but it would seem prudent to exhaust the discussion with them and glean as much information as possible before publicly drawing conclusions, then if it turns out that the claims are not founded on truth and they are not open to adjusting their political position, then there is nothing to lose.

    But in the meantime, I guarantee they are reading this board.

    I have a few questions I'd like to ask Mr. Pranin so that I may have a more educated position to respond to Mr. Kobayashi's anticipated response:

    1) In the statement you posted from Kondo Sensei recently, it seems to say (if I'm guessing correctly) that in 1994 there was a meeting of the current Daito ryu shibucho to discuss the successorship among other things of Daito ryu, and at this meeting, Mrs. Yokoyama or someone representing her announced that she was going to assume the Sokeship.

    Is it correct to assume that your research and the opinions of those that were there indicate that there is no evidence that Tokimune Soke assigned any of his family members to be the next Soke? That would explain why Kondo Sensei has maintained his role as Soke dairi.

    2) I would imagine that if Tokimune Soke had intended for Kondo Sensei to become the next Soke, he would have officially presented him with this title as opposed to Soke dairi. So that means that Kondo Sensei must have been given some kind of instruction to oversee the instruction of one of his current or future family members, either indicated by Tokimune S. at that time or to be decided by Kondo Sensei or a committee of the current Shibucho, right? Soke dairi is not intended to be a permanent position (this is in no way critisizing Kondo Sensei's actions, just analyzing the logic behind the documented actions Tokimune Soke had performed).

    Can you tell us (me) anything about what the conditions were for Kondo Sensei's Soke dairi license as explained to Kondo S. by Tokimune S.?

    3) Tokimune S. passed away recently, and I'm sure there were many people that were around him during that time and the few years before his death. Who else was around besides Kondo Sensei (who has already stated his perspective publicly) that can corraborate the events of that time? Why is there so much apparent "mystery" surrounding an event that happened just a few years ago??? There must be quite a few first-hand exponents of the art still alive who can shed light on this, right?

    Thank you for your help! I'd love to see us get closer to shedding more light on this situation.

    Regards,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 06-21-2000:

    Nathan et al!

    I've posted a rather lengthy reply to this last post here [see the third post of the thread ARCHIVE: Open letter to daito-ryu.com by S. Pranin; originally posted under the thread title "More on Daito-ryu and the issue of succession" on the AJ forum]. Please have a look!

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-21-2000:

    Mr. Pranin,

    Thank you very much for your insightful and comprehensive response. This is exactly the kind of clarification and response I was hoping for.

    I have one more interesting question if I may:

    Sokaku Takeda Sensei did not use/found a "Soke" system for Daito ryu during his lifetime, but Tokimune Takeda Sensei - I guess as part of his attempt to organize and structure the tradition - formed a "Soke" system of succession and assumed the title Shodai Soke for himself.

    Now we are in a position where Daito ryu appears to, at least for the time being, have reverted back to the original "system"/ titles used by Sokaku Takeda Sensei for lack of a clear Soke successor!

    These titles were awarded to Kondo Sensei by a committee of Daito ryu Shibucho in 1995. While some may insist that it is for the members of the Takeda family to decide who should continue the transmission line, it doesn't appear that Tokimune Takeda Sensei himself had involved the other family members - for whatever reasons - much in the matters of Daito ryu.

    Based on this, it would seem logical that Kondo Sensei made the correct series of choices and recieved the proper endorsements as a result.

    I wonder if it would have been advantageous for Kondo Sensei to approach other senior branch heads like the late Sagawa Sensei (the last direct student of Sokaku Sensei) for assistance in technical transmission through the Honbu - or do you suppose this was done and the other shibucho chose to remain independant?

    Just curious of you opinion on this point, thanks for the information!

    Regards,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 06-22-2000:

    To answer your question, I know for a fact that Sagawa Sensei was not very open to meeting other Daito-ryu instructors and that Kondo Sensei did make an effort to meet with him.

    He also contacted and studied briefly under people like Hisa Takuma, Tomiki Kenji, Ueshiba Morihei, Matsuda Toshimi, and others whose names escape me at the moment.

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 07-25-2000:

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to let you know that the Seishin dojo has posted a few new posts regarding the licenses/diplomas issued from the Daitokan.

    Personally, I don't have alot of problems with their definitions of the said positions and licences, though it is a little hard to follow. But I don't get why they didn't bother to mention some of these credentials until now (kind of convenient), or post them under the instructor profiles at least.

    I'm looking forward to finding out what "Hyogi-i-in" is, why it has never been brought up before (that I know of). The implication seems to be that this technically would mean that Mr. Sano outranks Kondo Sensei since they don't have his Menkyo Kaiden registered in the dojo books and the "Kyoju Dairi" license expires after the principal instructor (Soke) passes(!)

    Hmmmm...

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott

    **

    Posted by Carlos Estrella, 07-29-2000:

    Nathan:

    Just read the thread on the Abashiri site between you and their rep... liked your response to the statement about the family going farther than they should in answering.

    Since you have a repoire of sorts with them, I'd like you to ask a question on my behalf... if the Menjo Kaiden (Menkyo Kaiden) is only a license of skill and not a certification to teach, what does that say for those like Kodo Horikawa, Sagawa (forgot if he had the Menkyo Kaiden or not) and some others of renoun? Were they unqualified to teach? Did Takeda Tokimune himself rebuke them for teaching students? All the titles in the world don't make someone legitimate - the world laughed at Bill Clinton because of Monica Lewinsky, and he has the "title" of "Leader of the Free World", an infinitely more powerful title than "Headmaster" or the like.

    Thanks!

    Carlos Estrella

    PS: the repoire between Tokimune Sensei and Kondo Sensei was obvious to many who saw them together... why is Kondo now so much the devil to Abashiri when in his masters eyes he was so special? (Ok... that's 2 questions for Abashiri).

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 08-03-2000:

    Hello Mr. Estrella,

    To be honest, I've resisted debating the rank issues (like Menkyo Kaiden) with the Abashiri group because, if they are structured as they claim them to be - which would be easy to verify, the definitions *technically* sound pretty accurate.

    This was my understanding when I first saw the posts, and was later confirmed and elaborated on by asking around to those more knowledgeable than me in this area.

    The Seishin group have defined the licenses in a very literal fashion, which is not [necessarily] incorrect to do. But as you say, if someone has received Menkyo Kaiden, then they obviously (in theory) hold the skills to transmit the tradition. However, Menkyo Kaiden is not always the very highest certification you can receive in many koryu, and Mr. Kobayashi is correct in his statement that there would likely be some form of "soden" (inherited transmission) that would only be transmitted to the next inheritor of the style.

    Menkyo Kaiden, in it's generally accepted use in koryu (which can very easily change from ryu-ha to ryu-ha) best defines as a "diploma of full transmission", and usually means that the said person has the right to *use* the traditions name.

    BTW, keep in mind that the soden of a tradition may simply be historical information and documents, and not necessarily "high level secret techniques".

    One [senior budo-ka] best described a Menkyo Kaiden as being analogous to receiving a PhD from a university. You can advertise yourself as a graduate of the university, and even promote the assumption that the university endorses your comprehension of the skills necessary to teach what you've learned, but you wouldn't automatically be allowed to give university degree's to your own students under the *university's specific name* (without appending the name, or receiving further credentials - like becoming a member of the university faculty). So it's not that a Menkyo Kaiden *can't* teach, just that they might need a specific teaching license to give menjo under the name of the issuing authority.

    They are also defining Kyoju Dairi in the most literal sense possible as well, which is technically accurate. Kyoju Dairi translates as roughly "substitute professor" - not "professor" or "instructor", although this *is* implied, and considered a fairly high license in Daito ryu.

    Unfortunately, it is necessary to know what these titles and licenses meant to Sokaku T. and Tokimune T. Sensei to discuss them with any authority, since as I mentioned the functional application/meanings of the titles can vary significantly from style to style.

    To the best of my knowledge, Menkyo Kaiden remains the highest diploma you can receive in Daito ryu, and as such I think the Abashiri group is unfairly downplaying it's significance (as well as the numerous other ranks, licenses and diplomas) in regards to Kondo Sensei.

    As far as Horikawa Sensei and others, I believe that they were all issued Kyoju Dairi by S. Takeda Sensei, and were later recognized by T. Takeda Sensei as well.

    Now, if there were a recognized headmaster right now that did not approve of their use of the name Daito ryu, they would have good reason to ask them to append the name of their branch - which they really have already done anyway.

    Legitimate titles *would* make [the Abashiri group] "legitimate", for better or for worse. But yes, it would not mean that they are the most skilled or most knowledegable exponents out there, and we would in fact be free to laugh at them should we get the occasional urge.

    The political advantage [of the Abashiri group downplaying Kondo's authority] is obvious, and since most of us do not know first hand the nature of the relationships and personalities involved, it makes this kind of discussion very difficult.

    Kondo Sensei has been most forthcoming in the past as well as right now with testimonies and evidence to support his position, whereas the Abashiri group has yet to produce one, singular piece of evidence to support their position.

    I look forward to reading the rest of the translations of the recent submission by Kondo Sensei.

    If you'd like me to forward these questions to the Abashiri Seishin dojo, I'll do so, but I have to tell you that on a technical level, I would not have much room to argue your point!

    As a final point, the appointed headmaster of a tradition *does not* have to be technically the most skilled exponent of the art. Just be "qualified" to ensure the survival and proper transmission of the art. Of course we'd all like any headmaster to be the most skilled, but unfortunately that is not always possible.

    Regards,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Kondo Sensei = "Scapegoat"?"

    Unanswered question posed about a CDRM interview quote:

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-27-2000:

    Mr. Pranin et al,

    I was reviewing your book "Conversations with..." and found that the sections being discussed right now on p.171-175 have taken on a new perspective.

    During your interview with Kondo Sensei, it sounds as though Kondo Sensei assumed the position of Soke Dairi to "be the bad guy" and make decisions that would have been awkward and/or embarrassing for Tokimune Sensei to make. Is this assumption correct?

    It sounds like he took the role (in his mind) to shield Tokimune S. from the dirty politics going on and take the necessary action and reactions on his behalf. If this is true, it is quite interesting. Could you elaborate at all on this topic?

    Further, it does say clearly that Kondo S. intended to support Mrs. Yokoyama, as he apparently believed (at the time, 1992) that Tokimune S. had appointed her. Kondo S. is obviously not thrilled with this decision, but states that he feels obligated to support the decision anyway.

    I assume, if I have this correct, that certain issues arose since this time that has caused Kondo Sensei to reconsider this position? I would guess that he still wishes to support the Takeda family in spirit, but is perhaps waiting for a Takeda member who is properly suited for the position. Mrs. Oshima's son perhaps?

    Thanks for any perspective you can offer,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Daito-ryu succession (1)"

    Unanswered statement regarding the succession issue posted by a member of the former Seishinkai group:

    Posted by Tommaso Leonetti, 06-28-2000:

    Hi to everyone,

    I would like to express my point of view on the issue of succession in the Daito School that has recently been brought up by Mr. Pranin. As the matter stirs up strong reactions, I hope that my notes will be taken only for what they are: a personal point of view. I invite everyone to visit the Bulletin Board of the Daito School at www.daito-ryu.com as the secretary of the School is offering very useful and critical information that, though controversial to Mr. Pranin, and naturally partial to one side, has the valuable asset of addressing delicate issues, that have been for long, too long, overlooked, or neglected.

    No offence is intended to anyone, and thus none should be taken. If, however, I happen to be offensive to some, then to these I apologise for now.

    My name is Tommaso, and I am a student of Daito-ryu. Presently I study in Abashiri, under the senior students of the late Soke Takeda Tokimune.

    I might thus be biased, though it is not my intention. Please underline any such biased expressions, as I sincerely desire to be as objective as I may. In fact, I should add that my views are certainly NOT those of my teachers, in many occasions, and under NO circumstances am I writing on their behalf or with their approval. The following are only personal thoughts, and I know that some are NOT shared by my masters.

    As I have not been lurking for a very long time please also forgive me for any breach of specific netiquette that may be in use on this BB.

    Lastly, I apologise for the extreme length of this note and hope you will want to read it to the end in any case. For convenience I will divide it into 4 separate posts: Succession parts 1 and 2, and Technical Matters parts 3 and 4.

    1. Succession.
    --------------

    Before I start let me say that I feel that the ONLY correct and possible solution is the one suggested by Mr. Kondo in Mr. Pranin’s book: “Interview to Daito-ryu Masters” pp. 171 and 174.

    Not only it is technically correct, it is legitimately correct and it is also logic and practical.

    So, to respond to Kevin's request, I feel that Stanley’s statement, ‘the "official successor" of Tokimune Takeda is Mr. Kondo’, is a hasty one and rather frail, if we are to follow Mr. Kondo’s own words. And, in my opinion, the matter is not at all as evident as Stanley suggests, and it deserves more consideration: I feel it cannot be discussed and dismissed as simply as it has been done so far.

    Firstly, I feel we should approach the issue of legitimate succession to the head of a classical School in its correct context.

    I believe this to be a historical and traditional one. For the moment, technical aspects are on a different level, and I would like to address them later, and, for now, would like to keep them separate for the sake of ease of argumentation.

    Some claim this School to be close to 1,000 years old; some say rather less. However, I understand that everyone accepts it to be a Koryu (classic Japanese Bujutsu).

    We are not looking at an Association or a Federation but we are looking at is a traditional family clan. In the least of hypothesis it has been such for the past 150 years.

    This is not the Aikikai that has a family leadership, but with a modern approach to divulgation and dissemination of the art. This is a classic School with all its feudal background that we should attempt to comprehend, respect and preserve.

    Before the death of Takeda Tokimune there was no dispute as to who was the Soke. It was he, as he was the son of Takeda Sokaku, nephew of...

    In Japan, and in most other parts of the world, nobility succession is regulated by very old, simple and clear rules. Roles and titles have precise meanings and functions. This is still valid today and is also true for European dynasties where titled families still follow suit; very, very carefully. In Europe people would laugh to someone self-appointing himself as prince of XXX or duke of YYY. The privilege of granting titles rests only with monarchs (emperors, Kings, ruling princes and archdukes). In fact, monarchs themselves may not change the stringent rules that determine succession, even their own succession.
    In case of premature death or abdication of a legitimate titled person (that is to say before his heir is born) a whole set of instruments has been regulating the event of succession for thousands of years: the closest next family member in direct blood succession line takes his place.

    It is that simple. And it HAD to be that simple, interests at stake were rather higher than those today at bay in the Daito School.

    Even when the problem may not appear to have simple solutions things are straightened out by the foretold clear rules. We have many examples; a famous one would be Queen Elizabeth II who rose to the throne even though she is a woman. Elizabeth had to be crowned Queen as no male heir was in direct blood succession line. Similarly, King George had to abdicate in favour of his younger brother to go along with his personal choices (he wanted to marry Mrs. Wally Simpson, a divorced woman) in obedience to these same rules.

    Direct bloodlines are the RULE.

    There may be exceptions. For example, when the living titled person adopts into his family a stranger born outside. The new member then becomes his son under all legal aspects and to all effects. The adoption legitimates the adopted individual to succeed into the clan/dynasty. A good example might be the case when a Soke finds himself old, and with no direct blood descendants to run the School after his death. He may then (while alive) adopt a senior student and appoint him as his successor. I should add that this is a rather rare case, and it is not the rule.

    These rules may change from one context (country) to another, but the basic principles are the same: Offer a system that can guarantee the succession and the rule only of those legitimately entitled to do so, with as little room as possible for disputes.

    Thus NO ONE may legitimately claim the positions of:

    a) Soke,
    b) Headmaster,
    c) School Director,
    d) Honbucho,
    e) related or similar roles,

    without being related to the Soke in direct blood succession line. These roles are all inherent only to the position of Soke and thus to a direct blood descendant. Everyone else making these claims, to Japanese traditions, is clearly just ignorant, if not an impostor. In Japan things run this way and have been running this way for well over a millennium. This is also true in the Takeda clan.

    Please note that a Soke must not necessarily be expert in the art of which he is headmaster (though it would certainly be preferable). He may also only represent a moral figure that legitimates the continuation of the clan/school. But, as I feel that technical issues are separate, I will address them later, in parts 3 and 4 of this post. In fact, there are some examples in other classical ryu and in the Daito School itself.

    In 1572 Takeda Shingen died and his son Takeda Katsuyory became the new Soke of the Daito School (BTW Some indicate that he might have been an illegitimate son, I believe he was simply a son of second bed - which ever way, I do not believe he was the eldest son). However Katsuyory died soon after (1582) committing ritual suicide, and Takeda Shingen's nephew, one Takeda Kunitsugu, rose to the role of Soke of the School and leader of the Takeda clan.

    At that time Kunitsugu was only 14, thus he was evidently technically immature. However, Takeda Shingen had ruled this way in his last will, and the custom wanted that the most senior Masters of the Clan would teach him the art. And so it was.

    As far as Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is concerned today, Takeda Tokimune, before dieing DID appoint his successor. Thus voiding all disputes that today unexpectedly and unjustifiably arise.

    Takeda Tokimune prepared a written will in hospital to the effect of what Mr. Kondo states below [emphasis added by NS]. However I have never seen the document myself, though it has been produced in court evidence by the eldest daughter. One party, naturally enough, claims it is void of value as the Soke would not have been mentally fit to prepare a written will in Hospital, though no such statement has ever been presented by any doctor. So I accept that the matter is controversial only in the aspect of the Soke’s written will, as I have not seen it personally.

    Written or verbal (in front of testimonies) that this will may be, the Soke very clearly stated in it that he appointed Mrs. Nobuko Yokoyama (his 2nd daughter) as next Headmaster of the School and ruled that together with her sister, Mrs. Kyoko Oshima (the Soke eldest daughter), they should both together preserve and transmit the technical wealth of the School. (Please refer to your interesting, though partial, book: “Interview to Daito-ryu Masters”, below). Takeda Tokimune successively also ruled that his daughter's son should receive full and thorough instruction by the most senior of his students to be educated to become the next Soke of the School (again refer to the interview below).

    This decision was evidently accepted by all of his students. The Abashiri group and Mr. Kondo included. The fact that BOTH parties agree on this point is very important, as, once this issue is factually accepted by both sides of the dispute, from here on all other issues may then find logic conclusion. For the issue not to be factually accepted by both parties – Mr. Kondo and the School’s honbu - it must mean that either Mr. Kondo made a false statement to you at the time of the interview, or you reported it falsely in your collection of interviews. In fact the School’s honbu agrees to Mr. Kondo’s declaration in every part.
    Further, there are a number of testimonies (at least a dozen) that I have personally met, all senior students of the late Soke, who confirm Mr. Kondo’s version of facts, as the Soke himself directly exposed them to his choice.

    I mentioned your book that comes to help here. If you do not desire the relevant passages to be quoted, as it is your copyright, please censor the whole post, I feel it might be a pity, however I feel that Mr. Kondo is the best support to my thesis as he is one of the parties involved. Page 171, interview with Mr. Kondo:

    "At the meeting of the Dojo Heads held last September, the future headmaster of the School was announced. Mrs Nobuko Yokoyama, Tokimune’s second daughter, who lives with him, was selected …CUT … The Head family has announced the next headmaster and my duty is to abide by its decision."

    Mr. Kondo then even goes on to talk about future technical leadership and the other (first) daughter. Page 174, interview with Mr. Kondo:

    "… CUT … The Daito-ryu headmaster will be responsible for preserving the techniques perfected by both Sokaku and Tokimune, and BOTH (please notice Tokimune’s will: BOTH) of his children Nobuko Yokoyama AND Kyoko Oshima AND their children should succeed Sokaku Sensei, who was the inheritor of the Takeda family tradition of Daito-ryu. So we have no further comment on this matter and we do not consider it to be a particular problem."

    This is no less than Mr. Kondo himself !

    Thus at the death of the Soke, both Mrs. Yokoyama AND Mrs. Oshima (the 2nd AND 1st daughter) inherited the position of representative and technical directors of the Honbu (Mrs. Yokoyama also inherited the position of Headmaster) awaiting for one of their children to succeed them. EVERYONE ABIDED BY THIS DECISION
    (Including Mr. Kondo!).

    I sincerely do not understand why today there are so many discussions about succession. The matter is very clear and settled to me.

    Mrs. Oshima also inherited:

    - the Honbu of the School, that for over 40 years had been and still is the Daitokan in Abashiri (The Dojo where Takeda had taught for all his life),
    - the School's transmission scrolls "Densho",
    - the School's ledgers (including those signed by Ueshiba), and original registers where all documents and licenses are meticulously recorded,
    - the School's seal and other important items.

    At this point, both Mr. Kondo and all the other senior students in Abashiri recognised her as the next Soke publicly (as we have seen), even though she had no real technical knowledge of the Art. Everyone was respecting the Soke’s will. Everyone also agreed that the son of this woman should become the next Soke, including Mr. Kondo. It baffles me why this should change today.

    However, I should mention a small affair that happened just before the Soke died. Takeda Tokimune’s younger brother, Mr. Takeda Munemitsu, unilaterally announced and declared that he was the next Soke. Takeda Tokimune lost very little time, and excommunicated him in 1991 (Hamon in Japanese) thus definitively and immediately ruling him out due to this evidently presumptuous statement.
    This decision was made public by the Soke himself, and I understand that a copy of the School's bulletin where this was reported was also published on your magazine "Aikinews". So, this matter is also quite clear. Obviously, at this point, any documents produced by Mr. Takeda Munemitsu regarding the School are, in the least, illegitimate and thus worthless. I would go on to suggest of being very suspicious of anyone using such documents. This person is exposing his ignorance of facts in the best of cases or, worse, a less than honest approach. All Daito-ryu senior students, Mr. Kondo and the Abashiri senior group included, were aligned on this path. (Again, once more it is your interview to Mr. Kondo to help us indicate that also Mr. Kondo was on this same line page 174).

    So far the indisputable FACTS.

    In the next post I will try to propose my personal view of the events that followed.

    Thank you for reading this far.

    Tommaso.
    Mr. Leonetti raises some interesting points, though I can't say I agree with all of them. Please note that he also writes clearly that he is under the impression that Tokimune had made a written will, and that it had even been presented in court. Later, Mr. Kobayashi states that their group was referring to Tokimune's perceived "will" (wish, desire), not a legal written document. Apparently outsiders are not the only ones to be confused by this choice in terminology.

    Also, from my experience, nothing in Japan is "simple and clear", especially matters of politics!
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Daito-ryu succession (2)"

    Statement regarding the succession issue posted by a member of the former Seishinkai group (with a reply from myself):

    Posted by Tommaso Leonetti, 06-28-2000:

    2. Succession.
    --------------

    After the death of the Soke (*), Mrs. Yokoyama Nobuko (the 2nd daughter) who had been designated as Headmaster, called for a meeting in Abashiri. At this point EVERYONE (Mr. Kondo included) recognised her as the School’s Headmaster. At this meeting she PUBLICLY abdicated her position in favour of her elder sister Mrs. Oshima Kyoko. A document was produced to this effect, and I understand that Mrs. Oshima holds a copy.

    Takeda Tokimune Soke, before dieing, had asked all the Dojo Directors to respect BOTH of his daughters as technical directors of the School. Again in your interview to Mr. Kondo this is confirmed (p 174). Takeda Tokimune clearly wanted one of their male children to take on the School’s leadership. In case of abdication, in fact, it is correct that the nearest direct blood relative should succeed, and no stranger would have any title to insert himself in the succession line. The presence of the discussed and controversial will is thus totally irrelevant and superfluous, from every point of view: the Soke expressed clearly his decision, and if this had not been thus, succession rules and traditions would have settled the matter anyway. I do not understand the importance that some attach to it. It appears to be rather instrumental to dispute its existence! However may it be, the FACT is that Mrs. Yokoyama Nobuko abdicated her position, publicly. Thus automatically the next in line, Mrs. Oshima Kyoko, legitimately entered the succession line and by all rights she is today the ONLY one that may lay claims to the position of Headmaster of Daito-ryu.

    Soon after Mrs. Oshima had become Headmaster, her husband changed his name from Oshima to Takeda Masanobu. This was done with Mrs. Kyoko Oshima’s approval, but without Takeda Tokimune’s avail, as he was already dead. I should also add that, in Japan (and less so, but also in Europe), this is effectively possible. In fact it is even customary in great genealogies that someone might be adopted or marry into the family and then change his name to that the one of his wife\father, in order to continue the name of the clan\dinasty.

    I believe that all the trouble arose AFTER this point. The problem, ONLY in my opinion, is that at this point Mr. Takeda Masanobu, husband of Kyoko Oshima - the headmaster, not only changed his name to Takeda (which IS legitimate) but also chose to take upon himself the title of Soke of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu (which I feel is NOT legitimate). I feel that THIS was not correct for at least 2 reasons:

    a) he has no Takeda blood and thus can not enter the succession line, (if not by Takeda Tokimune’s adoption which never happened),

    b) Takeda Tokimune had died and hence could not approve or disapprove the use of his name.


    (*) In a recent interview Takeda Masanobu declared that Mrs. Yokoyama Nobuko (the appointed headmaster), resigned her position a few months after and not 2 years after the death of her father. I have no first hand knowledge and thus I cannot say which is correct. This evidently does not modify the fact that the son (or the wife) of Takeda Masanobu and NOT Takeda Masanobu himself is the ONLY legitimate Soke of the Daito School.

    In ALL the world in case of abdication it is the next closest family member directly in line that takes on that title.
    In Japan it is the same. In Japan (and in Europe too) if anyone else besides a legitimate direct descendant claimed to be the heir of a clan or a dynasty, everyone would laugh!

    As I have already mentioned, titles may only be transmitted in respect of very stringent and clear rules. Any diverse effort is only a frail attempt. In my opinion no unilateral declaration, scholar or court may state differently!

    Before I go further, ONLY in my opinion and out of fairness, I should also say that, if it is true that Mr. Takeda Masanobu made a haste and unilateral claim, then it is also true that Mr. Kondo abused of the title\position of representative\headmaster. In fact, I understand that soon after Mr. Takeda Masanobu’s unilateral declaration also Mr. Kondo begun to repeatedly presented himself as Honbucho Somucho or director of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. Mr Kondo also begun to make no effort to avoid being indicated as "representative" or even "Headmaster" in numerous public occasions, as also on his web page.

    Furthermore, ONLY in my opinion, there is another mistake. This one was made by the Abashiri senior group that shortly after followed suit, and present themselves as directors of the Honbu in their web pages.

    My opinion is that only Mrs. Oshima Kyoko (Today wife of Takeda Masanobu) or her son may direct the Honbu. Just as Takeda Tokimune clearly stated in his will. No one of the following three is thus, IN MY OPINION, in the correct position to make these claims or allow them to be made by others about them:

    a) The husband of Mrs. Oshima Kyoko (Takeda Masanobu) has no right to self-appoint himself Soke (his wife or his son are, and might consider appointing him Soke Dairi).

    b) Mr. Kondo Katsuyuki should not allow his webmaster (Mrs. Diane Skoss is his web master) to present him as "Representative" or "Headmaster" of Daito-ryu in her web page (www.Koryu.com). And he should not claim to be the Honbucho or Director of Daito-ryu.

    c) The Senior Abashiri group similarly should not claim to direct the honbu unless Mrs. Oshima Kyoko (or her son) authorises them to do so. To my understanding Mrs. Oshima Kyoko only allows them to use the Honbu – the Daitokan Dojo in Abashiri – to run regular courses and to offer tuition to her son and NOT to state that they direct the Honbu.

    Diane is a careful and authoritative scholar in my opinion. When she was working with you at "Aikinews" magazine she always expressed fair and balanced opinions on the pages of your Aikinews magazine. I esteem your friends work, but I feel that maybe this time she might have strayed a little from her usually cautious and balanced position. The matter has surprised me, as I knew her for her very moderate opinions and strongly conservative approach to koryu in general.

    Probably, until Mr. Kondo Katsuyuki made his unilateral statements alone no one took heed of them. But when his authoritative webmaster (Diane Skoss) publicly presented him as representative or headmaster, the matter might have appeared under a different aspect. I might assume that Mr. Kondo made these same statements (or allowed Diane to make them) to counter Takeda Masanobu's original claim....

    Personally I am little interested to understand who made the first unilateral claim: I believe all three positions to be wrong in the same way.

    The Soke is only Mrs. Oshima Kyoko or her son when he will come of age (he is now 7 years old). Incidentally she now possesses all the School's transmission documents and she is the owner of the Honbu, the Daitokan Dojo in Abashiri. Thus, besides the outcome of the court dispute between Mr. Takeda Masanobu and Mr. Kondo Katsuyuki, I feel that the introductory notes to your book "Daito-ryu Masters" where you present the name of Mr. Kondo at the end of the Takeda lineage is a rather big overlook. In Europe such an error would appear simply ridiculous, from an otherwise careful person as you are. Please Stanley, see no offensive tone or suggestions in my words, as there is none intended.

    The next issue is that you mention that the Abashiri group would have written a letter indicating their will to abandon the School. This is simply not correct. I would like to gather more information about this letter you mention, as the only letter ever written by them was to disapprove the behaviour of Mrs. Yokoyama personally and to take distances from her personally, and NOT from the School. This happened when the two sisters began to dispute their positions before the father had expressed his intentions and was still ill in hospital. An other letter was written by the Kangicho of the School (second in line) of that period, Mr. Kato Shigemitsu (not Mr. Kondo!) who offered his position so that it might be assigned without creating a fracture between the 2 sisters who desired to appoint their own director. The noble act was evidently unhelpful to its intentions.

    May I assume that there is some confusion with the letter or maybe the names or positions?

    In fact, my evidence points to the contrary: when Mrs. Yokoyama Nobuko (the designated next headmaster) resigned her position as headmaster of the School, it was Mr. Kondo who refused to recognise her sister, Mrs. Oshima Kyoko, as the legitimate next in line. Furthermore, to prove the contrary to your statement about this letter, a document was signed by all the senior Abashiri masters and students of the Soke (using the name Seishin - not Seishinkai as some mention erroneously) in which these same masters declared to endeavour to:

    1. Raise the next Soke in the tradition of the School,
    2. Abide to their Soke's last will, and recognise the Kyoko Oshima as the legitimate successor of their Teacher, and thus Headmaster of the School.
    3. Protect Mrs. Kyoko Oshima and her son from attempts of interference or usurpation of their position.

    Why would such individuals resign their position in the School, if they then endowed to protect it?
    The knowledge that I gathered (which is not documental) indicates that in 1994 Mr. Kondo was invited to this meeting, but refused to participate or to join the group. A second meeting was also called shortly after, and again I understand that Mr. Kondo refused to participate. I have no knowledge of Mr. Kondo’s version of the facts.

    The next evidence that I have gathered, and this is confirmed by different students in different cities, is that at THIS point Mr. Kondo called a meeting without receiving the Headmaster’s permission to do so.
    Please note that Mr. Kondo until 1994, 2 years after the Soke’s death, had always diligently and faithfully accepted the rule of the headmaster.
    Thus the meeting was NOT attended by the senior students of the late Soke but by a small number of non Abashiri students (note, NON Abashiri students… those further away from the Honbu). At the end of this unauthorised meeting Mr. Kondo proclaimed that he was or had been elected, as the new Headmaster.
    Besides the totally unorthodox manner to name a representative (a vote has NEVER been the custom in the Japanese tradition, thus exposing the fragility of the action) one cannot avoid considering that at the time other students were senior to Mr. Kondo as it appears in the School's registers held by the family. Thus I sincerely do not understand why Mr. Kondo should be specially regarded and take upon himself the role of Headmaster! The title or role of Soke Dairi, as Mr. Kondo himself declares in his interview to Stanley (p. 171 and 174), has no pertinence to succession, as the Menkyo Kaiden neither has!
    One is a temporary (as Mr. Kondo himself states) instalment, the other a technical statement. Neither have any succession relevance.

    At THIS point, and not while the Soke was still alive, Mr. Kondo Katsuyuki broke away from the School and formed his own ryu-ha School in Tokyo the Shimbukan-ha Daito-ryu, starting from his previous dojo (at that time he was Shidobucho for the Tokyo region). So, until 1994, well after the Soke’s death, Mr. Kondo had not yet broken away from the School to open his own style, and was a loyal student of the Takeda Family. In fact today (to my knowledge) Mr. Kondo STILL refuses to recognise Mrs. Oshima Kyoko (today Mrs. Takeda) as the legitimate headmaster, and above all refuses that her son should be under the technical tuition of the senior masters of Abashiri. However it must be remembered that it was Mr. Kondo’s refusal to recognise Mrs. Oshima Kyoko (Mrs. Takeda) as Headmaster that led Mr. Takeda Masanobu (the Headmaster’s husband) to give the responsibility of his son’s technical tuition to the senior students in Abashiri, and not the other way round.

    I hope that these three (Takeda Masanobu, Kondo Katsuyuki and Takeda Tokimune’s senior masters) will put aside personal animosities for the sake of the School - there would be a great chance for the School to preserve the original techniques unmodified and defend them from all the other numerous impostors and other ryu-ha branches of Aikijujutsu.

    The problem for students like me who research into the School’s history is that we do not have easy access to this kind of information, and tend to rely too much on what others say, as yourself, alas in good faith. Personal investigation opens one’s eyes to many details that make the difference. Thus good faith individuals may be mislead while gathering information only by reading books or looking at videos. This is why I feel that personal research in Japan is strongly recommended. Too often, in my opinion, only one side of the story is told. In this case I add: surprisingly so!
    Having known Stanley Pranin’s objectivity in all other occasions, I am surprised of your stance that is not protective of the legitimate line of succession.

    But this, evidently, is only my opinion, and may well be a mistaken one.

    Thank you for reading so far, I will now post 2 other notes to discuss technical matters.

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-28-2000:

    Hello Mr. Leonetti,

    Welcome to the board.

    I doubt that Kondo Sensei has ever called himself the "headmaster" (Soke) of Daito ryu. He has adopted the administrative affairs. Unless you have evidence to suggest that Kondo Sensei has made such claims (which he says that he hasn't and has no intention of in the 1992 interview), then you might wish to be careful of your wording in this regard so the issue is not further confused.

    I will write a more comprehensive response to you both here and on the daito-ryu.com board as soon as I can work the time in.

    Regards,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott
    Mr. Leonetti again states some good points, but is wrong on a few of his facts. For example, Mrs. Oshima's son, Takeda Hitoshi, was 29 years old at the time this was posted (2000; according to what Mr. Kobayashi posted on July 5th, 2000) - not 7 years old.

    Interestingly, Mr. Kobayashi states in a reply titled "Re: Speaking for us all...", July 4th, 2000, that this same Takeda Hitoshi was considered to be the 37th Soke ("sanjunanadaisoke"). However, Takeda Masanobu (husband of Mrs. Oshima), whom BTW Mr. Leonetti states above cannot be considered the Soke of his branch, is now listed on their webpage ALSO as the 37th Soke of Daito ryu!

    I wonder which one is really the 37th Soke?
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Daito-ryu, technical matters (3)

    Statement regarding the succession issue posted by a member of the former Seishinkai group (with a reply from myself):

    Posted by Tommaso Leonetti, 06-28-2000:

    3. Technical matters.
    ---------------------

    I have personally met many direct students of the late Soke (in Abashiri, Tokyo, Kitami, Shiretoko region, Sapporo and Memenbetsu, as every year I spend a couple of months in the region training in Aikijujutsu. I have had the honour and opportunity to study regularly under some of the most senior students of the late Soke, though, unfortunately, I have not had the same opportunity to study under Mr. Kondo.

    I did write to him, some 6 years ago, asking him for an interview without ever receiving an answer. I have also interviewed most of the Soke’s late students, and all his uchideshi students.

    There has been a great deal of misunderstanding around the Kyoju Dairi and Soke Dairi roles. For one, this documentation is not unique to Mr. Kondo. And then we should note that "Kyoju Dairi" and "Soke Dairi" are NOT titles but roles (Soke Dairi is even only temporary).

    The function of "Kyoju Dairi", that should more precisely be Kyoju Soke Dairi, for example, indicates that the person is charged with the function of teaching in place of the Soke or (for example) directing an important public demonstration in place of the Soke if the latter is unable or unwilling to do so. (For example when the Soke was ill in hospital). The "Soke Dairi" function similarly indicates that the person is temporarily running certain specific administrative affairs in the name of the Soke (For example when the necessity to debate specific matters with other schools arise and the Soke may not wish to move from his dojo and) and has NO technical relevance at all. Both these functions, over time, were granted to other senior students of the late Soke, and were not unique to Mr. Kondo.

    The Soke dairi function ceases its validity with the death of the issuing party or bearer (as Mr. Kondo states in your interview). One may not continue to temporarily represent a dead person! The function does, however, indicate a high consideration of the student on behalf of the Soke, that saw him fit to represent administrative matters for the School while he was unable or unwilling to do so.

    As far as the Kyoju Dairi certificates is concerned, there were quite a number of them issued by the late Soke. Mr. Suzuki Shimpachi (who was also Mr. Kondo’s teacher) for one received such titles well before Mr. Kondo. These are the real teaching license. NOT the Menkyo Kaiden. Menkyo Kaiden is merely a statement of technical knowledge (complete technical transmission); naturally the Menkyo Kaiden is a very important document, as it states that transmission has occurred completely. However it is NOT a teaching certificate. The fact that to obtain one, the student generally also has already received a Kyoju Dairi certificate (as Mr. Kondo did) is the evident indication of the different function of the 2 documents. The fact that a student may receive the teaching certificate before and not after the complete transmission diploma is a natural and normal fact in the Daito School, as the full curriculum comprehends well over 2,800 techniques and thus teaching may start while the student is still in the midst of his completing the technical path. But I do not see the relevance of the issue, as Mr. Kondo claims to have both. So assuming they are both legitimate and valid the issue has no importance. Mr. Kondo may legitimately teach!

    So far went my consideration for the documental aspect. I should add that my consideration for documents is quite low anyway, as I tend to prefer first hand technical experience to a document, especially with my European experience regarding Martial titles and documents.

    So, when I had to decide where to apply for training, I had to evaluate where I would have had the best opportunity to receive the best and most accurate tuition in Aikijujutsu. I looked principally at technical aspects, and, on a purely technical note, common sense came to my help in evaluating circumstances when I had to make this decision. Five considerations helped me.

    A) First of all when the Soke was alive all tuition took place in the Honbu, the Daitokan in Abashiri. The Daitokan was already then the Honbu of the School, and there was absolutely no doubt about it. No one ever claimed anything different. No one ever even dreamt of claiming that the Honbu was in Tokyo. Students from everywhere came to Abashiri, to the Honbu, to receive tuition. This is a FACT.

    When the Soke was alive, during the period 1988 – 1993, he only supervised lessons: he stood by the north wall of the Daitokan (kamiza) and he let the Kangicho (Kato Shigemitsu), and Sano Matsuo direct the lessons. The Soke was old and his illness was moving fast. The fact that the senior students, together, would run lessons with the approval of the Soke, who watched, is an important fact to me. Later on, when the Soke was seriously ill, these same senior students continued to teach and run lessons in the very same manner and in the very same place: the Honbu.

    The Daitokan in Abashiri had been for almost 40 years the Honbu, so when the Soke died, the Headmasters, Mrs. Yokoyama Nobuko first and Mrs. Oshima Kyoko then, confirmed this to be the Honbu. Mr. Kondo too respected their decision, and for 2 years NO ONE ever even dreamt of moving the Honbu elsewhere. Until 1994.

    Only 2 years after the Soke’s death some students began drifting away from the Honbu, and some began to open their own branches and styles, while others even went as far as to claim the position of Honbucho and declaring that the Honbu had moved elsewhere! None of these unilateral claims have ever been confirmed by the present Headmaster and are thus illegitimate.

    So the first reason why I chose Abashiri was that I felt correct that the mainline tuition would occur under the approval of the Headmaster and at the Honbu. But this is only my motivation. At the time I had no idea of the technical level of the teachers of the Honbu nor the technical level of Mr. Kondo or other students who had started their own styles.

    B) The second reason was that I felt that it would be natural that a senior student as Mr. Kondo might teach at the Honbu if he so wished (providing for personal animosities that I feel are pitiful from either side anyway). What I did not understand was why Mr. Kondo decided to declare that there was a new Honbu in Tokyo if one already existed! It seemed to me less than natural and less than logical.

    C) In fact the third reason for my choice was that I felt it was logic to assume that a greater interaction may have occurred between the late Soke and those senior students who were studying under him in Abashiri than what might have been possible with Mr. Kondo. This was the principal and still today most important consideration I made. (Please note again that this does not imply that Mr. Kondo is not a technically excellent exponent of the School). My opinion is that, after all, some of these senior students LIVED in the dojo for over a decade, and were direct students of the Soke for almost 40 years. Thus their opportunity to be exposed to a greater and better tuition than someone living in Tokyo is evident and natural.

    At that time I gave much lesser importance to documents and licenses as the big issue had not yet exploded into the present issue and no one even suggested that the home and Honbu of the Daito School should not be Abashiri. Not even Mr. Kondo himself!

    In fact, I want to add that Mr. Kondo may even very well be technically far superior to these senior Abashiri students, but I have no means of verifying this as I never had the honour to study with Mr. Kondo. I hope that one day Mr. Kondo will return to the Honbu to offer tuition to students like me who will certainly greatly benefit from his experience.

    I sincerely hope to have this possibility one day, as I sincerely hope that the Takeda family, the senior students in Abashiri and Mr. Kondo may one day reunite under the name of the Takeda house. The pity disputes I hear of are only hurting the art. I hope that personal interests and animosities will be surpassed by the intelligence and moral level of all those involved for the good of the School.

    D) One further reason for training at the Honbu, the fourth, I gathered it only after receiving tuition there. The documented evidence I was exposed to (School registers) indicates that Mr. Kondo begun his studies in Daito-ryu rather later than what he suggests in his web pages. The first record of his studies that I found in the Daito-ryu official registers is dated 1969.
    Before then there is no documental evidence of his tuition in Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu that I am aware of. And the Soke was VERY VERY punctual in registering everything in the slightest details.

    The only documental evidence I have gained before that period is that in 1957 he was an Aikido student (he was registered at the Aikikai in Tokyo) and later an Aikido teacher in 1964 until 1969. Thus I have found no evidence to confirm (but not even to dismiss) that he studied under our late Soke before 1969 as Mr. Kondo indicated in his web page. Statements of other student explicitly indicate the contrary, and are comparable with the School’s registers.

    Also, this indication (our School’s original registers), appear to confront quite well with Mr. Kondo’s Aikido past as a master of this modern art.

    There is no evidence in the School’s documents to indicate that Mr. Kondo’s tuition was ever given on a regular basis. What can be conveyed, by looking at the School’s documents, is that Mr. Kondo came to Abashiri over weekends or short intensive study periods of one week or ten days and was often training with Mr. Shimapchi Suzuki (a senior student of the Soke now also dead). I have found NO evidence to indicate that Mr. Kondo EVER studied in the Daitokan regularly.
    At no date ever. To the contrary there is evidence of all other students as regular disciples and\or uchideshi and their training times and periods. These are recorded with incredible accuracy and detail.

    Please note once more that I have NO direct knowledge of Mr. Kondo’s technical skill. And I am not making any assumption as to his technical level based only upon these researches and the above evidence, as I have never had the honour to be taught by him.

    Thus by stating the above (which is only my personal knowledge based on documental research and not on direct interview of Mr. Kondo) I do not intend to support or dismiss or in any other way discuss the quality or depth of Mr. Kondo’s present technical ability, that may very well be excellent.

    E) The last consideration (the fifth) that I made was that (as you are certainly aware) it was not Mr. Kondo who held the TECHNICALLY highest position in the School while the Soke was alive. Mr. Kato Shigemitsu held the role of Kancho (or Kangicho), while the Soke was alive. The role of Kancho (director of the House) indicates that the bearer of the title is the second in line in the School (at least this is so in the Daito School).

    In fact Mr. Kato Shigemitsu at the time of the Soke’s death had been for 11 consecutive years Director of the Daitokan (the Soke's own dojo) and had been teaching there in the presence of the Soke himself. More important, he had been an Uchideshi of the Soke for over a decade, living inside the Daitokan. Mr. Kondo at the time of Takeda Tokimune’s death was registered as Shibucho (not Dojocho as you report, nor as Soke Dairi). This title (Shibucho) does not mean chief instructor. It only means dojo director. Mr. Kondo certainly was a Dojo Director in Tokyo at the time of Takeda Tokimune’s death. The Shimbukan Dojo. As Stanley certainly is aware, there were a number of other students who were senior to Mr. Kondo (who was certainly a senior student himself), and although this was no definitive indication of technical ability in absence of other considerations I took it as yet an other element for my decision.

    As far as other titles and or documents (Menkyo Kaiden) are concerned I prefer not to enter into details as I only posses second hand information. The rumours that Mr. Kondo speaks about himself acquiring the right to succeed to the Soke (P. 174 of Stanley Pranin’s book) cannot be verified, though even Mr. Kondo was aware they existed. The only first hand information I have gathered is that these documents are NOT recorded on the School’s registers. I have no explanation and offer no suggestion as to why they should not be registered and I am NOT suggesting that for this reason they should not be considered legitimate. I also wish to state clearly that the rumours about Mr. Kondo’s documentation being false that led him to be tried in a court for fraud and falsification were to my knowledge unverifiable. In fact as far as I am aware, Mr. Kondo had his documentation declared to posses a legitimate seal of Takeda Tokimune Soke by a Japanese court.

    The fact is, however, strange. The School’s records are very detailed and there are less important licenses registered there after Mr. Kondo’s license. Sokaku started the use of registering everything with great detail, and his son Tokimune continued in the same path.

    The above is only a personal (very personal) and general indication of what considerations (five) I made in order to decide where I might better learn the School’s vast and complex curriculum of mainline Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. What I have presented does not imply that my considerations are exhaustive or that others should take them for granted.

    Mr. Kondo was also faster than the 2 daughters of the Soke to register the name Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu, and when Mrs. Oshima tried to do so, she find the name already registered in Mr. Kondo’s name. Thus the same court was forced to rule that Mr. Kondo had the right to use the name of the School against Mr. Takeda’s will, who had not registered it in time.

    Thank you for reading, again so far, and I will now address the last portion of my note. The 4th.

    Tommaso.

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-28-2000:

    Mr. Leonetti,

    Another short note:

    Kondo Sensei stated in the 1992 interview very clearly that "when I became the Soke Kyoju Dairi, it was my intention to serve as the headmaster's protector".

    This might explain his quick action to secure legal property of intelectual rights under his own name, so that once things are sorted out between all the Takeda's claiming to be Soke, it can then be returned to the rightful inheritor. Isn't this a possibility?

    I do agree however that the Soke Dairi menjo that is displayed on the daito-ryu.org web page does not bear a "wari-in" mark, or registraion seal, as you have stated from the alleged lack of entry in the books. This is unusual to not have an important document registered (a partial hanko stamp on the edge of a document that corresponds to a record entry in a log book), but perhaps there is a reason for this which someone will enlighten us to.

    Interestingly, the Shihan license that was issued to Mr. Antonino Certa of the alleged Abashiri Honbu dojo that (pictured here) also is absent of any wari-in. I'll bet he's happy about that. Didn't Kobayashi Sensei say something about the Shihan titles not being used?

    <img src=http://www.tsuki-kage.com/daito-ryu/shihan_menjo.jpg>

    I'll write more later,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott[/quote]
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 3rd November 2003 at 23:52.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Daito-ryu, technical matters (4)"

    Statement regarding the succession issue posted by a member of the former Seishinkai group (with a reply from Ron Tisdale):

    Posted by Tommaso Leonetti, 06-28-2000:

    4. Technical matters.
    ---------------------

    Now I would like to address Tim’s note. Before anyone makes adamant statements such as:

    "... would certainly ensure the demise of the School" he might consider:

    a) visiting personally those that he hurriedly dismisses as above,

    b) allow himself to actually watch these individuals perform techniques contained in the 3rd, 4th or 5th catalogue (I wonder if others actually even only know these techniques).

    c) that documents are only paperwork (though important pieces of evidence), but by no means exhaustive of "truth", and maybe personal acquaintance with the senior students who directly trained under the Soke (and personal research into the lives of these people) might disclose interesting facts that may not always appear as evident, or that these individuals may not desire to render public. Publicity has never been sought by this group, to the difference of other students of the Soke that seek and are receiving great exposition to the general martial public…

    I also suggest that Tim might preferably refrain from making such hasty statements without direct knowledge of the technical level of the persons he is ruling down. He might find himself in an embarrassing position. In fact, by his own admission, he judges these senior students of the Soke on rather fragile basis:
    He admits to possess only visual knowledge of Mr. Kondo’s videos, and not even that of the masters he dismisses…!

    By making such hurried statements he might risk to offend not those he dismisses, but only his intelligence. How can anyone judge someone's technical skill on a video and not first hand? Or worse without even having seen them performing? Not even in a video?

    Personally I feel that credentials are worthless unless you directly experiment technical ability; however if credentials are important for Tim to elaborate his own opinion, then allow me to propose to Tim to look into these 3 facts:

    1.The students he dismisses were Uchideshi of the Soke for over a decade and his direct students for almost 40 years;

    2.One of them was Director of the Soke's own dojo for 11 consecutive years, until his death;

    3.They are today his most senior students still alive.

    Should this still induce Tim to suggest that these individuals will ensure "the certain demise of the School" I am happy to admit that I am short of other convincing arguments.

    On a personal note, and in no relation what so ever to Tim’s statements or post, I would like to add that I feel that videos on their own, as an instructional instrument, are the great pity and the reason for the present agony of classical schools. Too many individuals abuse of them, by believing that through their use one might learn an art as if it were Jane Fonda’s Stretching exercise run out.

    Classic Martial Arts are altogether completely different, and the superficial approach of too many is leading our classic martial world to the proliferation of so many illegitimate and unsubstantial schools and dojo of self instructed teachers…

    In my view, videos should not be abused, and they should be used only as referential instruments by those who already posses a strong knowledge and great ability of the art, for having trained under a qualified and legitimate teacher for a long, long, long time. If you have no access to such tuition it is too bad. There is no substitute for it.

    2,800 plus techniques are quite a number to remember, and a reference instrument is justifiable. Just a reference, not a teaching substitute. I feel that no substitute should ever replace "one on one" teaching methods in classic schools. If this method is too slow and unpractical… Well too bad, this is a classic School. Take it or leave it.

    Only my ideas.

    To all who have read so far I express my thanks. I have only expressed personal ideas; some might be considered interesting or valid others less. However I hope that I have presented sufficient material to install the desire to further deepen the matter.

    Personally I feel Mr. Kondo’s statement to be the most correct one, and thus let me conclude with his own words:

    "At the meeting of the Dojo Heads held last September, the future headmaster of the School was announced. Mrs Nobuko Yokoyama, Tokimune’s second daughter, who lives with him, was selected …CUT … The Head family has announced the next headmaster and my duty is to abide by its decision."

    "… CUT … The Daito-ryu headmaster will be responsible for preserving the techniques perfected by both Sokaku and Tokimune, and BOTH of his children Nobuko Yokoyama AND Kyoko Oshima AND their children should succeed Sokaku Sensei, who was the inheritor of the Takeda family tradition of Daito-ryu. So we have no further comment on this matter and we do not consider it to be a particular problem".

    If you have read so far thank you for the effort and thank you to Stanley for the hospitality on his bulletin board.
    To all, sincerely, good keiko,

    Tommaso Leonetti di Santo Janni.

    **

    Posted by Ron Tisdale, 06-28-2000:

    I am in no way qualified to comment intelligently on the truth of the arguements you present. But I will say this; you presented your arguements well, politely, and it seems to my limited experience in the subject matter, logically. Thank you for an informative, well written post. I too hope that the Daito organizations can resolve their differences, and present this art to the world with a unified front.

    I hope that Stanly Pranin will respond in kind (I know that if he responds, he will), so that we may see his perspective on these statements.

    Ron Tisdale
    Personally, I believe Mr. Leonetti is honestly looking to find out the truth. But, while his posts were well written and well thought out, there were a number of assumptions and misinformation that served as the foundation for several of his points. I believe Stan addresses this in his reply below.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Reply by Stanley Pranin to Tomasso Leonetti's posts"

    Stan Pranin offers a reply to Mr. Leonetti's posts:

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 06-29-2000:

    Dear Mr. Leonetti,

    I must say I never imagined anyone would write such a detailed message on these controversial topics concerning Daito-ryu aikijujutsu. You, Sir, are a very intelligent person and write exceedingly well for someone I assume is not a native speaker of English. You have chosen to comment on multiple issues of ranking, succession, training, etc. dealing with Daito-ryu on a minute level. I don't have the time to respond to each and every point you raise but I will take the liberty of quoting from various parts of your posts followed by my comments. I hope this format will not be too confusing.

    "Before I start let me say that I feel that the ONLY correct and possible solution is the one suggested by Mr. Kondo in Mr. Pranin’s book: "Interview to Daito-ryu Masters" pp. 171 and 174."

    Just so we are all together, here is the relevant quote by Kondo Sensei from p.171 of my book: "At the meeting of the dojo heads held last September [1991], the future headmaster was announced. Mrs. Nobuko Yokoyama, Tokimune's second daughter, who lives with him was selected. This decision was not made at the meeting of the dojo heads, but rather was announced on that occasion by the Takeda family...."

    You will note that at this time Tokimune is already hospitalized and has been declared "mentally incompetent" by judgements handed down by the Abashiri Branch of the Kushiro Family court (September 6, 1991 and later on December 4, 1991). Tokimune Sensei no longer had the legal capacity of making decisions and his mental state was rapidly deteriorating. You will also not that it says the "head family," not the "headmaster." In other words, the decision was made by Tokimune's daughters, Mrs. Yokoyama and Mrs. Oshima, not the late headmaster. This point is important because you state that Tokimune chose his successor himself. He did not and was unable to do so due to his illness.

    "I feel that Stanley’s statement, 'the "official successor" of Tokimune Takeda is Mr. Kondo', is a hasty one and rather frail, if we are to follow Mr. Kondo’s own words."

    You are misquoting me here. The "official" refers to the website of Kondo Sensei and the "successor" refers to Kondo Sensei as the technical and administrative successor of Tokimune Sensei based on his certifications and gradings. You make it sound as though I and Kondo Sensei are referring to him as the new Soke. This is false! Kondo Sensei cannot be Soke.

    "Some claim this School [Daito-ryu] to be close to 1,000 years old; some say rather less. However, I understand that everyone accepts it to be a Koryu (classic Japanese Bujutsu)."

    Well, "everyone else" may accept Daito-ryu as a koryu, but I for one do not. I think for reasons I have tried to make clear in my writings that I believe that the art started with Sokaku Takeda. But I will agree that that is a subjective opinion.

    I have no dispute with your comments on the matter of succession in general in Japan and Europe.

    "Thus NO ONE may legitimately claim the positions of: a) Soke, b) Headmaster, c) School Director, d) Honbucho, e) related or similar roles, without being related to the Soke in direct blood succession line."

    I really don't understand your point here. Don't you mention later in your post that Kato Shigemitsu Sensei was the Kancho of the Daitokan for a period of time. My dictionary gives "director" as one of the definitions of this term. Is Kato Sensei in the Soke's "direct blood succession line?"

    "As far as Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu is concerned today, Takeda Tokimune, before dying DID appoint his successor. Thus voiding all disputes that today unexpectedly and unjustifiably arise."

    Tokimune Takeda decidedly did NOT appoint a successor and that is at the crux of the problem. What documentation can you produce showing that he appointed a successor?

    "Takeda Tokimune prepared a written will in hospital to the effect of what Mr. Kondo states below. However I have never seen the document myself, though it has been produced in court evidence by the eldest daughter. One party [Kondo Sensei, yes?], naturally enough, claims it is void of value as the Soke would not have been mentally fit to prepare a written will in Hospital, though no such statement has ever been presented by any doctor. So I accept that the matter is controversial only in the aspect of the Soke’s written will, as I have not seen it personally."

    You're right you have not seen the will personally because it does not exist! A will is a legal document. You say no statement regarding Tokimune's mental incompetency has ever been presented by a doctor. You are right. The judgement came from the Abashiri court as mentioned above.

    The whole matter of the "hospital episode" is as follows. Tokimune's younger brother, Munemitsu, visited the late Headmaster at the hospital earlier in 1991 and had him write that he, Munemitsu, was being declared the new headmaster. The whole claim was ludicrous as the "declaration" was published and consisted of a single sentence on a postcard with an erasure and no date, seal, or anything else. I possess a copy of the newsletter which includes the photo of the postcard certification.

    "Written or verbal (in front of testimonies=witnesses) that this will may be, the Soke very clearly stated in it that he appointed Mrs. Nobuko Yokoyama (his 2nd daughter) as next Headmaster of the School and ruled that together with her sister, Mrs. Kyoko Oshima (the Soke eldest daughter), they should both together preserve and transmit the technical wealth of the School. (Please refer to your interesting, though partial, book: "Interview to Daito-ryu Masters", below). Takeda Tokimune successively also ruled that his daughter's son should receive full and thorough instruction by the most senior of his students to be educated to become the next Soke of the School (again refer to the interview below)."

    Here you seem to be implying that this elusive will may be verbal. Again, what evidence can you provide to back up these statements?

    "...The Abashiri group and Mr. Kondo included. The fact that BOTH parties agree on this point [of the existence of a will and its contents] is very important, as, once this issue is factually accepted by both sides of the dispute...."

    No, it is not accepted that a will exists. Mrs. Yokoyama, Kondo Sensei, I and a few hundred others would like to see this will!

    "For the issue not to be factually accepted by both parties – Mr. Kondo and the School’s honbu - it must mean that either Mr. Kondo made a false statement to you at the time of the interview, or you reported it falsely in your collection of interviews."

    Or a third possibility is that your information is false.

    "Page 174, [your] interview with Mr. Kondo: "… CUT … The Daito-ryu headmaster will be responsible for preserving the techniques perfected by both Sokaku and Tokimune, and BOTH (please notice Tokimune’s will: BOTH) of his children Nobuko Yokoyama AND Kyoko Oshima AND their children should succeed Sokaku Sensei, who was the inheritor of the Takeda family tradition of Daito-ryu. So we have no further comment on this matter and we do not consider it to be a particular problem".

    Still no will, my friend! Tokimune did not appoint either of his daughters as Soke. Maybe he intended to, maybe he would have, maybe he should have, but he DID NOT!

    "Thus at the death of the Soke, both Mrs. Yokoyama AND Mrs. Oshima (the 2nd AND 1st daughter) inherited the position of representative and technical directors of the Honbu (Mrs. Yokoyama also inherited the position of Headmaster) awaiting for one of their children to succeed them. EVERYONE ABIDED BY THIS DECISION."

    Mrs. Yokoyama was the interim headmaster (as decided between her and her sister) at the time of Tokimune's death. She resigned her position shortly after Tokimune's death. Then a short time later, Mrs. Oshima's husband declared himself the new headmaster.

    "At this point, both Mr. Kondo and all the other senior students in Abashiri recognised her as the next Soke publicly (as we have seen), even though she had no real technical knowledge of the Art. Everyone was respecting the Soke’s will. Everyone also agreed that the son of this woman should become the next Soke, including Mr. Kondo. It baffles me why this should change today."

    Kondo Sensei has never recognized Mrs. Oshima or her husband as the Soke. No will, either!

    "However, I should mention a small affair that happened just before the Soke died. Takeda Tokimune’s younger brother, Mr. Takeda Munemitsu, unilaterally announced and declared that he was the next Soke. Takeda Tokimune lost very little time, and excommunicated him in 1991 (Hamon in Japanese) thus definitively and immediately ruling him out due to this evidently presumptuous statement."

    This is partially true. See my comments above. However, it was the daughters of Tokimune and senior students including Kondo Sensei who disavowed Munemitsu's act. Tokimune was not mentally competent at this stage otherwise he wouldn't even have signed such a document in the first place.

    "Takeda Tokimune Soke, before dying, had asked all the Dojo Directors to respect BOTH of his daughters as technical directors of the School. Again in your interview to Mr. Kondo this is confirmed (p 174). Takeda Tokimune clearly wanted one of their male children to take on the School’s leadership."

    Tokimune was not mentally competent for the last several years of his life. He may have made such a statement earlier. I do not know, but certainly not toward the end of his life. This is not mentioned or confirmed anywhere on p. 174 or any other page! Gee whiz, I'm the author, trust me!

    "In case of abdication, in fact, it is correct that the nearest direct blood relative should succeed, and no stranger would have any title to insert himself in the succession line. The presence of the discussed and controversial will is thus totally irrelevant and superfluous, from every point of view: the Soke expressed clearly his decision, and if this had not been thus, succession rules and traditions would have settled the matter anyway."

    I really don't understand. Now, the non-existent will on which your argument is based is "totally irrelevant and superfluous."

    "I do not understand the importance that some attach to it. It appears to be rather instrumental to dispute its existence! However may it be, the FACT is that Mrs. Yokoyama Nobuko abdicated her position, publicly.

    "Thus automatically the next in line, Mrs. Oshima Kyoko, legitimately entered the succession line and by all rights she is today the ONLY one that may lay claims to the position of Headmaster of Daito-ryu.

    "Soon after Mrs. Oshima had become Headmaster, her husband changed his name from Oshima to Takeda Masanobu. This was done with Mrs. Kyoko Oshima’s approval, but without Takeda Tokimune’s avail, as he was already dead. I should also add that, in Japan (and less so, but also in Europe), this is effectively possible. In fact it is even customary in great genealogies that someone might be adopted or marry into the family and then change his name to that the one of his wife\father, in order to continue the name of the clan\dinasty...

    "The problem, ONLY in my opinion, is that at this point Mr. Takeda Masanobu, husband of Kyoko Oshima - the headmaster, not only changed his name to Takeda (which IS legitimate) but also chose to take upon himself the title of Soke of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu (which I feel is NOT legitimate).

    "I feel that THIS was not correct for at least 2 reasons:

    "a) he has no Takeda blood and thus can not enter the succession line, (if not by Takeda Tokimune’s adoption which never happened),
    "b) Takeda Tokimune had died and hence could not approve or disapprove the use of his name."


    Here I'm in the position of agreeing with you. The crux of the issue is that Tokimune died without naming anyone as a successor. I believe that either Mrs. Yokoyama or Mrs. Oshima could lay claim to be the successor. But Mrs. Yokoyama declined the position. This leaves Mrs. Oshima. However, she and her husband, who had little involvment in Daito-ryu affairs over the years, acted unilaterally and thus her husband's claim has not been widely recognized. The senior students were not consulted. You are stressing the importance of tradition in the "rules" of succession. This unilateral act was not done by the rules!

    "Before I go further, ONLY in my opinion and out of fairness, I should also say that, if it is true that Mr. Takeda Masanobu made a haste and unilateral claim, then it is also true that Mr. Kondo abused of the title\position of representative\headmaster."

    Kondo Sensei did definitely have the position of "soke dairi" (representative of the headmaster) during the last several years of Tokimune's life. This was done by Tokimune himself and is indisputable. The certification has been published. Kondo Sensei has never claimed to be the headmaster.

    "In fact, I understand that soon after Mr. Takeda Masanobu’s unilateral declaration also Mr. Kondo begun to repeatedly present himself as Honbucho Somucho or director of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu. Mr Kondo also begun to make no effort to avoid being indicated as “representative" or even "Headmaster" in numerous public occasions, as also on his web page."

    You are not being truthful here and your choice of words makes you a mind reader. Here is the phrasing on Kondo Sensei's website: "Thank you for visiting! The Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Web Site is your best source for information on Daito-ryu, direct from Kondo Katsuyuki, Head of the Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Headquarters Dojo, and Director of the Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu organization."

    Also, here is how he is described elsewhere on the site: "...a meeting among the heads of the various branch dojos was convened in September of 1994. Kondo Katsuyuki, appointed soke dairi and menkyo kaiden by former headmaster, Takeda Tokimune, was chosen to oversee the Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu Hombu as Hombucho and Somucho, with responsibility to carry on and preserve the main-line tradition as it has been passed down from Takeda Sokaku and Takeda Tokimune."

    No mention of him being "representative" now (he was while Tokimune was still alive) is made and Kondo Sensei is the "head" of his dojo. "Head of a dojo" does not equal "headmaster" in English! Also, below this latter quote photos of Kondo Sensei's menkyo kaiden and soke dairi bearing Tokimune's seal are produced.

    "Furthermore, ONLY in my opinion, there is another mistake. This one was made by the Abashiri senior group that shortly after followed suit, and present themselves as directors of the Honbu in their web pages."

    Agreed.

    "...b) Mr. Kondo Katsuyuki should not allow his webmaster (Mrs. Diane Skoss is his web master) to present him as "Representative" or "Headmaster" of Daito-ryu in her web page (www.Koryu.com)."

    This is highly misleading. If you look at the site in question, the designation "representative/headmaster" is a field in a database as Diane is listing up the names and responsible parties of many classical martial styles. She makes no affirmative statement that Kondo Sensei is the "headmaster" of Daito-ryu and this iis merely a coverall classification. Look again at the site!

    "And he should not claim to be the Honbucho or Director of Daito-ryu."

    How would you have him refer to himself?

    "Diane is a careful and authoritative scholar in my opinion. "When she was working with you at "Aikinews" magazine she always expressed fair and balanced opinions on the pages of your Aikinews magazine. I esteem your friends work, but I feel that maybe this time she might have strayed a little from her usually cautious and balanced position. The matter has surprised me, as I knew her for her very moderate opinions and strongly conservative approach to koryu in general.

    "Probably, until Mr. Kondo Katsuyuki made his unilateral statements alone no one took heed of them. But when his authoritative webmaster (Diane Skoss) publicly presented him as representative or headmaster, the matter might have appeared under a different aspect. I might assume that Mr. Kondo made these same statements (or allowed Diane to make them) to counter Takeda Masanobu's original claim...."


    You have misrepresented what she has done as I have pointed out above. On what do you base your last assumption?

    The Soke is only Mrs. Oshima Kyoko or her son when he will come of age (he is now 7 years old)....

    Mrs. Oshima's son is an adult. I think they have only one boy.

    "The next issue is that you mention that the Abashiri group would have written a letter indicating their will to abandon the School. This is simply not correct. I would like to gather more information about this letter you mention, as the only letter ever written by them was to disapprove the behaviour of Mrs. Yokoyama personally and to take distances from her personally, and NOT from the School."

    I never claimed that the Abashiri group wrote a "letter indicating their will to abandon the school." You continuously misquote me. I said they "resigned" from the school. The vehicle for their resignations was a dojo form called "Notification of Withdrawal/Resignation." It is a form stating the one is withdrawing from the dojo and has a check box for the reason. Mssrs. Kato, Arisawa, Sano and various others checked the "other" box as the reason for their withdrawal. If it sounds like I'm reading from the documents it's because I am. They bear the signatures of the principals of your group. You, Sir, have again been misinformed! They quit the Daitokan dojo while Tokimune was still alive and hospitalized.

    "Why would such individuals resign their position in the School, if they then endowed to protect it?"

    I don't have a clue!

    "Please note that Mr. Kondo until 1994, 2 years after the Soke’s death, had always diligently and faithfully accepted the rule of the headmaster."

    To whom are you referring? The headmaster position was left vacant at Tokimune's death and there were two pretenders, Takeda Munemitsu and Mr. Oshima. Kondo Sensei recognized neither.

    "At the end of this unauthorised meeting Mr. Kondo proclaimed that he was or had been elected, as the new Headmaster."

    False statement. He was confirmed by a group of senior students and dojo heads as the Honbu Dojo-cho and Somucho, not headmaster.

    "Besides the totally unorthodox manner to name a representative (a vote has NEVER been the custom in the Japanese tradition, thus exposing the fragility of the action) one cannot avoid considering that at the time other students were senior to Mr. Kondo as it appears in the School's registers held by the family..."

    Caro amico! The other students may have been senior in years but only Kondo Sensei had the menkyo kaiden, kyoju dairi, and a 7th dan. The most senior members you refer to received 5th dan from Tokimune Sensei. Are you questioning the late Soke's evaluation of his students' abilities?

    "Thus I sincerely do not understand why Mr. Kondo should be specially regarded and take upon himself the role of Headmaster!"

    He hasn't taken on this role! I repeat again! What do you keep making this assertion?

    "Having known Stanley Pranin’s objectivity in all other occasions, I am surprised of your stance that is not protective of the legitimate line of succession. But this, evidently, is only my opinion, and may well be a mistaken one."

    Agreed!

    "As far as the Kyoju Dairi certificates is concerned, there were quite a number of them issued by the late Soke. Mr. Suzuki Shimpachi (who was also Mr. Kondo’s teacher) for one received such titles well before Mr. Kondo. These are the real teaching license."

    False. Tokimune issued only two kyoju dairi (teacher's certification). One to Suzuki Shinpachi and the other to Katsuyuki Kondo. Name any others.

    "My opinion is that, after all, some of these senior students LIVED in the dojo for over a decade, and were direct students of the Soke for almost 40 years..."

    Who besides Suzuki Shimpachi lived in the Daitokan dojo?

    "At that time I gave much lesser importance to documents and licenses as the big issue had not yet exploded into the present issue and no one even suggested that the home and Honbu of the Daito School should not be Abashiri. Not even Mr. Kondo himself!"

    Not so fast here! You are shifting from referring to the Daitokan Hombu Dojo as being in Abashiri and then saying that the headquarters should be in Abashiri. Well, since the Daitokan closed down in 1994, why does the Hombu Dojo necessarily have to be in Abashiri?

    "One further reason for training at the Honbu, the fourth, I gathered it only after receiving tuition [training?] there. The documented evidence I was exposed to (School registers) indicates that Mr. Kondo begun his studies in Daito-ryu rather later than what he suggests in his web pages. The first record of his studies that I found in the Daito-ryu official registers is dated 1969. Before then there is no documental evidence of his tuition in Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu that I am aware of. And the Soke was VERY VERY punctual in registering everything in the slightest details."

    Kondo Sensei began his studies of Daito-ryu in Tokyo under Hosono Tsunejiro Sensei at age 12 about 1957. Also, I have in my possession a photograph of Kondo Sensei sitting next to Tokimune Sensei in a group photo taken on the occasion of the 11th Daito-ryu demonstration in 1966 in Abashiri. As you know, only the most senior students would flank the Soke in a photo. Also, how could the Seishin group have Tokimune's Sensei's official registers? How could you have consulted these when the historical documents were handed over to the Oshima family in Saitama Prefecture?

    "The only documental evidence I have gained before that period is that in 1957 he was an Aikido student (he was registered at the Aikikai in Tokyo) and later an Aikido teacher in 1964 until 1969."

    I spoke with Kondo Sensei today and he told me he has never studied aikido and never registered at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. What is the source of your misinformation?

    "Also, this indication (our School’s original registers), appear to confront quite well with Mr. Kondo’s Aikido past as a master of this modern art."

    Ancora?

    "Mr. Kato Shigemitsu held the role of Kancho (or Kangicho), while the Soke was alive. The role of Kancho (director of the House) indicates that the bearer of the title is the second in line in the School (at least this is so in the Daito School)."

    How so?

    "In fact Mr. Kato Shigemitsu at the time of the Soke’s death had been for 11 consecutive years Director of the Daitokan (the Soke's own dojo) and had been teaching there in the presence of the Soke himself...."

    Kato Sensei resigned from Tokimune's Sensei's dojo two years before his death.

    "As Stanley certainly is aware, there were a number of other students who were senior to Mr. Kondo (who was certainly a senior student himself), and although this was no definitive indication of technical ability in absence of other considerations I took it as yet an other element for my decision."

    If the menkyo kaiden, kyoju dairi, and 7th dan are not indications of technical ability, what pray tell is?

    "As far as other titles and or documents (Menkyo Kaiden) are concerned I prefer not to enter into details as I only possess second hand information...."

    Agreed.

    ".... I also wish to state clearly that the rumours about Mr. Kondo’s documentation being false that led him to be tried in a court for fraud and falsification were to my knowledge unverifiable. In fact as far as I am aware, Mr. Kondo had his documentation declared to posses a legitimate seal of Takeda Tokimune Soke by a Japanese court."

    Yes, Kondo Sensei was sued by Mrs. Oshima's husband. Mr. Oshima lost the case, the court vindicated Kondo Sensei and sanctioned Mr. Oshima. In a separate proceeding Kondo Sensei was awarded a copyright for use of the words "Daito-ryu aikijujutsu" and variations thereof. Technically speaking, Mr. Oshima is in violation of Japanese copyright law.

    Well, I have run out of steam and time and will retire now. Sir, I really admire your intellect and powers of concentration. Once you are armed with the correct facts, no one will be able to debate you!

    Also, thanks to all of you readers who have stuck it out this far!

    Good night!

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-29-2000:

    Mr. Leonetti,

    If you don't mind me saying so, it appears through your debate (and ours) that the majority of your beliefs and opinions are based on what you've been told by the members of the Abashiri dojo and perhaps others that claim to have been close to T. Takeda Soke. They may seem like very honest, straight forward people with no agenda of their own, but when it really comes down to it - especially in the case of a debate - things need to be looked at in a very black and white form.

    From a position of research, one needs to ask themselves "what do we *really* know?" (what is fact?). Step back and try to look at only the facts objectively from both sides, then try to accumulate as much primary information as possible from as many relevant sources as possible.

    For instance, you've never seen this will in question yourself - you've just been told that it exists and is public knowledge, perhaps by several people. But unless you've seen it for yourself, you can't say for a *fact* that it exists. And you can't convince anyone else that it is a fact unless you are able or willing to show those who inquire about it.

    As you noted, when it comes to testimonies, it is important to consider what the individual's position is, and what they would gain by their testimony (or lose).

    Through the accumulation of facts, evidence and signed, stamped testimonies by primary sources, hopefully we'll eventually have a clear idea at least what the issue realy is, if not what the most logical solution is to it and if it has or has not already been achieved.

    Like us, you appear to be sincere in your desire to uncover the truth about the course of events that has led us here. I submit that you are in a unique position to assist in this information gathering since you are a student of the Abashiri dojo and have occaisional access to the remaining students of T. Takeda Soke as well as several people that you believe were close to the Soke.

    I hope we can continue to work together to seek facts and truth, as opposed to simply jumping to conclusions! Again, thanks for spending the time to post such a comprehensive reply.

    Regards.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Mr. Pranin,

    Very interesting post. In the interest of fairness, would you be willing (or in a position) to scan in and post the resignation forms that you mentioned on this website? It seems to me that public verification/access to such documents would pretty much dismiss the Abashiri dojo's claim to the Honbu, unless they can show proof that one of the Takeda sisters was to be appointed Nidai Soke by Tokimune Soke while he was of clear mind, and that whichever sister that may be has *asked* them to act on their behalf as the Honbu dojo.

    As things stand now with them, it would seem that they don't know if they follow or are supported by Mrs. Yokoyama, Mrs. Oshima, Mr. Oshima or the Oshima's son.

    Also, just out of curiousity, it would be interesting to see the post card that Takeda Munemitsu tried to use to claim his successorship. Could you reproduce this here as well?

    BTW, does anyone happen to know the son's full name? This would really help in regards to clear discussion!

    Thanks to all,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 06-29-2000

    In response to Nathan's request, here are two scans. The first is the resignation of Kato Shigemitsu from the Daitokan dojo of Tokimune Sensei in December 1991. Tokimune is hospitalized at this time. The English appearing on the scan has been added by me as a translation. I also have the same document bearing the names of Mssrs. Sano and Arisawa, and a number of others.

    <img src=http://www.tsuki-kage.com/daito-ryu/kato.jpg>

    The second image is the article appearing in Munemitsu's newsletter date July 7, 1991. The handwritten text in the middle is a postcard-size note saying that Tokimune is appointing his brother Munemitsu as the new Soke. Note the erasure, lack of seal, and informal wording. Tokimune Sensei was not at that time able to issue such a declaration due to his condition.

    <img src=http://www.tsuki-kage.com/daito-ryu/t_munemitsu.jpg>

    I hope these documents help clarify the situation.

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 06-29-2000:

    Mr. Pranin,

    Thanks much for the scans. After analyzing Mr. Kato's resignation (and it does say resignation), I believe that it does help alot.

    I hate to ask this, but considering that Mr. Kobayashi has already stated that Mr. Kato had "resigned" his position as Kangicho (though supposedly, not resigned from the art), could you please post scans of Mr. Sano and Mr. Arisawa as well?

    Mr. Kobayshi clearly states that nobody resigned, and that only Mr. Kato had resigned his position. I believe scans of Mr. Sano and Mr. Arisawa will support the clear resignation of Mr. Kato already presented and show an obvious group withdrawal from the Daitokan while T. Takeda was still alive.

    Anyone or reasonable sensibilities will not be able to argue this point, IMHO.

    Thanks - sorry for the inconvenience!

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 07-01-2000:

    Here are the two additional scans of the resignations of the two other principals of the Seishin Daito-ryu group, Mssrs. Sano and Arisawa, dated December of 1991. Above you will find the same document for Kato Shigemitsu. These documents are important because the leaders of the Seishin group steadfastly deny having resigned from the Daitokan Hombu Dojo of Tokimune Takeda while he was hospitalized. These documents would seem to indicate the contrary. At issue is how people who resigned from the Daito-ryu Hombu Dojo can form a new group and then lay claim to being the successor of Tokimune's school from which they clearly have resigned. What do you think?

    <img src=http://www.tsuki-kage.com/daito-ryu/sano.jpg>

    <img src=http://www.tsuki-kage.com/daito-ryu/arisawa.jpg>

    For further reference, please follow the Daito-ryu threads on this bulletin board and those on the bulletin board of the Seishin group in Abashiri, Hokkaido.

    Please feel free to provide your feedback.

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 07-01-2000:

    [In response to a question about Honbu location:]

    This whole situation is a difficult one to explain and comprehend. Tokimune Sensei died in 1993 without the issue of succession being clearly established. His younger daughter, Mrs. Yokoyama, was the "interim" Soke at the time of her father's death. However, she resigned leaving the position in limbo.

    Mrs. Oshima's (elder daughter of Tokimune) husband declared himself Soke shortly thereafter. The dojos associated with Kondo Sensei which had remained with the Daitokan after Mssrs. Kato, Sano, Arisawa et al resigned en masse in 1991 met in 1994 agreeing to be led by Kondo Sensei.

    Basically, either one accepts this decision or one doesn't. The battle for recognition will ultimately be won in the world of public opinion. Whose technique is the most convincing? Who is being forthright about their antecedents? Who received clear recognition of ability from Tokimune Sensei? These are the kinds of questions one must ask and answer for himself.

    Sokaku may have laughed at the notion of a Honbu but remember one of the titles he used was "Honbucho."

    Just a few thoughts.

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 07-10-2000:

    [In response to distress over Daito ryu infighting:]

    I tend to agree with you, but I've noticed that every time there is a heated debate, there are always a few that ask why it is necessary, and why don't we just not worry about it? My feeling is that someone has to worry about it, and if the issues aren't hashed out at some point, the style may disolve while some hide their heads in the sand.

    This kind of discussion/debate is not pleasant, but is necessary to get closer to resolving issues.

    [In regards to having a joint meeting of DR heads], this is very quickly becoming the next logical step in this discussion. Though the Abashiri group keeps introducing important pieces of information (from their perspective) that were previously overlooked in the numerous threads and on their web page, it is time to have some interaction.

    I'm doing a little research on my own right now, and am eagerly waiting some kind of response from Kondo Sensei's group (even if it is that he is uninterested in making a statement or addressing the issue).

    Ideally, there should be a meeting held with the two Takeda sisters, Takeda Hitoshi, the three heads of the Abashiri dojo, Kondo Sensei and a neutral party to document the events. Paperwork should be brought, and viewpoints should be expressed.

    Mr. Pranin, do you have any interest in interviewing all or any of the Abashiri group, if nothing else just to get a clear record of their claim (sometimes positions change over the years)? I can guess why they were not approached before, but now that it has become a pretty public issue it would not hurt to at least have a record of it. All they could boast is that they were interviewed, and there may be an opportunity to get first hand testimonies and photos of evidence. The interview could just be published on the BBS if preferred.

    Also, a formal interview/testimony from them might encourage Kondo Sensei to offer a counter statement. They are making some serious implications about Kondo Sensei's credentials and experience.

    Kind of off topic, I had an interesting thought. It seems to me that if the most skilled exponents of a tradition were to be found at a given dojo claiming to be it's Honbu, that branches that had previously been independant might *want* (benefit) to be under their direction. However, if the exponents of said tradition were not of a superior technical level, other branches would surely suffer as a result of affiliation (unless it was a mutual, democratic structure, which it wouldn't be), as would the art as a whole. Currently, authentic Daito ryu can be found at the mainline, as well as three other major branches that trace directly to Takeda Sokaku - especially considering the variety of techniques that were taught to different individuals.

    I'm not trying to say anything about this group specifically, but just kind of thinking out loud.

    Regards,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Their Sequence of Events"

    Discussion of a revealing post made by Mr. Kobayashi on July 3rd, 2000 in the thread titled "Hon Mokuroku":

    Posted by Doug Walker, 07-03-2000:

    This was posted by Mr. Kobayashi and seems to be the clearest statement yet by his group (still without independent documentation) of the sequence of events regarding their dispute with Mr. Kondo:

    ==========================================================================================
    : I was also wondering when (during what time period) was the Seishin organized with regard
    to the Soke Takeda's death.


    I am not sure about this.

    I have enquired with Kato Sensei, but to be sure you should enquire directly with the Seishinkai as
    Kato Sensei was recalling without documentation under hand.

    What I have gathered is:

    When the Soke became ill, and could no longer teach, HE (the Soke) asked personally for
    Kato Shigemitsu Sensei to direct lessons in the Daitokan as he was the Kangicho of the School.

    A few months before that, Munemitsu Takeda (brother of the Soke) had unilaterally claimed
    the position to represent the School. The 2 daughters had been appointed as successors,
    but were fighting over who should retain the Daitokan and who should retain other
    properties.

    Another relative began to lay claims on succession.

    More rumours began to spread about documents being falsified by one student.

    Suzuki Shimpachi had just died. He was the most senior student of the Soke.

    All this added up to the point that 66 senior students decided to swear to respect the
    succession will of the Soke and to protect the mainline waza. They did this in the
    Soke's house, to his presence, in April or Marc (he is not sure) 1991. He remembers
    that a few of the Soke's good friends (amongst whom one lady who is a personal
    acquaintance of the Emperor) were present. They later became known as the Seishin
    students. (Pure hearted students). They continued to train under Kato Sensei and
    Sano Sensei in the Daitokan.

    They disliked all positions:

    Mr. Kondo who was trying to succed to the Soke, Mr. Takeda Munemitsu who unilaterally
    decalred himself Soke, an other relative also laid the same claims, and the 2
    daughters of the Soke continued to quarrel over monetary matters and succession issues
    (land property etc).

    Meanwhile, they continued to train in the Daitokan under Kato Sensei and Sano Sensei. At
    one point later that Year, (in November? Kato sensei does not remember)
    Mr. Kondo and Mrs. Yokoyama suggested that Mr. Kato and Mr. Sano should not
    teach in the Daitokan when the Soke was not present.

    Please remember that they were not in good terms with each other and that by now the
    Soke was too ill to decide, further Mrs. Yokoyama N. was the appointed successor,
    and thus they all abided by such request.

    So these students (almost everyone else had joined the group that was the body of
    the Daitokan dojo) built a new dojo near the Abashiri port and continued to train there
    under Kato sensei and Sano Sensei.

    They formally exited the Daitokan dojo alltogether (practically the whole class less 7 students
    - one was Mr. Kondo) in December 1991 and entered the new dojo in that same date
    and continued to train under the School rule under the direction of Kato Sensei.

    Kato sensei also offered in the hands of both sisters his position of kangicho of daito-ryu
    Aikibudo to help them settle their issues.

    In 1993 the Soke died.

    The Seishin group were asked to return to the Daitokan by Oshima Kyoko, which
    they did. Only 11 months after exiting it formally they re-enterd it.

    Kato Sensei again directed lessons.

    In 1994, Yokoyama Nobuko resigned her position, and these students accepted Mrs.
    Oshima Kyoko as the successor to the Soke. Kondo at this point called for a meeting that
    was not recognised by the headmaster. the Meeting was attended by
    few students and appointed himself or was elected (sic! ELECTED!) as interim director of
    the Honbu. This meeting vas naturally void and any decision nul.

    The Honbu was STILL functioning in Abashiri (the Daitokan.)

    This created some discussion, as Mr. Kondo required the dojo to be closed.

    Also the fire inspectors requested it.
    The dojo was closed in 1994, december.
    It was opened in different occasions and training went on untill last year in the Daitokan
    with alternate luck, as the fire inspectors never fully accpeted the restoration works
    made.

    Over a period of 6 years for at least 38 months the Daitokan was not usable.
    An other dojo
    was temporarily used nearby. Today the Daitokan is, again temporarily closed.

    ---------
    : Mr. Pranin has produced copies of the resignations of the current directors of
    the school from the Daitokan. After those ocurred, did the practice of Daito Ryu cease
    being held at the Daitokan?


    I have never seen such document.

    If you refer to Kato Sensei I have just asked him again: he confirms that he NEVER resigned
    from the School.

    But teaching did continue some time after that period in the Daitokan, with alternate times
    of opening and closure.

    ==========================================================================================

    Stan,

    Except for the difference of opinion as to the selection of Kondo as Honbucho and the denial of resignation, does this fit with your understanding of the flow of events?

    -Doug

    **

    Posted by Stanley Pranin, 07-03-2000:

    Doug,

    I think the general outline provided if you discount the value judgements made reflects what happened. My knowledge does not extend to this level of detail. I will try to have Kondo Sensei comment on the various points raised.

    Thanks for all your efforts!

    Stanley Pranin

    **

    Posted by Nathan Scott, 07-11-2000:

    Interestingly, this uncharacteristic flow of clear perspective stated above (conveniently after having provided proof of resignation) has disappeared off of their BBS, as near as I can tell.

    I"m glad Mr. Walker reposted it here, because I had not made a copy of it yet.

    I sure wish this information would have been provided a week or two ago...

    Regards,

    ------------------
    Nathan Scott
    Last edited by Nathan Scott; 4th November 2003 at 01:16.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Questions to be posed to Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei"

    See the thread "Statement by Kondo" for quote.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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    Default From the AJ thread "Kondo Sensei answers questions posed by bulletin board members!"

    See the thread "Statement by Kondo" for quote.
    Nathan Scott
    Nichigetsukai

    "Put strength into your practice, and avoid conceit. It is easy enough to understand a strategy and guard against it after the matter has already been settled, but the reason an opponent becomes defeated is because they didn't learn of it ahead of time. This is the nature of secret matters. That which is kept hidden is what we call the Flower."

    - Zeami Motokiyo, 1418 (Fūshikaden)

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