Morihei Ueshiba is widely recognized as the founder of aikido, a modern Japanese martial art with a strong spiritual emphasis. What is known only to a few, however, are the contributions of Ueshiba's nephew, Noriaki Inoue, to the development of the precursor of aikido called "Aiki Budo."
Noriaki Inoue was raised in the Ueshiba home in Tanabe in the early part of the 1900s. He was with Morihei when his uncle studied Daito-ryu Jujutsu in Hokkaido under Sokaku Takeda. Inoue also became a devout member of the Omoto sect having extensive personal contact with Onisaburo Deguchi, and developed a deep spiritual understanding paralleling that of Morihei. When Morihei taught his budo in Tokyo and Osaka during the 1920s and 30s, Inoue served as his senior assistant playing a pivotal role in the creation of Aiki Budo.
This DVD is thus a breakthrough product consisting of never-before-seen footage of Noriaki Inoue during his prime. Technically speaking, these films provide a glimpse of what prewar aikido looked like. The astute viewer will note that the hundreds of techniques shown share a great deal in common with the Iwama Aikido of Morihiro Saito. The technical richness and martial spirit of the art demonstrated by Noriaki Inoue will prove inspiring to aikido practitioners of all styles.
Inoue’s bearing and technique reveals an uncanny resemblance to his uncle Morihei. His movements are extremely fluid, precise and punctuated by bursts of power.
The role of Noriaki Inoue has long been minimized in the annals of aikido history despite his long-term collaboration and support of his famous uncle, Morihei Ueshiba. We are of the firm belief that a viewing of the material contained in this DVD will go a long way toward kindling a new-found appreciation for one of aikido’s forgotten pioneers.
Documentary: Noriaki Inoue: Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer
8mm Historical films taken between 1972 and 1976
Inoue speech on Shin’ei Taido
A practice with Noriaki Inoue, Tokyo 1988
To learn more about the relationship between Inoue and Ueshiba, you can check out the article on the Aikido Journal website called Yoichiro Inoue: Aikido’s Forgotten Pioneer by Stanley Pranin.