Jean's Reviews > The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba

The Essence of Aikido by Morihei Ueshiba
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 11, 09

bookshelves: martial-arts
Read in March, 2008

You are always hoping that such a great personnage will leave a trail of crumbs that you might follow to help in your personal evolution. I am happy that I have had the opportunity to have read this book but also disappointed that more was not available on the Kototamas and how he used them in his meditative practice.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Essence of Aikido.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Tameca Hi. I am a beginning Aikido student. What is Kototamas?

Jean Kototamas is Japanese for Sacred sounds of the soul or just sacred sounds. They are in fact mantras that were passed down from earlier generations which helped them achieve a state of Samadhi. O sensei Ueshiba used them in his spiritual ablution practices. I saw a documentary by Nation Geographic on Aikido and they show a Sensei do exactly what I am describing to you. Look it up you might want to check it out. There are three levels to the Martial Arts:
Physical Kime
Mental Kime
Spiritual Kime

The later material discussed above belongs to the last ''Spiritual Kime''

Tameca Thank you for this info! I googled the term and found a little info. Your answer here helps a lot!

Do you know of any good resources? I only found a few old Karate books where Kiai is mentioned.

I will look up those terms. I also just ordered (and have checked out from the library) a Sensei's book.

This is so cool! As I've said, I just started a beginner's series in Aikido to help train me in a different way so that I can stand up to my life. I remember some little tidbit from TaiChi and Qigong about healing sounds. . . . I find it very delighting and exciting that these clues are here, too.

Thank you again!

Jean Kiai is Japanese for energy coming together. Ai Ki Do is the reversal order meaning the coming together of energy.

Your best bet would be to continue in your study of Qigong and start to better understand the notion of the Wu, Shin, Shen, Chi and Li. All are manifestations of energy at different levels.

Taoist teachings will help you get a better understanding of the above and if you want to try another approach you should read about Chakras and Reiki healing.

There are so many good books out there. Let the power of synchronicity guide your search.

Bonne chance,

Tameca Thank you so much! I really appreciate this feedback. Peace and blessings!

Tameca Hey, I was thinking about this string because I am slowly making my way through this book because there is so much to ponder, I think, in the talk about kotadama. In Vedic literature, there is something called "naad" which is a sound we can chase in order to obtain samadhi or enlightenment. I believe that Morihei Ueshiba directly relates how to get there. I don't know if this is helpful to you, but just wanted to post this just in case it would be. I do not believe this is small potatoes. He is relating the qualities of each sound and their effects and I believe, therein relating how they are to be used. The practitioner experiments, perhaps, and perhaps that is why there are no specifics on how he himself used the sounds. Also, the experimentation may have been difficult to track since this is a sort of very powerful meditation!

Tameca Also (!), I just totally found this: Have you read that one yet?

Jean Tameca wrote: "Also (!), I just totally found this: Have you read that one yet?"

Thank you Tameca for sharing this source; I will be looking into it for sure!

I in turn will add the following to your list:

The Source of the Present Civilization (Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono)

This book contains a lot of the material that is outlined in the book review on '' Aikido and words of Power'', which you just sent such as;

amatu -kanagi.... (Physical Plane)

amatu-sugaso....(Mental Plane)

amatu-futonorito...(Metaphysical Plane)

All I can add at this time is this book is very difficult to follow because of the quality of the translation from Japanese to English. However, if you believe in the greater power of the subconscious (Causal Plane) you will more than likely get quite a bit out of it.

I feel that it helped me and look forward to reading the book you have linked me to.

Another book that helps with reading the one I suggested is MM Nakazono's book ''Inochi''.

This book is again a difficult read but in the end perhaps certain insights will come of it. For me it provided an insight into his comprehension of how the three principles mentioned above were formulated. It is kind of different approach to explaining string theory.

All this must sound very convoluted to you and that is exactly what I would like to avoid. There is nothing more frustrating and demotivating than more complexity and ambigueities when you are seeking clear and precise material.

Lao Tzu once said that those who do not know talk about it and those who know don't. This of course does not mean I know anything about it. Like you I read and search and hope that Divine Providence will supply the morsel I need today. That being said thank you again for the morsel left on my doorstep so I may contemplate again my precious Kototamas. Merci beaucoup!!!


Tameca No, way! I don't think any of this sounds convoluted at all! I am super excited that there are these little check-in points that make it very well seem that I am on the right track and that there are guides for the very things I am looking for in the very practices I have taken on. I'm on the right boat, I think! Whoo!

Thank you so much for these resources! I am glad to have helped for you, as well. I am going to nab the resources you have mentioned above, as well. ...and I understand about translations sometimes not jiving, and always hope for the clues, at least. I am more of a big picture kind of person so the clarity and concision at some point, for me, come from that place. Feed the mind and experience and then the connections come. . . .

I don't feel like I know anything but I cannot help myself from seeking. Such a paradox. All of it! :)

Thank you for your response and generousity in offering new resources. I really appreciate it and hope that you have a magnificent day!

Tameca Further note: There seems to be a Kotatama Institute.

back to top