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I won't answer for classical, as it's a matter of personal opinion. Personally, I'd consider "canonical" just the two books written by O'Sensei: Budo Renshu: a book of aikido drawings illustrated by Morihei Ueshiba himself Budo Teachings of the Founder of Aikido (mainly photographs) (note: one listed author is Kisshomaru, but the content is most ...
"Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere" by Westbrook and Ratti and for Yoshinkan style "Total Aikido" by Gozo Shioda
If you had some training in classical jujitsu, then Hatsumi's book will work out just fine for you. He takes the hanbo / jo staff (3 or 4 foot staff) techniques entirely from the classical jujitsu arts that are contained under the umbrella of Bujinkan. You'll find a lot of overlap and similarity with what you already know from jujitsu regarding the footwork, ...
A process cannot be understood by stopping it. Understanding must move with the flow of the process, must join it and flow with it. -- Dune, Frank Herbert I do not know of any books that do this, but you are better off watching Youtube videos, like this one, which describes heaven and earth. You're better off looking for 'heaven six' first, though. The key ...
Good foundations for Shodokan Aikido: Tetsuro Nariyama's Aikido Randori is the top one. Scott Allbright's Aikido and Randori is a close second.
Aikido Shugyo is also an excellent resource, containing both lots of anecdotes about Ueshiba Sensei as well as deep and well-explained insights from Gozo Shioda Sensei. And don't let the fact that it's writtem by the founder of Yoshinkan distract you -- there's not really anything specific to Yoshinkan in there.
Once I read a book about the Life of Morihei Ueshiba (though I don't remember the exact book's name...). I never thought of it as of a "canonical book", but if something is, it is this book - for me. I'd definitely take a look at The Secret Teachings of Aikido.
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