The above sentence has been attributed to O'Sensei and I'd like to use it as a motto for my dojo's website.

Problem: I can't find a reliable source about when/where he said this. Or a proper Japanese version of the original sentence, either.

I have tried to cobble together a Japanese version first, hoping to be able to google for it and see if I can get something from Japanese sites... no success so far.

Can someone please point me to a credible source, and possibly to the correct japanese quote used by Ueshiba?

2 Answers 2


Sounds like a quote from Kisshomaru Ueshiba in "The Spirit of Aikido" (合氣道のこころ). I don't have the English version to compare, but in the Japanese version it's the first line of the first chapter:


Kisshomaru expressed the same sentiment many times - his father may have as well, but I don't recall off hand. Morihei more often talked about things like "true" Budo.

  • Does anyone have the direct translation of that Japanese quote? Would be good to edit that into this accepted answer. Commented Dec 20, 2012 at 15:33
  • 2
    It's not something you can directly translate one way. Japanese is ideogrammatic - Literally it would be something like "Harmony Energy Way (Subject), said but wasn't original nature is warrior way was to be." A less literal way to translate is "It goes without saying The Way of Peace is essentially the way of the Warrior."
    – stslavik
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 18:42

I haven't been able to find a reference to that direct quote. There are a number of things that mean the same thing. O'Sensei appears to have spoken often about being on a quest to find the perfect Budo, and that Aikido (or Aiki Budo) is the result of that search.

The closest quote I've found is:

"On reflection, Aikido can be seen as the root source of Japanese Budo." O'Sensei Memoirs, pg 18

I found several quotes which speak to that idea but are not as short.

“True budo is a work of love...Aikido is the realization of love.” ref

"“Understand Aikido first as budo and then as the way of service to construct the World Family." ref

Here's a Q/A session with O'Sensei about True Budo

First I learned Tenshinyo-ryu Jujitsu from Tozawa Tokusaburo Sensei, then Kito-ryu, Yagyu Ryu, Aioi-ryu, Shinkage-ryu, all of them Jujitsu forms. However, I thought there might be a true form of Budo elsewhere. I tried Hozoin-ryu Sojitsu and Kendo. But all of these arts are concerned with one-to-one combat forms and they could not satisfy me. So I visited many parts of the country seeking the Way and training. . . but all in vain.

A: Is that the ascetic training of the warrior?

O Sensei: Yes, the search for the true Budo. When I used to go to other schools I would never challenge the Sensei of the dojo. An individual in charge of a dojo is burdened with many things, so it is very hard for him to display his true ability. I would pay him the proper respects and learn from him. If I judged myself superior, I would again pay him my respects and return home.

B: When did Aikido come into being?

O Sensei: As I said before, I went to many places seeking the true Budo... Then, when I was about 30 years old, I settled in Hokkaido. On one occasion, while staying at Hisada Inn in Engaru, Kitami Province, I met a certain Takeda Sokaku Sensei of the Aizu clan. He taught Daito-ryu Jujitsu. During the 30 days in which I learned from him I felt something like an inspiration. Later, I invited this teacher to my home and together with 15 or 16 of my employees became a student seeking the essence of Budo. ref

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