Encore of Shikon – Hachi Riki


Hello again, you wonderful avid Trueaiki.com readers!

Shikon – Hachi Riki has been very well received.  Scott Burke lives in Japan and is a tremendous resource for finding “lost treasures.”  Many of his finds can be had via Chris Li’s http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/

This morning I awoke to Scott sharing even more treasures and so I will make them available to you!

In my blog, I didn’t want to get too carried away with esoterica, rather I hoped to link some of the esoterica back to practical application and understanding.  Ueshiba didn’t differentiate between the two.  For him, his existential views were direct expressions of both esoterica and pragmatism.  Unfortunately, this approach has been bifurcated into mostly “pragmatics” (The schools of I don’t know and I don’t care what all the Kami stuff meant.) and into mostly “esoterica” (The schools of ideological/theoretical focus somehow amalgamated to body movement stuff.)  Once again, for Ueshiba, it is clear that his understanding and explanations were at once very technically specific (without focusing on techniques) and equally very specific to his existential views.  They were micro cosmic/macro cosmic, without the flowers, tie dying, and patchouli oil (remember his far right wing close associations.)

Any who, here is some related stuff for those that like that sort of thing (That would be me obviously by the way.  But knowing a bunch of “stuff” very likely will not get us one bit closer to Aiki.)  I am presenting “lightly” so know that the rabbit hole goes WAY deeper than presented here:

Most of the following (the old stuff) comes from Mizuho no Tsutae Fire and Water Volume, from something like 1834.

The picture shows the Futomani no Mitama.  It should look familiar in progression.


The Futomani is the summation of the 50 kotodama sounds.  The progression of genesis goes something like this:


Above is a Nakazono representation of the genesis sequence.  There are other versions, but  you get the idea.  Above the U there is often a blank circle representing Wu/Mu.  So U is Ichi Rei, Wa – A are Ni Ki, San Gen are the combination of Ichi Rei and Ni Ki (Ni Ki are Ni Ki, Jin is the equivalent of Ichi Rei in the Micro Version which is why humans should align themselves with Ichi Rei.) Shi Son are Wo, We, E, and O, Hachi Riki are shown below that, and the 16 come from those combined with WI and I.  Note the mirroring of the graphic form.

Let’s see. . . also in the Ueshiba pic you may notice that there is an I and a Ki by the circle and square figures.  I and Ki have an In/Yo relationship in Kotodama theory.  Iki means breath so Kotodama word play lets us know that Iki breath is Kokyu breath.  So Kokyu Ryoku (Breath Power) is Yin/Yang Power.  See Koyku ryoku can refer to pneumatic pressure, AND to Yin/Yang.  AND breath involves inhalation and exhalation which are co dependent and mutually arising . . . See why I didn’t want to get into that?  And that is just the very teeny tiny tip of the iceberg!

I’ve showed the transformation below to the guys in my Dojo, but thought (again) that it would distract from the main topic of my blog post:

base-set-5 See how clever we can be?  The futomani depicted is turned into a chrysanthemum which only goes to show that the structure of the universe is synonymous   with the Imperial Way!  In fact, that is the meaning of the Kobukan!

But this stuff goes back a bit farther than that. . .

Below we see the diagrams also contain the Iroha poem which Kobodaishi the founder of Shingon Mikkyo supposedly created.


The Iroha poem rocks BTW, you should look it up!  Kobodaishi is credited with creating the kana syllabary, which was often taught via the Iroha poem.  But wait. . .

Back in the day the Iroha poem was also written in Man Yogana.  I think that is what is happening below:

base-set-3 The topic of Manji relating to all of this (which it does through Buddhism) came up too.  Manji can map out all of this as well.

But how many diagrams do you need anyway!?!

I’m going to save that for a more Shingon Mikkyo centered blog post. . . later.

Again a BIG thanks to Scott Burke, and if you haven’t already given Chris Li’s blog a look see, what are you waiting for?

He isn’t anywhere near as lazy as I am about his scholarship.  Most of my stuff I’m pulling from the back cob webbed resources of my memory and on those few occasions when I have to get up and crack a book, I feel myself hard pressed and definitely deserving of another glass of inspiration!!

Haciendo un bis de Shikon – Hachi Riki
¡Hola otra vez maravillosos lectores ansiosos de trueaiki.com!
Shikon – Hachi Riki ha tenido muy buena acogida. Scott Burke vive en Japón y es una tremenda fuente para encontrar “tesoros perdidos”. Muchos de sus hallazgos se pueden encontrar en la web de Chris Li’s http://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog/
Esta mañana me desperté con Scott compartiendo incluso más tesoros, ¡así que tenía que ponerlos a vuestra disposición!
En mi blog no quiero entrar demasiado en lo esotérico, en vez de eso espero poder conectar algo de lo esotérico con el entendimiento y aplicación práctica. Ueshiba no hacía diferencia entre ambas cosas. Para él, sus puntos de vista existenciales eran expresiones directas tanto de lo pragmático como de lo esotérico. Desafortunadamente esta aproximación se ha bifurcado en ser principalmente “pragmáticos” (Las escuelas que no saben y no les importa el significado de todas estas cosas de los Kami) o principalmente “esotéricos” (las escuelas de enfoque ideológico o teórico relacionado de alguna manera con el movimiento corporal). Nuevamente, para Ueshiba estaba claro que su entendimiento y explicaciones era al mismo tiempo técnicamente muy específicos (pero sin enfocarse en técnicas) e igualmente muy específicos para sus creencias. Eran microcósmicos-macrocósmicos, pero sin las flores hippies, las camisetas de colorines o el aceite de pachuli (recordemos sus vínculos con la extrema derecha japonesa)
De cualquier manera, aquí hay algunas cosas relacionadas con eso para los que les gusten ese tipo de cosas (Obviamente yo soy uno de ellos, pero conocer el “rollo” probablemente no nos acercará al Aiki). Voy a presentarlo “ligeramente” para que veáis que el asunto tiene mucha más miga de lo que pongo aquí
La mayoría de lo que viene ahora (el material antiguo) viene del Mizuho no Tsutae, el libro del Fuego y el Agua, aproximadamente de 1834.
La imagen muestra Futomani no Mitama. La progresión debería resultar familiar.


8 thoughts on “Encore of Shikon – Hachi Riki

    1. Yes. I think that that explains why much of the knowledge was not passed on. One needed several things in place for complete comprehension. 1) Understanding of the root phenomenological theory being referred to. 2) Understanding of the metaphors and allegory to the degree that one could equate the metaphor and allegory as references to the phenomenological theory. 3) Understand that that was being done so as to not mistake the original context of the metaphors and allegory for the intended message. And finally, 4) Have direct instruction such that one experience the phenomena being theorized about.

      It is a tall order!

      Happily my teacher’s family came from a historical background of Tendai Mikkyo and Shugendo. Then the same family became Omoto Kyo followers and also friends with Admiral Takeshita. He was a talented martial artist and it was arranged that he become an uchi-deshi of Ueshiba Morihei. Due do their mutual Omotokyo ties Shirata sensei would accompany Ueshiba as he taught the Omoto members. For example the Senyokai. He would here the lectures and explanations given to others that spoke the same “language.” Shirata trained in Tokyo, in the various military establishments and trained and taught in Osaka.

      Consequently, he had the several things in place needed for complete comprehension.

      I was lucky to have the opportunity to learn from him. I also had the good fortune to study and train in Shingon Mikkyo, other related fields, and to meet and learn things that are even rare for most Japanese.

      Meeting Dan Harden was pivotal for me. He provided just the missing piece of the puzzle that has allowed me to understand much further all that I was taught. And of course I continue to learn. We live in an age of incredible opportunity. The amount of information available and the ability to share it is staggering compared to just a couple of decades ago.

      The opportunity to learn and the depth of teaching available is unprecedented for those willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve their goals. After over forty years of training I find myself often giddy with excitement over what I am doing today and what the future promises.

      The Aiki path is bright! It is a gift to be able to share and grow along with others on the Way!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Fred,

      Yeah, the stuff is all over the place. Did you notice that the square diagrams above are filled with “square,” solid characters and that the round diagrams above are filled with “round,” flowing characters? So they are different, but the same. Two sides of the same coin (or poem.) Also, did you know that initially women used kana (the flowing characters) and men used the kanji (Chinese block characters)?

      It really is seemingly endless.

      Did you know that in Shingon there are two main mandala reflecting the unification of two streams of Mikkyo by Kobodashi? And did you know that one mandala has a square (magic square) orientation and that the other one is round in orientation and that together they symbolize the Universe? (Uni = One, Verse = Word)

      This is what I meant when I talked about Ueshiba (and others) usually had at least three layers of meaning when they spoke. And, as we know, many . . . maybe most, had a hard time even understanding one layer. It is too bad. Such communication really requires a master of the material being spoken of. That is why they did it I suppose. It was kind of an “insiders” club. Those that could “hang” with those “in the know” would understand and those that couldn’t, wouldn’t!

      Here is a thought: If this much (and there is a lot more) information could be communicated in a mere phrase, or design. Couldn’t the same be true for a gesture? Indeed it can! In mikkyo this is called the San Mitsu or three secrets. And the San Mitsu are the delivery mechanism of Shingon mikkyo. Given that this is true and that Takeda and Ueshiba both knew that this is true, what do you think that implies for their teaching?



  1. Hi Allen,

    In linguistic theory there is the notion that language shapes thinking.

    If you cannot express a concept, you cannot think a concept.

    There is evidence that this is true in that certain tribes who who do not have a word for a certain colour cannot see this colour. Language not only structures the brain, it limits the brain.

    If certain people used specific verbal, written and non verbal language (gestures) this would structure their perception of the universe.

    The problem of course is if you can see blue and the people you are talking with do not have a concept for blue, you can talk until you are blue in the face but they will never get it,

    See also :



    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was reflecting on this on the way to work.

    In transparent power Sagawa sensei is quoted as saying he discovered AIKI doing kokyo ho when he was 18.

    Once he could put a name and physical concept to AIKI, he could then develop it far beyond his initial concept.

    Thus without the word, the physical concept is useless, and you have to experience the concept to know how to apply the word.


    Liked by 1 person

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