Art Of Peace (Book of Judo)

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Author: George Ohsawa
Pub: 1990
Pages: 157
Out of Print


The only reason this book is even being reviewed, is that someone might mistake this book (based on the title) to be about Judo. As you can see on the front cover of the book, it states that it is a new translation of 'The Book Of Judo'. Perhaps the only worth of this book is the unintended humor that comes up from time to time... for example:

"Of course, in the Land of the Rising Sun there were also battles from time to time. Yet these cannot be compared with the wars of the West. The battles of early Japan were examples of great courage, decorum, and manners, even elegance and refinement...."

For anyone familiar with the historical reasons behind WWII, this quote will be quite funny as well:

The two atomic bombs dropped on the cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshiima tragically killed 313,884 innocent souls. They were dead where they stood. This must have cost the United States a great deal of money. If they had been a little wiser they would have avoided the loss. They had only to give, in order to help the poverty of Japan, a thousandth of the sum of money that was spent on the war. They had only to permit some Japanese peasants and workers to emigrate into South American countries, as they very much wanted to do."

I don't think very much of this book at all, and I only include a review of it so you don't have to make the mistake I did!

Table of Contents

 Publisher's Note                                 1 
 Preface                                          7 
 Introduction                                    11 
 1. A Tiny Pebble                                21 
 2. Unifying East and West                       28 
 3. Seeds of Conflict                            36 
 4. Judo and the Unique Principle                48 
 5. Jigoro Kano, Founder of Kodokan Judo         59 
 6. Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido           73 
 7. The Order of the Universe                    81 
 8. The Compass of Happiness                     89 
 9. From Health to Peace                        100 
10. The Eternal Peace of Jesus                  113 
11. World Government of the People              124 
12. A World in Peace and Freedom                135 
Afterword                                       143 
The Order of the Universe as Logical Principles 146 
Notes                                           147 
Glossary                                        154 
About the Author                                157


Publisher's Note
I am very happy this book has finally been translated into English and published, about 40 years after George Ohsawa lectured on this just after World War II.

The original title of this book was The Book of Judo. For its first English version we have changed the title to The Art of Peace, because the real aim of all the martial ways, including judo and aikido, is maintaining peace. What Ohsawa basically discusses in this book is not the techniques of judo or aikido, although he began by writing on the founders of arts. What Ohsawa wants to discuss here is the cause or causes of war and how to realize peace on earth. Why did he want to relate judo and aikido with the establishment of world peace?

In order to explain this, I have to tell you a little about the background of this book. Around 1950, five years after the end of the war, I was going to Ohsawa's school, Maison Ignoramus, in Tokyo to study macrobiotics. One morning Ohsawa gave a lecture based on his new book, Le Livre du Judo. Having lost the war, Japan had lost everything - industries and businesses as well as its way of life and beliefs: the meaning of life, home, and nation which the Japanese people were so proud of. As a result, confusion prevailed. People didn't know what to do except obtain foods through the black market or earn money by selling military goods on the black market.

In those confused times, Ohsawa taught macrobiotics at his center. One day he met the renowned aikido master Morihei Ueshiba at his dojo because, by coincidence, Ueshiba's dojo was located very close to Ohsawa's school. Ohsawa highly admired Master Ueshiba and recommended that everybody learn aikido because the principle of aikido is not fighting but rather turning the enemy into a friend. This was also Ohsawa's principle. For this mason many Japanese macrobiotic followers became aikido disciples, especially among those who went to live in Europe. One of these was Seigo Yamaguchi, head instructor at the Aikido Dojo in Shinjuku, Tokyo. He was the first of Ohsawa's students living at the center to begin studying aikido. William Gleason, who translated this book, is an American disciple of Seigo Yamaguchi. Ohsawa understood the spirit of aikido from Master Ueshiba - the concept of changing an enemy to a friend. This understanding and his meeting Ueshiba must be what inspired Ohsawa to write this book.

Ohsawa also wanted to explain the Far Eastern "primitive mentality" at a time when Japan was rebuilding its culture and economy, and he did so in this book. World Federalism was very common even in Japan, and Ohsawa was considered one of its leaders. World Federalism was of course aiming to establish world peace, and Ohsawa's version was based on macrobiotic spiritual and dietary principles In reality, he united himself with the movement so that he could easily distribute macrobiotic ideas to the people of Japan, who, more than anyone, wanted peace in the world. The Book of Judo was written under such circumstances.

"Judo is, above all, a cooperative activity where those who are opposed to each other are united by the common goal of polishing themselves as well as bringing each other to perfection through actual training," wrote Ohsawa. "Neither peace nor freedom can be established by the elimination of the other side."

Since that time nearly 40 years have passed. The world has experienced great peace, but it was not real peace. It was a peace protected by atomic bombs and nuclear weapons. It was a peace controlled by a winner's tyranny. Such exclusive one-person governments started to fall last year in Europe when many countries turned towards democratic governments. This is the first step to world peace. Ohsawa's The Art of Peace is a guiding light showing the causes of war and the way to establish true peace, spiritually and physically, starting from the individual. At a time when the world is showing signs of establishing the unification of opposites, in other words, turning towards peace, I highly recommend reading this book. I think this is one of Ohsawa's greatest books. He prepared well for the topics he selected.

We chose Mr. Gleason as the translator because he stayed in Japan for several years studying aikido and macrobiotics and is now a fifth degree black belt teaching in Boston. He translated from the Japanese text with the help of his wife Hisako, a Japanese macrobiotic student. I appreciate their work very much. I would also like to thank Sandy Rothman for his thorough editing, Carl Ferre for text design and production, and Carl Campbell for designing the beautiful cover.

Herman Aihara
President, George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation
April 1990


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