Archive Video: Morihei Ueshiba and André Nocquet in the Old Hombu Dojo
I recently had access to some long lost reels that were bought back from Japan by André Nocquet, 8th dan, the first foreign uchi deshi of Morihei Ueshiba at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo. These reels show practice and life in Japan in the mid-50’s and many parts had never been published before.
Practice at the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo (c. 1957)
This video was shot at the old Aikikai Hombu Dojo around 1956-1957, a wooden building that occupied the space which is now the house of the Ueshiba family. The practitioners can be seen throwing each other with enthusiasm under the watchful eye of Second Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru. Tamura Nobuyoshi Sensei and André Nocquet, who were both uchi deshi under the founder of Aikido at the time are also training with each other. In the third part, it is none other than O Sensei Ueshiba Morihei who can be seen performing his amazing techniques on the deshi of the dojo.
André Nocquet practicing with Tamura Nobuyoshi at the Aikikai under the direction of Ueshiba Morihei
Social gathering with O Sensei and Ueshiba Kisshomaru (c. 1957)
The founder of Aikido Ueshiba Morihei is seen taking a walk with his son, the second Doshu Ueshiba Kisshomaru, André Nocquet, and a number of unidentified persons. This is one of the rare remaining documents of the founder when he is taking part to social gatherings outside of the tatami. I initially did not know the location but when I later showed these videos to Tada Hiroshi Shihan, he told me that they had been shot in the garden of the Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, which a large complex built in the 19th century and located in Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. Tada Shihan also told me that the woman on the right of O Sensei at 2:10 was Sunadomari Fukiko, the elder sister of Sunadomari Kanshu, and a close personal confidante of the founder until his death. She was also a high ranking practitioner of aikido.
André Nocquet with Ueshiba Morihei and Ueshiba Kisshomaru in Tokyo