I went looking for information about the Daikomyosai on Joji Ohashi’s website and came across some links to an incredible series of interviews with Hatsumi-sensei on Memoro, a Japanese oral history website. It is unfortunate that these interviews are all in Japanese because some of the things that Hatsumi-sensei is discussing are quite personal in nature and deserve a broader audience.
For example, in the first of the series, when asked about what drew him to martial arts, Hatsumi-sensei reflects on the fact that his father used to get violent around the home, and that out of necessity, Hatsumi-sensei had to learn to take away any objects that his father might be swinging about and to be able to “put him to sleep.” Wow! That is not normally what one talks about on camera to be shown to the world…and preserved for prosperity. I am certain that if the same interviews had happened thirty years ago, the quality of the answers would have been vastly different.
It is clear that Hatsumi-sensei took this interview very seriously. Hatsumi-sensei is reflecting on the lessons of his rich life; the honesty of his answers is humbling. I hope that someone has time to provide a more detailed translation at some point in the future.
Here are the various videos:
Part 1: Being Drawn to Martial Arts
Part 2: Meeting Takamatsu-sensei
Part 3: Spreading Martial Arts Globally
Part 4: Lessons for the Next Generation
Part 5: Budo and Art
Part 6: Thoughts on the War
Part 7: Martial Arts and Animals