original title: the book of judo - english version: the art of peace
Published as Le Livre du Judo in French (Paris, 1952)
What Ohsawa basically discusses in this book is not the techniques of judo or aikido, although he began by writing on the founders of both arts.
The foundation of judo is the macrobiotic way of diet, a diet like that of Jesus. Macrobiotics provides the key to solving all food problems which are, in fact, the very root of international conflicts. This holds true whether they are problems of territorial dispute or whether they occur within commercial food companies. Because macrobiotics preserves a brilliant state of health without the need for expensive and heavy animal protein, it may help to solve many socio-medical, economic, political, and philosophical problems.
Judo is not a sport. It is neither an art of attack nor an art of defense. It is not a way of knocking someone down with superior force such as wrestling or boxing. It is not a means of attack and defense with weapons. Judo does not compete for superiority of weight, muscle, or technique such as is the case with skiing, swimming, or diving. Fish and birds are far superior to human beings in these abilities. Judo is a method through which each individual can use his or her freedom to develop a happy life. Judo teaches us how to live in this world.
There are many precious books which have been written by saints and wise people with the purpose of instructing us in solving the riddle of true freedom, peace, and happiness and how to attain them. There are also endless declarations and sermons on independence, brotherhood, love and God. Nevertheless, no one in history even up to this present day, in any country whatsoever, has seen or lived a totally complete and happy life.
Let me here interject a small episode: At the beginning of World War ll, there was one day, among the sick persons who came to see me, an invalid (tubercular and nephritic) named Keibu Hakozaki, 42 years of age, who had been bedridden for two years. He was a teacher of fencing (kendo) and held the grade of seventh dan. He was at the point of retiring completely from teaching due to his illness.
In two months he was cured by my macrobiotic dietetic directions, which cost him nothing. He put aside all medicines and treatments and only ate some grains and certain vegetables. In fact, this diet relieved him a great deal financially as well. Some months later, he appeared at the Butoku-kai (fencing dojo in Tokyo) where he had taught. Upon invitation, he sparred with one of his seniors (senpai) of the eighth dan. The later was amazed at the great progress his colleague had made during his two years in bed. How was this possible? It was actually a very simple matter. Due to his rejuvenated adaptability, he had become lighter and more rapid and sharp in his movement. Some months later he was promoted to eight dan. This is one of hundreds of miraculous cures.
For the past several thousand years, the principle of yin and yang has been the foundation of philosophy, the various sciences and arts, as well as the daily life of the people in China, Korea, and Japan.
I have done my best to translate it into a modern, international, and universal language. In the process of this attempt, I have completed over two hundred books and have applied this principle practically, as nutritional theory, to the food problem, the number one problem shared by all countries internationally. I have practiced it as macrobiotics and have actualized it among more than 150,000 sick and unhappy people in my clinics, sanatoriums, correspondence courses, and my health institute, all of which are my dojo of the unifying principle. (1)
1. The Art of Peace - George Ohsawa - English Translation 1990
©Copyright George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation - G.O.M.F