In 1962 Yonekawa was awarded the 8th dan by Ueshiba. Yonekawa, however, was already engaged in agriculture in the post-war years and lived in the city of Tsuchiura, not far from Iwama.
“I think the photos in the Noma dojo were taken because Hisashi Noma, the only son of Seiji Noma, suggested a photograph to Ueshiba sensei in order to preserve his techniques for the future. Ueshiba sensei would not suggest such a thing on his own.”
“These photos were not taken every day, but in a series of intense gatherings. Even today, I’m not sure why it was taken then. This archive from the Noma dojo was photographed in 1936 and covered a wide range of techniques, from suwariwaza to advanced techniques, including variations.”
“I think the techniques have changed significantly since then (this interview was published in 1979). Ueshiba sensei was in a good mood at the time of the shooting. In such a mood, he was willing to show us a lot of variations. He was incredibly talented. He was able to do the techniques completely spontaneously.”
“In these photos, he looks really spectacular. It was not photographed continuously, but each shot separately. We planned to do a complete series from suwariwaza through hanmi-handachi, tachiwaza, ushirowaza to several attackers at once, but for some reason we had to interrupt it before we could finish everything.”