The Life and Teachings of Nakamura Tempu-A Mind-Body Integration Pioneer
For the first time in English, Stephen Earle tells the epic story of Nakamura Tempu, one of Japan’s most inspirational twentieth-century thinkers and teachers, whose mind-body approach to personal transformation influenced hundreds of thousands, including prominent leaders in government, industry, and the arts. Earle chronicles Tempu’s origins in the samurai tradition, his genius for martial arts, and his work in Manchuria as a spy during the Russo-Japan War of 1904–1905. He relates how, after escaping a Russian firing squad, Tempu contracted tuberculosis; how he embarked on a search for a cure that led to the halls of Columbia University, the salons of Paris, and the foothills of the Himalayas, where he practiced yoga under the tutelage of an Indian guru; and how he not only regained his health but also underwent a spiritual transformation. This transformation laid the groundwork for the secular and practical methodology for self-realization and the cultivation of will that Tempu developed and disseminated to the sick and socially disenfranchised, as well as to princes and prime ministers. Over the course of nine decades, Tempu’s philosophy of mind-body unification has charted a clear and accessible path to mastery over hardship and the ability to meet life’s challenges head-on. Yet, the man, his story, his teachings, and his legacy remain almost unknown outside of Japan—until now. In addition to demonstrating how Tempu’s teachings were significant to Japan’s reconstruction and economic rise following the devastation of World War II, Heaven’s Wind is also an engaging historical narrative, an account of personal transformation, and a clear guide to the practical philosophy of mind-body unity.
About the Author
Stephen Earle has been a student of Japanese language and East Asian culture and history for almost fifty years. He lived and worked in Japan continuously for sixteen years during the 1970s and ‘80s and has visited frequently since. He has also lived and worked in China and Singapore and travelled extensively in East, Southeast, and South Asia. He estimates he has crossed the Pacific Ocean more than 250 times.
Following a forty-year career in international business, during which he served in executive capacities and on the boards of several Japanese and U.S. corporations, Earle retired in 2015 to write. Heaven’s Wind is his second book. His first, Words Characters and Transparency: An Introduction to the Art and Science of KOTOHA, was self-published in 2003. He is also co-translator, with Josh Drachman, of A Light on Transmission: The Teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido by Mitsugi Saotome.
Earle and his wife, Akemi, live in Richmond, Virginia, where he teaches aikido and she teaches Japanese language. They have two children and three grandchildren.
— Miriam E. Nelson, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of the Strong Women book series
“Many years ago, in Japan, I was very fortunate to study directly with Nakamura Tempu. His teaching has given my life a strong base, and at difﬁcult times of my life abroad I have drawn strength from it. I congratulate Stephen Earle on an inspiring and carefully researched biography, which relates Tempu-sensei’s life to the turbulent times in which he lived and outlines his martial philosophy of the uniﬁcation of mind and body.”
—Naoko Matsubara, internationally acclaimed woodcut artist
“Nakamura Tempu is known in the West as a teacher of the aikido master Tõhei Kōichi (1920–2011), who took from him the rallying cry “uniﬁcation of mind and body.” Stephen Earle’s stimulating biography draws together the many strands of Nakamura’s life, and sets this fascinating ﬁgure against events and personalities of the day in Japan, China, Europe, and the United States.”
—David Waterhouse, Professor Emeritus, Department of East Asian Studies, University College, University of Toronto