ContactKimbal Anderson, Sensei Komyozan@gmail.com 208-407-7590 1922 N 21st St., Boise ID, 83702
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May Peace Prevail on Earth
Author Archives: FastSlow
“Aikido,” as the founder, Morihei Ueshiba O’Sensei, used to say, “belongs to no-one. It is a Way that serves the people of the whole world. “ These words, that I here pass on to you, come to me from Kobayashi Hirokazu Sensei, my teacher, who is his direct student.
One time, during a visit to Egypt with Kobayashi Sensei, the latter, marvelling at the Great Pyramid of Giza, said to me, as we arrived at the Upper Hall and were standing alone there: “If O’Sensei were here, he would immediately have started to chant a norito.” Then he started to do so, himself. His chant, which he had directed towards the seven stelae, even though he was not aware of the layout of the place, began to resonate throughout the pyramid, and it seemed as though hundreds of voices were responding – below, above, and all around us. Once we had left the pyramid, Sensei spoke: he told me that O’Sensei had often spoken to him about Egypt, and had always emphasized the importance of these places, saying that there were real roots here. He had said to Kobayashi Sensei: “If I cannot go there myself, you must go, and I will be there, with you, and I will see it with your eyes.”
I tell you this story because it marked a change in my practice and in my life. As he told me this, Kobayashi Sensei seemed tremendously moved, and then, shortly after, he taught me an [aiki-]taiso technique that I had never seen before. I tell you this, also, because O’Sensei himself always used to insist on the fact that aikido, right from its creation, was not Japanese, but universal. The founder indicated that his budo was, above all, an art that brings people together. He made quite clear the apolitical and non-confessional character of his art when he taught it to all levels of Japanese society, then in Asia, and, finally, when he sent students to Europe.
He had united religions and nationalities in the same love. And he demonstrated that way that Kobayashi Sensei still teaches us: the way of tolerance, and of a love that is spiritual: which is to say: above appearances.
…the Christmas Interludes production of A Christmas Carol - available for your home or office party, December 3rd – 24th.
…on which he was storyboard supervisor: Over the Garden Wall, by Patrick McHale, airing soon, on the Cartoon Network.
Aikido is a gem of many facets – sometimes it seems that every one of O’Sensei’s students remembered a different teacher, and of course, many, many different styles have been preserved and developed – but here is one facet that clicked into focus for me recently:
what if O’Sensei spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo coherently pursuing what he felt to be his “mission in life”?…
what if he spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo creating and nurturing a network of dojos run by Omoto-Kyo, ex-Omoto-Kyo and Ko-Shinto believers ( hand-picked deshi, some of them raised, almost, as members of his family) – - – and ex-Kamikaze pilots, too (!) – often with his own name on the sign - in places – and close to shrines…