Friday, June 30th
"Fantastic" buffet at the inn. We check out. We have a surprise meeting with the major of Tanabe. Morihei Ueshiba is one of the all-time most famous citizens of Tanabe, so there is a society honoring him of which the major is a part. We go to visit Osensei's grave at Kozanji temple. We then travel to see an Osensei monument on the coast. We all, including Anno sensei, take the train from Tanabe to Shingu. As a group we check into the Shingu Hotel. Yanase sensei joins us. I haven't seen him in about 5 years. He seems happy and energetic. As a group we visit Hikitsuchi sensei's grave. After dropping the rest of the group at the Hotel, Laurin, Anno sensei, and I drive across the bridge to Mie Prefecture to visit Tojima sensei's grave. This is very emotional for me. Laurin and I then pay our respects to Mrs. Hikitsuchi. She was always so wonderful and supportive and it is truly moving to see her again. She, along with Anno sensei, Yanase sensei, Hine sensei, joins us for dinner at the best unagi(eel) restaurant in the universe. We go to the dojo for the Friday evening class, which Anno sensei teaches. Vigorous. Intense. Emotional. Wonderful. Anno sensei's energy just sweeps me up a couple of times and I go flying. I still remember the flight time, but the landings are a lot harder these days. Kind of like Superman realizing there's kryptonite at the end of his flight. But I realize afterwards that the neck, which was out before, has been popped back in. Ishimoto sensei, Hine sensei, along with the younger group of new shihan(Tasaka, Nishi, and Kuribayashi) all show up and train. It is moving to see old teachers and training partners. I manage to have a late night talk with Anno sensei, just the two of us.