Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Wednesday June 28th, Iwama & Dinner with Doshu

Wednesday June 28th:

This was a powerful and very moving day. We traveled to Iwama to visit the Aiki shrine. We met Isoyama sensei, who gave us a history of Aikido and this area. It was hot and muggy, which is what it was like anytime we were outside of Tokyo. Also meeting us was Inagaki sensei, now a 7th dan. As a group we got to enter the interior part of the shrine. Isoyama sensei explained that Osensei built the shrine to house the 48 kami that constitute Aikido. Nadeau sensei opened with the kototama chants he learned from Osensei, and then I followed with the Amatsu norito. There was a very powerful feeling that descended upon us. Nadeau sensei felt that Osensei's spirit had passed through and greeted us. I could also sense the presence of Hikitsuchi sensei and Tojima sensei, who were both very glad that I had chanted norito at the Aiki Jinja. We were then treated to an excellent box lunch. Following that Isoyama sensei showed us Osensei's quarters and gave us more history.

We took the train back down to Tokyo, showered, changed clothes, and gathered together for our dinner with Doshu. At the appointed time, our large group met in front of our hotel. Nadeau sensei, stylish in suit and tie, led us in vigorous strides to a Chinese restaurant just past Hombu Dojo. I was privileged to sit at the main table with Doshu, Nadeau sensei and wife Katja, Francis Takahashi sensei, Doshu's son Mitsuteru, Oyama-san(Hombu dojo young intructor), and Laurin Herr. We all enjoyed a wonderful meal, and, with Laurin's very able translation, a lively discussion about Aikido all over the world. After the dinner, Nadeau sensei, and small group and I hit a late night coffee shop(what else). I returned to my apartment to some late late night packing for my trip to Kansai(southern Japan) the next day.


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