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Tony Wagstaffe 03-11-2011 09:11 AM

Nippon Disaster (Japan Earthquake)
I think we should send to all those experiencing this terrible disaster in Japan our heart felt concerns. I for one am very worried about the situation out there as I'm sure others within the aikido community are to.... Sharing at this time I sincerely hope that all those who have friends and relatives out there our deepest thoughts and prayers.....
I hope for a speedy recovery.....

Guillaume Erard 03-11-2011 11:15 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Thanks for your concern Tony. The hombu dojo is closed today. So far, everyone from hombu I have been in touch with is fine.
It would be good to hear from people from other prefectures. Good luck everyone and stay safe.

Hellis 03-11-2011 12:10 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster

Guillaume Erard wrote: (Post 278985)
Thanks for your concern Tony. The hombu dojo is closed today. So far, everyone from hombu I have been in touch with is fine.
It would be good to hear from people from other prefectures. Good luck everyone and stay safe.


I am just watching this horror on TV, take care my friend.
My thoughts are with the people of Japan.

Henry Ellis
Positive Aikido

guest1234567 03-11-2011 01:40 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Thanks Tony..
My thoughts are with all people living in Japan too and that they will recover as soon as possible.

Janet Rosen 03-11-2011 06:47 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
From one fault zone to another, sadness over losses, sympathy for folks dealing with the day to day days after, hopes for rebuilding....

aikishihan 03-11-2011 11:55 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
The Aikido world has an amazing opportunity to walk its talk. We now have the call to arms, not against any human opponent, but in dealing responsibly, immediately and in unity for the sake of those we share fundamental Aiki values and principles with.

Thank you, Tony, for allowing us to see the real Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe emerge and show his leadership skills.

A colleague of mine suggested that Aikido organizations and their leadership worldwide seriously consider and unite in holding benefit seminars to raise badly needed funds for those who suffered from this natural catastrophe.

Who'se on board?

I am.

in oneness,

Allen Beebe 03-12-2011 10:48 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Hi Francis,

I have both loved ones and friends in the region hardest hit . . . or at least I hope I still do. However, one doesn't need to know someone there to care.

I'm in the process of trying to arrange an event to help and am thankfully already getting buy in. Please send me a PM with your e-mail address and I'll include you in the loop!

I've encouraged my guys in Europe to consider doing the same.

Doing something, regardless of the size, is better than doing nothing at all. All it takes is one person to start the ball rolling!

I'll post back as I have more concrete information to share about my efforts.


Tenyu 03-12-2011 11:54 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Fukushima reactor:


Takahama 03-12-2011 04:51 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Life goes on as normal here in Osaka, but the scenes on TV of events up the coast are of course horrific and unbelievable for everyone. Thoughts and prayers go to all those suffering. There are still so many souls unaccounted for, god speed the rescue workers.

Marie Noelle Fequiere 03-12-2011 06:29 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
I have to say that Japan's help after the 2010 Haiti earthquake was one of the fastest and most effective from the international community, wich surprised us because so far Japan had not been very much involved in helping our country. Our heart and our prayers go to the Japanese community.
Jun, are you alright? Do you have friends and family members among the victims?

Allen Beebe 03-13-2011 12:35 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
I've heard that my family in Sendai City are without water, electricity, etc. but are all okay there. My family that was near the coast weren't quite as lucky, but over all came out alright. My sister-inlaw, nephew, and his two young daughters are all okay and have gone to stay with the family in Sendai City. My sister-inlaw went to fetch her two grand daughters after the quake leaving my brother-inlaw at their house, planning to return shortly. My brother-inlaw was recently paralyzed from the waist down due to a surgical mishap and was confined to a wheelchair. After my sister-inlaw collected her grand daughters the tsunami came and she was unable to return home but rather directed to a refuge center. Her son caught up with her there. Their house was swept away in the tsunami and she believes that her husband perished along with their house.

My brother-inlaw that appears to have been swept away's name was Akama Norihiro. He was at least a 7th degree black belt in Judo. Until his retirement he was a police officer in the Tohoku region as well as Tokyo serving both in deeply rural regions and in major metropolitan areas. He taught Judo and Taiho Jutsu to police and also taught Judo at local public schools. His specialty in Judo was newaza. He also held yudansha ranks in Karate and Kendo. He and I used to hang out due to our common interests. I remember he would call me and tell me that he was going to come and "rescue" me. It was obvious that he was both loved and respected by his fellow officers, Judo students, and the public he served. He acted as "nakado" or matchmaker on more than one occasion and always felt a responsibility for those relationships. He loved seeing me flounder with Judo, nurtured my martial pursuits, and kept me entertained while keeping me out of trouble like a good big brother. We would get completely pasted and then he would routinely slap me in a good natured way just about knocking me out, grab my crotch and then pass out, it was like clockwork, . . . but then he would be up bright and early the next morning and fulfill whatever duties he might have. I really don't know how he stayed in money because he was endlessly spending it on others. He had a philosophy that one should give gifts that one valued one's self. I had to be careful what I might take interest in at his house because the greater the loss to him it seems the more likely he was to give it away. He would not abide selfishness in himself. Akamasan's favorite saying was a quote from Saigo Takamori, "敬天愛人Kei Ten Ai Jin." "Revere Heaven and Love Man." And he lived these words not in a pious and aloof way, but in a earthy, practical and pragmatic way. If, by some miracle, Akamasan is found to have survived the tsunami, I'm sure he will enjoy his years doting on his grandkids and driving his wife crazy. But if he was swept out to sea, I am equally sure that he would be grateful in the knowledge that his mother, wife, sons and grand children survived. The last time I saw Akamasan he took me to Okachi machi which is a small village in Tohoku famous for suzuri (ink stones) because he knew that I love Shodo (Japanese Calligraphy). He bought several suzuri for me and then special ordered a slate sheet custom carved with an image of Shirata sensei doing one of his favorite techniques and had the phrase "Masa Katsu Aa Katsu" carved on the front. HIs students had had a similar slate sheet carved for him with a depiction of his favorite Judo throw carved into it along with the phrase "Kai Ten Ai Jin." He loved his student's gift and therfore wanted me to have one as well. On the back he had the artist carve, "To Allen Beebe whom I love." I love you too Akamasan!

I could write more stories about my brother-inlaw, some of which are hilarious and quite bawdy! But I guess I'll save those for when I go drinking with my fellow Budo bums.

I wonder how many other wonderful people have perished and how many more are in need of our help right now. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that it is those that aren't in need that can help those that are. Can you help? If so, won't you help?

Janet Rosen 03-13-2011 12:41 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Allen, I'm so sorry ... You're brother in law sounds like quite a character and wonderful man.

Elldav 03-13-2011 01:40 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Allen, I'm not sure how you had me giggling and teary in the same paragraph but your brother-in-law sounds amazing and I sincerely hope he is found.

I am sure we will do something at our dojo to help our Japanese brothers and sisters. It is simply heartbreaking.

Ernesto Lemke 03-13-2011 04:32 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Hi Al,

As alway I find your writing moving, entertaining and informative. Maybe you should write a book? ;)

Per Allen's request I emailed a bunch of fellow Dutch aikidoka late yesterday evening but I figured, I might as well take the opportunity and ask the same here.

How's about it folks? Could we organize a Dutch benefit seminar? If any Dutch Aikiweb readers have any thoughts, advice, tips or whatever, please feel free to send me an email at

woudew 03-13-2011 05:58 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Hi Allen,

i hope you can restore contact soon with your loved ones.

good idea, tomorrow i will contact also some people and see if i can find a location on short notice.

Allen Beebe 03-13-2011 10:47 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Thanks Janet and Elly for your compassionate response and thank you even more for any efforts on your behalf to help those in need and for spreading the word.


Allen Beebe 03-13-2011 11:05 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Nes and Walter,

Thank you for your efforts and support. I am proud and moved by how quickly my Dutch student/friends have responded to both my personal feelings and to the tremendous need in Japan right now. Marcel shared with me that the Netherlands has a tradition of rising to help those in need. Please keep up the good work, situations like these are where the rubber (espoused ideals) meet the road (real need.) It is unfortunate that these kinds of situations are so frequent. However, it is very fortunate that we live in a time when there are so many that are blessed with relative safety and the ability and opportunity to offer help.


barron 03-13-2011 11:13 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster

I have been trying to contact Ryuji Shirakawa from Aikido Sinburenseijuku which I believe is in Sendai. Ryuji and his father were both at our 30th Anniversary seminar here in Calgary last August. Ryuji is the Acting Dojo Cho at this dojo.

If anyone has had contact or knows how we might reach him please let us know. We have emailed both to the dojo and his email contact but received no word at this time.( and )

Thanking you in advance
Andrew Barron
Technical Committee
Calgary Aikikai

mathewjgano 03-13-2011 11:37 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
I'm so sorry to hear about the hardship your family is dealing with. Do you recommend any specific ways to help out? My wife and I are planning to donate to the Red Cross, but if you recommend another avenue we'd be more than happy to help there.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone dealing with this very tough time.

Allen Beebe 03-13-2011 11:43 AM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Dear Mr. Barron,

It is my understanding based on what I've heard from family within Sendai City and those that made it to Sendai City from outside, that most, if not all, internet is down in the region. Most if not all of the cellular system is down in the region. Only emergency access is allowed on the roads that are passable. There is no train service. There is limited land line communication I assume because I believe this is how my family were able to communicate.

I was also told that NTT has been restricting incoming calls in an understandable effort to enhance essential internal communication.

I have had internet contact with friends outside of Sendai though.

As you are aware, this is a developing emergency situation of historical proportion and as such necessary emergency protocols (triaging resources, etc.) are, and should be, in place.

I hope you hear something soon and that the news is good.


Allen Beebe 03-13-2011 12:04 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Hi Matthew,

Thank you for your kind words and for your support of those in immediate need. As I sit here at my kitchen table, surrounded by my wife and kids, I am very much aware that my emotions, as significant as they are to me, are nothing compared to the ongoing turmoil faced by those whose lives have, and are, being irreversibly changed . . . as I sip my morning coffee.

It is my understanding that the Japan Red Cross is a good source of help and therefore will expeditiously make use of any donations. There are other organizations helping of course, but I am no expert on the matter.

It is sad to say, but those wishing to help should be careful not to be taken advantage of my online scammers and such.

Thanks again for doing what you can.


Tenyu 03-13-2011 01:26 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
NHK TV in english:

Ernesto Lemke 03-13-2011 03:38 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
Quick update: I was just informed by one of Hollands higher ranking Aikikai officials that some of the major Dutch Aikido organizations are organizing a number of fundraising events with the aid of (amongst others) Peter Goldsbury (who happens to be in Holland right now), Shimizu Sensei of Tendo-ryu, Kobayashi Shihan of Aikikai Hombu and one event in the light of celebrating 50 years of Dutch aikido.

I think far as benefit seminars go, it's hard to top the above by the efforts of little ol' me. So, a sincere thank you to all those envolved and to my aikido friends who where kind enough to keep me in the loop. I'm curious whether similar aikido related events are taking place in other countries. Let's hope so.
Best regards,


Allen Beebe 03-13-2011 04:10 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
That is outstanding news Ernesto!

I am working on pulling things together here locally with growing positive results.

Hopefully, as in the Netherlands, we will soon hear news of other "higher ranking officials" organizing fundraising events to provide relief efforts for those in need.

That certainly would put the topic of Aikido working "in reality" and "on the street" in a whole new and profoundly powerful light!

Eric in Denver 03-13-2011 05:03 PM

Re: Nippon Disaster
We here at Aikido Doushin Juku in Denver are working to put some fundraising events together. If anyone else in the Denver area is interested, feel free to drop me a PM.

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