12/31/1969 4:59pm [from Jun Akiyama]
I have just received the sad news that Morihiro Saito sensei (9th dan, Ibaraki Aikido Shuren Dojo, Iwama) passed away early Monday morning, May 13, 2002 in Iwama, Japan. Stan Pranin writes, "His son and successor Hitohiro Saito Shihan plans to hold a private funeral for family members shortly and a formal ceremony to be held in Japan in about one month's time. He asks that anyone planning to go to Japan to pay their respects attend the formal funeral to be announced soon." Hitohiro Saito sensei has also asked to inform everyone to please not go immediately to Iwama as they will be conducting a private funeral; an official, public ceremony is scheduled in one or two months. My sincerest condolensces to Saito sensei's family, friends, loved ones, and multitude of students.
Well, unfortunately I could not have the opportunity to meet Saito Shihan, but I can not deny, as well as all aikidoka in the world, the inlfuence of his teachings in many of us. He was one of the first uchi-deshi of O´Sensei, and we all have to respect him for his history with the Founder.
My condolences to his familiy and his students.
I'm so happy that I took the opportunity to train at least a few times with Saito Shihan at his US seminars.
I urge everyone to do what they can to train with those instructors that received the Founder's teaching first hand.
There are only a few left and they aren't getting any younger.
It will certainly be a loss to Aikido. It also makes you realise that the continuation of good aikido means both learning from these great Shihan, understanding as much as possible, and transfering this to younger students.
Sadness for us all
The sadness of losing another voice of clarity is a sea of turmoil sadens me.
We will soon "be on our own" in our journey to understand the message of peace and protection that rings in the voices of those who practice Aikido.
Although the lives of those who have come before our generation, and those who come after us must learn from the second hand knowledge of books, videos, interviews, and teachings of students who try to perpetuate the practice of Aikido, we can not know the lives of those who have struggled to provide the clarity needed to see problems we bring to ourselves in the road ahead.
We will soon be on our own.
I bow, and I say a prayer of thanks to the those who give of themselves, their lives, their time to teach us what they have learned in their practice of Aikido and their own lessons from O'Sensei.
I know there is a world of the old fighting ways, and today we view the weapons of war as the new ways to fight, but it is always the measure of a person by the spirit he/she keeps within themselves to resolve each battle.
As we resolve to learn the way of peace, while training our minds, our bodies, will we be able to pass these lessons along to the next generation, or the generation beyond them?
This is the sadness of losing our teacher, our friend that has shared so much of his life with us as we both grow old.
It is with sorrow I see the passing of Saito shihan, but it is with joy I will smile, in one year, as I count his first birthday as he joins O'Sensei in heaven.
Im feel sad about Saito-Sensei news..
It was really unfortunate to hear about the passing away of Saito-Sensei, it was my dream to see him and person and train under him well i guess i was not fortunate to do this .
I really grieved for the loss of the aikido community..
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