Re: Kisaburo Ohsawa Sensei
I agree that Osawa Sensei was one of the great aikido masters. His aikido was beautiful. We use that word a lot but in his case it was true. Simplicity and perfection.
Osawa Sensei was a friend of my first aikido teacher Asoh Sensei and so I had the chance to meet him a couple of times. He was a very kind and warm man. I didn't to go to his morning class very often but it was always filled with warmth and positive energy. Seki Sensei was his uke usually.
He did a special training every year in the mornings for a few days while the hombu was officially closed for vacation (I thought it was the year-end vacation but in my memory somehow every day was sunny so perhaps it was the obon summer vacation). I attended if I was in Japan and usually I was the only foreign student. It was a unique atmosphere - many older people came in their seventies and eighties even and also many of the hombu shihan attended as students. It was cool to see teachers like Fujita Sensei or Watanabe Sensei being the uke. And so you sometimes had the chance to practice with the teachers too.
Although the other teachers treated him almost with reverence Osawa Sensei was funny and relaxed. Once he gestured to an older man to take the ukemi and the guy did his best to follow the technique but his glasses fell off. Osawa Sensei promptly picked them up and wore them himself while he did the technique again.
He was a great aikidoka and a great man.