Re: Legacy and the Founder
Hello again Diana,
There can be no doubt that pioneers of any worthwhile endeavor were indeed willing to endure and persevere through many a hardship and challenge to their noble attempts to introduce and establish beachheads for new ideas and movements.
I do remember Hambei recounting his Van Gogh like “potato eater” days, swearing to never eat another potato after becoming able to eat other foods. His was a true fondness as well for ice cream, and for the preparing of Japanese dishes from his memory of home.
Thank you for reminding us of the American pioneers as well, for their amazing stories of the “early days”, as they contributed significantly to Aikido’s growth in America. Although not necessarily direct students of the Founder (except for Messrs Terry Dobson, Robert Nadeau, Isao Takahashi and perhaps others), names like Alan Groh, Bruce Klickstein, Bill Witt, Frank Doran, Jon Mori, Mike Mamura, Robert “Red” Sakamoto, Clyde Takeguchi, Virginia Mayhew, Rod Kobayashi, come readily to mind. I apologize for forgetting other worthy names and individuals that escape me, and ask for help from the greater Aiki Web family in honoring those as well.
Mary Heiny indeed deserves special mention, not only as a premier female Aikido presence, but specifically for her unique longevity, perseverance, talent and teaching skills that endear her to many.
Along with the next wave of groundbreaking “imports” like Dang Thang Tri, Dang Thang Phong, Mark Murashige, Mitsugi Saotome, and Hiroshi Ikeda, we may want to go back into history a bit to include certain Hawaiian pioneers like Shiniichi Suzuki, Yukiso Yamamoto, Sadao Yoshioka, the late Robert H. Aoyagi, again amongst others I fail to name.
Volumes can and should be written to preserve the priceless memory of all of our American Aikido pioneers, linking their unique legacies to an expanded one for the Founder, for whom a special commemoration this year in Honolulu marks the 50th year anniversary of his historic visit back in 1961.
The Founder would be justly proud of these priceless testimonials to his overall legacy.