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Old 04-12-2012, 05:26 PM   #29
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: The Restoration of Peace

Jim Redel wrote: View Post
I'm curious how you would reconcile this, from Gaku Homma, undeniably one of the last of the uchi-deshi ...

In the last few years of his life, the Founder sometimes fell prey to spontaneous bursts of anger, and everyone was fearful of his outbursts. Eventually high ranking shihan or shidoin quit coming to visit the Founder at Iwama all together. Fearful of his wrath, if a shihan did venture to Iwama to visit they would ask the late Morihiro Saito Shihan, who lived on the premises, about the Founder's mood and state of being before asking for an audience. If he was not in good sorts, they would leave quietly without seeing him, stopping only for a moment at the dojo altar to leave a gift of sake and a donation on their way out.

In those last years, even at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, when I would arrive with the Founder as his otomo (attendant), the staff would ask me first how the Founder was feeling that day. If I told them the Founder was not in a good mood, shihan and administrators alike would disappear. Everyone was afraid of the Founder's bad temper when he was in these moods. It was a sad experience I had many times in the last years with the Founder.
The Japanese people that I talked to never mentioned O Sensei as being a bad tempered person. Quite the opposite!
As for his very last years, I cannot help wondering if his illness (as I understand it he died of liver-cancer) did not have an influence on his moods.
Having said that; we should not confuse the philosophy with the man.
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