Re: Watahiki Yoshifumi, Student of the Founder, Passes Away
My deepest condolences to Watahiki Sensei's family on his passing from this world.
Watahiki Sensei embodied the spirit of the Iwama Dojo. He was kind, hardworking and strict. His strictness came with warmth of spirit. He was strict because he felt for the responsibilities that belong to being a part of the Iwama Dojo - it's history and legacy. He came to the dojo every day, working hard to keep it looking nice and presentable.
Watahiki Sensei was a great carpenter and builder. He was constantly working and building something every time I saw him. The Iwama Dojo as it appears today owes very much to Watahiki Sensei's hard work.
Watahiki Sensei was a great cook. He cooked very often for the many Dojo parties that are such an integral part of our Iwama Dojo life. I have so many wonderful memories of the delicious dishes he prepared for us - his Katsuo Tatataki was especially good!
Watahiki Sensei also ran his own restaurant in Iwama that we Uchi Deshi would sometimes visit to enjoy not only his delicious food, but also to enjoy the wonderful atmosphere he and his dear wife created in their establishment.
Watahiki Sensei's Aikido was an embodiment of his spirit, as well. It was strict, and kindhearted. It was Old School in the best way possible. And he was incredibly enthusiastic in his teaching. His love of Aikido shone through in his classes. Perhaps "shone" is not the correct description - it was more like a burning flame, that was such a pleasure to experience when he was teaching.
Watahiki Sensei will be deeply missed by all of us who had the pleasure and honor of knowing him. And his spirit will be felt in the Iwama Dojo for all time.
May He Rest In Peace.