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Old 09-21-2020, 07:51 AM   #1
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Obituary: Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan (1932-2020)

Posted 2020-09-21 03:44:13 by Michael Leung


It is with great sorrow and deep regret that we have to announce Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan, 7th Dan Aikikai, passed away peacefully at home on 11th September at the age of 88. Somemiya Shihan is the Patron of our Dojo, Hong Kong Aikido Kan, a role he kindly took on following the passing of his close friend Kenneth Cottier Shihan in June 2008. He was also the former General Secretary of the International Aikido Federation (IAF) and Head of Overseas Department at Aikikai Hombu Dojo. Somemiya Shihan contributed greatly to the development of Aikido across the world, especially in Hong Kong and in other countries in Asia. [More details in forum thread]

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Old 09-21-2020, 07:52 AM   #2
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Re: Obituary: Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan (1932-2020)

The rest of the obituary as submitted follows:

Quote:
Somemiya Shihan was fluent in English and Russian, a person of deep culture and a true gentleman. He was a direct student of the Founder. His style of Aikido was reminiscent of that of the late Kisaburo Osawa Shihan. The way he taught was very hands-on. He would practice with everyone on the mat, transmitting his techniques through physical contact. He always encouraged his students to develop their own character and seek their own path in Aikido through consistent training. But he also always stressed that we must keep in mind that the techniques comprise only the surface of what Aikido is, and that there is much more depth to Aikido, a much deeper meaning that O'Sensei intended. That this unseen aspect is most important. To seek this elusive ideal is very difficult and is an endless struggle. Somemiya Shihan never aspired to be a great teacher but saw his role as an administrator in helping to promote Aikido across the world. He was fiercely loyal to O'Sensei and Second Doshu, and served whole-heartedly at Hombu Dojo and at the IAF. He was an unsung hero of the international Aikido movement. Few people would realize the difficulties of promoting Aikido across boundaries and cultures, and the difficulties in resolving the inevitable human clashes and politics in an international organization. Somemiya Shihan hated organizational and inter-personal politics but accepted that it was within his duties to resolve conflicts and restore harmony within the Aikido community. It was an unenviable and thankless task which he took on without complaint. To him, the elusive ideal in Aikido is harmony, an eternal harmony with oneself, within our community and society. It was the ideal he was always striving for. In recent years his health deteriorated and Somemiya Shihan refrained from travelling and teaching. Our General Secretary Angela Lee visited him every year and frequently talked to him checking on his condition. He was all well until we were sadly informed that he passed away peacefully at home. Due to the Covid situation his family held a private funeral. Somemiya Shihan is now resting in eternal peace. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by Aikido members all across the world. Please join us in praying for the repose of his noble soul.
-- Jun

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Old 09-21-2020, 09:06 PM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Obituary: Hiroshi Somemiya Shihan (1932-2020)

I knew Mr Somemiya well during my time as General Secretary and Chairman of the IAF, which lasted a total of 32 years. We met very often, especially during my trips from Hiroshima to Tokyo and the Aikikai Hombu. I offer my condolences to his family.

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