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Kawaraban No. 48


by Kenji Shimizu

It has been reported, that the present world population counts about 6 billion people, and these six billion people all differ in their faces, statures, and their spiritual attitudes. Isn’t it wonderful to think yourself being one of them? It is quite obvious to hope that the ego, whom has been given life in a miraculous way and which has made it until here, strives to do things, that only the ego itself is able to do.

However, not all people do follow their destination, there is a lot of misfortune. Exactly therefore it is necessary to make an effort and take the challenge, whenever there is a chance. Professor Kamata Shigeo (retired professor, Tōkyō University), who passed away in May, once said to me: “Activities like yours might become the spiritual stream in future.” And I remember that he further emphasized, that the 21st century would become the “century of mind”.

This summer there was a demonstration in Munich on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the German-Japanese Society, and each time I demonstrated a technique, I was showered with overwhelming applause by the numerous spectators (about 800 people), i.e. Japanese residents and Germans. Following the natural rhythm (“truthfulness”) the interaction, which developed from the spiritual harmony of actors and spectators, was extremely good, and I had exactly the same feeling as described by professor Kamata. Looking back at my age now, I begin to notice that aikidō is my destiny.

From now on I would like to start the new spiritual flow. It has already been decided, that apart from Germany I will also teach seminars in Yugoslavia next spring. When I visited Yugoslavia last time (three years ago) I went straight from the airport to a television studio, where I gave a live interview. The interview started with the question about my impression on how Yugoslavia, which was involved in a civil war, has changed since my first visit. And regarding the main topic aikidō they showed a high interest in budō, which represents part of the traditional Japanese culture. They conveyed the impression, that they would like to learn about the philosophy of the Japanese ‘samurai’. The movies of producer Kurosawa Akira might have had an influence on that. But whatever reason it might have been, foreigners have an interest in Japanese culture.

Exactly for that reason I am proud to be Japanese. I teach, and I would like to contribute to the propagation of aikidō. By continuing with my efforts I am fulfilling my destiny.

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 01/2004