Kawaraban No. 21
by Kenji Shimizu
Best wishes for the New Year. I would like to thank you now once again for your support and assistance, which made it possible that we could commemorate the 25th anniversary smoothly.
The successful procedure of the 25th anniversary was in return for the activities of the chairman of the organization committee of the students, Kiyokazu Koda, and 14 other persons, who met for about one year nearly every Saturday to push the preparations. As each one in this group is a quite strong character, I thought in the beginning that joint operation might be problematic, but their will to arrange the 25th anniversary successfully joined them, and they cooperated excellently. I do remember the emotions especially for these people, which hardly could be put in words, and which deeply moved me on that 25th anniversary.
In case of people, who practice Aikido, training of body and mind ranks first. But when they are asked, why they just chose Aikido although there are many other sports, most of them answer that they want to learn a traditional Japanese art. Japan is changing, but it is a fact, that there exists a distinct awareness among the Japanese not to let the Japanese culture be forgotten.
Recently it could be read in the newspaper that the famous professor Michio Morishima of the university of London and of the university of Osaka had said, he believes, that the time between the 14th and the 20th age of a human life is an eventful and important period with the most creative energy. This is valid as for scientists as well as for the Japanese youth, who wastes this important time in private schools and with preparations for tests. The result is a mass production of lethargic pupils and adults without ambitions, as under the name of ‘post-war democracy’ the education was simplified, and the majority of Japanese studied and worked to become ‘managers’. This stupid egalitarianism with the objective to make all people to managers inevitably resulted in a mass production of dropouts. For such children shadow places resulted at school, which according to my opinion then resulted in mobbing. It is important not only to pretend to treat all people equally, but to give every single human a dream fitting to him.
Does not wisdom of life develops and the value and the dignity of life is learnt from the experience of an open and active attitude during early days? At that time it is important to look at oneself intensively and to have the will power to strengthen body and mind. Aikido means real strength and is suited best to learn to be strong against oneself and less against others.
© translated by Peter Nawrot, August 2006