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My Father Kenji Shimizu

Kawaraban No. 29


by Kenta Shimizu

I am often asked questions like “Are you afraid of your father?” or “How is your father at home?”

What is my father’s character actually?

Let us start with the question “Are you afraid of your father?”. Sure I cannot say that I am not afraid of him at all. To put that quite clearly, he will not get upset about the way you are holding the chopsticks or about the taste of miso soup. But in case of stupidity he certainly becomes furious. And in my case this happens mostly when I skip aikidō classes.

Now to the next question, “How is your father at home?”. Everybody believes that he is the supporting pillar of our family and that everybody would listen to him. But at home my mother is in the driver’s seat. Mostly all housework will be completed at my mother’s disposition.

But sometimes my father resists (and me too). That will result in a so-called marital row. My father starts the first attack like a machine gun. But – as I mentioned earlier – my mother is stronger. If my father is like a machine gun, my mother is like the newest model of the American army. The impact of my father is like ta-ta-ta-ta-ta and that of my mother …, well, I think I made myself clear.

Anyway I have to admit that I am the controversial object in half of all cases.

That is how our family works. The image of my father would suffer, if I would tell you more. But as I have mentioned repeatedly my mother is indeed the stronger one.

1993 I traveled to Europe with my family. I could see the circumstances under which my father was teaching in Europe, and I couldn’t find anything negative regarding his person. My father was welcomed with warmhearted hospitality by the people over there, and I could understand the grandeur of my father a little. So at last my father is indeed excellent. (To be honest, my father now and then passes by to check the outline of this article.)

Finally I want to write something about myself. When I entered the middle school (Junior High School) I started attending the aikidō adult classes. In the beginning I thought, how could it have happened, that I got so bad so quickly without noticing it? In the children classes I was sure of myself due to my nearly ten years of aikidō training. On top of that, I was physically the strongest in the 6th class, and I could enforce the techniques purely by strength. But in the adult class this didn’t work any longer. Till that time I had only thought about the turns in aikidō. This clearly was shocking, because I questioned myself whether everything up to that time had been in vain. But I think, after realizing this fact, I have made a rather big progress. I guess besides me there are quite a few aikidōka practicing such kind of aikidō. It is very funny to resist the techniques of such people. Especially in the case of dan degree holders the fun is multiplying. Thinking like that, aikidō has become interesting to me.

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 04/2003