“It was the evening of Christmas Eve 1979. I was in Ogikubo Hospital in Tokyo visiting my teacher Tomiki Sensei who was fighting for his life. A choir from a nearby church was singing in the front yard of the hospital. While listening to the carols, he managed to ask me, ‘How are things at the dojo?’. I replied, ‘Everyone is working hard’. These were our last words. That night, his condition suddenly changed and he lost consciousness. The following day at 4.10pm, at the age of 79 years and 9 months, his life came to an end. Words cannot express my feelings at the height of the funeral service. I just couldn’t hold back my tears.
In this essay, I will tell you about the advice he gave me. I think there are many things that, through me, he wanted to say to all students. I will be pleased if this simple article is useful to everyone following our aikido.”
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