AIKIKAI FOUNDATION - Newsletter Archive

 HONBU DOJO Kagami Biraki
  date: January 10, 2010
14:00~15:00 Kagamibiraki
15:00~16:00 social-gathering
place �@�@�@ �@: Honbu Dojo 3F
attendance : 1,000~
admission : free (500yen for social-gathering)
Greeting from Doshu

(A Happy New Year.)
I am pleased that a great number of people were able to participate in the Kagamibiraki this year.

Last year, I had many opportunities to visit domestic and overseas dojos. At those times, it was encouraging to see that Aikido has taken root and is well understood by many people.This is because Kisshomaru Doshu laid the foundation for the dissemination and promotion of the Aikido Kaiso founded. It is important that we keep in mind the ideals and spirit of Aikido as founded by Kaiso in our daily practice. It is our responsibility to transmit this true Aikido to posterity. It is my wish that this year we preserve the above state of mind
<KagamiBiraki Shiki 14:00~15:00>
* Doshu speech, VIP greetings
* Demostration by Doshu
* Promotion : The name list was displayed on 3F dojo wall
* Award ceremony : diplomat presented by Doshu
 <Social gathering 15:00~16:00>
* Tada Shihan speech (toaster)
* social -gathering (3F,4F and 2F (kids))
* preparation for OSHIRUKO
(making mochi by shihan, shidoin, uchideshi and volunteers)

Impression of Kagami Biraki by Edgar Bull (from Brazil)

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. It was a great honor and privilege for me. When I arrived in Japan, I was curious about almost everything I saw. My homeland, Brazil, is on the other side of the world and our culture is very different from the Japanese culture although I was not completely unfamiliar with it since I have been raised among many friends of Japanese descent, due to the large Japanese colony in Brazil.

At my home dojo, my sensei had always spoken to me about the importance of the ceremony of Kagami Biraki so I made my application to participate in the ceremony that would be held at Hombu Dojo and also, for the one at the Ibaraki branch dojo. Sunday morning I woke up early and arrived some time before to observe things from the very beginning. I was very impressed with what I witnessed. There were many people interested in participating in this ceremony and afterwards I realized that the importance of it was beyond that which I initially had imagined. It was not just a formal event on the calendar to start each New Year where the new higher level promotions are made public. Rather, it was an important meeting of the most important masters and leaders of Aikido renewing, with their presence, the commitments and loyalty to the Ueshiba family and to the Aikikai organization.   With so many prestigious Aikido masters, there surrounding Doshu, some which I knew by photos and films, I could understand clearly that the Aikikai is not just an organization created to teach a martial arts of way of life, but it is also the center of a big international family where one can find friendship, union, commitment and harmony between the members and I felt very proud and happy to be part of it. I thought that in the limited space in the hall, that it would be non compatible to the large number of people present, but with time, each one accommodated himself in place in the room and at the end it was just fine. After that, Doshu entered and began his speech and even though I could not understand what was being said; because of the attention and solemnity of the moment, I felt myself quivering with excitement being there at that moment in the heart and center of Aikido itself, in that special place with all of it's principal figures.

After Doshu, the other main shihan spoke as well, which was followed by a demonstration by Doshu with three ukes which was very flowing and beautiful.  Then, the high ranking promotions of the year were announced and there were so many, that I started thinking about the enormous number of practitioners existing presently all over the world. Following that, we were served a meal with sweet beans and mochi. I confess that the taste was a little strange to me at the beginning but by the end of the meal, I was liking it. It was a wonderful experience to eat together with everyone and I had the happy coincidence that my mat friend and traveling companion, Marcus and I, were able to sit close to some Brazilians that were there too. They explained to us details about the ceremony that we did not previously know.  

I left Hombu Dojo that day with a very happy feeling that I was involved in the training of an art where unity, sharing and friendship is truly valued.

 Tips of Kagami Biraki 
Kagami-biraki is an event that occurs when round mirror- shaped cakes (kagami-mochi), which have been on show in the alcove, are taken down on January 11 and eaten. Originally, this occurred on the 20th, but with the death of the third Shogun, Iemitsu, in the Tokugawa shogunate, on January 20, 1651, it was changed to the 11th. By the 11th, kagami-mochi hardens and cracks, but, since it is a good luck charm,"cutting" it with a sharp edge is avoided and it is split open by hand or with a hammer. It is called kagami- biraki(literally, opening the mirror) because the mochi is split opened.

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