Aikido Doshu Moriteru UeshibaHappy New Year.
It seems that the world is in unstable state in politics and economics. Though the situation being as such, I am very pleased that we are able to start a new year with a radiant feeling with many Aikido people completing annual Estunegeiko (New Yearfs Eve practice) in good order as ever. Last year I re-realized that Japan is a country with many natural disasters, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and typhoons. Therefore, I really feel blessed that we can calmly welcome the New Year.
Aikikai Foundation was able to finish the year without much difficulties. Aikikai Foundation being the center of the movement, last year many seminars and anniversary events were successfully held domestically and abroad. In addition, it was also very fulfilling year for Aikikai having carried out every-four-yeas IAF Congress and IAF International Seminar meeting.
I feel very happy recollecting that 12th IAF Congress and Seminar I referred to, celebrating 40 years anniversary of its establishment, were held in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture invited by the city mayor Mr. Kenji Tomioka. Mr. Tomioka kindly let us use brand-new Takasaki Arena for the IAF Seminar as its official opening event of the gymnasium, where 800 tatamis were occupied by total 12,000 practitioners from 70 countries and regions around the world.
Each class of 6-days seminar was attended by 500 to 2,000 participants, and on the final day the International Demonstration added grace to successful conclusion of the event.
Last October, an International Aikido celebratory event was held in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, as a part of the anniversary events of 150 year Japan-Belgium friendship. I was invited to the event and carried out embu. I was very glad that Belgium focused Aikido in the Japanese culture introduction program.
I had a combined visit to France, Belgium and Vatican City. It was the year when I felt the sprint of the Founder has spread out to over 130 countries and regions, which reminded me of the famous phrase, gbuild a Silver Bridge of Aikido across the worldh asserted by the Founder in Hawaii.
The Founder stated gI am building a Golden Bridge in our country, and this Aikido bridge must be extended to foreign countries to unite the whole world by love and harmony based on the Aikido philosophy. In addition to this task I must continue the pursuit of true Budo way. I am still at learning stage.h
The Founder at the age of 78 expressed that he was still at learning stage. Bearing his words in mind, we must renew our determination to continue our efforts on the same path the Founder walked.
All Japan Aikido Demonstration started in the year Showa 35 (1960), then the 15th Demonstration in Showa 52 (1977) was celebrated for the first time at Nippon Budokan. Since then 40 years have passed. The record shows that the number or the participants in 15th All Japan Aikido Demonstration who gathered at Nippon Budokan was 1,000, and I remember very well the demonstration space for us in Budokan was so large.
The old Hombu Dojo, which had been built in Showa 6 (1931), was demolished, and new Hombu Dojo was completed and inaugurated on 15th December Showa 42 (1967). Since then 50 years have already passed.
Based on such history and the Founderfs spirit, I would like to have fulfilling days with harmonious spirit cherishing day to day practice and esteeming the Founderfs remark gAikido is the center of devotion to goodness for the human society and country.h Also I would like to fly high to correctly inherit Aiki Way wishing the Golden Bridge built by the Founder may not lose its glory and the Silver Bridge between countries may furthermore increase its brightness.