Aikido Doshu Moriteru UeshibaHappy New Year.
Last year, the world has been shaken by terrorism and regional civil wars, and in Japan quite a few people suffered damages from volcanic eruptions and freak weather. Whenever I learn of these incidents I always worry about Aikido fellows not only in Japan but also overseas feeling uneasy that they might be troubled or even involved in these happenings. Nevertheless, time went by indifferently also rapidly, and then the New Year came in as ever. The environments surrounding us being as such, now I feel really happy that I can address every one of you to celebrate peaceable New Year completing the etsunen keiko (new yearfs eve training) with a lot of Aikikai members.
Overviewing the activities of Aikido, there was no noteworthy event last year and the year went past in a matter-of-fact way. I am pleased about this because it means that domestic and international dissemination activities were carried out steadily with the Aikikai Foundation being the core of the movement.
Last year, major events, such as the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration, Al-Japan Childrenfsf, High School and University Studentsf Demonstrations were successfully held. Every year, these important events are carried out in a usual manner, but we should not forget the fact that they were held through the accumulation of a lot of time and efforts.
As is obvious, preparation for the All-Japan Aikido Demonstration is very hard task requiring a lot of efforts, because it is the most important annual event for organizations registered in the Aikikai Foundation, businessmanfs Aikido groups and university Aikido clubs to demonstrate the results of their daily practices.
As it is a unique yearly opportunity at the Nippon Budokan for the participants, the queue of participants waiting for the opening of the event has become longer year by year, and last year we were cautioned by Kitanomaru Park Office because of such crowdedness.
It has become a splendid, enthusiastic event lasting over 5 hours, but a lot of energy was spent behind the scenes to allow all the participants to fully show the results of their daily practice.
The generation of participants of All-Japan Childrenfs Aikido training meeting, All-Japan High School Demonstration and all-Japan Aikido University Studentsf Demonstration changes every year. Therefore, we cannot make these events successful with only ready-made method but without changing basic things.
As just described, it is wonderful that the events can be carried out routinely and in an ordinary way. It seems easy to spend daily life routinely, but it is actually very difficult because to achieve it we must develop a spirit unfazed by anything. Recently we donft know what may happen suddenly, or something may happen which we couldnft imagine. Common sense has become uncommon sense. Still we need to keep going with our faces forward and a cool and level mind even though we encounter unexpected situations. And so we should practice daily keiko to develop such a mind.
I would like to watch many good things and listen to the voices of many people avoiding the attitude of gsee nothing, hear nothing, say nothingh like the three monkeys so that I can spend steady and calm days and express myself with an unfeigned spirit.
This year, IAF, which is held once every four years, will be held in Takasaki, Gunma prefecture. It is the first time for Takasaki city to hold IAF. I would like to prepare firmly for it bringing various wisdom that doesnft appear on the surface into one integrated power in order to carry it out in an unsensational but firm way and to make it very fruitful seven days.