The Senior Sensei's Taikai
By Kathy Nekomoto
Once upon a time, the Senior Sensei's were known affectionately as the "over the hill gang,” a name they referred to themselves. Every Sunday when they met at godogeiko, they devoted their time to teaching the students which left them with no time to practice among themselves. They would meet annually on a selected Sunday in December, very early and before the others came to godogeiko to compete with each other. This was "their time." As the years went by, the students recognized the importance of this event and began honoring them by dedicating a day of practice in December to them.
The total number of years their ages combined equals 488 years. They have had many experiences in their lifetime and they "pass" on these lessons to us by showing us by being the example. They share information whenever asked and guide us back to basics when we begin to go astray. They have a wealth of information that we can learn from. All sensei's share a commitment
The taikai consisted of 6 teams:
Yoshinaga Sensei: Y. Furutani, K. Yamada, J. Shishido, M. Furutani, H. Smalls
Yamamoto Sensei: K. Maeda, T. Buntin, S. Harris, A. Furutani, K. Chun
Okaji Sensei: D. Okaji, W. Fujimoto, T. Lee, J. Chun, H. Kobata
Konishi Sensei: T. Ueno, D. Teshima, M. Nishino, L. Chun, S. Coulter
Akagi Sensei: N. Akagi, J. Tokeshi, M. Kurosawa, T. Furutani, G.Gates
The winners of the taikai were Yoshinaga Sensei's team first place, Okaji Sensei's team second place and Muramoto Sensei's team was third place. The senseis were given gifts contributed by Dr. Jinichi Tokeshi. President Terushi Ueno made closing remarks.
As the years pass by, the "youth" of the senior sensei's emerge. These are the members of the next generation of senior sensei's and they like others before them continue the tradition of teaching bushido and the fundamentals of kendo.