Image from http://www.okanagan-aikido.org/
Message from Inoue Hironori Sensei:
This is nothing to do with you guys, but it's pat of my Bio.
I mentioned that I lost my most respectable martial art master Kawahara sensei (The head of Aikikai Aikido in Canada) recently.
He was a real professional martial artist lived in Vancouver. I learned a lots from him & I really need him at this difficult moment.......
Attachment is my belief memory of Kawahara sensei for his memorial event in August. Due to important Gasshuku in Island, I couldn't attend this event.
Just for your reference.
Subject: RE: Kawahara Shihan
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2011 15:11:36 -0700
Hi Mr. Bruce Riddick,
Thank you very much for your message. I was in Japan for a while & I was shocked to hear the news. My name is Hiro Inoue (Iaido in UBC), Kawahara sensei is my great master (And my old friend).
I attached my memory message file with this mail, both Japanese & English (sorry my brocken English, but I think it's better than nothing)
Due to Iaido Gassyuku in Island, I can not attend Aug. 21st event, but I'll be appreciated if you read this "Memory of Kawahara sensei" at the site.
Hiro Inoue (kawahara sensei's not good former student)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 17:31:59 -0700
Subject: Kawahara Shihan
With Sensei's passing a shadow of grief has been cast over the Aikido community throughout Canada and in other centres where Sensei's students have established themselves. Several events recognizing Sensei, his outstanding contribution to Aikido and his devotion to his students have already occurred and at least one other in Halifax is planned. Many of his students were unable to attend the other events and another is planned, in Vancouver, on August 21st. This is the official invitation to the event and we hope that you, and others who you know would like to attend, will be able to participate on August 21st. The invitation file is attached for printing should you wish to print it.
On another note, the event organizers plan to invite up to a dozen persons to speak at the event, in memory of Sensei. If you would like to speak at the event, please send me an email to let me know that so we can coordinate the programme. If you have a text you would like to submit to be read at the event, if you cannot come, please send it to me as well. If the text is in Japanese only, we will read and translate it.
思い起こせば、河原先生に出会ったのは４０年近く前７０年代前半、未だ各武道団体のスケールも小さく複数の武道が同じ場所で稽古していた様な時代で、当時の自分はチャイナタウン近くのコミュニテｲーセンターで少林寺拳法の稽古後、悪名高きへーステｲング通りのアストリア ホテルのパブで一杯と言う日課でありました。其処には今のファイアーホールで稽古していた松涛館空手や合気道の人達もたむろしており、皆でワイワイ楽しく遣ったものです。其処で初めて河原先生との出会いが在った 訳ですが先生の場合はこのパブだけに止まらず二次会、三次会と続き半端では有りませんでした。翌朝までお付き合いする事も珍しくなく、翌日は二日酔い等構わず仕事に行けたのも若かったせいでしょう。そんな事が切っ掛けか其の後も河原先生には公私共に特別なお付き合いをさせて頂きました。
本週末はバンクーバー アイランドにて居合道の合宿行事の為、残念ながら今追悼会には出席出来ませんが ”河原先生の思い出” 読んで頂ければ幸いです。
２０１１年 八月 二十一日
Memory of Kawahara Sensei
Hiro Inoue : Muso Jikiden Eishin-ryu Iaido
I remember that first time I met Kawahara sensei was about 40 years ago, back to early 70th. In those days, most martial art groups weren’t big & solid like today, even several martial arts practice at same location.
My life was practicing “Shourinji Kempo” near China town & going Pub at notorious the Hotel “Astoria” on east Hasting Street after practice. People from other martial arts such as Shouto-kan Karate group from today’s Fire Hall and Aiki-kai Aikido group were usually there for hanging around. We all had a good time, talking & drinking.
Here, I met Kawahara sensei first time. But in Kawahara sensei’s case, he wasn’t done only drinking at this pub. Often going Nijikai (second party) & Sanjikai (third location) and next…. Never quite in middle of the way & he wanted company, so I always joined with him often until next morning. Going work in hang over wasn’t that much problem for younger age those days. Since those encounter, Kawahara sensei had treated me very special.
Kawahara sensei was very respected sensei as the only one professional martial artist among us. After he moved out of Vancouver, I couldn’t have much chance to see him anymore. But one day out of blue, he phoned me from Vernon or somewhere. I think that was my last time to talk with him.
After that, I heard sensei was living in Victoria & I was thinking to visit him one day. But time passed by, I really regret that I lost the chance to see him forever.
Currently, I have Iaido class in UBC. After Shourinji Kempo practice, I joined Aikido class & Aiki Jo class for 5 years or so. Seems like I could not improve well enough, because I had strong Kempo habit.
But I believe that those day’s practice is helping today’s my Iaido.
Now I am in another matial art, but Kawahara sensei is my all time great martial art master in many ways. He often told me “Training hard, then glow your own students”.
In some reason, I still have sensei’s heavy duty Tanren Bo (Training Bokken).
I feel like I could hear sensei’s favorite song “Banda no Sakura”.
Due to Iaido Gassyuku training in Vancouver Island this week, I can not attend today’s memorial event. But I’ll be appreciated if you read my memory of Kawahara sensei.
* May Kawahara sensei’s soul rest in peace.
August 21, 2011