Here’s the story of how I got Frank Gordon’s weapons told by Nippon-kan Weapons Instructor Chris A.
My friend, who lives across the street from City Park had seen the a blue bag lying on the sidewalk next to the street, which he thought might have camping gear in it, so he left it there assuming someone would eventually come to retrieve it. The bag had been there for almost a week before someone had opened it, looked through it and left it there. Going out to his car on his way to work Thursday morning, he recognized the contents to be a couple of Jos and a Bokken. He called me to ask if I had misplaced my weapons bag. He thought maybe that it had fallen out of my car when I’d gone to visit. I told him that I hadn’t lost my weapons, but I’d come by to take a look at it.
I arrived and examined the bag and found that a business card was attached. I called the number which had been disconnected, so I brought it home to do some internet research to see if I could find a more current number. Instead I found an obituary for Frank dated in 2010. I looked further to see if could find someone else who might have lost it. One of Frank’s previous addresses was the building that they were found at so I tried calling the person who lived there now, named Sara Jean Stock. That phone number too was out of date, and someone who didn’t know Sara answered. I thought that might be the same Sara who is a current member of Nippon Kan, so I brought them to the dojo to ask Mala if Sara had lost her weapons when she left for France. I later found out Sara’s last name is Wolfe, so I knew it wasn’t her. After class I was telling the story of these mystery weapons and Bryon Sensei recognized Frank’s name.
The photos are of items that belonged to a long-time student of Nippon-Kan, who unexpectedly stopped coming to Dojo along with a fellow female student about 8 ~ 9 years ago. Although I had not known where he went after he had suddenly disappeared from Nippon Kan, I was later told that he had become an Aikido instructor before he passed away about 7 years ago.
Chris sensei, one of the instructors at my Dojo, brought the weapons bag with Bokken, Jo and other items in it to the Dojo the other day.
People at the dojo’s imaginations began to wander as to where the weapons bag had been before returning full circle back to Nippon Kan… While it was such a surprise for me when I discovered that the owner of this weapons bag, whom I had taught from the beginning with how to tie an obi belt, had become an instructor for another organization, the weapons bag was found almost in as perfect condition as it can be after 7 long years since his death. The return of the weapons bag to Nippon Kan surely must be some kind of karma at work, and hence, the weapons bag has been welcomed and on display at the front of Nippon Kan Dojo out of respect per the Samurai Spirit. A decision has been made to keep the weapons bag by waiting to hear from the owner until the owner shows up, perhaps after having seen this article.
If you wish the return of the weapons bag, please contact Nippon Kan.
Kancho, AHAN Aikido Nippon Kan