December 31st, 2008-January 4th, 2009
As is our tradition, Nippon Kan ended classes for 2008 with Keiko Osame (last practice of the year) and began practice for 2009 with Keiko Hajime (first practice of the year). For the past few years, in keeping with Homma Kancho’s philosophies of AHAN, the celebrations have been kept simple.
Homma Kancho spoke of his thoughts about the New Year, “Since AHAN began, I have had the honor and opportunity to travel all over the world. I have visited many “front line” dojos and seen many things, including the life struggles of the world’s most poor. What I have learned from these experiences has changed my attitudes about ways to celebrate the milestones of life. I am not against celebrations and I encourage all of my students to celebrate themselves after attending Nippon Kan traditional ceremonies. As for myself, I have given up invitations to Christmas and New Year’s parties, cards and presents and large celebrations at Nippon Kan. I do this as my acknowledgment to all of those in the world whose misery was difficult for me to see. I give them my celebrations. This is my misogi.”
On the 31st of December, Homma Kancho celebrated the New Year’s coming with a 5 hour personal misogi ceremony to pray for the children of the world followed by rei sui (the pouring of cold water) in the garden. Only a few uchideshi were on hand to witness.
Nippon Kan Vice President