August - December 2007 Activity Report
Nov 17-22, 2007
Group photo in front of East Timor dojo;
On the left, Wada Sensei. On the right, Sung Ju-hwan Sensei.
North of Australia and east of Indonesia lies the worlds newest independent nation of East Timor. Last November I had the opportunity to visit the capitol city of the island country of East Timor for five days. I came at the invitation of Sung Ju-hwan Sensei to teach Aikido to Aikidoka practicing there and at the UNPOL Police Academy.
East Timor has had a tumultuous history. In 1999, civil war broke out in East Timor over becoming independent from its neighboring country of Indonesia leaving many dead and over 50,000 internal refugees. The United Nations were called in to serve as negotiators and peace keepers and have remained in East Timor ever since. In 2006 civil unrest erupted once again in East Timor this time between East and West Timor and was complicated by the war like clashes between rival martial art gangs. These were the circumstances in East Timor when I went to teach Aikido; challenging to say the least.
Aikido practice in East Timor
The TAF (Timor Aikido Federation) began in 2003 when an Italian Aikidoist was stationed in East Timor for about four months. Mr. Yoshikazu Wada, sent to East Timor by JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) practiced at the Azabu dojo under Kosaku Takano Sensei and volunteered his time to teach Aikido in East Timor during his off-duty hours from 2005 until 2006.
2006 was a year in East Timor marked by civil unrest, internal war and the disruption of most civilian activities. Under these conditions, Aikido was not practiced again until the arrival in March 2007 of Sung Ju-hwan Sensei who reinitiated the program with Mr Wada and Mr. Ziad Ysuf Abuamer. Mr. Ziad Abuamer is an instructor practicing Aikido in Alexandria, Egypt under the Egypt Aikido Association and Kenji Kumagai Shihan who was also sent for active duty in East Timor as a UNPOL peace keeping officer. Last September Sung Ju-hwan Sensei organized the firstunified open peaceful martial demonstration ever held in East Timor.
In front of East Timor Police Academy. On my left Instructor Ziad. On my right Sung Sensei.
After my visit to East Timor in November, the United Nations General Secretary Ban Gibbons also visited East Timor and saw an Aikido demonstration arranged in his honor. Even the General Secretary is aware that the martial art wars in East Timor are a serious problem and has found a new interest in the positive influences of Aikido and its practice in this war-torn arena.
I first met Sung Ju-hwan Sensei in Korea when I visited
the Korean Aikido Federation under Ikam Yoon Sensei in 2005.
Sung Ju-hwan took to heart the philosophy of AHAN and AHAN
activities around the world and vowed to do something himself
to bring peace to the world through Aikido. With this dream
in mind, he joined the United Nations UNPOL and was sent
to East Timor for a one year tour of duty. While in East
Timor I taught Aikido to civilians at the Timor Aikido Federation
at a local gymnasium. I also taught classes to Instructors
in Training at the Police Academy.
Police Academy Principal, Mr Hornay.
Police Academy Instructors class.
On this trip I was introduced by Mr. Wada and his wife
Kaeko to Father Toshiro Horie who runs a Catholic monastery
in the capitol of Dili. Since 2006, Dili has been overrun
with refugees and originally over 5000 men, women and children
sought refuge at the monastery. Still today many refugee
families remain and Father Horie takes care of them with
compassion and diligence. Father Horie spent 15 years at
a missionary deep in the Amazon jungles and has now been
in East Timor for the last 6 years. Father Horie is 68 years
old, but remains a very positive force in the reconstruction
of East Timor. In Nippon Kan AHAN’s name, a large
supply of powdered milk was donated for the refugees living
at the monastery.
Father Horie with a class of students.
The classroom tent is well ventilated…
Refugees still living at the monastery.
Please link here to my article “Bujutsu Fighting Gangs in East Timor PART I ” which explores my views on Budo and Bujutsu and the international impact of both on our global society. Please also link to the article about East Timor and my November visit written by Korean Aikido Federation Instructor, UNPOL Officer Sung Ju-hwan titled “Sharing not Struggling”.
PART II of “Bujutsu Fighting Gangs in East Timor” will be posted after my second trip to East Timor in early February 2008.
Capitol City of Dili, East Timor-Photo Album
Sung Sensei bargaining for watermelon.
Coffin store; all lined up in a row.
Dili market tofu store.
Plenty of goods for sale in the market.
Tobacco for sale.
Areas abandoned after being
destroyed by civil riots.
A spot of genocide marked with a permanent memorial of candles.
Dili main street.
Popular around town,
best not to meet face to face!
Nippon Kan General Headquarters
Gaku Homma, Nippon Kan Kancho
Oct 5th-9th 2007
Flags representing attending countries; Korea,
USA, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Turkey.
Stephanie Yap Sensei foreground.
This 2007 AHAN Nippon Kan IISA (Instructors in Support of AHAN) Training Tour was organized by Nippon Kan General Headquarters and the Korean Aikido Federation (Ik-Am Yoon Sensei, President http://www.aikido.co.kr/english/index.php3 )
This historic seminar was instructed by Stephanie Yap Sensei, Chief Instructor of Aikido of South Florida (http://www.aikidosouthflorida.com/ ). This was the first time in Korea that a professional woman instructor had taught an Aikido seminar exclusively and the event—held at a local high school judo facility—was an overwhelming success. About 100 students from all over Korea came to attend this special event. Gaku Homma, Nippon Kan Kancho , who had been teaching in Nepal, met Yap Sensei and an entourage of Nippon Kan students in Seoul.
Homma Kancho opened the seminar with introductions and then Stephanie Yap Sensei took the lead with her unique and energetic warm-up exercises. Yap Sensei was a long time uchideshi under the late Morihiro Saito Shihan and also trains under his son Hitohiro Saito Sensei of Shin Shin Aiki Shuren Kai Dento Iwama Ryu. She is a woman instructor well know for her dynamic and powerful style, and this seminar in Seoul was no exception.
Aikido is a relatively new martial art in Korea and there are few Korean women Aikidoka currently practicing. All of the attending students were surprised and greatly impressed with the power of Stephanie Yap Sensei’s technique.
As part of AHAN’s IISA program, instructor education
is very important, especially for instructors (regardless
of style or affiliation) that are leaders in their own communities
and exhibit an enthusiasm for learning and a dedication
to their own practice. Nippon Kan encourages instructor
development with projects such as these IISA global training
tours offering instructors a chance to enrich their own
teaching experience. All IISA Instructors support AHAN in
philosophy and deed in their own dojos and communities.
Stephanie Sensei’s powerful practice.
Nippon Kan Instructor Michael served as uke.
A hard practice, but everyone had a smile!
To date, AHAN’s IISA program has sponsored many international
instructors to teach in countries other than their
own. AHAN sponsored IISA Instructor Fernando Roman Sensei
of Mexico Aikido, Take Musu Aiki for visits to Japan, Brazil,
Nicaragua and the United States on numerous occasions.
Previously, Ali Uludag, President of Turkish Aikikai accompanied
Homma Kancho to Japan, the US and Mexico and this
time AHAN sponsored him to accompany Homma Kancho and Yap
Sensei to Korea and Mongolia along with AHAN Nippon Kan
Ankara coordinator Banu Alverserci of Turkish Aikikai in
Ankara, Turkey. Homma Kancho and Yap Sensei were also joined
in Korea by Nippon Kan Headquarters President, Mr. Doug
Kelly, Nippon Kan Vice President, AHAN Chief Director Emily
Busch, Nippon Kan students, and John Grotrian of Aikido
Nippon Kan Nepal.
From left: Emily Busch- Nippon Kan GQ Vice President, Ik-Am Yoon Sensei-Korean Aikido Federation President, Gaku Homma-Nippon Kan GQ Kancho, Stephanie Yap Sensei, Ali Uludag-Turkish Aikikai President, Doug Kelly-Nippon Kan GQ President.
Nippon Kan and Korean Aikido Federation women seminar attendants.
Students on the first day of practice.
Yoon Sensei and his wife Miae-san were both wonderful hosts both during and after the seminar, introducing us to many aspects of Korean history, culture and of course the delicious cuisine! Everyone on this tour had a wonderful time. The success of this seminar was due in large part to the deep understanding of the purpose and goals of this seminar by Yoon Sensei and Miae-san and also the support and understanding of their students. Yoon Sensei is a devout Christian and understands the philosophy and humanitarian activities of AHAN with vision. A portion of seminar proceeds were donated to three local Aikido dojos under Yoon Sensei’s direction for operations support. On this trip by mutual agreement between Homma Kancho and Yoon Sensei, the Korean Aikido Federation became official members of AHAN. We sincerely welcome Yoon Sensei, Miae Sensei and the Korean Aikido Federation as members of AHAN and look forward to participating together in other international AHAN activities in the years to come. Many sincere thanks to everyone we met in Seoul.
AHAN Nippon Kan General Headquarters sponsored Yap Sensei’s
roundtrip airfare, accommodations and instructor
Sight seeing in Seoul (group photo).
The emperor and his two queens.
Korean Aikido Federation Van. Thank you for driving us.
AHAN Nippon Kan International Director, Nippon Kan Senior Vice President
October 9th-14th, 2007
After the AHAN seminar in Korea had drawn to a successful close, Homma Kancho, Stephanie Yap Sensei and the Nippon Kan AHAN entourage flew from Seoul to Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. The purpose of this visit to Mongolia was to attend a Nippon Kan General Headquarters-sponsored Mongolia Aikido Seminar and to work on a variety of AHAN Humanitarian projects.
The Mongolia Aikido Seminar was held at the Mongolia Japan Center and attended by students from two Aikido organizations in Ulaanbaatar who joined together for this special event. Stephanie Yap Sensei was the featured instructor, teaching morning and afternoon classes on October 13th, 2007 for all attending students.
Like Korea, this was the first visit from a professional woman Aikido Instructor to teach in Mongolia and all attending students and instructors were enthusiastic about Stephanie Yap Sensei’s energy and powerful teaching technique.
In front of the Mongolia JapanCenter where the seminar was held.
Stephanie Sensei’s exercises were tough!
Stephanie Sensei teaching.
Nippon Kan Headquarters graduate uchideshi, Bold Tumenjargal (who now teaches Aikido in Ulaanbaatar), AHAN Mongolia Coordinator Alimansar Namjildorj, and assistant coordinator Enkhbayar Dagvadorj (both whom have studied project management at Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver) made up the primary Mongolian organizing staff. In Ulaanbaatar, Instructor Bold Tumenjargal teaches at the Wolf Aikido Club (President Ganzorig Dashdorj). Altanbagana Sensei and students of Mongolia Aikikai Aikido were also present at the seminar. Aikido Nippon Kan Mongolia is planning to open other teaching locations in Ulaanbaatar in the near future.
Homma Kancho’s demonstration.
Instructor Altanbagana on the left, Instructor Bold on the right.
Ali Uludag, Turkish Aikikai President teaching.
The AHAN projects in Mongolia this trip were multifaceted. One purpose was an exploratory mission to study Mongolian Ger camps (Mongolian traditional camp resorts) for possible future development in Canada and Southwest Turkey. More information on these developing projects will be announced in future Nippon Kan website updates. The AHAN tour experienced the wilds of the Mongolian countryside with a one-night stay in a Ger camp outside of Ulaanbaatar. We also further explored Mongolian culture and history with a visit to a 13th century living history village.
On this short but busy visit to Mongolia, we were able to visit many people thanks to Homma Kancho’s long-standing relationships and network of connections built over the years.
On the day before the seminar, Homma Kancho had an afternoon meeting with hotel and resort mogul and Member of Parliament, Khaltmaa Battulga. Mr. Battulga is also the President of the Mongolia Judo Federation and an avid supporter of the martial arts in Mongolia. Homma Kancho and Mr. Battulga discussed future plans to implement an Aikido program in Judo dojos in Ulaanbaatar and other parts of Mongolia.
Khaltmaa Battulga, Member of Parliament, Homma Kancho, Stephanie Sensei, Emily Sensei.
Later in the afternoon, Homma Kancho and the
Nippon Kan AHAN tour entourage went to Parliament
for a meeting with Dr. Sanjusuren Oyun, a Member of Parliament
and the Founder of the Zorig Foundation, a prominent
humanitarian support organization in Mongolia. We also visited
the Zorig Foundation Headquarters to discuss current
and future support projects with AHAN. The Zorig Foundation
was founded by Mr. Zorig who was a hero involved
in the democratizing of Mongolia. On October 2, 1998 Mr.
Zorig was assassinated, and his sister, Dr. Oyun took over
the administration of the Zorig Foundation. Today, the Zorig
Foundation has grown to be one of the most outstanding
humanitarian aid organizations in Mongolia with sponsors
in many countries including Japan and the United States.
AHAN has supported the work of the Zorig Foundation with
computer donations, cross cultural exchange student support
activities and other projects. More information on AHAN
activities in Mongolia can be found in the AHAN section
of the website under Mongolia.
Meeting with Dr. Sanjusuren OYUN at the Mongolia Parliament.
At the Zorig Foundation.
Nippon Kan General Headquarters scholarship support presentation.
Before this busy day came to an end, we went to Gandan Temple where we had a private audience with Choijamts Hamba Llama the highest Buddisht priest (llama) in Mongolia. The Hamba Llama and the Gandan Temple are very well known in Mongolia for their active approach to education and other social services to the Mongolian people. Choijamts Hamba Llama visited Nippon Kan headquarters in the US with the President of Mongolia on a trip to meet with US President Bush in 2005. AHAN Nippon Kan Headquarters has donated over thirty refurbished computers to the Gandan Temple educational facilities.
With Hamba Llama Choizants at the Gandan Temple.
this visit to Mongolia, AHAN Nippon Kan Mongolia
Coordinator Alimansar served as Japanese translator for
Homma Kancho and Enk and Bold served as English translators
for the group. We appreciate very much all the efforts of
the AHAN Nippon Kan Mongolia staff for their efforts in
organizing the events on this tour.
Overnight in the Ger camp. What an experience!
Maybe the Founder Ueshiba rode horses in Mongolia like Stephanie Sensei!
Nippon Kan AHAN girls!
A surprising yet delicious dinner! Steamed goat!
Watching the Mongolia traditional martial art, Bukh.
With tournament champion!
**Historical note from Homma Kancho
Inside the Gandan Temple complex, in a windswept corner of the square, stands a tree and a small wooden monument. On the monument written in Japanese is a memorial dedication to Onisaburo Deguchi, Founder of the Omoto Kyo religious sect for the 80th year anniversary of his visit to Mongolia. The tree was planted and the monument erected in 2004.
It is written in our Aikido history that Onisaburo Deguchi came to Mongolia with the Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba. Actually Onisaburo Deguchi and the Founder Ueshiba never made it through the border between China and Mongolia; they were both arrested on the Chinese side of the border. Therefore, the premise for this memorial tree and monument is not based in actual fact. It has been confirmed by Mongolian historians that the Reverend Deguchi and Founder Ueshiba were actually acting as intelligence agents for the Japanese Military (Tokumukikan) in the Japanese attempts to take over the country of Mongolia militarily. This truth be known, sometimes it is better to let lie. Maybe the memorial post should be written as a memorial dedication of the 80th year anniversary of Onisaburo Deguchis ATTEMPT to visit the country of Mongolia. Better just to leave this one alone….
A building boom in Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia must
be mindful and
protective of it’s past as they move on toward the future.
AHAN Nippon Kan Mongolia Coordinator Alimansar
Sept 27-30th, 2007
Nepal Teachers Day. Back row: Mr. Adhikari, Instructor John, Front row: Pura, Instructor Rajesh, Dayangi.
“Aikido is a completely different martial art both philosophically and technically that most anyone can practice.”
Aikido is gaining popularity in Nepal, and Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal is growing. In November 2004, current Aikido Nippon Kan General Headquarters official instructor to Nepal, Rajesh Bista invited Homma Kancho by mail to visit to Nepal to introduce the martial art of Aikido to his students. Mr. Bista was the first to bring Aikido to his home country.
In February 2005, Homma Kancho had the opportunity to visit Nepal, but without complete address information was unable to locate Mr. Bista on that visit. Contact was reestablished and a formal visit was arranged by Mr. Bista for Homma Kancho and a group of students from Nippon Kan Headquarters who visited Nepal in January of 2006. On this trip, Homma Kancho taught an introductory seminar at the Kokushin Karate dojo run by Mr. Bishnu Kanta.
The practice of Aikido in Nepal began with this visit, and practice continues to be held now on a daily basis. New members have joined consistently and on this visit Homma Kancho instructed for two days to the enthusiastic students of Kathmandu. Twenty five Kyu promotions were approved for Nepal Aikido Nippon Kan. Instructor Rajeesh Bista has been a good leader of this growing organization and we are looking forward to his advancement as a Nippon Kan General Headquarters staff member. Pramod Adhikari has also been a valuable member performing the administrative duties of the group.
Renting space at Kanta Sensei’s dojo.
Also renting space at the Judo dojo.
Teaching Aikido was the primary focus of this visit by
Homma Kancho but it was also a time of diplomacy. Homma
Kancho met with leaders at the Nepalese military armed police
headquarters and with Sanat Kumar, Additional Inspector
General to discuss plans to teach Aikido to the Nepalese
armed police next year. Homma Kancho also met with Dhruba
Bahadur Pradhan, President of the Nepal Olympic Committee
to discuss the development of Aikido in Nepal. Mr. Pradhan
is a famous Olympic level Judo practitioner and was very
interested in this “new” art of Aikido.
Homma Kancho with Sanat Kumar Additional Inspector.
Nepal Olympic committee Mr. Pradhan.
Homma Kancho spoke to the Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal students who had gathered for his teaching:
“I am pleased to see how the practice of Aikido has grown in Nepal. The etiquette and practice of all of the students is very good. Instructor John from Nippon Kan Headquarters and Instructor Rajesh Bista have been doing a wonderful job teaching not only Aikido technique but manners and philosophy as well. I also would like to commend Pramod for all of his hard work addressing the administrative duties of your growing organization. I am very proud to see the growth in all of students in Nepal and I am proud to see our first woman student Dayangi Sherpa becoming not only a good aikidoist but a wonderful role model for other students as well. Everyone practices here with a sincerity and innocence that is refreshing to see.
“Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal is not quite ready for a permanent dojo facility, but all of you have made great strides in uncomfortable conditions to continue your practice. Even on the days without a mat space you have found places to practice outside in front of the temples with bokken and jo. This is commendable and shows good spirit. This kind of ingenuity and motivation will build a solid foundation well into the future.
“The day will come when the political situation in Nepal becomes stable enough to be able for us to support a permanent dojo facility in Kathmandu for you to practice, but this will take a little more time to accomplish. There are many different martial arts in Nepal and I am also learning that the martial art society in Nepal is controlled by a hierarchy of a few. This seems to be a complicated political hierarchy that I believe the practice of Aikido must be become independent from before more support can become available.
“The Nepalese people are a good people, and there
are many students that are sincerely thinking about the
future of young people in Nepal as well as the future of
Aikido. With the confident actions demonstrated by students
with a sincere heart towards the future, more support from
Japan and the United States is not far away.”
Early morning in Kathmandu.
Aikido Nippon Kan Nepal Instructor
Aug 21-29, 2007
With Rensacer shelter staff (back center), Luc Leoni Sensei, Homma Kancho, Walla Sensei.
AHAN Nippon Kan Rio de Janeiro, (Luc Leoni Sensei) hosted a fundraising seminar in support of the Renascer Shelter, a family development center in Rio de Janeiro. Homma Kancho last visited Brazil two years ago when he coordinated a cross-cultural series of events in Brazil, featuring the Kyougaku Taiko Drummers from Nagano, Japan. LINK HERE
The fundraising seminar was held this year at the Tijuca University where the Pacific Rim Sports Tournament is held outside of Rio de Janeiro proper. The University donated the space for the seminar and 250 tatami mats were loaned to Nippon Kan AHAN Rio de Janeiro by the Brazil Judo Federation. Seminar attendees from other towns and cities stayed at the University dorm facilities. At the seminar closing, Renascer Shelter organizers were presented with the donations raised from seminar proceeds.
With attending students.
Homma Kancho, Consul Ikeda, Walla Sensei, Leoni Sensei.
Representative of Renascer Center receiving donation.
Consul General of Japan at Rio de Janeiro, Consul Toshio Ikeda was also in attendance at the seminar. Consul Ikeda began his own practice of Aikido during his university studies in Japan. Now he teaches Aikido three mornings a week from 7:00 am. to 8:15 am. at the Rio de Janeiro Japanese Association Center. Next year marks the 100 year anniversary of Japanese immigration to Brazil, so currently Consul Ikeda is very busy making preparations for this anniversary celebration. Even with a very full schedule, Consul Ikeda still finds time to teach the early morning Aikido classes with a spirit of harmony and as a way to communicate with local people through Aikido. I very much respect Consul Ikeda’s efforts and wish to thank him sincerely. Consul Ikeda has been very supportive of AHAN through the years, participating in AHAN projects, seminars and projects especially with the Kyougaku Drummers visit in 2005.
Also in attendance was Claude Walla Sensei, student of French Aikido pioneer and uchideshi to the Founder of Aikido, the late Andree Nokke. Thank you very much for your participation.
Homma Kancho held a meeting with AHAN Rio de Janeiro staff members and spoke to us about the direction and purposes of AHAN as a growing foundation. “Nippon Kan AHAN has a wide network of projects and supporters in many parts of the world and is continuing to grow. AHAN has become a recognizable organization in the world and we now receive many requests for assistance. As a small organization with limited resources AHAN today must carefully consider the level of need and assist those who need it the most.
“AHAN Rio de Janeiro has been very active with volunteer projects in your community and many good things have been accomplished here in Rio de Janeiro. However, compared to the level of need in other parts of the world, projects recently in Brazil have not focused on those who need help the most desperately. I think there is a hidden danger in becoming isolated in ones own society and not being able to see those in need outside of these levels. Sometimes it is hard to see the people at the bottom, the ones who live out of sight of our everyday experience. Please understand this point. I would like to see AHAN Rio de Janeiro reach out to those n your community most in need. There, we can make a small difference.
“This has to be the way of the future for Nippon Kan AHAN headquarters as well. To deal with the complexity of requests for aid and to distribute resources as effectively as possible, AHAN headquarters will even more in the future use a triage-like project assignment system based on the severity of needs. Any project that AHAN Rio de Janeiro would like to participate in at a local level is encouraged, but we will save AHAN Headquarter involvement for projects for the most in need. Thank you very much for all of your efforts. ”
We thank Homma Kancho for visiting us in Rio de Janeiro and look forward to the future.
Luc Leoni Sensei
AHAN Nippon Kan Rio de Janeiro
Nippon Kan computers all in a row…
Nippon Kan Kancho Gaku Homma visited Bangladesh for the second time this year in response to emergency conditions there. Massive flooding occurred over the summer in Bangladesh and on August 26th, 2007, Nippon Kan instructors and students held a marathon fundraising seminar to raise funds for flood relief. To ensure that the funds raised were used the most effectively, Homma Kancho, who had been teaching a seminar in Nepal came personally to oversee aid distribution. His trip was very brief but very productive.
My family owns the Sea Land Hotel in Dhaka where Homma
Kancho always stays when he comes to visit. On this visit,
we barely had time to take his bags to his room before we
opened all of the boxes he had brought with him and headed
out to the Dharmarajika Orphanage, supplies in hand. This
summer AHAN shipped 40 computers from Nippon Kan Headquarters
in Denver to the Dharmarajika Orphanage in Dhaka, and Homma
Kancho wanted to check on how the computers were being used.
He brought with him spare hardware for any of the computers
that might have been damaged during transport and about
$8,500 worth of medicines and medical supplies that we delivered
to the doctors staffing the orphanage. That first
day we also negotiated the one ton monthly delivery of rice
to the Dharmarajika Orphanage and the Madrasah Orphanage
through the end of the year 2007.
Homma Kancho in the new computer classroom.
Homma Kancho with the Venerable Mahathero.
With orphanage medical staff.
The following day we went to the Madrasah Orphanage for girls. The Madrasah Orphanage was the focus of the fundraising efforts by the Marathon “Relay the Spirit” Bangladesh Flood Relief Seminar held in Denver in August.
The Madrasah Orphanage was built over a swampy landfill so the foundation for the buildings that house the orphaned girls is unstable at best. In 2002, many parts of the orphanage completely burned to the ground and reconstruction continues very slowly as funds and materials become available. In the meantime over 300 girls are housed, fed and schooled in temporary and very dire conditions. Construction tarps and bamboo scaffolding serve as housing and classroom facilities for the girls.
Homma Kancho met with Madrasah Orphanage director Maolana Mohammad Abdur Rahman and inspected the orphanage grounds to see what was needed the most. Homma Kancho decided to purchase 130 bags of cement to make drainage barriers for flood overflow and to enforce walls in the classrooms and living quarters. He also arranged for 20 ceiling fans, eight large blackboards, a new administrative computer (records of the girls were still being kept by hand ledger) a hot and cold drinking water filtration system and some medications. Please link here to Homma Kancho’s article about his experiences in Bangladesh “NEW DEFINITIONS FOR GRADUATE HUMANITARIAN STUDIES”,
Happy to receive.
Buying cement with Rahman (Madrasah Orphanage leader).
20 ceiling fans delivered.
Delivery of 8 new blackboards.
Homma Kancho has a very busy schedule and was able to spend only about 36 hours in Bangladesh this time, but the amount of work that was accomplished was immeasurable. Homma Kancho said “It is most gratifying and makes me very happy to see the generous hearts of the students and friends at Nippon Kan in Denver come to life here in Bangladesh by way of the computers donated to the Dharmarajika Orphanage. The computers are being put to very good use here to educate future leaders of this land. The orphanage staff have built three classrooms for students to learn computer studies, and it warms my heart to see the AHAN stickers adorning each computer with a message of good will from students in Denver. I am also pleased that the additional 10 computers were able to be used at the Paris International Private School for children there.
In the United States, it costs between $10-$15 to dispose
of a computer in an ecologically sound manner. Through AHAN
we have been able to prove that what was to be discarded
can come to life again and is helping to build a better
future here in Bangladesh. We need to ask the Bangladesh
government or United Nations for whatever special licensing
or permission might be needed to continue to develop this
computer redistribution program here.”**
Madrasah Orphanage was built over a landfill.
Pathway to the orphanage.
After the recent flooding, reconstruction at the Madrasah was delayed because of a lack of cement and other materials. October was the month for the Ramadan holiday and luckily this year some of the girls were allowed to return to extended family homes for the holidays. The conditions for the girls that were left in the orphanage in October were deplorable, but the girls left at the orphanage were dedicated to their studies and had a strong and endearing attitude. Many of the supplies that Homma Kancho brought to the orphanage on this trip were related specifically to improving their study environment as in the blackboards, ceiling fans and other study related supplies. A special thanks to BIMAN Bangladesh Airlines for their special support on this trip.
Homma Kancho as usual lives as the people he visits when he comes to Bangladesh and although we used taxis periodically when carrying lots of supplies, we went most places by rickshaw, riding with everyone else through the heat, dust and noise of the streets of Dhaka. Homma Kancho always says he enjoys traveling by rickshaw, “Bangladesh style”.
Homma Kancho wanted to express his gratitude to my father, my family and the hotel staff for their support and understanding of the philosophy and activities of AHAN in Bangladesh, and a special thank you to Ratan Kumar (the barber) who is always there to help, and gives a great massage after a long day of rickshaw rides!
I would like to thank all of the people that I have not
been able yet to meet in America who have shared in these
activities in Bangladesh. It makes me very happy to see
what help AHAN has brought to our Bangladesh. Thank you
Maji (on the right) and his family.
The end of Ramadan. Hotel staff joins the celebration.
Homma Kancho with Mr. Ratan (the barber) in attendance.
Ahan Nipppon Kan Bangladesh Coordinator Maji Sarkar
**note from editor.
Currently there is legislation in the United Nations to stop the importation of used computer equipment to underdeveloped countries. This new regulation is being legislated because of a growing problem of “computer dumping.” Some underdeveloped countries have become the dumping ground for used computer equipment discarded by developed nations and the problem is on the rise.
In compliance with these new regulations, Nippon Kan and AHAN can only accept complete Pentium IV (or better) full computer sets in working order. We hope to be able to obtain special permission to export older computer systems abroad as Bangladesh is a good example of how even older computers can be put to good use if regulated and supervised carefully.
If you are ever in the capitol city of Dhaka, Bangladesh wonderful accommodations are available at Maji’s family hotel!
Centrally located in front of the Kamlapur Train Station and Central Bus Terminal. As you leave the Kamlapur station’s main exit, you can see the sign for the HOTEL SEALAND to the left on the main street.
CLEAN, SAFE, GREAT FOR BACKPACKERS!
With AC, Double $13.00 per night, Single rooms less.
Oct 18-23, 2007
Simone Sensei and family with Homma Kancho.
Homma Kancho taught at an AHAN Fundraising seminar in Dublin, Ireland in mid-October, sponsored by Aikikai Ireland AOI (Simone Chierchini Sensei http://www.aikikai.ie/) to raise funds for a student operated second hand community store in Sligo where Simone Chierchini Sensei is based. The purpose of the second hand store is to support the community with low cost goods and also serve as a source of support for dojo operations there.
The seminar was held at the Dublin Technological University
and the Donore Community Center with about eighty students
in attendance. Homma Kancho was accompanied by Nippon Kan
Headquarters instructors Carl Finney and Jason Lowrey.
In front of St. Patrick’s church. Instructor Carl, Homma Kancho, Instructor Jason.
Attending seminar students at the community center.
After joining the European Union, many immigrants moved to Ireland, and growth especially Dublin has exploded in recent years with the influx of many different peoples and cultures. Dublin has grown quickly and seems to suffer from some of the problems that come from a massive influx of new residents in a short amount of time. Homma Kancho commented “Last year we held our seminar in the countryside of Northern Ireland and it was a wonderful to experience the country peoples of Ireland. Dublin is a fast moving city and does not have the feeling of safety that the countryside provides. They say the cities in America are dangerous, but at least in the United States people acknowledge each other and say hello on the streets. Here, people do not even make eye contact.” Aikido is relatively new in Dublin and we hope that Aikidoka in Dublin will be able to find ways to promote Aikido as a way for its many people to come together in practice.
On our last day in Dublin we were invited to the Lemongrass Restaurant owned and operated by a Dublin Aikidoka, Mr. Daniel Diago who immigrated himself to Ireland from Cuba over ten years ago. Mr. Diago has opened up 22 of his Lemongrass Restaurants and is doing well with his innovative cuisine. Said Mr. Diago: “I first left Cuba for Russia before I came to Ireland. When I first arrived in Ireland the people in Dublin were very kind and friendly. There was an atmosphere of kindness and neighborliness in Dublin that in great part contributed to my being able to succeed here.” I was very impressed with his attitude, especially considering all of the challenges he must have faced starting a new life in a country where the customs, language, weather and foods were so drastically different than his own. We were fortunate to meet such a fine person in Dublin.
Proceeds raised at the seminar were documented and announced
by Simone Chierchini Sensei at the seminar closing.
Simone Sensei promises to keep us all updated on the progress
of this project. Link
here to Homma Kancho’s visit to
Ireland 2006 and a report from fellow instructor
A favorite spot for a Guinness; The Temple Bar, since 1840.
Nippon Kan Headquarters Instructor
November 3rd-4th 2007
Center: Hitohiro Saito Jukucho, left: Fernando Roman Sensei, right Michael Barrera Shidoin.
Two instructors were sent by Nippon Kan and AHAN headquarters to attend the US seminar instructed by Shin Shin Aiki Shurenkai Kaicho, Hitohiro Saito last November 3rd and 4th, 2007. Representing Nippon Kan General Headquarters in Homma Kancho’s absence was Nippon Kan General Headquarters Instructor Michael Barrera and AHAN Nippon Kan Central America Coordinator Fernando Roman Sensei, (AHAN Nippon Kan Mexico, Mexico Aikido, Takemusu Aiki http://www.mexicoaikido.com.mx/). The seminar was hosted by Stephanie Yap Sensei of Aikido of South Florida (http://www.aikidosouthflorida.com/). Stephanie Yap Sensei is an IISA Instructor (Instructors in support of AHAN) who has been involved in AHAN projects with Homma Kancho in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Mongolia.
Hitohiro Saito Sensei is the son of the late Morihiro Saito Shihan (9th Dan) who after his father’s passing formed his own organization Shin Shin Aiki Shuren Kai. Homma Kancho practiced Aikido at Iwama as a young man under the tutelage of Morhiro Saito Shihan for many years. Nippon Kan is not affiliated with Hitohiro Saito Sensei’s organization but because of this shared history, Homma Kancho and Nippon Kan have supported the activities of Hitohiro Saito Sensei and his new organization.
September 15-16, 2007
Presenting the donation to the day center director.
Nippon Kan General Headquarters Instructor Scott Olson Sensei was sent to Guatemala to teach an AHAN fundraising seminar and investigate the petition to join AHAN Nippon Kan as AHAN Nippon Kan Guatemala by student groups practicing there. Olson Sensei instructed this weekend seminar with AHAN Nippon Kan Central America and AHAN Mexico Coordinator Fernando Roman Sensei of Mexico Aikido Take Musu Aiki www.mexicoaikido.com.mx .
Fernando Roman Sensei has been working with the group in Guatemala over the last two years and sending Scott Olson Sensei for inspection was the last step before their gaining of official AHAN recognition and status.
The fundraising seminar was held in support of the Guardaria Infantile Virgen del Camino, a day care center for underprivileged working mothers. Both Olson Sensei and Roman Sensei’s travel expenses were supported by AHAN.
Olson Sensei teaching.
Fernando Sensei teaching.
At the Cuardaria Infantile Virgen del Camino Center.
At Nippon Kan AHAN Headquarters we receive many requests from dojos and other organizations all over the world to become part of the AHAN network. It has become necessary to outline guidelines for association to ensure that all organizations maintain the same philosophy and purpose of activity as Nippon Kan AHAN Headquarters. Official AHAN status is granted to organizations with verifiable projects and a personal inspection of local operations.
Request for AHAN support:
Dojo organizations requesting AHAN OFFICIAL SUPPORT for a FUNDRAISING SEMINAR must meet the following criteria and provide the following information:
- Purpose of fundraising Seminar, intended recipient contact information.
- Realistic estimates on pre-registered attendance
- List of sponsors donating advertising, space "rentals, t-shirt printing (for example).
- 75% of funds raised must be given directly to the fundraising cause with an official receipt from the receiving organization.
- Fundraising seminar financial report of income and expenses must be sent to Nippon Kan Headquarters.
- Seminar staff organizer expenses may NOT be compensated by fundraising seminar proceeds.*
*IF a seminar is an AHAN Official Fundraising Seminar, minor seminar expenses such as space rentals, water, signs, registration supplies etc. MAY be taken from seminar proceeds. Welcome parties, dinners or other entertainment expenses MAY NOT be taken from seminar proceeds, and violations will result in the loss of an organizations AHAN status.
AHAN status is usually given for a period of one to two years and good standing certification must be maintained.
Nippon Kan AHAN General Headquarters does not give cash donations to any organization nor does it solicit donations outside of the Aikido community. If someone ever solicits money in the name of AHAN please report immediately to email@example.com.
AHAN International Project Director
Sept 13th, 2007
Ava Yancha travels to remote areas of Mindanao to teach.
Ava teaching basic Aikido for P.E 2 students from MSU-IIT University, Nov.26, 2007
Martial Art Instructor Ava Yancha returned to her teaching in the Philippines after completing her one-month IISA Instructor’s training course at Nippon Kan Headquarters in August. Ava has been teaching beginning level Aikido in the local community of Malawi and Illigan City in Mindanao Island. In 2008 Homma Kancho plans to expand the small practice space Ava has been using to teach Nippon Kan Aikido in Illigan City. Link here to Homma Kancho’s article on his experiences in the Philippines, “Between Earth and Sky”, Homma Kancho’s travels in the Philippines and Ava’s Instructor training internship at Nippon Kan
Written by Nippon Kan editor staff
August 26th, 2007
Donation vessel is actually used by women in Bangladesh to carry water.
We received calls of distress from Bangladesh early last August due to severe flooding in the region. Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver heeded the call and quickly organized a fundraising seminar at the Nippon Kan Headquarters to raise support for badly needed flood relief supplies. Homma Kancho was already scheduled to teach a fundraising seminar in Rio de Janeiro so instructed his staff with the following words. “It does not matter if I cannot be here to help with this fundraising effort. We must do something quickly.” AHAN International Director and Nippon Kan Senior Vice President Emily Busch Sensei set to the task of quickly organizing the fundraising seminar event.
The seminar was held as a 10-hour marathon beginning at
9:00 am. and ending at 7:00 pm. Each rank level held practice
for a two-hour session with NO breaks in between. Each next
group passed the baton and the marathon continued until
all attending students of all ranks had participated. The
seminar marathon was instructed by Chief Instructor Rudy
Landry Sensei, Scott Olson Sensei, Bryon Hays Sensei, Instructors
Michael Barrera, Anthony Dolan and Jason Breitzman.
Consul Yamagami speaking at seminar closing.
Mr.and Mrs Yamagami also give a donation. Right: Emily Busch Sensei, Nippon Kan GH International AHAN Director.
The seminar ended with the black belt student practice and closing ceremonies attended by Consul General of Japan at Denver, Consul Haruo Yamagami and his wife. At the end of the day, $5,000 was raised including a donation from Nippon Kan Youth Program members of $74.32. This event was put on with only a few days notice, and many students that were unable to physically attend were able to support the effort with donations.
There were many important aspects of this event including the sense of teamwork it inspired and the exercise in planning for Nippon Kan staff and students in Homma Ranchos’ absence. Homma Kancho counseled “It will be too late to start training in dojo operations if for some reason I am no longer here. While I am here and in good health is the time for training in organizing and executing events of many kinds. This marathon seminar is not only a benefit for Bangladesh but is a team building activity for all Nippon Kan staff and members here at home.”
Nippon Kan students practice by rank to raise funds at the marathon.
Aug 26th, 2007
Opening speech by Homma Kancho for all class openings and Black belt class closing
Dear Nippon Kan members,
Thank you for taking a day of your weekend to attend this Bangladesh Emergency Flood Relief fundraising seminar. You are here to raise funds to help the children at the Madrasah Orphanage, but that is not the only purpose or benefit of today’s event. This is an opportunity for us as a dojo to come together. Spending time together in motion and sweat for the benefit of others is an important opportunity for us to fortify our own members and our own community as well. For the needs of others we gather today and we will work hard ourselves in practice. This is very valuable for our lives, as well as the lives of those we have gathered to help.
One cannot put a price on the value of your efforts today, or the feeling of giving that we are creating.
I am now in Brazil, raising funds for the Renascer Shelter in Rio de Janeiro so I cannot be with you today in Denver. There is an emergency in Bangladesh, so it was necessary to schedule this Denver seminar during my absence. I leave you in very capable hands, and am very happy that all of our Nippon Kan instructors have come together to organize this wonderful activity today.
Get ready, to RELAY THE SPIRIT. Let Practice Begin.
Nippon Kan Kancho
Many thanks to everyone for all of your support!
October 20th, 2007
Everyone cheers! A job well done!
There is power in longevity. What does that mean? For the
past seventeen years, at the same location, at
the same time of year, with the same staff coordinators,
Nippon Kan has been performing the same task; “Putting the Beds
to Bed” (turning the flower beds for winter) at Civic
Center Park. This year too about 100 Nippon Kan members,
family and friends finished the job for the Denver Parks
and Recreation Department, turning the flower beds in Civic
Center Park downtown between the capitol and the Denver
City and County building. “Putting the Beds to Bed” has
become a city-wide project that began 17 years
ago when Nippon Kan asked the Denver Parks Department if
we could turn the flower beds as a dojo project. Today the
project extends to most parks in Denver and is coordinated
by the Hands on Denver Department of the Denver Parks and
Recreation Department. Civic Center however is ALWAYS reserved
by the Parks Department in their planning for the Nippon
This year’s Nippon Kan volunteers.
2007 CHIEF Scott Olson Sensei.
Nippon Kan uchideshi Koji works up a sweat!
This year, Homma Kancho was teaching in Ireland at the time of the project, but with seventeen years experience, we got the job done in record time. Thanks to everyone for a job well done!
2007 Put the Beds to Bed Leader
Scott Olson Sensei
Dec 30th, 2007
Nippon Kan’s Domo Japanese Country Foods Restaurant features AHAN Teas brought directly to Denver by Homma Kancho on his many travels teaching Aikido. This year’s AHAN fundraising sales report were published publicly in Denver’s Westword Newspaper for the month of December. In 2007, 5763 cups of tea and 92 packages of dried tea were sold, raising a total of $6,423.64. Proceeds from these AHAN tea sales are directed towards our orphanage support projects. Thanks to everyone for their generosity and support! Written by AHAN Assistant Director Brian Grabowski
August 19, 285 meals served
September 16, 297 meals served
October 21 312 meals served
November 18 315 meals served
December 16 307 meals served
Total meals served 48, 439
Decorating Nippon Kan dojo for the New Year.
With the New Year in 2007, Nippon Kan operations went through a restructuring and reorganizing process to streamline headquarters operations. Nippon Kan and AHAN have been very active in international and domestic project development and operations have expanded greatly in the past few years. A remedy for organizing this growth was to simplify, refocus and restructure resources here at headquarters.
Nippon Kan’s AHAN involvement with orphanages and other humanitarian organizations in many countries has given Nippon Kan members a new understand on the hardships associated with the human condition in many parts of the world We have been able to experience the lives of others first hand and Homma Kancho wanted to reflect our consideration and respect for their struggles in the way Nippon Kan Headquarters brought in the New Year. To have lavish holiday parties at Nippon Kan Headquarters did not seem to be a true reflection of our AHAN goals and activities throughout the year. Homma Kancho personally declined presents and cards and invitations to parties as a show of his respect for all of the others less fortunate he has met since AHAN began 7 years ago.
Dec 11-22, 2007
Keiko Soran (end of year promotion review) was held December 11th-22nd, by Homma Kancho, who reviewed all 3rd Kyu through Dan ranked students for technique comprehension and improvement. Each student’s evaluation was also based on class attendance and attendance in community service volunteer activities throughout the year.
Dec 28, 2007
Keiko Osame (The last practice of the year) was held on December 28th, 2007. After closing practice, hakama members led the way in the traditional end of year cleaning. The following day, Nippon Kan dojo was decorated in traditional Japanese style for the coming New Year activities.
In Japanese tradition, fresh bamboo is used to sweep out the old year.
Hakama members lead the cleanup.
Toshi Koshi Geiko
Dec 31st, 2007
Toshi koshi geiko (Old year to New Year midnight practice). A private practice was held at midnight December 31st, 2007 led by Homma Kancho by invitation.
January 4th, 2008
Written by Tyffany Price
For Nippon Kan Headquarter Uchideshi (live-in students), every day begins with asa geiko (morning practice). Homma Kancho teaches this class for Nippon Kan live-in students each morning. Before these uchideshi students retire to bed each evening they will have practiced at least 6 hours that day.
Currently there are 6 uchideshi students practicing at Nippon Kan Headquarters in Denver. John from Canada left for his third term to assist in teaching Aikido in Nepal January 20tj. Kazumi from Japan left January 28th for Nepal and Mariusz from Poland, (currently in his second term at Nippon Kan) will also be going to Nepal in March. Training at Nippon Kan Headquarters is John, a 4th generation native from Colorado, Travis a 9th generation native from Colorado and Alberto from Mexico. Students from Italy and other parts of the US are scheduled to arrive later this spring and summer.
If you dream of travel to other countries to assist in teaching Aikido, the Nippon Kan Uchideshi program focuses on world wide opportunities. For more information on the Nippon Kan Uchideshi Program link here.
Written by Uchideshi Coordinator
December 15, 2007
Nippon Kan’s Youth Program has a total of about 70 young people practicing in our general youth class, advanced youth class and bokken and jo class every week. The Nippon Kan Youth Program does not require students to take examinations for promotion. Promotions held bi-annually are based on class attendance, instructor evaluation and participation in Nippon Kan Denver community service volunteer activities. On December 15th, 2007 over 40 youth program members received end of year promotions.
Emily Busch Sensei talks about AHAN with youth program members and parents.
Students in Nippon Kan’s Youth Program do not only practice Aikido, they also participate in AHAN community service projects along side of our adult members. This year, before Christmas a special campaign was held with our Youth Program members to hand make New Years cards for children in Bangladesh. Over 200 hundred cards were made by our Youth Program members, their siblings and school mates. The cards were hand delivered to Bangladesh by Executive Advisor Mr. Scott Roney and taken to the Paris Elementary School in Dhaka.
Nippon Kan Uchideshi
Aug 25th, 2007
Support from adult members is very valuable for the youth program.
Summer midterm promotions for Nippon Kan’s Youth Program were held on August 25th. For over 20 years Nippon Kan has held two youth program classes, one for all youth program members and one class for our more advanced members. Depending on the season, Nippon Kan has about 70 of our younger students in the program. Once, every other month, parents are invited to attend “Parents Day” where they are allowed to watch or participate in the Youth Program classes. Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend Parents Day so that they understand what the Nippon Kan Aikido program is all about. Observation on days other than Parents Day is not allowed. It is part of the Nippon Kan teaching philosophy that young people come to class to learn and develop and have fun, not to perform for their parents.
Promotions Day is a day of celebration for our youth program members and all students who have been attending regularly receive a promotion. Nippon Kan does not hold testing or ask for promotion fees from its youth program or adult members, which is quite unique in the world of martial arts; many dojos depend primarily on testing and promotional fees for survival. Promotions for all members at Nippon Kan are based instead on attendance, effort, attitude and participation in local volunteer projects. Homma Kancho says: “It does not speak well for a dojo to depend on children promotions or children’s class fees to fund its operations. A dojo needs to have a well rounded and stable curriculum for adults and youth program members. Here at Nippon Kan we are able to keep our youth program fees at a minimum ($25.00 per month) because our adult programs are stable.”
Members of the very popular full-contact Kyokushin Karate, Kagoshima branch came to visit Nippon Kan. In preparation for their upcoming world tournament in Japan, this highly trained group of athletes had come to Boulder for high-altitude training. Before returning to Japan the group stopped by Nippon Kan to pay their respects to Homma Kancho. Their branch leader Shihan Kazuya Take, 2007 Heavy Weight Champion Makoto Taniguchi and other members also enjoyed a dinner at Domo Restaurant under Homma Kancho’s watchful eye. Homma Kancho remarked, “Wow these guys have BIG appetites! I guess that is what makes them champions, just watching them eat gives me energy!”
September 23rd, 2007
Mr. Blankenship speaks to students.
In late September, with just a hint fall in the air, students
at Nippon Kan held a party for Homma Kancho in the Nippon Kan
gardens. Homma Kancho is so busy throughout the year working
with AHAN and teaching Aikido around the world, Nippon Kan students
decided to have a garden party in his honor to thank him for
his many efforts. Special guest for this event was Mr. George
Blankenship who was instrumental in the procurement and development
of our current Nippon Kan facility ten years ago.
Homma Kancho, doing ONE of the things he does best…cooking!
Uchideshi Mariusz kept pretty busy!
August 15th, 2007
Armistice Day marks the day Japan surrendered to the United States bringing the end to WWII for Japan.
The Nippon Kan gardens has a tall flagpole where an American flag is flown every day of the year in recognition of the efforts of all of the American volunteers who built the Nippon Kan facility. Every day that is except one. On August 15th, Armistice Day, the Japanese flag is flown half mast. Today Japan and the United States enjoy a good relationship and both countries are doing well economically, but Armistice Day reminds us of the great loss on both sides in our mutual past. So for me privately, one day a year, I fly the Japanese flag half mast, on US ground over Nippon Kan.
Nippon Kan Kancho
Patio dining at Domo Restaurant during the summer months is wildly popular. Unfortunately the winds are gusty at times in Denver so it is difficult to use umbrellas over the garden tables in the summer to shade our Domo guests from the sun. Domo’s solution to the sunny days of Denver summer are traditional straw hats which have become a popular favorite with Domo guests. It makes for an interesting photo anyway!
September 29th, 2007
Written by Jeff McMullen
We received this letter from a graduate beginning class student about his experiences in our Nippon Kan Beginning Aikido program.
Hello, I just wanted to comment on my recent experiences with the beginner course at Nippon Kan. When I was younger I spent quite some time involved with various martial arts. After a 15 year absence I decided that I would like to start up again. I did a bit of research into various dojos and styles and settled on Nippon Kan. My experience with other dojos was a big disheartening for numerous reasons. I have always wanted to study Aikido so I read Homma Sensei’s books “Aikido for Life” and “Children and the Martial Arts” a few times and thought I would give Nippon Kan a try. I would like to tell you that I had a wonderful experience for many reasons. Everybody I practiced with was helpful kind and patient. Our instructor was primarily Jason (do not know his last name) and he, as well as others, was outstanding for many reasons. I was always made to feel welcome and the instruction was terrific. To sum it up, I had a fantastic time and as a result have joined as a general member and signed my daughters up for the youth program as well.
Thank you and well done,
October 20th, 2007
Sempai Genbei and Kohai Santa
Daily practice; Genbei teaching little Santa.
Allow me to introduce Nippon Kan’s newest uchideshi. His name is Santa. Nippon Kan has had three generations of dojo dogs, beginning with Ponk (1989-1996), Genbei (2000- ) and now our newest addition is little Santa. “Santa” is the Japanese word for third (as in generation), and Santa as our third generation Springer Spaniel is a handful! Santa joined the dojo family on October 20th, after braving a seven hour car ride through the snow.
All the generations of Springer Spaniels (Homma Kancho’s favorite breed) have been great friends to students and staff, especially for all of the uchideshi students who have lived here. Senior resident uchideshi Genbei knows the comings and goings of the dojo and is showing little Santa the ropes.
Santa is Homma Kancho’s baby, but we will have to make sure that none of the antiques in Homma Kancho’s office get used as chew toys!
Nippon Kan Office Manager,