This Ito writing….

Time flies very fast! Already more than a week has gone since we were together in Reims, France. Hope you had a chance to receiver yourself from the post Gasshuku “Blues” !

Please allow me to share “What I Really Wanted to Say at the Closing Ceremony” with you this time! (Thank you, Nagako Cooper, Tomi Nagai-Rothe, Lee Seaman, who helped me translate my message in English, and Patrick Bouchaud, who did in French!)


I was very humbled to receive so many words of gratitude and praise at the Forum closing ceremony. However, I realized that event organizers should have received the words of gratitude – all those who smoothly did their assigned roles behind the scenes, the ESC staff who created the new Forum-style gasshuku, and the group that gathered in Coye La Foret and started to dream 10 years ago!

Praise and gratitude should also go to Minagawa sensei, who led the last plenary keiko and assisted me throughout the Forum and in the instructors’ workshop.

There’s a saying by Saicho who founded the Tendai sect of Buddhism:

What are a nation’s treasures?

True riches are one’s faith in Buddha (道心 /Doushin)

and those who call it so (who have Doushin)

from times long ago it’s been said

that true riches are not material things

but that which shines light into a dark corner (一隅を照らす/Ichigu-wo-terasu)”
In the Shintaido movement, our treasures are the instructors and their assistants who hold Shintaido classes in their communities, spending their free time after a day’s work, teaching Shintaido to make “your body bright” and “your heart strong!” This poem by Kenji Miyazawa, a poet and children’s literature author, from the beginning of Showa period (1920’s) expresses the way I see the role of those instructors and assistants in Shintaido.

Ame nimo Makezu — Not bowed by the rain

Not bowed by the rain

Not bent by the wind

Not crushed by the snow or summer’s heat

With a strong body

Not bound by desire

Never losing temper

Always quietly smiling

Every day four bowls of brown rice

Miso and some vegetables to eat

In everything

Count yourself last and put others before you

Watching listening understanding

And never forgetting

In the shade of pine woods near the fields

in a little thatched hut

If there is a sick child to the east

Going and nursing her

If there is a tired mother to the west

Going and shouldering her sheaf of rice

If there is someone near death to the south

Going and saying there’s no need to be afraid

If there is a quarrel or a lawsuit to the north

Going and telling them to let go of this waste of time

When there’s drought, shedding tears of sympathy

Worrying with the farmers when the summer is too cool

Called a nobody by everyone

Without being praised

Without being blamed

Such a person

I want to become.”
Fugaku Ito


Thank you, Marc Plantec!

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