1970's and Saito Sensei

1970's

1970-Saito Sensei is 42 years old. The first foreigners arrive in Iwama. Saito Sensei begins his life mission of continuing to preserve O-Sensei's aikido. He publishes his first series of five training books, Traditional Aikido.

  • 1973-Volume 1- Basic Techniques

  • 1974-Volume 2- Advanced Techniques

  • 1974-Volume 3- Applied Techniques

  • 1974-Volume 4- Vital Techniques

  • 1976-Volume 5- Training Works Wonders

Saito Sensei's first two trips to the USA were in 1973, from December 18-January 7, and in 1974 from October 3-18.

1973. The "Ibaragi Aikido Shuren" dojo,(Shuren is "training") which is more casually referred to as the "Iwama dojo". This humble structure be1973 Iwama dojo.came the home to many who trained there. Current status: property of Honbu dojo. Ultimate fate: unknown, but I will revisit this summer 2014 and post a photograph.

Photo: David Alexander


1971. Bill Witt with Saito Sensei and others. Bill Witt was one of the very first "gaijin" (foreigner) to seek out Saito Sensei in the Saito Sensei and Bill Witt: The Early Years.

1971. The original crew at that time.

1972, Tokyo. The first party. This one in David's 6-mat apartment in Nuke-benten near the Honbu Aikikai dojo where Saito Sensei had been teaching Sunday classes (see Memorial )page, which always included buki-waza (jo and bokken training). Not long afterwards, David moved to Iwama for the next ten years.

Photo: David Alexander

1972 kampai with David Alexander, Saito Sensei and two others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left to right: Lars Anderson (Sweden), Morihiro Saito Sensei, Takeji Tomita (Sweden), and David Alexander

1972, Iwama. Hand planing new, very heavy bokken for building extra arm strength. Jason Yee and Bruce Klickstein assist.

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

1972 in Iwama. Hand planing new, very heavy bokken for building extra arm strength. Jason Yee and Bruce Klickstein assist.

1973. March, Iwama, with Saito Sensei in his garden. Takako & David Alexander have just moved to Iwama.

Photo: David Alexander

1973. With Saito Sensei in his garden. Takako & David Alexander.

1973. David Alexander and Saito Sensei workout with ken bukiwaza one freezing winter day in the dojo. During this winter, there were few people training-just David and the local Iwama regulars.

Photo: David Alexander

1973. David Alexander and Saito Sensei workout with <i>ken bukiwaza</i> one freezing winter day in the dojo.

1973, Iwama. "Kazunari". Relaxing after the monthly visit of Honbu Aikikai for the "juyoka matsuri", or "Celebration of the 14th of the month". Mrs. Saito (okusan) shows how to keep baby Kazunari happy with "beer for tots". Kazunari now lives in the house next door to the Saito's. Corri Geffen is in front.

Photo: David Alexander

1973. Iwama after class party. Beer for Tots.

1973. Tom Everett gets his double nikkyo & "uisuki" farewell present. Fumiko pours, Saito Sensei grabs his right and Shigemi Inagaki grabs his left. Rumor has it that David A is responsible for coming up with this "tradition", which has been "enjoyed" by many ever since.

Photo: David Alexander

1973. Tom Everett gets his double nikkyo

1973. The first group of gaijin to train in Iwama

Photo: David Alexander

1973. First group of gaijin to Iwama, from Northern California, Sweden and Czekoslovakia

In front: Bruce Klickstein, Ulf Evanås(as a white belt), Mirko Takac, David Alexander, Morihiro Saito Sensei, and Bill Witt In back: Lars Anderson, Sam Bertz, Cheryl Martinez, Hans Goto (as a white belt), Darrell Bluhm, Kathy Bates and Mary Barlett née McDonald

1973. Saito Sensei throws Umezawa-san. Sugawara-san watches from the left.

Photo: Mary Bartlett, then known as Mary McDonald. She was in the first group of gaijin (international visitors).

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1973. Saito Sensei resting pensively during a photo shoot

Photo: Mary Bartlett

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1973. Okusan and Saito Sensei in front of the dojo

Photo: Mary Bartlett

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1973. Saito Sensei perfecting his soba making in the shokudo. If you were lucky enough to enjoy this handmade specialty made from buckwheat flour, you'll look upon the humble soba noodle with fond memories.

Photo: Mary Bartlett

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1973. In the shokudo. Saito Sensei's soba and cold beer with lunch. The *best* on a hot, humid day. As ever, light bulbs remain unshaded. No television either. Rules posted.

Photo: Mary Bartlett

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1973. Narita-san (left) and Hans Goto before the Aiki-jinja, wearing hanten

Photo: Mary Bartlett

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1973. On a hot, unbearably humid day, thoughts of bicycling through the rice fields to the famed waterfall (taki) proves irresistable. Looks like Hans Goto, Mary Barlett, Ulf Evanås, Darrell Bluhm, and probably Narita-san.

Photo: Mary Bartlett.

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1973. Saito Sensei at the waterfall

Photo: Mary Bartlett

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1973. Saito Sensei's first trip out of Japan. He travels with a large entourage to California and Hawaii. At the SF Airport, Corri Geffen discovers you just can't nikkyo Sensei.

Photo: David Alexander

1974. Airport nikyo on Saito sensei's first American trip.

Entourage includes Shigemi Inagaki, Hans Goto, Jeanette "Jeannie" Klickstein (at that time), Tom Everett, Bill Witt and David Alexander.

1973. Overlooking windy San Francisco. Inagaki, David Alexander, Sensei and Bill Witt

Bruce Klickstein

1974. SF. The boys.

1973. San Francisco. Saito Sensei before a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge

Bruce Klickstein

1974. SF. GGB.

1974. Hawaii Hochi sports newspaper, Tuesday, October 15,1974 announcement for Saito sensei's one day seminar on their way back from California to Japan. Held at the Honolulu Aikido Dojo.

Photo: David Alexander

Newspaper article announcing an aikido event in Japan with David Alexander, Saito Sensei and Shigemi Inagaki.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In front: David Alexander, Saito Sensei and Shigemi Inagaki. In back, the dojo owner in a suit, and two aikidoka in Hawaiian shirts.

1974, probably from the second visit. Saito Sensei in San Francisco seminar, with Terry Dobson and Bill Witt

Photo: Bill Witt

1975. Saito sensei, Terry Dobson, and Bill Witt in San Francisco.

1974. Saito Sensei's second visit to California included a sailboat trip around San Francisco Bay. Tuuli lived on this boat. Sid is her dad.

Photo: David Alexander

1974. Second trip to America. Sailboat in SF Bay.

In front, Bruce Klickstein, Sally Klickstein (at that time), Saito Sensei and Bill Witt. In back, Tuuli Messer in red shirt, Ryuji Inagaki, David Alexander in hat, and Sid Messer

1975-76? Sweden. First visit? Uke: Lars Anderson.

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

1975? First visit to Sweden.

1975. Après keiko games. Who are the two (losing) on the left?

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

After <i>keiko</i> games.

1976. With the grandkids before the dojo door. Sensei holds baby Kazanari. Okusan has Masaki on her back. Masaki is the son of Harumi and Umezawa-san. Now an adult, he is working at the new town hall.

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

1976. With the grandkids before the dojo door. Sensei holds baby Kazanari. Okusan has Masaki on her back.

1976. Iwama.

John's family owned a youth hostel near Ishioka)

Bruce Klickstein

1976. Iwama group o'gaijin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the left, Cory Geffen, Jeanie Lerner, Diana Taylor, Bruce, Sam from Sweden, Kiyomi, John, Bernice Tom, unknown, and David Alexander

1978? Danny Russell's wedding, Iwama. The Saitos in formal kimono

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

1978, Iwama. Danny Russell's (center) wedding.

1978. Iwama. Preparing the soba in the shokudo

Bruce Klickstein

1978. Soba preparation.

1978. Bruce Klickstein, Teija Bell, ? and Saito Sensei. Yakisoba at the Iwama dojo

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

Bruce Klickstein, Teija Bell, ? and Saito Sensei. Yakisoba at the Iwama dojo.

1978 in San Francisco. Bruce Klickstein and Saito Sensei in action

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

1978 in San Francisco. Bruce Klickstein and Saito Sensei.

1979 in Calgary, Canada. Stan Pranin translating for Saito Sensei

Photo: Stan Pranin

1979 in Calgary, Canada. Stan Pranin translating for Saito Sensei.