It's all about weddings these days. We got to Hara Museum of Contemporary Art about 5:30 and checked out the exhibitions before the wedding reception started. Cool building, head-scratching art. Two very cool photos in their own room on the second floor made up the whole of one series in Noguchi Rika's "I Dreamt of Flying".

We can now say we've done this museum. Alas, it hardly warrants another visit.


A letter to Naganuma:
I remember when I first came to see a class of Mugairyu. You stood by my side and explained what was going on, and then you gave me a loaner sword and taught me the basics. As I signed up to be a member I remember you telling me "Don't quit!"
At first you continued to teach me, at weekend seminars, or whenever you happened to come to the classes I was attending. And I was quite grateful to have such a high-ranking instructor bother to teach a beginner like me.
After a while, about the time I started cutting and was promoted to Yoseibu, you spent most of your time teaching Yasuda and others.
At cutting class I'd ask for your advice, and you'd tell me "Figure it out on your own. You have to learn how to use your own body; I'm not you." And so I thought you were teaching me that everyone must walk his own path.
Then we did the Butokusai demo in Kyoto, and I got promoted to Denshobu. Then we got established Honbu Dojo and I came every Tuesday to attend your class.
You often couldn't make it to class: "I'm working out of town, sorry." and I respected you for working so hard, "I've injured my leg and can't walk", and I simply hoped you'd get well soon. The one time you did come to teach, you told me you can only teach me when Niina-gosoke is not around, and I thought it strange that what you teach would anger Niina-gosoke, but again I thought "Everyone has their own way." And when Sanno showed up and you ignored me to drill him for the rest of class I thought you were trying to show me "Even someone as advanced as Sanno still needs to practice."
And then the truth comes out:
As the Head of Promotions you told Kono what kata to do for the promotion exam, drilled him for two hours right before the test, and of course everyone else but Kono failed.
You lied about being injured, you lied about being on business trips, you lied about a supposedly unused practice place, and in fact you were secretly teaching a select groups of member and non-members.
Behind my back you tell others "I'm not going to teach that white-skinned punk kid."

You and Sanno have been kicked out of NPO Hougyoku-kai for conduct unbecoming of a member, let alone a high-ranking instructor. In my mind, you don't even qualify for respect as a fellow human, never mind as a fellow budo student. I can't even imagine why you felt it necessary to lie to me. You could have just denied or protested my promotions, you could have said "I will not teach you", you could have said "I am not teaching there tonight, I am teaching here." But you didn't. You lied, and you lied to cover up your lies.
You have surrounded yourself with others like you, you use people, and ultimately you will be used as well. I hope you all enjoy your practices. I hope you train hard and achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself.
Your way is about using the sword as a tool to kill. Your way is all technique, all jutsu, but no michi. Your character is twisted and blackened, and you either don't know or don't care.
All this time I wanted you to teach me, but now I realize you have already taught me the most important lesson: the best swordsman in the world is nothing without the integrity to match his skill.

brother, where art thou?

Chris goes to the Garden of the Gods. GOG is extremely cool. I remember visiting there about 10 years ago when I was hanging out with Brooke at Colorado College (or whereever it was she went to school.)
Fishing, rock climbing...he's a regular outdoor kinda guy!

gone fishin'

Chris, Sarah, and Keiran went fishing.
Chris fishing:

Sarah fishing:

Keiran fishing:

Ah, Americans and their love of grueling outdoor sports!

all in the hips

Tanaka-sensei drilled us on the five hashirigakari kata tonight. Needless to say, it's not just about timing, it's about actually using the hips to generate power, turn, draw, and cut. I am cursed with plentiful upper body strength, so learning how to not use it is my biggest issue.
I walk around now in a feeble attempt at imitating namba aruki; moving the hip forward first, the shoulder with it, and then the foot and arm afterwards. Badly done, it looks like a gorilla trying to pass for human. Properly done, it is smooth and natural, and easy to generate lots of power and speed with minimal effort.

After practice I set up the new eMac. Tired of using a beat-up old PC, we now have a sporty new white osX machine.


In a concerted attempt to avoid unpacking, I went to Suidobashi practice tonight and then joined the Welcome New Members party afterwards. Nothing like eating and drinking the night away as a procrastination technique. No guilt whatsoever. None. Not a bit. Now then, what box are my socks in?