20 Years as Kasumi-An
Each January 7 we celebrate the founding of the Kasumi-An that took place on the first day of the Heisei era, January 7, 1989. The Kasumi-An is my personal dojo training hall that is my house, and the name thereby extended to all people who practice the To-Shin Do self defense and self perfection arts I teach.
This day in 2009 is the 20 year anniversary of my determination to bring to the Western world the most useful form imaginable of what I learned from my teacher Masaaki Hatsumi in Japan, and the founding thereby of the Kasumi-An “Haze (Hayes) Hermitage” as a teaching legacy in the West.
Coincidentally, this January 7 is also the 20th anniversary of the death of Showa Tenno Emperor Hirohito – Japan’s WWII era emperor – and assumption of the Chrysanthemum Throne by his son Heisei Tenno Emperor Akihito
The reign of the deceased Emperor Hirohito had been called the Showa era. Showa is translated as “Beginning of peace.” The reign of the new Emperor Akihito, it had been determined, would be called the Heisei era, Heisei being translated as “Peace accomplished”.
The start of the Heisei era and the founding of the Kasumi-An both occurred on the same day in 1989 without my planning it or having any idea whatsoever of the connection at the time. You can read the fuller story in my most recent book, Ninja Vol. 6 Secret Scrolls of the Warrior Sage.
In my personal dojo in Dayton, Ohio, I read the brief Ki-gan Mon “Words of Aspiration” for world peace at the start of Black Belt class on this day. As I read the words, I realize that world peace accomplished seems like an even more remote possibility now than it did 20 years ago. Indeed, so much of life is very different now than I might have envisioned 20 years ago.
Nonetheless, we persevere. With the highest of ideals as our guide, we as warrior protectors must persevere. If everyone on the planet enjoyed full security and abundance, there would be no need for wars. We as To-Shi work to bring to each of our communities as much training as we can in how to build personal security and personal success. That’s our vow, and the world sure needs us to win, don’t you think?