It has been fifty two years since I inherited the nine lineages. Although, I have not yet reached the other shore (higan, enlightenment) I feel that my earnest desire (higan, the forty-eight vows of Amida) has been realized. I still remember the spirit of the words Takamatsu Sensei spoke when initiating me to the scrolls. Today they are the most essential, the necessary eyes of the divine.
“Hatsumi San, you are my beloved student, do your very best” (ganbatte – keep going). Even now it seems he speaks these words to me.
One day, it seemed that Takamatsu Sensei realized that I did not, or was unable to have any children and he said:
“Hatsumi San, even if you don’t have any children yourself, if you have fateful meeting (connection) with any child, love is the most important thing.”
At the moment, Takamatsu Sensei’s wife was bringing us tea and she added:
“That’s right, Hatsumi san, Just like he says, even if they are not your own children, love them just the same.” This sound echoes in my ears today.
When I first embarked on my voyage around the world, I wished only for people to become aware of the true martial arts. I kept love in utmost importance as I traveled, teaching everyone single-handedly, man to man. Perhaps this is the love of just having people know the art. Now after learning of this eighth ocean. I have decided not to board the famous animated Space Battleship Yamato, but I shall board the Space Battleship Noah, Sixty years ago I plucked the song Harbor Lights on my steel guitar, now I strum it on my ukulele.
The memorial of the nine lineages that I received from Takamatsu Sensei and those teachers who have gone before is a lighthouse. It shines forth brilliantly the fighting poetry of spirit and life. The Bujinkan memorial forever radiates the light of those martial artistis that have, with whole-hearted devotion, pierced through their martial life with (selfless) spirit.
This is the light that, through the martial arts, express the unending love between buyu (martial friend) and buyu. The systems created by man crumble one after the other. In the midst of this, the Space Battledship Noah embarks to save the earth. To the sound of popping champagne corks, it launches into the eighth ocean.
I cannot say why, but the marching theme from the soundtrack of Japanese director Yasuijiro Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon echoes in my ears and brings this old heards back to the life of my youth.