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--My father's discovery of inochi, life itself--

By Jiro Nakazono



As all of the British pioneering Aikidoka who have trained with my father know, his name was originally Mutsuro Nakazono.  He changed it to Masahilo Mikoto Nakazono in his late fifties when he came to realize how his whole life was about his pursuit for “the truth of life.”  “Masahilo” stood for “searcher for the beautiful truth of life.”

In other words, “what is life?” was the question he always looked for an answer to through his Aikido practice and his relentless search in the field of Oriental Medicine.


My father's course of life clearly shifted in his late fifties when he moved to the United States from France; the focus of his work was now onto his search for “what is life itself?”


Western Science defines life as matter; the same is defined as “forces” called Ki, Chi, or Prana in Oriental Medicine and other cultures, which was one of the reasons why Aikido was my father's Budo of choice.  However, soon after he changed his first name to Masahilo, an extraordinary spiritual experience drove him to come up with another possible definition for life itself, and that was “life as intelligence of self-creation,” which he called “inochi.”


I could not understand “life's intelligence of self-creation,” and when I asked him to explain more, all his answers were about Kototama [Spirit in Verbs], or the meanings of life carried in the resonance of the sounds...  He also said; “O-Sensei kept telling us, students, how the whole Aikido was about the Kototama sounds...”  





--My father's discovery of inochi, life itself--

by Jiro Nakazono



“I had no idea as to what O-Sensei was talking about when he was telling us the names of Gods and Goddesses of Shinto to explain where his Aikido movements, Ki and Kokyu were coming from...”  my father said.  Then he went on; “but I finally realized that those Gods and Goddesses were each representing a sound of the 100 sounds of Kototama, which were the resonance of life itself—inochi.  O-Sensei was talking about his perception and experience of life itself in his own language that derived from Shinto (Japan's National Religion).”


When my father moved to Santa Fe, N.M., which was in 1972, his Aikido had completely changed from its conventional techniques, such as Shihonage and Kotegaeshi, to free flowing spiral movements in synchronization with the attackers movements, and his “language” had also become as hard to understand as O-Sensei's when he spoke of the Gods and Goddesses... 


Scientists are now saying that our consciousness is not even within our physical selves, but that it is outside, and that we continue to live as our body of consciousness (souls) even after our physical expiration.  

[If you are interested in the subject go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFyJYNqQtIc ] To my father that place of consciousness was the time itself as its wholeness is the eternity, and through his Aikido of No Aikido and his own form of Oriental Medicine he was going after the experience of “what is before the time and space,” or the realm of the Origin of Life.





--My father's discovery of inochi, life itself--

by Jiro Nakazono



By the time Henry Ellis Sensei visited my father in Santa Fe, N.M., which was in 1992, and it was their last meeting, my father was well into his search for “life itself” and it's realm, which he called Heaven [not to be confused with the realm of life after life] as to point to the realm of the origin of life.  

My father was already using a form of spiritual healing power which he called inochi [that means “life itself” in Japanese] in his everyday practice of healing; he was healing people without touch, and from a great distance at times, but he did not talk about it for he himself was not yet clear on the subject.  He was experimenting on water and other materials to inject his spiritual healing power in order to come up with his “spiritual medicine.”  I am sure he hadn't told anything about it to Ellis Sensei at their meeting, instead they must have talked about their good old [I really should say “gold”] time together with Kenshiro Abbe Sensei and all the rest of British Budo Pioneers.


My father's health was never good after his return from his extended trip to France in 1991, but ironically his grasping of what he was searching for all his life—the truth of life, which was now about life itself, or the inochi, was getting stronger as his body was running out of steam to heal itself.

Ellis Sensei said to me; “I remember so well...  Your father was in a great shape, that is why I was shocked when I heard of his death in 1994...”  That is what a real Budo man does; he doesn't reveal his weakness to the end, not even to a good friend. 




--My father's discovery of inochi, life itself--

by Jiro Nakazono



When we are intellectually or emotionally overactive we don't realize, but we barely verbalize [vocally and silently in thoughts and emotions] 0.2% of all the reality we are living.  In other words, what is in between the lines [of our thoughts, emotions and words] means so much more.  From my father, who was my only true teacher, what I learned from his silence is incomparably more than all of the knowledge he passed down onto me verbally.


On my last visit with my father in the Fall of 1994 [he passed away on October 8], I somehow could tell he was right at the gate of his goal—the realm of the truth of life, and I asked him; “You've reached it, haven't you!?” to which he nodded “yes.”  Then he said to me; “I cannot explain it, but keep searching for it, it will come to you...”  When I think about it, he was clearly dying at that point, but strangely enough the thought had not even crossed my mind, for all I was sensing from him was this tremendous resonance of life itself from the realm of the origin of life he had finally reached after 76 years of going straight for it.  A vivid image of a wide and straight golden path right into the horizon flashed in my brain.

-to be continued.



THE LATER PART OF HIS DO (WAY) Part 5 - Conclusion 

--My father's discovery of inochi, life itself--

by Jiro Nakazono



When truth is revealed to us we know, because somewhere and somehow we have always known.  And truth is not hiding from us, but we disassociate ourselves from it with all the noises we make inside of our mind and heart, and even outside in our life.  That is why in life we journey in soul looking for “we call it peace and happiness,” but it's really truth we are looking for.


To cut to the chase; the truth my father had reached on his dying bed, which later came to me, was LIFE AS INTELLIGENCE OF SELF-CREATION, which my father always called inochi.


By the time this article will be published we are only a month away from our Wales Event in the memory of my father, Masahilo M. Nakazono.

When Ellis Sensei first mentioned to me about this event my immediate reaction was; “Go for it, you don't have much of an Aikido to show, but you have inochi to take to your father's first students in Europe and to their students of today.  Take to them this treasure your father had reached after his life long search for the truth of life.”  And I responded to Sensei; “Yes, and thank you for granting me this opportunity.”


Nakazono Event is for the memory of my father's dedication in bringing his Aikido to Europe, but I am coming to be a part of it, especially to honor the British pioneers in Aikido, to bring them this resonance of the origin of life—inochi, that was passed onto me from the spirit of my father.

It would mean a lot for me to be able to give a blessing of heaven to all of you when I will see you on the mat, and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support.


I wish to thank Gwynne Jones Sensei, Haydn Foster Sensei, Henry Ellis Sensei, and Derek Eastman Sensei for organizing and making this event possible.

I am especially honored by the participation of Dang Thong Phong Sensei, as our special guest of honor.