1980's and Saito Sensei


1980-Saito Sensei is 52 years old. He retires from his Japan National Railroad (JNR) switchman job in nearby Tsuchiura and finally gets some sleep. He continues his international travels including California, Sweden and Denmark. He continues to publish books and videos. A constant stream of visitors comes to Iwama. HotSpar, the nearby convenience store, and Kasumi department store arrive in Iwama.

1985. Sensei and Hitohiro at the Friendship Demo.

1985. Saito Sensei and his son, Hitohiro at the 1985 Friendship Demo, Tokyo

Photo: Aiki News

1980's. Iwama. In the snow. This photo also hangs in the Iwama dojo genkan. Saito Sensei took advantage of the overnight spectacular snowfall to stage these photographs, reminiscent of the much loved Japanese television period dramas.

Photo: David Alexander & Christopher Field

1980's. Bokken practice in the snow, Iwama.

c. 1980's. Donny took this photo in Iwama and gave it to Yvonne Thelwell in Washington D.C.

Photo: Don Lyon (1952-1996)

c. 1980's. Donny's capture of his informal smile. Iwama.

1980's. Ganseki otoshi. Uke is Bjorn Saw from Sweden. This was taken during a special video shoot with Paolo Corallini Sensei and Alessandro Tittarelli at his dojo 8 June 1992 in Jesi(An), Italy.

Photo: contributed by Paul Henderson

1980's. Ganseki otoshi. Uke is Bjorn Saw. 8 June 1992.

February 1981. The traditional "Keiko-gi" send-off party at the Atago-san onsen. Saito Sensei and Derek Minus from Australia. "On the back of my Keikogi Hitohiro drew a particularly good daruma."

Photo: Derek Minus

The traditional

1982. Bastad, Sweden seminar. Uke: David Alexander. On this trip, he held one class in Germany and they visited Copenhagen, Denmark for several days.

Photo: Swedish newspaper clipping. Provided by David Alexander

1982. Bastad, Sweden seminar.

1983. What can be done with a simple Tenugui, or "hand-towel"? Glad you asked! Ulf Evenås wrote "These pictures were laying in the Iwama Dojo for many years. Sensei loved them."

Photo: Ulf Evenås as uke. Provided by Bill Witt

1983. Tenugui keiko. Sneak.

March 1984. Saito Sensei handplaning a bit of lumber out in his garden. Shokudo and dojo are in the background.

Photo: Andreas Wiemann


1985. Saito Sensei. The kanji on his sleeve is "Morihito".

Photo: Stan Pranin

1985. Saito Sensei's broad smile.

1985. Don't you love that wallpaper? This and the following party shot was in Takayasu Sensei's residence in Sydney.

Photo: Takemusu Aiki Association Incorporated NSW

1985. Party with Australians.

Lester (Tony) Snow (shodan here, now in the UK), Barry Knight (now 6th dan in Melbourne now), Nemoto from Iwama, and the Sydney, Australian crew: Saburo Takayasu, (now Shihan, with Takemusu Aiki Association of Australia), Derek Minus (now 5th dan, TAA), and Mic Marelli (now 5th dan, formerly TAA, now independent)

1985. Saito Sensei enjoyes a good steak while in Australia.

Photo: Takemusu Aiki Association Incorporated NSW

1985. Party with steak and Australians.

1986, September. Lake Tahoe seminar. Of this seminal group, twelve are still training and eight are running their own dojo. At this time, we all trained with Bruce at the Aikido Institute in Oakland, California.

Bruce Klickstein

1985. Lake Tahoe group

1986. Oakland, California. American-style BBQ at someone's house. Shirt kanji is natsu, or "summer".

Photo: Bruce Klickstein

1986. Oakland bbq.

1987. Osimo, Italy. Setting up for a video shot in Paolo Corallini Sensei's dojo. Uke: Shibata Ken'ichi

Photo: Stan Pranin

1988. Setting up for a video shot. Filming is for Aiki News video #26, the classic ken and jo video.

1989. Saito Sensei walking with entourage, including Daniel Mizukami on the left and Robert Ishibashi. Los Angeles seminar

Photo: Carlos Nogueira

1989. L.A., Sensei walking with entourage.

1989. Saito Sensei in action with Robert Ishibashi and Peter Davis in Los Angeles.

Photo: Carlos Nogueira

1992. In L.A., throwing two uke.

1989. Los Angeles seminar. Saito Sensei demonstrates the power of deflection in the right place. Uke: Robert Ishibashi

Photo: Carlos Nogueira

1989. L.A., one finger versus bokken.