1990's and Saito Sensei


1990-Saito Sensei is 62. World-wide recognition pours in. He is declared a "National Treasure" by Japan. He survives esophagal cancer. He reissues "Budo", bringing it out of obscurity. His son, Hitohiro, quits the restaurant business and takes on more of the teaching and traveling.
1990's. Reno, Nevada seminar.

1990's. Reno, Nevada. Saito Sensei throws Miles Kessler and Hiwatashi, otomo.

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

1990. Hitohiro and Saito Sensei prepare a Springtime Aiki-Yakisoba with Miles Kessler (left), Derek Minus (center) and on the right is Stephan Koeck (where is he these days?) from Germany.

Photo: Mic Marelli

1990. Aiki-yaki soba.

1991. Tony Sargeant was telling Sensei how he was enjoying the "gentle" Aikido that Sensei taught. Sensei looked puzzled and then Tony revealed his torn gi trousers and top and which point Sensei burst out laughing.

Photo: John Longford

An amusing moment.


Sensei, Bill Witt, Tony Sargeant and Louis Jumonville. September seminar potluck at Aikido of San Leandro.

1991. One September evening a tremendous storm toppled a large pine tree. It snapped about 1.5 meters above the ground and crashed down, just missing the dojo, its crown brushing the wooden dojo steps. It was quite an alarming sight to awaken to. After morning keiko, Sensei and Hitohiro cut the tree into logs for the uchi deshi to carry off and stack for future winters.

Photo: Joerg Beile

Tree removal.

1992. "Entertaining at a dinner party for uchideshi from Reno and the local sotodeshi"

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

1992. Sensei clapping hands.

1992. Iwama. The Saitos: Saito Sensei, okusan and Hitohiro

Photo: Aikido Journal

1992. Relaxed photo of the Saito family. Photo provided by Aviv Goldman.

1992. Saito Sensei and Shibata in the All Japan demo

Photo: Aikido Journal

1992. Saito Sensei and Shibata in the All Japan demo. Photo provided by Aviv Goldman.

1992. Mrs. Saito and Saito Sensei in regal formal attire at his huge first party in Iwama's Kabuki Wedding Palace, celebrating his promotion to 9th dan by Honbu Aikikai and the 50th anniversary of aikido in Iwama. There followed an informal party of mighty proportion at the dojo, and later a third, smaller party around the indoor campfire at Hitohiro's house nearby, although my own memory grew a bit hazy around this point...

Photo: Aikido Journal

1992 and the 50th anniversary of Iwama Aikido and Saito Sensei's promotion to 9th dan.

1992. Reading from "Budo", by OSensei. "See? This is just like I showed you..."

Photo: Stan Pranin, who rediscovered the original book. Photo from Aikido Journal

1992. Reading from the

1992. Iwama. Saito Sensei's version of a "fireside chat" revolving around O-Sensei stories and demos with the deshi. Luis DeQuiros on the right. Uke: Miles Kessler

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

1992. Iwama. Saito Sensei's story telling and demos with the deshi.

1992. A casual lunch in California with towels for hats. Wolfgang Baumgartner, Patricia Hendricks, and Sensei

Photo: Patricia Yarrow

1992. Towels for hats. :-)

1993. Reno, Nevada. Uke is Simon

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

2000. Reno, Nevada.

1994. Iwama snowbattle. Real steel in the snow! Wish you were here.

Photo: Aikido Journal

1994. More snow and more training. Photo provided by Aviv Goldman.

1994. Saito Sensei applying the "Ai-Ki" brand to new bokken.

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

1995. Branding bokkens.

1995. Saito Sensei's delivery service. Ever the gracious host, he is driving another visiting sensei and everyone's luggage to the Iwama train station.

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

1995. Saito Sensei delivers people and luggage to the train station.

1996. Fuglsoe, Denmark. In action with the 5th kumijo. Uke: Shibata Ichiro

Photo: Roland Spitzbarth, from Zürich, Suisse

1996, Denmark.

1997. Saito Sensei in Denver, Colorado

Photo: Stan Pranin

1997. Saito Sensei in Denver.

1998. Cutting his birthday cake in style

Photo: Jean Marc Serio

Cutting the cake.

1998. Mr. and Mrs. Saito visit Nikko, a favorite spot an hour drive away from Iwama.

Photo: Aviv Goldsmith

1998. Mr. and Mrs. Saito visit Nikko

1998. Denver, Colorado in Gaku Homma's Nippon-kan dojo.

Photo: David Alexander

Sept. 1998. Saito Sensei with Kawabe and others.

Standing - Christopher S. Field, Chris Powell, Franklin Wise, Allen Twarowski, Scott McGinnis and their Sensei, David Alexander. Seated - Shigeru Kawabe and Morihiro Saito Sensei, September 1998.

1999. Saito Sensei at work in his extensive garden. Gardening and aikido are a perfect combination.

Photo: Jöran Fagerlund

1999. Saito Sensei surveys his work during the morning jo practice.

Photo: Michele Marolla (Italy)

1999, October. Saito Sensei surveys his work during the morning <i>jo</i> practice.

1990s. Sensei walking in the Aiki Jinja grounds with his staff. This wizardly staff is a bit of a mystery. Apparently, it was given to him by Peter, from the UK, an uchi deshi over 1986-87. Does anyone have more information?

Photo: Carlos Nogueira

1990s with staff