Kagami Biraki was held at the head quarters of Iwama Shin Shin Aikishurenkai - the famous Tanrenkan- on the 20th of January.
About 100 people were present in this ceremony, amongst whom there were some of the O'Sensei's students, famous Aikido masters from various parts of Japan and of the world and other famous Budoka masters and practitioners. Most of the Japanese dojos were represented with the exception of 3, because their representatives had important previous engagements.
At 10am, Takahashi sama, the Shinto priest, led the 40 minute ceremony part of which. Many people also participated in the tamagushi, an important part of the ceremony.
After the ceremony, the honno enbukai was held whose master of ceremonies was Tadayuki Ogoshi Shihan, a long time student of the Great master Morihiro Saito and one of the most prominent members of the Foundation.
Very important people participated such as Koji Murata Shihan, Alessandro Tittarelli Shihan, Kaijiwara senseis from Osaka and friendly Motoyuki Takamo sensei from Nagoya, Masashi Okubo sensei from Sendai and Makoto Otaka Sensei from Tokyo, and of course Waka Sensei Yasuhiro Saito and at last our master Hitohiro Saito Kaicho. Our master demonstrated suwari waza and tachi waza techniques as well as kumijo.
A guest budo practitioner of the Sekiguchi Ryu also demonstrated excellent sword techniques.
Other soto deshi and uchideshi also took part on this important yearly event, amongst whom there was a large Italian group, and representatives from other countries such as Russia, Corea, England, France, Argentina, USA and many others.
A group of children, students of the Young Master Yasuhiro, also participated in the enbukai.
The celebration party after the enbukai started at 11:00h and lasted until 17:00h. At the beginning of the party, Sensei also made a speech.
After the party, as it is tradition at the Iwama dojo, there was a second party at the Shin dojo and then a third party at Waka Sensei's restaurant, the Yamabiko.
The Kagami Biraki is one of the most important events of the year in Iwama and as such it was very nice to see some many people from so many and distant parts of Japan and of the world.
Congratulations to Sensei on this important event and congratulations to everybody who worked very hard such as Mrs. Saito and family, Okoshi sensei and of course all Iwama students and uchideshi.
We hope that next year the event will be even bigger with more participants.
Meanwhile, do not forget the Iwama Shin Shin Aikishurenkai annual demonstration this coming June. Please keep attention and reserve some time to participate in this important future event both attending the demonstration and participating in it.
Let us all go there!
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We would like to thank very much to the above gentlemen for permission to post some photographs about this event.