From the Archives: Murashige Sensei Interview

Photo by Gary Payne.

Photo by Gary Payne.

This interview appeared in Biran in 2002. The interview was conducted in Japanese and translated by John Brinsley.

Q: Sensei, when and where were you born?
A:  February 26, 1945. In Yamaguchi prefecture, in a village called Obatake..
Q: How big was your family?
A:  I have two older brothers, an older sister, and a younger sister. Five of us.
Q: What was your childhood like?
A:  Well, of course I was a diligent student! (laughs) No, that’s not true. I was raised in a small fishing village near the Japan sea. We weren’t fishermen, although we fished some. My father was a priest. It was a pretty poor village. Ate a lot of sweet potatoes as a kid. But there was a lot of fish, too. I never thought of us as poor. There was always enough to eat. And there was fruit from the mountains nearby.
Q: Why did you begin Aikido? Continue reading

Sitting with a great loss

Life, death and the role of teachers were among the topics tackled by a group of 32 Birankai aikidoka this weekend at Bucks County Aikido’s 10th annual sesshin with Genjo Marinello Osho.

Practitioners from as far as New Mexico, North Carolina and Michigan gathered at the farm of George and Patti Lyons to train in Rinzai Zen and Aikido weapons as they enjoyed the mostly mild weather.

Everyone survived, and sat strong. For the first time, sesshin participants also harvested lavender as part of the samu – or mindful work – period at the conclusion of the retreat.

In the early hours of the final day, members learned of the death of Mark Murashige Sensei, a treasured Aikido teacher in San Diego. A sizable group of us at sesshin had lived in San Diego and benefited from Murashige Sensei’s generosity, good humor and infectious enthusiasm for Aikido practice and life. We sat with our grief and concern for his family and friends.

In the final hours of the event, Genjo Osho led us in Dai Segaki chanting for the deceased and intoned the following dedication:

One stream of a valley

pours the ambrosial nectar,

Ten thousand peaks of pine wind

strike the Dharma drum.

On this 13th day of October 2013,

offering incense and pure water

with Dai Segaki chanting

let us dedicate to Mark Murashige Sensei and

all known and unknown deceased Dharma

brothers and sisters.

May the sun of wisdom shine

brighter and brighter,

And may we all cease wandering

in the darkness of ignorance.

L. Klein