It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Doshu, Kenjiro Yoshigasaki on 12 February 2021.
Kenjiro Yoshigasaki Sensei was born in Kagoshima, Japan in 1951. He started to practice Yoga at the age of 10 and later Aikido as a direct student of Koichi Tohei Sensei. He took a year out to study Yoga in India in 1971 and in 1973 became an Instructor of Aikido under Koichi Tohei Sensei.
He spoke Japanese, English, French and Italian fluently and in 1977 he came to Europe to teach Ki and Aikido.
In 2001 he founded the Ki no Kenkyukai Internationale to further develop Tohei Sensei’s teaching. The association has more than 180 clubs across most countries of Europe, from Russia and Finland in the North to Spain in the South with others in Africa and South America.
Yoshigasaki Sensei thought deeply about Aikido and the world in general. He was as concerned with teaching his students ways of living and how to understand their life, as he was teaching Aikido, and always practised what he preached. His teaching went beyond Aikido to encompass the development of Ki and the unification of mind and body, exercises for health and breathing and meditation.
Although he lived in Belgium for most of his adult life, he never forgot his roots and arranged several visits to Japan for his students, explaining that if we are to study a Japanese martial art we should understand Japanese art, traditions and customs.
Yoshigasaki Sensei was our teacher and mentor for over 40 years and he will leave a huge gap in our lives. We remember his quiet modesty, the unfailing kindness, the respect and patience he showed to everyone, his exceptional Aikido teaching, his lessons on living life well and his happy smile on the mat.
With his writings, his books on his philosophy of life and on his Aikido, together with the many videos we have, he leaves a full and wonderful legacy for all his Aikido students to follow.
Tributes to Doshu Yoshigasaki Sensei can be seen at : https://toitsu.dk/lectures_from_doshu/remembering-doshu.html