A Variety of Martial Arts and Culture Exhibited at Japanese Culture Center
• On the second floor, tea ceremony by Urasenke Chicago,
shodo calligraphy by Seiran Chiba, flower arrangement by Ikenobo Ikebana,
and taiko drumming by Tsukasa taiko were performed.
• The Japanese Culture Center
• According to Stephen Toyoda, his father, Fumio Toyoda,
founded the Japanese Culture Center in 1978 to share the beauty of Japanese
culture with the people of the U.S.
• Toyoda Shihan was also founder of the Aikido Association of America, Aikido Association International, and Aikido International Foundation. His martial art training was supplemented by years of study in Zen, massage and therapeutic breathing.
• Toyoda Shihan was named as a dharma successor to Tanouye Roshi from Chozen-ji. His Zen name was Tenzan Gensei Rokoji (Zen master).
• Although he obtained a law degree from Senshu University
in Tokyo, he elected to make martial arts instruction his life’s work.
• Toyoda Shihan suddenly passed away on July 4th, 2011
at the age of 53, but his legacy has been continued by his family and
the members of the Center.
• Brief Interviews
• Ilaine Mack was volunteering as a Japanese/English
translator at the Open House.
• At Mugai-Ryu Iai Hyodo’s exhibit table, a woman, who
has been studying iaido since 2003 and holds a 4th degree black belt (yondan),
explained about iaido. According to her, iaido would be the best for teaching
swordsmanship that sharpens the awareness through practice. Awareness
means what is going on around you, and recognizing your body position,
your eyes, timing, distance, and all other things.
• The Japanese Culture Center offers a wide range of
classes including martial arts, Japanese language, zen meditation, and
a variety of Japanese culture at 1016 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago.