YOIN - Reverberation: An article written by the late Iwata Norikazu 26th May 2000

According to the dictionary I see Yoin is Reverberation in English.

When I see things I feel Yoin. When I meet people I feel Yoin. I feel Yoin thinking of their dignity and personality. When I was at school my teachers especially the ones that gave me homework and the Principal left me with Yoin.

Many Budo teachers have left me with Yoin too. I met Ueda Keitaro my childhood Kendo teacher. I met Ogawa Kinnosuke and Oasa Yuji Sensei when I was in the army. I remember Ueshiba Morihei an Aiki jutsu teacher, Iaido teachers too, Nakayama Hakudo, Hashimoto Toyo. I still feel their dignity, force and power - deep in my mind.

I wish to have Yoin and leave it to others. To leave my students and those that watch me long lasting Yoin. It is really very difficult and one has to make an effort to leave it. I attended my first Kyoto Taikai when I was nearly 18 years old. When I entered the former magnificent Butokuden, my attention was drawn to Kamiza. Only the Butokuden had such a Kamiza. Prince Nashimoto was sitting there in stillness his hand on his knees from morning to noon. He just nodded and watched intently. He is always present in my mind.

There were famous teachers from all over the country. Takano Sasaburo was one of them. Their majestic appearance and impressive faces are clearly in my mind. They were the prominent teachers of the time. I was overwhelmed by the events, Kendo and Iaido in a majestic atmosphere. This Yoin was the essence of Budo and it gave us lots of encouragement. It is a Yoin I shall remember all my life.

The Yoin of Waza

Ueshiba Morihei an Aikijutsu teacher left me the strongest Yoin of his very countenance. He coached me directly at the military police school at Nakani - Tokyo in 1942. He explained Waza using two big young men. I was surprised to see hi power and technique. He was a real expert and I was deeply moved by his marvellous movement. I had met many young judo teachers before that but had never seen such a natural movement as he had. To me it was like a superhuman feat, a miracle. I could not understand how he trained and could not bring myself to ask him about it. I watched an Iaido embu by Nakayama Hakudo Sensei at the Shinbu-den in Manchuria that year too. I had just about learned the outline of Shoden Ju-ippon before entering the army and was deeply moved. He drew his sword very slowly and as the sword reached forward, he stretched his body up and out very calmly. Nakayama sensei was still young at that time and was studying dogi very hard at that time.

During my Iai training days I met many great teachers that impressed me deeply.

Sano Shigenori Sensei : His magnificent Noto was like throwing the Kissaki into the Koikuchi all at once.

Mori Shigeki Sensei : His Noto was very quick and magnificent. He it in front of his left shoulder very quickly from an upper to lower position.

Kono Hyakuren Sensei : His grip of the Tsuka was marvellous.

Okada Morihiro Sensei : His most energetic toho was in his last years around the age of 85

Yamamoto Harusuke Sensei : His posture and attitude using Koshi and Hara was magnificent.

Kimura Sanzo Sensei : His last Embu at Butoku-kan in Kyoto. His last Waza and posture was like Nukiuchi.

Yamamoto Takuji Sensei : He was my greatest teacher. His Nukitsuke was dynamic.

Fukui Harumasa Sensei : He was the 19th Soke. His Noto was magnificent. I clearly remember the distinctive countenances.

The Yoin of learning

I remember Prince Nashimoto and a Zen Priest at the Taikai at the Kyoto Butokukan before W.W.II They were both sitting so still with straight backs for hours without moving. They were different form the higher dan grades. I felt that their training had been different from ours and I felt a need to train much harder. When I attended the Kyoto Taikai every year, I felt as if I was in a different world and it gave me lots of stimulation. I did embu and watched others embu. I thought my embu over and swore to practice harder.

The Yoin of training

We have different Yoin according to the degree of difficulty. Before W.W.II we used to train until we were dog tired. We felt a need to train until breaking down with exhaustion. But we could learn a lot through training so hard. However after the W.W.II Japan was demoralise and training became easier than before. I feel unsatisfied with with training being so easy. We don't have places to train ourselves completely. Some people really do train hard, but many peoples training is very tame. I ask myself, Is this a biased view.

The Yoin of my life

Life is long but short, or short but long. it is full of pain, but I can remember the joy I have felt. I have become eighty eight years old and my heart is full of deep emotion. I think of my hard younger days. My luck in surviving a life or death crisis because of the war details of my family respects and the ups and downs of Japan. These are all in my mind as Yoin Deep, painful, joyful Yoin Yoin is becoming stronger and stronger within me as I age, and I am enjoying it. I want to enjoy the rest of my life with Yoin