Seiseki Abe Sensei, 10th Dan




...All Japanese traditional art forms or do (way or path) such as aiki-do, ju-do and karate-do (martial arts) ikebana-do (flower arrangement) cha-do (tea ceremony) - are based upon a common breathing method and the strict code of discipline over the self.               - Shihan Seiseki Abe Sensei -

Seiseki Abe Sensei, is one of Japan's foremost masters of Shodo - Japanese Calligraphy, and Aikido - one of the most enigmatic of the martial arts. Born in 1915, Abe Sensei began to practice calligraphy in 1934 when he was 19 years old. He was introduced to calligraphy by his father, who had taught it as an elementary school teacher. As Abe Sensei expressed in a 1991 interview, "...Even now I have very vivid memories of my father's breathing method as he taught calligraphy. I felt my father's way of breathing and it made a very strong impression on me - not just the writing of the letters, but the breathing power along with the writing of the characters."

Abe Sensei met the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, in 1952. Known as
O-Sensei, (great teacher) Ueshiba Sensei is world renown as one of the most gifted martial artists that has ever lived. Abe Sensei noticed that the breathing method that O-Sensei had mastered through aikido and misogi (ritual purification) was like the way of breathing of calligraphy. He saw this was the connection point between these two seemingly different arts, and immediately began his aikido training.

For the last fifteen or so years of his life, O-Sensei spent one third of every month living at Abe Sensei's home and teaching at the dojo Abe Sensei had built for him there. O-Sensei also recognized the connection between martial arts and calligraphy and so he began his study of calligraphy under Abe Sensei's direction. This close proximity, extremely rare within the strict Japanese code between master and student, gave Abe Sensei the opportunity to learn the inner-most aspects of Aikido directly from the founder of the art. O-Sensei promoted Abe Sensei to the highest rank, that of 10th degree black belt.

As a member of the Nitten, Abe Sensei is on the committee responsible for the annual selection of calligraphy that is displayed in the highest level exhibition of Japan's finest art. As a master of calligraphy, he has raised over 200 other Shihan calligraphy masters and is currently responsible for approximately 3,000 students in the Kansai area. Additionally, there are several students that train under his direction who live in New York, Los Angeles and Australia.


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