On April 18, Aoki Sensei sent the following message on Facebook:
Hi everyone, hope you're all well.
I just wanted to use this wall to give you some updates on my recent activities.
I'd retired from Shintaido management about 25 years ago and had been developing and deepening my own practices since then.
These practices include studying meditation and various natural/alternative medicine and therapies from around the world, but for the past 10 years, I've been dedicating myself solely to shodo (calligraphy) and meditation practices. Also, a big part of my passion and energy has been put into the study of katana recently.
For 21 years, I'd been actively supporting high school students in the Philippines living in poverty through the 3H Scholarship Program, a volunteer group I'd organized jointly with Father Candido in the Philippines.
Thanks to the support of many of my friends and students, more than 550 scholars in total had been given the opportunity to graduate from high school.
Tenshinkai also donated 5 schools in total to 3 countries in Asia through this program.
Although unfortunately, we had to close this program recently due to the impact of The Great East Japan Earthquake and not being able to gather enough funds anymore, we've created a new volunteer group in Japan called "Team Tenshin", a volunteer group to help people in the disaster-hit Tohoku areas (including people in Fukushima suffering from the nuclear accident). Our volunteer activities include Tenshin-style Seitai & massage, as well as leading Shintaido-related exercise groups for people living in the temporary residences.
The biggest news is that we opened our own new dojo in April, where all Shintaido and Tenshinkai members are practicing together now. Having our own dojo has been a long-time dream for all of us, and we are delighted to have realized this dream. I hope you'll all come join us in this new dojo whenever you come visit Japan!
By the way, big thanks to all of you who sent me emails and cards on my birthday, and I'm very sorry for my late reply, as I didn't have time to reply to the more than 450 emails and letters I'd received that day...so please excuse me for using this wall to send my deepest thanks to all of you for thinking of me and sending me your warm wishes on my birthday.
Thanks once more for reading this long update, and I wish all of you a wonderful spring/summer season ahead!