On Sunday, October the 23rd, following the Yoshinkan Honbu seminar and branch representative meeting, graduated uchideshi (Higa, Hotta, Mitsuhashi, Jim) as well as Osaka branch manager (Murakawa) took Ando Sensei out for an early birthday celebration. This year (October 29th) marks Ando Sensei's 60th birthday. In Japan, this is a big one "Kanreki", basically meaning you have went full cycle on the Chinese zodiac calendar and can return for a second childhood.
I think I can speak on behalf of everyone, thanking Ando Sensei for not only sharing his deep love and passion for Aikido, devotion to the Yoshinkan, and keeping as true as possible to the techniques passed down directly by founder Gozo Shioda, but also his warm and welcoming heart, charming character and sense of humor. Thank you for the many years of unparalleled strict but caring guidance both on and off of the mats. Kanreki, makoto ni omedetou gozaimasu!