Soke Nakamura 1932 – 2018

Training mit Soke und den Meistern

The first time I met Soke I was very much impressed about his elegance. He had the eyes of a hunter and the move of a tiger.

Soke was not tall, but he had a very strong aura.

He once said, that it is because of his strong belly and the right food. (Japanese rice)

The last real master of Japan, who trained as a uchi-deshi (internal student) with his master, who was raised in samurai tradition, who was a professional for more than sixtyfive years, passed away last night.

He brought back an art not known to anybody, even Japanese.
Takeda Ryu was almost gone in history, when he took over and devoted his live to the school.

Today the 44th Soke of Takeda Ryu took place among the ancestors and will keep an eye on us from now on.

He was my role model in Bujutsu ever since.
My master Toyoshima once told me, that he never met a master like him. He said, that Soke Nakamura had reached the highest possible level.

Toyoshima sensei used to tell following story:
There was tournament in Tokyo. This time in Iaijutsu. And as usual there was this table where all the referees had to take place. Toyoshima sensei was sitting next to Soke.
In front of this table two participants of this tournament made their fight.
Suddenly Soke pushed Toyoshima from his chair to the ground.
Without any words and without any notice.
The young Toyoshima, who was a little bit short tempered at that time, jump up and was very close to say “What the ….?” as he realized, that where he had been sitting a blade from one of the participants in front of them, stuck in his chair.
Soke, however he did it, saw the blade breaking and pushed the young Toyoshima from the chair.

To me Soke Nakamura was a straight, direct and very hard minded man. He never changed his line, his opinion, his way.
The sun is hot, the water is wet, Soke does not change his way.
He was unmoveable like a mountain.

But he was very gentle and soft too.
Once we should go to Sokes house for a training. Toyoshima sensei called and fixed the date. We should have been at Sokes house at 1 p.m.
The travel from the dojo of my master to Sokes house is about two hours.
It was eleven o’clock and I said to Toyoshima sensei:” Lets go I do not want Soke to be angry.”
Toyoshima sensei said OK and 5 minutes later we were in the car.

On the way to Sokes house we had to take the highway and in the middle of the highway Toyoshima sensei got hungry, parked the car, went outside and bought some Yakisoba.
I could not eat as I was puzzled because we would be too late for Soke.

We arrived one hour later then expected. Soke was standing in his front yard and with a smile on his face he said to Toyoshima “Ahsoka again to much traffic jam, right? And then he looked at me and gave me a wink with his eye.

My prayer goes to his family now. They supported him always in his quest and went with him through some very tough times.
His family now needs all our help.

Soke Nakamura, where ever you are now, please enjoy the best Sake and relax.
You did a magnificent job and made Takeda Ryu immortal.
It is time that you take the vacation you always needed.
You will be in my heart forever and your way of Budo is my guideline for the rest of my life and hopefully for many others too.