On Saturday, January 9, Tohkon Judo Academy held its annual Kagami Biraki celebration to kick off 2016. Once again, Chicago Aikido Club was invited to participate and have an opportunity to thank Tohkon for providing a home for the dojo.
Festivities began in the morning with mochi tsuki , the traditional making of rice cakes for the New Year. Club members in attendance jumped in to help, as did visiting aikidoka Qin Zheng and Alexander Hindley from our affiliate dojo, Chicago Aikikai.
Pounding left to right: Brittany Alsot, Qin Zheng, Andrew Vitale, Alexander Hindley
At the start of the afternoon, a Tenrikyo Ohar-i purification ceremony was performed by priest and judoka, Reverend Goro Oki.
Left: The alter prepared for the ceremony
Right: Rev. Goro Oki, Doug Tono (founder and head instructor of Tohkon Judo Academy), Michael Takada (Chief Executive Officer, Japanese American Service Committee), Dwight Sora (Chicago Aikido Club), Felix Lanier (Tohkon Judo Academy)
Chicago Aikido Club then provided an aikido demonstration following a Japanese drumming performance by Kokyo Taiko, and prior to a demonstration and presentation of awards by the students of Tohkon Judo Academy.
Thanks again to all club members who participated in this year’s Tohkon Kagami Biraki and those who showed up for support.