JCCC 40th Anniversary Congratulatory Message

As a friend who has known Obata Shihan for nearly 40 years since 1974 when I first met him in Montreal, I wish to express my heartfelt congratulations to Obata Shihan, his assistant instructor Mr. Yoshihiko Ichida, and the present and past members of the JCCC Aikikai.

I have great respect and admiration for Obata Sensei's profound passion for Aikido, excellent Aikido techniques, and selfless dedication to the promotion of Aikido in Canada. It has been my honour and privilege to have known him personally and have worked together as Aikido colleagues over these years.

Mr. Kenji Ochi, who just recently passed away, was also very instrumental to the establishment and continuation of the JCCC Aikikai in the early years, and I have fond memories of those years of training together when Obata Shihan, Mr. Ochi, and I were almost the only Japanese-speaking Aikido instructors in the Eastern Canada.

The celebration of this special 40th Anniversary truly marks the success and sustained presence and recognition of the JCCC Aikikai and their excellent leader Obata Shihan in Canada and abroad. I am sure that Shigeho Tanaka Shihan, who is Obata Sensei's teacher and mentor, is extremely happy and proud of Obata Shihan and the JCCC Aikikai.

Please accept my very best wishes to Obata Shihan, Tanaka Shihan, and all members and friends of the JCCC Aikikai. Congratulations!

— Ishu Ishiyama, Shihan