Hatsu Bon For Sensei Howie Viele

22 Mar

It is with a heavy heart that we post the passing of another Yudansha. On March 17th, 2019, Sensei Howard Viele entered the Dojo of the world to come.

Please join us in performing a kata at sunset for the remainder of this month in tribute to his eternal spirit. For it is through kata that our eternal nature lives on. As the poet, Dante Alighieri noted on the portal to the next world,

Justice moved my high maker: The Divine Power made me, the Supreme Wisdom and the Primal love. Before me, nothing was created, if not eternal and eternal I endure. . . (See Endnote # 1)

And so, through the kata, Sensei Howie’s eternal spirit shall endure. Our own Sensei John Szmitkowski has provided us with photos of an article that appeared in Martial Arts Magazine, May, 1972 that featured Sensei Howie demonstrating his favorite Kama Kata. Sensei John has agreed to undertake the task of training to recreate and bring back this kata in honor of Sensei Howie. The full kata photos may be found in endnote # 2.

The following Hatsu Bon Poem, together with the above training, are offered to his spirit.
May Sensei’s spirit find our training and poem worthy.

Please don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am
Nor am I sleeping for eternity
I am already part of the breezes
numbering a thousand
I am part of the light
that brightens this world
Like a diamond glittering in the snow
Like the sun that coaxes seeds to sprout
And in the Fall I become the gentle rain
that nurtures all.
When you open the window in the morning
I am the breeze
That causes your hair to flutter;
And at night, I am the star
That watches over your sleep.
So, please . . . don’t cry before my grave
That’s not where I am.
I am not dead.
I have been born anew.

Sincerity in sweat, you are not forgotten, Sensei.


© Copyright 2019 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.


1. Alighieri, Dante, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, Canto III




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