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August 11, 2005

Educating a Child

Koichi Tohei sensei is my master and also my father. I would like to tell you about Koichi Tohei sensei from a son’s point of view.

I remembered an experience from my childhood the other day.

My father often played five-in-a-row or played the card game of the one hundred famous poems (Hyakunin-isshu; Japanese game) with me. He played with me very seriously.

I played five-in-a-row ten times in a row. And I lost ten games in a row. He knocked me down without any hesitation :-)

Since I was small, I was always very chagrined at loosing this kind of game. My father noticed this and so he made me think about why it was that I had lost the game.

One time, I could not win at all, so, I cried and said, “I cannot win.” In the next game, my father purposely lost the game.

Can you imagine what he said after that?

He said with anger, “This is called ‘making someone look good’.”
I felt the sting of defeat more. So I said to my father, “I will not cry even if I loose the game. So, please play with me seriously.”
He said, “I understand.” Then, we played the game again. And he won five times in a row

Again, he gave me time to think about why it was that I lost the game. When I realized the cause of loosing the game, he praised me very much.

I think back now, and I think he believed in a child’s ability and led me to have more incentive by not giving me fake satisfaction.

I learned that when things do not go well, I consider the reason why, and continue to play the game. Without turning my back on the problem and not stopping Ki. This is my habit now.

Of course, the way to lead children is to depend on each child’s character. At least this was my father’s way, and it was the best for me.

When we played the card game of the one hundred famous poems, the situation was worse. Father got 94 cards and I got 6 cards.

I was very unhappy at loosing so many games. My father again noticed this and so he wrote each poem on a piece of paper and put these papers inside the house where I would see them.

I tried to memorize three poems a day. Therefore, I was able to memorize all poems within about a month or so. After that, I played again with my father. At that time, father got 70 cards, I got 30 cards.

I remember that I was so happy.

Once again, he did not just satisfy the child, but let me know how to play. And he played with me seriously.

Eventually, I would have a fifty-fifty chance of winning when we played five-in-a-row or played the card game of the one hundred famous poems. I think there is not so much ability difference between us now. (But I have still never been able to win! )

I focus on applying Ki to education. Because I would like to share Koichi Tohei sensei’s intangible teachings with as many people as possible.

It is the most basic thing to utilize Ki principles in helping people grow in education in the home, school education, worker education and leader education.

If you are interested in this, let’s study together.

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