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The Time with Masatoshi Nakayama Sensei

As a Young Student

“飲水思源” is an old saying that means “think of the source when you drink water,” meaning that we should think of “because of whom can you be who you are today?”
For those practicing Shotokan karate, we cannot talk about ourselves without talking about Masatoshi Nakayama sensei.
Nakayama sensei used to often train my late husband Asai in karate.

Nakayama Sensei (Center) teaching Tetsuhiko Asai (Right) and an unknown student (Left)

The late Tetsuhiko Asai performing in front of Gichin Funakoshi sensei for a dan promotion test, with Nakayama sensei worriedly looking over him (the farthest left in dogi).

In Hawaii

When Asai and I got married, we were still in our 20’s. Nakayama sensei took very good care of my husband and he was also very kind to me. Because he spent some time in China in his youth, he spoke Chinese and used to want to practice it with me. He spoke to me in fluent Mandarin, and we sang famous Chinese songs together. He loved Chinese food and always looked forward to my homemade Chinese food at parties we used to have at our Tokyo apartment with karate instructors.

One of the pictures below was taken at the welcome party we had for Nakayama sensei when he visited us for the karate tournament in Hawaii, where Asai used to teach.

I remember a wife of a dojo member helped me prepare for this party, and I thought how helpful it was as I used to make food for such an occasion by myself. I cooked Chinese food just for Nakayama sensei that day, and it was easy.

Showing Sensei around Hawaii

Showing Sensei around Hawaii

Seeing Sensei off At Honolulu Airport with the Top Members of the Hawaii Dojo

Tetsuhiko Asai with Nakayama Sensei