Recently, I was lucky to sit next to Soke during his writing period at the Hombu.  In that period, a few things came to my realization about the Tachi as I watched quietly and intensely as Soke completed numerous paintings and calligraphies.

Somehow, I saw the brush as the Tachi and how Soke effortlessly controlled the empty space of the paper with every stroke.  No stroke being made unless needed, having some purpose to either connect or control.  This realization allowed me to see the adept accuracy of the brush, whether intended or not, with an outcome not always perfect, but very believable in the end. 

The Tachi is similar as it is allowed without power to spontaneously fit into the conflict in almost flexible fashion.  The Tachi is most commonly wielded with a single hand, allowing for flexible control in the space.  Soke has also mentioned on numerous occasions that the real masters of the sword were born from the period of the Tachi and Tachi Kumiuchi, or what I like to call Tachi Taijustu.  This is jutaijutsu, the essence of budo.

At this time, there were many people in the Hombu and Soke quietly and tirelessly continued painting without concern or complaint. This reflected on the earlier lesson of control of many opponents wielding yari or tachi.  Not fighting, but allowing them to intangle in their own preconceived intentions.

Often people will present Soke with a kakejiku (long mounted scroll) for painting.  In my observation of this, I have never seen Soke calculate the length of the scroll or even unroll it before putting brush to the paper.  He unrolls the scroll as he paints, filling and controlling the space in perfect composition, each with a unique and spontaneous outcome. 

Even though Soke seems to put his full focus into the work, I can still sense some form of separation from him and the brush.  He is never appears attached, never choosing his brush, making use of even a large brush to complete fine lines.

Since Daikomyosai 2009, I have also noticed an imminent change in the more common subject of Soke’s artwork, the Daruma.  Paintings of the famous Daruma have become simpler and less bold, even faint in a way.  Daruma seems to fade and disappear, and become more mist like with less boldness, but with no lack or change of presence.   Inquiry to Soke about this came back with an agreeing comment.

All that is, will eventually fade away.

 Bufu Ikkan.