At Aikido Shugyo Dojo, we have done our utmost to make the kamiza, this important area translated as the “head’ of the room”, a focus of attention. There hangs our photograph of the founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei, and a calligraphic scroll.
The calligraphic scroll is a gift from Hosetsu Takahashi, a Japanese calligraphic artist. The calligraphy says, “Aiki is love” or “Matching energy and spirit is love.” We regularly place fresh flowers at the base of the kamiza. A weapons rack on the far left side holds our training weapons.
The miniature altar (kamidana) to the left of centre is believed to purify the room and its ki. It is said that as soon as the kamidana is set up, all kami (a kind of spiritual essence or energy in every living and non-living thing) emerge, and the space is protected by them. Typically, offerings to the kami, which consist of sake, rice, water, salt, and branches with long-lasting leaves, are placed in front of the miniature altar in a special set of white porcelain bottles and cups.