It’s been a whole year since my beloved sensei Yukimura Haruki left us. It seems like it was yesterday I’ve been practicing in his dojo.
I’ve met this wonderful master on 2012 for the first time when he was giving his first workshop outside Japan. He was invited to Copenhagen on a workshop organized by Yukinaga Max. His style was radically different to everything I’ve seen in shibari up to that moment. I’ve immediately felt in love with his way of doing ropes.
That peaceful Japanese master was gently and patiently showing us how shibari could be intense without the need of quick rope movements or fancy suspensions. In fact his syle was much more focused in rocking with ropes, in feeling what the person with us needs, rather than any kind of patterns or structures. Anyone would feel amazed with the way he mastered ropes as he got his model moving naturally and fluidly at will and triggering sensations to her every time he did so.
I’ve had the chance to travel to Japan later on, and thanks to Osada Steve sensei I’ve been able to take classes with Yukimura Haruki sensei and visit his home and dojo. I’ve loved his bonsai passion. He was a passionate plants and nature lover. Such a passion he was able to drive in me and which helped me understand that timing, respect and patience are key. You have to patiently and confidently wait for some things to happen. You have to understand nature timing and other people’s timing. Touch should be subtle and only when necessary. Bonsai could be giving without receiving back sometimes. It’s love for the sake of love. And that was what Yukimura sensei wisely taught me.
Yukimura was a very genereous, kind and gentle master, always sharing his time and wisdom. He always welcomed me with much care and dedication. He used to give some tea he prepared by himself with some chocolates in winter. He personally picked some fruit to share with me in summer. He also shared the reason why he chose them, which fruit was better at that time of the year and everything he shared flooded me with lots of Japanese cultural information I greatly appreciated. When class was over he used to take us (model and me) to walk by the wonderful Ebisu neighborhood. We usually ended in some beautiful tea shop where we were delighted with some awesome Japanese cakes perfectly made with incredible colors and decorations. Yukimura sensei’s smile and his happiness were evident. He only needed us to enjoy the moment for his happiness. He was a man who knew how to make women smile in that way.
Yukimura sensei used to watch me while I tie during classes. He was eventually taking pictures of my tying and sharing them with me after class while doing his remarks. One day he surprised me with his shodo. On one side of the place we used to practice he had a place with his shodo brushes hanging ready to be used. While I was practicing shibari he made a shodo piece and gave it to me as a gift. I was so deeply touched by his gesture that I could not hide some joy tears unexpectedly flowing from my eyes. The piece of shodo he gave me at that moment was no more, no less than “Nawa gokoro”, such a profound and meaningful concept that we needed a complete article to explain.
That’s why I treasure so much all what Yukimura Haruki sensei taught and was able to gave me. As many others I wished we could have him longer with us, wish we could have learned much more from his wisdom and wish we could have shared many more joy moments with him. I feel I’ve left many things to learn from such a great master, but at the same time I feel happy and honored to be one of the persons able to replicate his legacy and share what I’ve been able to learn from him.
Thanks for all the eternity Yukimura Haruki sensei.