Stephen Brown is a licensed shiatsu and acupuncture practitioner born and raised in Japan. Graduating from Japan Central Acupuncture College in 1983, he studied with renowned masters including Fukushima Kodo and Manaka Yoshio, and has followed Shudo Denmei since 1987.
We have run this study tour in Japan for a decade now, and every year I look forward to meeting and studying with friends and colleagues who are passionate about the art of acupuncture and moxibustion. The line-up has continuously changed through the years, but every time we feature prominent teachers that could make Japanese acupuncturists envious, because they don’t have access to them in one place and in such a small class.
This year’s Japan Seminar stands out among all the previous programs due to the return of Shudo sensei, now 83, who stopped teaching about 5 years ago to focus on just his practice. He taught several times in the first few Japan Seminars, but just for 2 or 3 hours. This year he will be teaching two whole days in Shikoku with his able clinical assistant Mr. Sato and his top Japanese student Mr. Murata.
Mr. Murata has been teaching in Japan and abroad, trying to fill the very large gap created by Shudo sensei. Mr. Murata’s last teaching trip abroad was in the US at Santa Fe, NM in May 2016, where I was fortunate to assist him. He embodies the Shudo style in spirit and technique, and having both of them will be like having a younger and elder version of Shudo sensei.
Just for those who are new to Japan and its culture, the word “sensei” refers to a respected person, often a teacher, and it’s dispensed liberally to young and old teachers and practitioners alike. So all the teachers of the Japan Seminar and even their assistants could be followed by the honorific title “sensei.” There is no special title for Dr. other than “sensei,” so it’s used for everyone that could be considered more knowledgeable.
There will be much more information forthcoming for those who are new the language and culture of Japan, but we will take care of most details and communication, so you can just follow your interest and inclination about how familiar you want to get with Japanese culture. Our primary focus is on assisting your learning acupuncture and moxibustion, and we will take care of the language issue, so learning Japanese is not your concern. Instead of worrying about language, I would prepare myself for the cultural immersion.
As you probably are aware, acupuncture and moxibustion are traditional arts and as such you will encounter an older layer of Japan. Japanese culture is thoroughly Westernized, so most tourists don’t have a chance to see more than the surface of traditional culture for tourists like temples and shrines. You are in for a special in-depth experience of a side of Japan that even the Japanese themselves don’t know well. And now Shudo sensei, one of the most senior of Japanese acupuncturists, is uniquely endowed to transmit the ideas and practices that define Japanese styles.
I feel most fortunate to b e able to assist you in this unique and unprecedented learning experience. The advice I have for new comers, especially, is to review Shudo sensei’s texts. Also be sure to arrive in Japan at least 2 days before the seminar begins so you are rested enough to begin this intensive learning experience on every level. I look forward to seeing all of you in Tokyo.
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