Harry Eto, promoted to eighth degree black belt in 1998 at the age of 92, was one of Koichi Tohei’s first students in Hawaii. Here is a section of the article that appeared in the local Honolulu Advertiser newspaper when he passed away in 2001:
Harry Setsuo Eto, a barefoot Kaua’i plantation boy who literally helped build Honolulu and at middle age became a world-renowned martial arts teacher, will be remembered by family, friends, co-workers and students today at 6 p.m. Honpa Hongwanji services in Honolulu.
Harry Eto discovered martial arts at age 47 and became a world-renowned sensei.
Eto, born Aug. 9, 1906, to immigrant parents who found Hawai’i plantation life even harder than the life they left behind in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan, died June 26 in Kuakini Hospital after suffering a series of strokes. He was 94.
His life was a lesson, and Harry Eto was student and sensei alike.
“Physically I am nothing,” the 5-foot-3, 120-pound aikido teacher said in 1995. “I don’t have any strength.”
But he routinely swept the mats of the dojo at Central YMCA and across the United States with men twice his weight. His advice was: “If your opponent wants to hit you, say, ‘Thank you, please hit my head,’ then step out of the way and help him down.”
The late martial arts magazine “Furyu: The Budo Journal” was established in Honolulu Hawaii in 1994 by local Budo instructor Wayne Muramoto. In addition to modern seitei iaido and classical Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaido he is also an instructor Bitchu-den Takeuchi Ryu.
The following article on local Hawaii Aikido instructor Harry Eto first appeared in issue number one of “Furyu: The Budo Journal” and is reprinted here with the permission of Wayne Muramoto. Continue reading…