TENZAN TOYODA ROKOJI ( FUMIO TOYODA SENSEI, 1947-2001)
Raised and trained in Japan, the late Aikido and Zen master Tenzan (Fumio) Toyoda arrived in Chicago in 1974 and immediately set to work spreading the teachings of Japanese martial arts and Zen. He stated that his dream was to found three major training halls in America, to be named Tenshinkan, Shinjinkan, and Ryoshinkan. In the meantime he also built an organization of more than 100 affiliated schools around the world training under his guidance.
Well known for his powerful technique and charismatic teaching style, Toyoda Sensei was a popular teacher; his students number in the thousands, and he influenced entire generations of Aikido practitioners in several nations. He was additionally instrumental in the transmission of an important Rinzai Zen lineage - the line of the great Zen, sword and calligraphy master Omori Sogen - to the West.
Toyoda Sensei's dream of three dojo was finally fulfilled in 1997, only a few years before his death. One of the three, Shinjinkan, continues today. Building upon Toyoda Sensei's lifelong work of transmitting authentic Japanese martial art and Zen teachings to the West, we dedicate our efforts to his memory.