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Oct 22
Shambhala News Service
The Passing of Shibata Sensei XX

Onyumishi Kanjuro Shibata XX passed away peacefully yesterday at the age of 92 in Boulder. His wife Carolyn was with him at their home. Shibata Sensei was the 20th generation master bowmaker and archer and 3rd generation bowmaker to the Emperor of Japan (retired). He has been a master teacher of Kyudo to members of the Shambhala community for over 30 years.

The Sakyong, Jamgon Mipham Rinpoche, was immediately informed and will conduct practices at the shrine of Zenko Iba in Boulder today.

Shibata Sensei’s daughter, Hatsue, and granddaughter are in Boulder and will be joined by family. Please include the Shibata Sensei, his wife and family members as well as all Kyudo students and friends in your hearts and practice at this time.Shibata Sensei

Those wishing to engage in formal practice may chant The Heart Sutra, holding Sensei in their hearts. If you wish, you may recite the mantra 108 times before concluding the recitation of the sutra. More information with details of ceremonies will follow.

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10 responses to “ The Passing of Shibata Sensei XX ”
  1. Michael Scheu
    Feb 28, 2014

    I had the opportunity, honor and pleasure to receive my first shot training with Sensi in the summer of 2008. I will always be grateful for those Sunday mornings in study. They were an experience that I will never forget.

  2. Anne von der Eltz, Bonn
    Oct 24, 2013

    Dear Carolyn, dear family,
    With deep gratitude and sadness we send our love and appreciation and condolences to you. Sensei will always be in our hearts through the teachings he gave not just as a Kyudo teacher but as a teacher of good human heart. Lots of love, Anne + Klaus-Peter

  3. jack convery
    Oct 23, 2013

    The arrival of the Shibata Family into our lives was truly a momentous occasion. How well and so often I remember that evening of saying “Hello and Good-bye” to both of them. It is now 31 years later, and all they transmitted to us has passed deeply into our hearts and into our lives. And into the hearts and lives of those who are fortunate to hear our stories, and to continue the practices which they lovingly transmitted to us.
    Hanging in the tokonoma is a beautiful scroll brushed by Sensei. The kanji reading is “Wa-o motte, Totoshi-to Nasu, Ichiwan-o nenzuru. Harmony in the kingdom is of the utmost precious-ness; and in that spirit, make a bowl of tea.” For both of these Warriors who practiced according to the Ancient Way, here at Shotoku-an, we have no choice but to follow this command.

  4. I want to share a story about Sensei and his kindness to a group of us who took a trip to Japan with Trungpa Rinpoche in the 1980s. We spent a lot of the time in around his hometown of Kyoto, and he gave us an introductory letter to many of the shops selling traditional arts and crafts (laquerware, kimonos, incense, etc.), as well as asking them to give us good prices. He also arranged for our group to be admitted to an inner space of the Grand Shrine at Ise (only the emperor of Japan gets into the most central space). And shortly before our departure, Sensei arranged a fabulous dinner party with a raft of providers of traditional Japanese cuisine–and sake, of course. He was quite the host and made our visit a much richer experience.

  5. Roland Cohen
    Oct 23, 2013

    I am so sad to hear of Sensei’s passing. We have lost a great warrior and wonderful human being. Condolences to Carolyn and the family. I feel so fortunate to have seen Sensei at KuCha in boulder a few months ago. We chatted briefly, with Carolyn’s help. He looked very frail outwardly, but when I looked in his eyes, they were filled with bliss. I already deeply miss you Shibata Sensei. Thank you for all your teaching.


  6. Josje Pollmann
    Oct 23, 2013

    Thank you Greg
    so wonderfully alive, touching and fresh this video!
    Makes genuine smiles…

  7. I never met Sensei. But I have a long connection with Japan and have always been aware of his deep connection with Trungpa Rinpoche and the Sakyong, and therefore his substantial influence on our practice. May he throw his sword far.

  8. Robert Archer
    Oct 22, 2013

    Thank you Sensei for patience, your example and your wisdom. Thank you Carolyn for your generous effort and your warm kindness to this fine teacher and his students. I’m not going to cry..but maybe.

  9. Mikayla Sanford
    Oct 22, 2013

    Letter from Carolyn:

    Dear All,

    Thank you for your countless expressions of appreciation and love. This is to briefly update everyone on the schedule, as best we know it right now.

    Starting this evening at 5:00pm we will be welcoming anyone who would like to come and practice quietly with Sensei’s body in the Iba. This practice environment will continue 24/7 until Friday morning.

    The ceremony at Zenko Iba will take place at 7:00am on Friday morning.

    Directly following this, we will head to Shambhala Mountain Center for the cremation ceremony, scheduled for noon on Friday.

    We welcome anyone who wishes to come and pay respects and make a connection with Sensei’s passing. Members of the family and I will be sleeping in the Iba throughout the nights. So, if you enter at a late hour, please simply come in, feel free to approach and greet him, then take a seat and know that there may be a few family members stretched out sleeping quietly nearby.

    With love,


  10. Greg Smith
    Oct 22, 2013

    Here is a video of Sensei’s visit to SMC a year ago.

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