Takashi Yoshikawa passed away recently
just before his 82nd birthday. Many of you may
not know of him since he never practiced macrobiotics.
However, he had a significant impact on our community
as a personal advisor to, and teacher of, many
people who actively practice macrobiotics. He
is, perhaps, best known for his role over the
years as the advisor to John Lennon and Yoko Ono,
Boy George and Barry Manilow.
Mr. Yoshikawa had a profound impact on my life.
He was my teacher, my mentor and my personal friend.
He was like a father to me and very caring about
my children. To my lasting happiness, he honored
my marriage to Susan by attending our wedding.
Susan's grandmother, his senior by 11 years, referred
to him as her guru. Whenever we saw her she asked
how her guru was doing. Mr. Yoshikawa commanded
admiration and respect from everyone with whom
he crossed paths.
Takashi Yoshikawa was the world's foremost authority
on what he re-named 9 Ki or The Ki, as opposed
to 9 Star Ki. He insisted that there were no stars,
only stages of energy. He believed that 9 Star
Ki and Four Pillars Chinese Astrology were unnecessarily
complicated and set out on a quest to simplify
and adapt these teachings to modern life without
sacrificing either their wisdom or their meaning.
I first met Mr. Yoshikawa-I continued to use
the formal mode of address even after many years
of close friendship-around 1990. At that meeting
I was as impressed by his appearance, stature,
impeccable manners and social graces as I was
by his penetrating insights into The Ki. I knew
at once that I had met an extraordinary man.
Over the years he guided me to an understanding
of my own nature; he pointed me toward what I
needed in order to develop further; he gave me
invaluable and creative insights into the essential
nature of each of my children, their strengths
and weaknesses. With his help, I was able to be
a better father.
He was an unusual advisor in that he would not
give advice unless he felt he could guarantee
the results. Often his advice was brutally honest
and, of course, some clients were unhappy with
what he told them. When I questioned him on the
subject, he said, "I can't lie. I have to
tell my clients what I see and I recommend that
you do the same."
He told me once that, according to Four Pillars
Chinese Astrology, he should not have had a good
life. However, by studying and practicing The
Ki, that is, by continuously gathering positive
energy through good timing and movement, he was
able to create a uniquely satisfying life.
The few times that I was privileged to travel
with him I was amazed to observe that everything
went his way from the moment he arrived until
the moment he left. For instance, on the second
night of his visit to Portugal, he received an
invitation to dinner at the home of Amalia Rodrigues,
the most famous singer of Fado, the traditional
Portuguese music. It was on a par with having
dinner with the head of state of Portugal.
We were good friends almost from the beginning.
In the first few years, he would often speak to
me in Japanese. Though I could understand what
he was saying, I had to explain to him that I
couldn't find the words to answer him in Japanese.
He would then graciously revert to English.
Around that time, I asked if he would be willing
to teach me his approach. He said that he was
not a good teacher, but that if I asked him a
specific question he would try to answer it. In
the beginning he was very open and laid out this
incredible framework for me. It turned out that
my approach to macrobiotic counseling and to my
recommendations was similar to his approach to
the Ki. We both looked at things from a number
of different angles. He told me he believed this
to be the key to penetration and accuracy.
As time passed, there were questions he wouldn't
answer yet, at other times, he would tell me things
I had never thought to ask about but that always
added another dimension to my understanding. Certain
things he refused to tell me. He said that his
teacher had refused to tell him and he, in turn,
wouldn't tell me, but often he would point me
in a direction to discover the answer.
He said that it was because his teacher wouldn't
answer some of his most important questions that
he was able to develop his own approach and unique
interpretation of 9 Ki. He encouraged me to develop
my own interpretation as well. When I asked him
about my new discoveries he usually said no, that's
not right, thus forcing me to try to penetrate
the Ki even more deeply!
In all the years I knew him, I disagreed with
his advice only once. A friend came to see me
about someone she had met. She was not completely
sure of his date of birth. I told her that without
knowing it I couldn't really advise her but I
had a strong feeling that he was not the one for
her and I told her to be careful. Later, having
learned his date of birth, she went to see Mr.
He told her that this man was the one for her,
that they were a perfect combination. The next
time I saw Mr. Yoshikawa he said to me, "Don't
tell people your feelings, just analyze the numbers."
He told me that when he was young he had indeed
used his intuition but that now he just analyzed
the numbers. I didn't completely believe him because,
on many occasions, I had experienced his powerful
intuition. I learned later that the relationship
hadn't worked out, that, in fact, the man had
lied about his birthday to my friend.
Even though a couple of months have passed since
he left us, I find it hard to believe that Mr.
Yoshikawa is gone. He now seems bigger than life.
Takashi Yoshikawa was one of those vivid people
who inspired awe and wonder about the nature of
life itself. I know he will live on in the hearts
of all of us who loved him.
Ki: How to Make Your Dreams
Come True with Feng Shui Astrology