"Concentrate on a single point, spread out to many points."
Fumio Toyoda Shihan
Toyoda Shihan would go on to establish the Aikido Association of America, Aikido Association International, and Aikido International Foundation. Under Toyoda Shihan’s guidance, the Aikido Association of America grew to be the largest organization under a single Shihan-level instructor in the United States.
"The US needs quality instruction; this will never change. We are working to implement this, and to develop the ability of American instructors to teach at the highest level possible. That is my entire purpose for living in this country and for becoming a citizen of the United States; not just for my own personal benefit, but to insure the transmission of quality aikido in this country." - Fumio Toyoda Shihan
In 1997, Toyoda Shihan was named as a dharma successor to Tanouye Roshi from Chozen-ji, the first Rinzai headquarters temple established outside of Japan according to Rinzai canon law. The philosophy of Chozen-ji is Zen, Ken (sword/martial arts) and Sho (calligraphy/cultural arts) master Omori Sogen). His Zen name was Tenzan Gensei Rokoji (Zen master).
Although he obtained a law degree in Japan, Toyoda Shihan elected to make martial arts instruction his life’s work. After arriving in Chicago, he envisioned a facility where various disciplines devoted to “The Way” might be united under one roof. The Japanese Culture Center is the result of that dream.
Toyoda Shihan passed away unexpectedly on July 4th, 2001 at the age of 53, but his legacy is continued by family and dedicated students.