"She was someone I could say anything to. 
She was like a river of art and beauty that we could all take a dip in whether just a toe to feel the freshness of the water or float down the river on a log or fully submerge for a long swim."  Chaitee Sengupta
"Every time I was with Asako I was filled with deep joy and happiness.
And, as Chaitee expressed, I could share anything/everything with her. 
It was so easy loving her, loving unconditionally,
and I am so blessed to have shared time with her,
and so blessed she shared her love and gifts with us!" Sharanjit Sandhu

Happy 64th Birthday dear Asako Takami! This year, I was inspired to ask her friends this question: What did Asako bring to your life? I felt now, more than ever, was a good time to reflect.

In one of her notebooks, Asako described how her heart experienced an aching feeling from this intense sweetness, that old Odissi music brought; and I really related to that feeling as well. I also feel my heart fill up with bliss, whenever I listen to Odissi music or witness Odissi dance. It has such unique intense sweetness! I call it "Oriya-ness." However, since I only discovered her notebooks after her passing, I keep this as a special teaching I received from Asako. 
I can also say, my subtle body, my energy body, for dance; was born with her help. I think I can say this. Dance is not only physical movement. I see water-like flowing energy, and her satvik shining subtle body. I fell in love with her grace, and I spent days and nights trying to imitate her dancing.
Asako's biography. Actually, Asako was the one who opened the door to my dance journey, and she was also the reason why I started my writing journey as well. Some can say, she is the "starter" of many firsts in my life.
I think, one can always keep learning after a Guru's departure from this world. Because I keep on learning new things from Asako's teachings, even after her passing.
Even if Guru has imperfect sides to them, one can always learn from them. As time has passed, my life has kept on going, and I have become much older than Asako. And it is at this age, I am able to imagine what kind of pains and confusions young Asako going through. And that, enforces my thought that, I think a Guru's imperfections make for a better learner. 
In conclusion, I would like to address to the fact that I have been living with Asako for the last 20 years, even though her journey on this world has ended a long time ago. Haruko Tanaka


Photo: Ryosen Kono

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