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Raymond Moriyama's Sakura Ball Speech - Part 3

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Sachi and I have covered the Seven Continents. What is the most important thing we were learning??? To listen to the world and know it is alive, not inanimate and dead to be exploited for Homo sapiens’ selfish benefit. Sachi and I are not leftists and/or heavy-handed greenies. If anything, I am a complimentarily and paradox of Roman Catholicism and Zen Buddhism.

My involvement as a Chair of Environmental, Ecological And Human Factors in Richard Rohmer’s MidCanada Studies and Conferences in the ‘60s covering a million square miles of Boreal Forest from the Atlantic to the Pacific taught me the importance of RESTRAINT and fought for it.

My three-month walk, at age 47, in Nepal and India on a budget of 18 cents a day following in the Footsteps of Buddha chronologically from Birth as Siddhartha, a prince, to Parinirvana showed me the Middle way of modesty, DETERMINATION and courage.

A trek by myself in the Himalaya allowed me to re-learn the wonders of nature and the wonderful capacity of a human mind to enlarge knowledge of the world and the universe without affecting the environment. For example. “if earth were a size of a grain of sand, the universe we know is more than a beach 15 mile long.”

The period of Zazen, sit-down Zen meditation, at the famous Enkakuji Temple in Kamakura, Japan, with 26 monks and 6 priests about 20 hours a day taught me self-discipline and why the Zen priest developed the raked stone gardens—and more importantly, the capacity of mentally going beyond physical pain to a new level of self control, civility, devotion, CREATIVITY and clarity, in all cases, to have the body, ears and feet planted firmly on the land, to be one with it.


What a lucky man I am!!!!! I married the right girl, had the opportunity to raise 5 wonderful children and now blessed with 10 beautiful and intelligent grandchildren.

Sachi and I achieved the dreams we had as children and ideals we shared in University, and we had a wonderful Ted Teshima as a partner and a talented dedicated staff in architecture practice for 52 years while spending 18 years making soft transition to younger and newer members of the firm and the future.

Moreover, I am happy to share with you news of a Wadi Hanifa Project that was opened officially earlier this week by the King of Saudi Arabia—a 124 kilometre project adjacent and partially overlapping Riyadh, the capital city, converting a desolete, unproductive dumping ground into a vast green productive area of farms, fish farms, recreational grounds with lakes using largely bioremediation technique which I feel is the ultimate architectural cathedral, one of my early dreams. Even the value of all lands around this large area increased six times in value within six month of our starting the master plan. The members of our office was honoured by the King. The United Nation is very interested in this successful project because the world is constantly increasing its desert and has invited M&T to make a presentation in New York in May.

Even now at my age, I still pray, I still believe and I still dream.

1. I still believe that the ultimate future of Canada lies alive in our vast North, not the 5% of Canada which we occupy today. And I dream that we have the daring as a Nation to collectively plan for that ULTIMATE FUTURE, to create an Institute of the Future now. I dream about the planning of how to achieve that Powerful Humane Lively Future of 2050 Canada and beyond.

I dream of this institute housed in a iconic Canadian Structure that represents Canada as Sydney Opera House represents Australia and Eiffel Tower symbolizes France, but in our case even more exciting terms of year 2200. The structure I have been dreaming as an option since completing the design of the Canadian War Museum is an iconic Canadian Iceberg, not the usual cold-looking iceberg, but the one one sees once in a blue moon—powerful, gleaming, unforgettable and spiritually uplifting, a Magic Canada!

2. I pray for all of us to aspire higher and unselfishly give back for the miracle of life we all received.

3. I dream of a World of greater integrity, increasing civility and less greed, less me-ism, a World that loves heaven, nature and all people as brothers and sisters.

In conclusion, to honour my parents I would like to repeat my father’s poem that propelled and sustained me for a lifetime:

Into God’s Temple of Eternity,
drive a nail of Gold.

Into God’s Temple of Eternity,
drive a nail of Gold.

Everyone, JUST ONE NAIL.


© 2010 Norm Ibuki

architect architecture Canada Japanese Canadian meditation