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TRAINING


HEALING HANDS


Takashi Namikoshi, the grandson of the founder of shiatsu massage, is on a mission to broaden its reach beyond Japan. Neena Dhillon meets him in Tokyo to learn more about the therapy


Takashi Namikoshi, chair of the International Shiatsu Foundation, is proud of his grandfather’s legacy


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Family business: shiatsu founder Tokujiro Namikoshi (centre) with his son (right) and grandson (left)


88 spabusiness.com issue 3 2015 ©CYBERTREK 2015


hiatsu was the first Japanese medical term to be entered into the Oxford English Dictionary,” says Takashi Namikoshi,


proudly referring to his grandfather’s legacy. “This remains a great honour for our family.” As chair of the International Shiatsu Foundation – an organisation he set up in 2005 to promote true shiatsu practice and increase awareness of its benefits outside Japan – Namikoshi is the third generation of a family whose name is inextricably linked with the therapy. For it was his grandfather, Tokujiro Namikoshi, who’s recognised as the founder of the hands-on technique, famously treating prime ministers of Japan, Muhammad Ali and Marilyn Monroe during his lifetime. Born in Japan in 1905, the young


Tokujiro moved with his family from a mild climate on the island of Shikoku to the harsher environment of northern Hokkaido. A gruelling journey, the relocation was to impact heavily on Tokujiro’s mother who began to experience pain in her knees, the precursor to an ailment that would affect her whole body and which today would be diagnosed as rheumatism. With no doctor in the village of Rusutsu, her new mountain home, she turned to her children who took it in turns


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