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Macrobiotics - Through the eyes of Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono

We are in an age of such confusion, delusion, and chaos. We don’t know how to approach our most basic necessities, such as the way to eat. There are so many diets that come and go. Right now, in America, we are attempting to counteract our obesity problem by consuming huge amounts of animal fat, on the theory that this burns calories and prevents hunger. Whole grains, by association with “carbs”, are minimized.
This is madness!!!!!

Of course, if our objective in choosing a diet is merely to lose weight, we won’t arrive at a comprehensive plan. Our viewpoint is still so limited! And we want everything to be quick and easy. I mention this to
emphasize the fact that if from inception its perspective is askew, the result cannot be a complete success.

Although these diets result in weight loss, initially, they are too rich for our bodies, with too high a concentration of animal products for our constitution. Vegetarian diets can also compromise our systems over time.

They exclude a whole world of life, and often leave their followers finding energy in refined sugars, too many fats, and foods from other climates which may be incompatible with our individual systems, or our environment. If this is the case, we won’t thrive.

What about macrobiotics? The following is a thumbnail sketch of some of the experiences and discoveries of one of Sensei Ohsawa’s original students.

("Sensei" is an honorific title meaning "teacher". The head of a dojo is always referred to as Sensei, and other instructors as well. "O-Sensei" means great teacher. In Aikido this refers to Ueshiba Sensei, the Founder of Aikido.)

Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono was a serious student of macrobiotics. He followed the diet, as did his family, for years. When Nakazono Sensei went to Madras with Sensei Ohsawa, and ran his hospital, he personally prepared all the meals for over 40 patients, and of course studied their effects, and assessed the diet. The following are his findings.

When Sensei Nakazono first arrived in India, he was strictly following the macrobiotic diet. His legs, he found, were getting weaker by the day.

One day, he and a friend met a coconut milk vendor and each dared a cup of the regional drink. They immediately felt better, and each drank a second, whereupon his leg strength returned within minutes. This was, he explained, because the original diet had been made for the Japanese environment.

In the different climate of India, it couldn't’t be the best fit.

With his patients too, he found that certain differences in food preparation were mandatory for their progress, because they were not in Japan.

Even when the regional aspects were taken into account, there were also individual differences to consider. Sensei saw this, made further adjustments, and proved these facts by his results.

After studying his patients for three years, Sensei Nakazono told his teacher that he had been cooking no longer just one way, but four varying ones (with reduced salt intake) to accommodate differences. That is
when Professor Ohsawa gave him the rank of 7th diet, the highest then bestowed; he also changed the cooking to seven different ways, and reduced the amount of salt. He told Sensei to go on his own way of study.

Of Sensei Nakazono’s colleagues who studied and practiced with him under Master Ohsawa, the sick ones who were the most serious died. Sensei’s health and that of his wife and son suffered. He followed the diet so
strictly that first his skin turned black, then that of his wife, and their second son was born with such calcium deficiency that his hip joint was not fully formed. Those who followed the diet more casually however, were
helped by it.

As Mikoto Nakazono continued to search for the best way to help humanity, he was introduced to the study of sound vibration, the Kototama Principle. This study has in common with macrobiotics its aim: world peace. He
studied with Sensei Koji Ogasawara, who taught him specific sound orders to practice, and a different viewpoint. Master Ogasawara had worked on translating the most ancient records hidden in Japan, the Takeuchi documents, from the original Yamato language. These old texts chronicle cultures and history mentioned nowhere else.

The sound principle, Kototama, is also explained within them. Sensei Nakazono devoted the rest of his
life to practicing and applying this principle. He changed his understanding and methods of treatment back to these ancient ones, and saw an immense improvement in his results. He taught about the pure rhythms of the universe, expressed through human beings as language.

Mikoto Nakazono also worked on translating the Takeuchi documents, with the family’s permission, into English. His book, The Source of the Present Civilization, presents excerpts from them. (See below).

After many years of practicing sounds, and applying his findings to his work, O Sensei made extensive records of the effects of many foods on all of our body’s systems. He could eat a food, and feel its vibration as it interacted with each system in turn. Through this tremendous effort, he set these foods into categories. This study catalogues each individual food’s rhythm and shows how it affects each system in our bodies; and it is inclusive of all food groups.

Some of the other things Sensei Nakazono taught us were that:

a) Eating is a most serious ceremony, as we nourish ourselves and re-createour bodies.

b) Macrobiotics cannot merely be studied as theory. In order to really assess a system one must have practical experience, and use it seriously over time with patients for whose lives you are responsible.

c) We should as practitioners try all kinds of things until we understand them, using all of our senses to explore every aspect of our world.

O Sensei’s overview of diet and other therapies is available in The Real Sense of Natural Therapy.
(See below).

O Sensei, as a student of the Kototama Principle, said that the vibrations of words either capture the true essence of the phenomena to which they refer, or miss it. If they capture it, they are truly representative
of the thing, if not, they send us a false message, it is a lie.

“Yin” and “Yang” are currently confused in their use. The word “Yin” is a concentrating vibration, however it is used to connote expansion. Conversely, “Yang” has an expansive sound frequency, but means concentration. If these terms are mistaken from beginning, the sense of reality is altered and the truth cannot be fully grasped. With this confusion from its inception, the macrobiotic practice too cannot be completely balanced.

Sensei was not condemning macrobiotics. He had praise for Sensei Ohsawa, saying, “He did promulgate the use of natural foods, and that alone can be enough.” Nakazono Sensei prescribed some macrobiotic remedies for his patients. However, he taught that macrobiotics does not take into account individual and environmental differences fully enough, and is too extreme.

Any true teacher gives his best effort to his work, and hopes that his students will perfect it. Like a parent, he wants future generations to improve upon it for their lives and the betterment of mankind. To do so,
one must be diligent in his examination, forthcoming with his results, and honest with his conclusions. It is with this sense that Mikoto Nakazono presented his discoveries relative to his teacher’s diet.

Sensei Nakazono quoted Professor Ohsawa as saying, “Sick people are the same as criminals and should be given no respect.” He explained that the crime is against oneself. Any diet or other practice which leads to a
worsening of one’s condition needs to be re-examined because employing a system which hurts oneself in any way is also a crime.

Those who are seriously interested in the macrobiotic diet have already shown themselves, by their interest, to care about benefiting humanity. The next step is to assess whether they agree with all of its precepts. If
not, they must determine which ones are right, which are wrong, and which they would modify. O Sensei would undoubtedly advise them to keep an open mind to new information that might come their way. That too should be studied thoroughly, taking care not to harm themselves or others in the process.

For his advice to us, O Sensei continually repeated, “Don’t be anyone’s robot. Try things for yourself and see how they affect you, and then try them on others. That is the way to proceed.” If we want to contribute
to the establishment of a better world, we must work tirelessly toward final answers. We can’t be slaves to past knowledge, or personal inclinations. It takes courage, but how else will we know?

Seie Brigham
Kototama Life Therapist


Born in Kagoshima District, southern Japan, in 1918, Sensei Nakazono’s earliest experiences of healing came from his mother, a nurse-midwife who used foods, herbs, poultices and massage in her work.

In 1934, he began a two year apprenticeship in the study and practice of Acupuncture with Dr. Juzo Motoyama in Nagasaki. In 1938, he received his license as a “Bone-Setter”.

Sensei Nakazono’s association with Professor Ohsawa began in 1950 and their close relationship lasted over ten years. In 1955, Sensei left Japan and traveled to India where he established the Universal Institute. There he diagnosed and treated mental and physical disorders using the Ohsawa system.

In France, where he settled with his family in the early 1960s, he established the Kan Nagara Institute and began training European students in Aikido and therapy techniques. He traveled throughout Europe and North
Africa during his eleven years’ residence in France. Before he departed for the United States in 1972, he led over 40,000 European Aikido students and student practitioners of natural therapy.

When he arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he opened a medical clinic and dojo and began teaching aikido and oriental medicine as manifestations of the Kototama Principle.

In January 1973, patients of Sensei introduced an Acupuncture Practice Act in the State Senate. This was the first acupuncture legislation ever considered in the United States.

His healing capacities became so widely known that it was necessary for him to ask his son, Katsuharu K. Nakazono Sensei, to come to Santa Fe and assist him. His son, also a highly ranked aikido master and acupuncturist, arrived in Santa Fe in 1974. By 1977, they had treated well over 4,000 patients who
came from all parts of the country and various parts of the world. In order to make his work available to others, in the fall of 1978, he enrolled his first class at the Kototama Institute.

Sensei continued improving his work as his understanding and experiences deepened. His final work was called Kototama Life Therapy. It is a spiritual therapy, based on the fact that it is the human substance
that is doing the healing.

In 1984, Santa Fe citizens bestowed on him the award, “Living Treasure of Santa Fe.” During the 1985 Legislative session, the New Mexico State Senate honored Sensei with the Award of Exceptional Achievement “for having inspired and directed the passage of the New Mexico Acupuncture Act, for having established schools and for the professional practice and recognition of acupuncture in this State since 1972.”

Through his classes, his patients and his writings, Sensei Nakazono has asked the world to seriously study the Kototama Principle. It is for all humanity. This is the message of his life’s work.

This article is based on the writings of Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono, and things he said in classes from 1972 until his death in 1994. He taught us that no two people interpret what he says the same way. I have limited
myself to things I am sure of, but could not include the vast amount of information he gave us. His books contain the essence of it.

To obtain a fuller biography on Sensei Nakazono, please send email to:

We also have a website,, with the following books, all
written by Mikoto Masahilo Nakazono:

Inochi – The Book of Life
My Past Way of Budo
The Real Sense of Natural Therapy
The Source of the Present Civilization
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