Master Sato: “I will learn many things from the London Olympics”
Although respecting the more enlightening personal glory, the master Kenki Sato is a great hope of Japan at the 2012 Olympic Games in London in an effort to end the thirst of Olympic gold racing for 80 years.
According to AFP, monk Sato (28) is temporarily suspending practice at Myoshoji Temple, located on the top of the mountain near Nagano City, to practice with the Japanese horse racing team preparing for the London Olympics.
In London, Sato competed in horse-riding, horse-riding and obstacle-horse riding. Having 1.63m high, Sato was practicing under the guidance of European horse racing champion and Michael Jung world in Stuttgard (Germany).
Sato was doing his best for the nation and the family tradition. Sato’s younger brother Eiken also practiced Buddhism but still competed in horse racing at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Her younger sister won five times the national obstacle course.
Sato’s father, Shodo-sensei, the abbot of Myoshoji temple, has a history of 460 years and is also the president of a horse racing club (in Japan, some monks are still married). He is a member of the Japanese horse racing team before the 1980 Olympics in Moscow (Russia). But his Olympic championship dream shattered when Japan boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games.
In the history of the Olympics, Japan has just won a gold medal in horse racing. It was Baron Takeichi Nishi’s victory in 1932. This put great pressure on the Japanese horse racing team at the London Olympics. But monk Sato is not worried because even if he does not win, competing in Olympic is still a spiritual experience.
“I will probably learn a lot when I come in contact with many different ethnic and religious people. I want to use that experience to serve my spiritual practice”, Sato said.
Four years ago, when his younger brother Eiken competed in the Beijing Olympics, Sato was going through a period of spiritual practice. “The monk secretly showed me the articles written about my brother. I am happy to cry. And I don’t want to be inferior to my brother. So I was determined to become a horse racer “- Sato said. In 2010, Sato won the personal gold medal and horse racing teammates at the Asian Games.
Sato’s horse racing career began at the age of 7 when he began practicing under his father’s guidance. “Maybe because my father was not competing at the Olympics, he directed the children to horse racing”.
Shodo Sato, 61 years old, lived in both the Buddhist world and horse racing because he grew up on a horse in the mountains of Nagano. He practiced horse racing while attending a Buddhist university in Tokyo. In 1979, he founded a horse racing club next to Myoshoji temple. When the children were young, he often carried them on horseback.
His son, monk Sato, revealed reciting Buddha’s mantra every morning before practicing was the secret to being serene and alert. But Sato not only relies on the power of chanting in the determination to win Olympic glory.
“In principle, Buddhism does not encourage dependence on others. But as soon as the competition is over, I will say thank you to my family members, horses and horse keepers”, Sato told AFP.