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Impressions of My Father’s Passing by Norio Kushi

January 7, 2015
Michio and Norio, July 2001 - Photo by Seth Levine

Michio and Norio, July 2001 – Photo by Seth Levine

On December 28, 2014, our father, Michio Kushi, passed away peacefully in a hospital in Boston. On his last day his wife, Midori, and all of his sons, Norio, Haruo, myself and Hisao, were present and were able to speak with him for the last time. Later and after the holidays, on January 5th, 2015, our father’s remains were cremated in a private, family only  service.  A Memorial Service for the public is being planned for Saturday, January 31st, 2015 in Boston.  Details and more information for the Public Memorial Service will be posted here: . The following are impressions of our father’s last day by Norio Kushi, my older brother. – Phiya

There are three words that come to mind when it comes to my father’s passing. I intentionally use the word “passing” instead of death, because the death of my father felt much more like a transition instead of finality associated with the word death.

The first word is “magical.” In the same way, during the presence of my children’s birth, there is a magical feeling, this same feeling was present during the dying of my father. Any differences that may have been there between myself and other family members, whether it be with my father or his wife, as soon as I walked into my father’s room, was gone. It all simply dissolved and felt as though it had never been there.

The second word is “beautiful.” As I walked into my father’s room, he was awake, fully conscious and completely aware of what was happening. My father got to say all that he wanted to say and all that he needed to say. In the end, the only thing that mattered to my father, was that there be peace and harmony between all family members, including, of course, his wife Midori. At the moment of my father’s passing, Midori was massaging his feet, he was fully awake, peaceful and happy.

The third word is “gratitude.” Also present in the room was this overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I am grateful for my father and mother selflessly providing for me throughout my life. I am grateful for JoAnne and our children for their unconditional love and support. I am grateful for our family, my brothers, sister for their unconditional love and support. I am grateful for all our friends, who are all as intimate as family and live throughout our green planet. Thank you all for sharing in this gift of life.

One more insight that I want to share is the timelessness of birth and death and that the source of life happening, is not just in the manifest, time based reality, but simultaneously at a much deeper level beyond the intellect. In the presence of my father, I saw the limitations in assigning the time based reality of cause and effect to death. The witnessing of the passing, is a glimpse into the timeless, a reality void of cause and effect.

Thank you to all.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2015 10:36 am

    Thank You Norio. Beautiful text filling my own heart with gratitude for what your family has brought to mine and to thousands.

  2. D R permalink
    January 7, 2015 11:02 am

    Thank you for these beautiful words. Our prayers continue for all of Michio’s loves ones.

  3. elena durante permalink
    January 7, 2015 11:31 am

    Thank You Norio what a beautiful account this description of such a transcending into life ❤ again from life here onto life into the loving reality of God.. ❤ Thank you I am grateful personally to your parents for their work and for their sharing and teaching of a powerful yet gentle way of healing oneself .. I met your dad Michio in Boston and he was staying at the KI shorlty after your mother funeral in August 2000 that is when i stayed there . I was impressed by Michio humbleness and holiness .. a man to whom i will always be grateful and many as an endeless number of people will .. RIP Michio may you be met by the Love happiness and peace of God rest in peace with dear Aveline ❤ love and prayers to you ❤ thank you wish you brilliance and success to you Norio and to all the family ❤ thank you for sharing such an intimate and beautiful words with us .. "The other children "of Michio and Aveline Kushi.. Blessings to Midori and to you all ❤

  4. elena durante permalink
    January 7, 2015 11:39 am

    Sorry an amendement it was in Auugust 2001 and not 2000 ..when I was there at the KI..

  5. meshachw permalink
    January 7, 2015 12:29 pm

    Thanks for sharing, Norio. I’ll never forget those days of running around the East West Center in London with the Kushi clan.

  6. Matt Sandler permalink
    January 7, 2015 12:53 pm

    Norio, I liked your dad, he was a friend and teacher RIP. Matt

  7. January 7, 2015 2:22 pm

    Beautiful Words Norio !

    Michio was a great man ….

  8. January 7, 2015 6:23 pm

    Thanks Norio and the whole Kushi family. Your words did remember the passing of my father in law. I am still grateful for that moment, which still continues. Indeed time is an illusion. I hope that the passing of Michio make you and your family and the whole macrobitic family on this world stronger and happier.

  9. Fransje FM permalink
    January 8, 2015 5:36 am

    Phiya and Norio, thank you thank you thank you….!
    for your beautiful words and intimate sharing, and therefor really giving the feeling of being part in these last days with Michio and the bigger scale: One Peaceful World. This is so, as I was lucky to experience for my self, in the spirit of your parents and what they so lovingly shared and inspired us with.
    In Love, <3<3<3

  10. Ineke van Schaik (Niermeijer) permalink
    January 8, 2015 6:35 am

    Thank you Norio. Love and peace on universal scale was and is your fathers dream to be continued. My best wishes to all of you.

  11. ian madge permalink
    January 8, 2015 7:41 pm

    Thank you for sending this on to me ! Your Father was a great man who I treasure having had our time of friendship first briefly in 1969 and then when I spent 7 months in Waltham Mass. in 1975. Ian Madge

  12. January 9, 2015 8:18 am

    Dearest Norio and Phiya,

    Hearing of your fathers passing brings a lifetime of memories to the forefront of my mind, since I was a little tiny girl Michio and Aveline were there helping my mom with her serious health issues as well as me with my asthma. I know my life would be totally other if we hadnt found health and healing through Michio and Aveline and their sharing of Macrobiotics.

    With the passing of Michio it feels like the end of an era.

    I hope now, with our hearts full of gratitude that we have the strength to continue Michio and Aveline’s work towards One Peaceful World.
    United as brothers and sisters to love and support one another in all our endeavors towards One Peaceful World.
    Indeed I dont feel as though Michio is gone, more that he moved on to let us carry on.
    In health, in peace, in harmony,


  13. Lily Iglehart permalink
    January 9, 2015 9:42 am

    To all of us who had the experience of studying, learning and sharing with Michio, it is hard to imagine the world without him. I am so grateful to Michio and Aveline for their tireless efforts to give hope, peace and a way to live a healthy life in the modern world. I met Michio in Miami in 1975 and with his encouragement I came to Boston and began a new life. I have so much gratitude for his advice and the positive effect it has had in my life. Michio and Aveline will always have a place in my heart. My deepest sympathy to you and all the Kushis. Lily I

  14. Shruti permalink
    January 9, 2015 4:46 pm

    He was a great inspiration to me from the 70s onwards. Thank you and God bless!

  15. January 11, 2015 4:18 pm

    Thank you, Norio, for such beautiful, expressive words.
    Your father and mother were formative teachers for me and Bruce from 1968 until we left Boston in 1977 so that we could raise our kids in the country. I can never thank them enough for their generous spirits. We are truly all One and they are with us….
    Blessings and peace.
    Melinda Gardiner

  16. January 16, 2015 9:18 am

    Dear Nori and Family,
    I met you Nori at the funeral of Adelbert Nelissen on sept 6 last year and you made a photo of me with Fransje, Willem & Clary .
    I met your Father & Mother and Mrs. Lima Oshawa at the 1e Michio Kushi Seminar in 1973 in Amsterdam in theTropen Museum!
    THIS MEETING CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER!!!!Thank you for your intimate sharing of the last moments with your very inspiring Father and your Family! ‘Our’ East-West-Center in Groningen(1973-’93) was embedded by the timelessnes,gratefulnes,beautifulnes and magical aura of ONE Peacefull World Dream that your Parents were living!!!!We bow from the depths of our HeartSoul for all the Blessings of Unconditional Love!
    Helas I will not be able to be at 31 jan. Memorial Service because i ‘ve to take care of my 92 year old Mother Menna who is now in her bed for 5 month!
    We thank you all once more and greet you from the Heart!
    Jan Errit ‘EartHeart’ de Vries (

  17. January 17, 2015 1:58 pm

    How beautiful to be fully present at your father’s passing and to honor his wishes for a one peaceful world by starting with self. Reading this post gave me joy to read that you accepted what is, the beautiful cycle of life. Michio understood that. May we all be inspired by this way of living and dying and eternal life. Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Denny Waxman.

  18. dorothy Pierce permalink
    January 18, 2015 9:49 pm

    Cycle of life. Yes i just lost my younger brother and i too know he is in a much better place. It was a blessing that the family could be their with Michio and to honor his wishes for a peaceful world which has been his dreams since i have known and studied with him. Michio will be missed by millions. He gave life to so many people with his teachings. My prayers go out to you and your family as well as Michio who is in next phase as he use to teach. Michio inspired me and still practice the macrobiotic diet since the 70’s. One Peaceful World is what we all pray for. dottie pierce

  19. January 20, 2015 1:30 pm

    Dear Norio and Phiya,

    Thank you Norio, for writing this beautiful piece about your experience of your father’s death. Thank you, Phiya, for your continued work in publishing valuable information and stimulating topics for discussion for the macrobiotic community and the greater world.

    Peace and love to you both,
    Elaine Danforth

  20. January 20, 2015 11:38 pm

    PS– My sympathies on the passing of your father. He was such a giant in growing macrobiotics and shaping the face of the world for the better.

    Though I only met him once, I can say that we are all the richer for having had his life touch ours.

  21. Donna A. Regalado permalink
    January 21, 2015 12:27 pm

    May your soul rest in peace, Michio! You have been an excellent teacher. Thank you very much for everything you have done.

  22. Tony Lee permalink
    February 12, 2016 3:00 pm

    Very sorry to read of your Fathers passing. I lost my stepdad around the same time My name is Tony Lee. We worked at TransAm Trucking and met several time on the road. We had lunch with my daughter at the Troutville Virginia truck stop. I lost your number due to losing my phone and my computer broke and lost pictures we took as well.

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