Idiosyncratic teacher-healer-philosopher and originator of a very individual system of yoga. Oki was born in Korea in 1919 and brought up in a strictly religious environment. His early education familiarized him with martial arts and Zen. He was influenced by the politician Ottama Daisojo, who played an important part in the history of Burma (now Myanmar). Oki asked him about such great individuals as Buddha, Christ, and Muhammed, and their spiritual eminence. He explained that all three practiced something called yoga, which he would understand through later experience. At the time, Oki was only eight years old. When his father died, to support his family, he joined the government intelligence service. In order to train for this work he studied foreign languages and was given special training in Western and Eastern medicine.
As a young man, before becoming a soldier, he studied at a military academy. In 1939, after Japan had seized areas on the China coast, he became a spy for the Korean government and was sent then to Mongolia, China, India and Arabia, where he studied Lamaism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and classic Indian and Arabic medicine. Oki's task was to enter parts of southern Asia and cooperate with Islamic independence movements. As a cover for this, he went to Tibet to train as a lama. At that time this was a purely utilitarian move without religious significance.
His religious experience was later stimulated when he was arrested on an assignment in Iran and thrown in jail, with an iron ball and chain. He shared a cell with an older man who, although facing a death sentence, was always serene and peaceful. Oki himself was scared that he would be executed, so he became a pupil of the older man, learning from his chanting, meditation, and religious observances that brought him serenity. Later, both men were freed when a raiding party liberated the jail. Oki's first teacher turned out to be Hoseini-shi, father of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the former spiritual leader of Islam in Iran.
In 1951 he went to India to a place near the border with Pakistan, as Japan’s representative to UNESCO. There several different diagnoses confirmed that he had intestinal cancer. This made him realize that he had been wrong in doing yoga practice for the sake of his own personal enlightenment and salvation. He decided that from then on he would live a life devoted to others, aiming at the salvation of all beings. When he came back to Japan, he set up an organization to help young people to study and serve other people in many different parts of the world. From 1960 onwards he was invited to give lectures in many countries. During 1960 he worked as a researcher for a Japanese newspaper, traveling Europe and North America and lecturing on Zen to religious groups. In 1962 the Buddhist Society of America invited him to teach yoga. Oki also taught in Brazil before returning to Japan, where he founded the International Oki Yoga Institute in Mishima in 1967. He has since authored a number of books on healing. He established a yoga dojo at Mishima in Japan in 1967. It’s called “The Society For Searching Truth through Practice”. The essential characteristic of Oki-do Yoga is that it unifies many fields of human experience, and the teachings are understandable and practical in the modern way of life. It’s a way of searching for truth through daily life. In recognition in his pioneering work, Masahiro Oki was awarded the honorary degrees of Doctor of Medicine in Switzerland and Doctor of Philosophy in India. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officials employed him to work for peace in India and Pakistan, where he lectured, practiced medicine, and taught practical skills in housing and food production. He stayed at the ashram of Mahatma Gandhi in India and learned from him directly. Here the concept of yoga in relation to practical life matured Oki's experience and convinced him that yoga is the basis of all religions. From Mahatma Gandhi he learned that yoga practice led Buddha, Christ, and other saints to enlightenment. He holds 34 dans in various Japanese martial arts. M. Oki died in 1985. Nowadays the dojo at Mishima does not operate 365 days a year as when he was alive. There now other centers and dojos in Europe, America, Australia and Taiwan.
Sources: "Behind the Scenes of Oki Yoga." East West Journal 15, 9 (September 1985) & “Meditation Yoga” Masahiro Oki.
- Meiso shiatsu + Okido yoga + Laboratory of Clown Without Nose
- Zytno,, Poland
- International integration WORKSHOPCAMP!!! 19 - 22 of AUGUST 2010 aiming to: promote the methods of-development, both physical and mental (spiritual). Involving the exchange of creative experience, drawn from various disciplines, cultures of the world. Combining elements of:-natural medicine (yoga, massage, meditation, etc. ..) with the art of theatrical improvisation, clown), based mainly on the Eastern philosophy (of : Ki, Breath, Hara, etc ...).