By Nerissa Freeman


In January, 2012, I was part of the second class that went to Hawaii to study the Original Okazaki Restoration Massage with Keith Okazaki Sensei, grandson of Professor Henry S. Okazaki.

We met at Nikko Restoration Massage in Honolulu, in the building where his grandfather had done his work, and where Keith Sensei was also working. Sensei would lecture in the back of the building, and then we would work in pairs in treatment rooms while he would move from group to group offering advice and feedback.


My partner was possibly one of the most inquisitive students he had, and would ask a lot of questions. Finally, Keith Sensei became a little frustrated and took us both over to a small table. He laid a piece of blank paper on the table and took a pencil, drawing a vertical line slowly and carefully down the page. “Look!” he said, “if you move too slowly and think too much, the line comes out jagged and you can’t make it straight.” Then, he took the pencil and moved it quickly down the page, drawing a perfectly, smooth straight line. “Draw a straight line!” he admonished. I’ll never forget his example of what can happen if one thinks too much about what one is doing. Sometimes it’s best to just draw a straight line.