The year is 2014. The time is both auspicious and fragile as writing Tears for the Samurai begins. Auspicious because this year, Zenko Okimura Shihan celebrates his Golden Aikido Year – fifty years of continuous practice of this martial art. Six years later, Okimura celebrates his ordination as a Buddhist priest. Like the blossoms, time is fragile, and there is so little of it to cover nearly seven decades of his life and his teachings. Eight years later, Zenko Okimura, descendant of generations of samurai, sheathes his sword and takes his final breath.