2. A fortuneteller in China told him he wouldn't die until he reached 79.
He rose on his deathbed in a strong Sanchin position and screamed at Death.
The "fortune-teller" story was made up. Kanei Sensei never told it.
About the death scene so often told with such deep emotion, sometimes
evoking tears from rapt listeners... it never happened either.
Sensei died of a form of Bright's Disease for which there was no cure back
He had medical attention, but nothing worked, not even pain killers
(which were scarce on Okinawa so soon after the war). In the end, he was
told by a doctor he could either spend his last weeks in a hospital, or die
at home, it wouldn't make much difference.
There was no treatment, all that
could be done to make him comfortable in a hospital could be done as well at
home. So, he chose to die at his home on Ie Jima, surrounded by his
lifelong friends and fellow students in the Shinjo Family.
As he approached
death in the last two or three weeks of his life, he became unable to move
He could barely open his eyes or move his fingers, let alone stand
up on his bed and shout. He could barely drink water, and finally could not
open his mouth.
His abdomen became swollen and black, his extremities and
especially his beautiful and strong hands became swollen like sausages and
immobile. Acids and toxins built up in his body with liver and kidney
failure. Each breath was agony.
It was a long and painful, slow death.