For a time my father [Kisshomaru Ueshiba] was actually in Iwama instead He had no other choice. Even if you have a dojo, you can't make a living if nobody is coming to train, which was largely the case after the war. So, he took a job as an ordinary company employee during the day and taught only in the mornings and evenings.
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W hen reading an article or a definition about aikido, one obviously finds a great deal of information about its founder, Ueshiba Morihei. Many of our teachers often look up to this man they never met in order to justify not only technical, but also moral choices. However, what few people know or accept is the fact that Aikido, as it is practiced today around the world, owes not only to Morihei, but also to a large extent to his son Kisshomaru. In reality, Morihei has never really systematically taught to anyone a topic that would be worth an entire article and it is Kisshomaru whose task became to ensure that aikido could be appreciated and understood by the general public.
Without his work, it is likely that the majority of us would not know aikido today and that the art would either be practiced in a confidential manner, or disappeared entirely. Ueshiba Morihei having relocated far from Tokyo during the middle of World War II, Kisshomaru had, in the midst of a very unfavorable period to take over from a genius father, but one whose character and life choices were far from easy to follow.
Today I would like to tell you a bit more about the second Doshu of aikido and to review the extend of the work he has accomplished when succeeding to his father, hoping to make you understand the reason why he is rightfully regarded, in Japan and elsewhere, as the true father of aikido as we practice it today. Ueshiba Kisshomaru is born on June 27, in the Kyoto Prefecture. Ueshiba Kisshomaru in front of his father in the garden of the Ueshiba Juku in It is important to note that Kisshomaru spends most of his childhood in a country that is in a state of war from the invasion of Manchuria in to the capitulation of Given the close ties that his father holds with the political and military class, particularly within the ultra-nationalist circles,  Kisshomaru is ringside to witness the Japanese war effort.
This experience and the harshness of postwar life will have a very important influence on his views as an adult. The founder with members of the Imperial Marine on board of the Mikasa war ship. Inauguration of Kobukan in April First row: Ueshiba Hatsu, Ueshiba Kisshomaru. It is in this dojo, circa , that Kisshomaru formally starts practicing aikido.
Despite enjoying a privileged position alongside the founder, we cannot say that Kisshomaru is groomed by Morihei as his successor. Morihei adopts Nakakura in and gives him the name of Ueshiba Morihiro a relatively common practice in Japan, where the family of the bride adopts the husband.
It is only when Kisshomaru begins training intensively that he gradually comes to be considered as the future leader of the aikido world. Ueshiba Kisshomaru demonstrating at the 3rd International Congress in Paris. It is during this period, in and , respectively, that Tohei Koichi and Osawa Kisaburo enter the Kobukan; both are quickly given responsibilities in the administration and teaching at the dojo.
At this time, Kisshomaru is a student at Waseda University, but he is also in charge of the administrative affairs of the dojo. He is assisted in his duties by Hirai Minoru the founder of Korindo Aikido. This piece of information is essential to understand why many Daito-ryu teachers sometimes refer to their art in terms of aikido. Once the Kobukai is established, Ueshiba Morihei retires to his Iwama dojo in the Ibaraki Prefecture and he leaves the management of the Tokyo headquarters to Kisshomaru.
Aerial photo of the Aiki Jinja left and Iwama dojo right. The reasons for the departure of Morihei to Iwama are not very clear and they are numerous. The geopolitical situation is a reason given by the founder himself. In making preparations for the time when our beloved country will flourish once more, it will not be enough to hold on to Tokyo only. It will be necessary to secure positions elsewhere. Kisshomaru, you must hold your own to the end in the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and defend it to the last to the death.
Kisshomaru is 21 years old and even if American bombings do not start until , the war with the United States has been raging for several months following the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The injunction by his father to keep the dojo at the peril of his life, and the implicit notion that the survival of aikido should take precedence over his own are a very heavy burden to carry for the young Ueshiba, one that he will only deposit that at his death.
As the war intensifies, most deshi are incorporated and the activities at the Kobukan greatly slow down. Kisshomaru, still a student, remains at his post as promised to his father. Towards the end of the war, he must take action several times to extinguish fires caused by U. It is thanks to the sacrifice of the young man that the dojo makes it through the bombings, while the majority of houses in the neighborhood Wakamatsu-cho are destroyed.
The last of the refugees will only leave the dojo in The surrender of Japan on August 15, and the desolation that follows profoundly affect Kisshomaru. He resumes his studies somehow and receives his degree in Economics and Political Science from the prestigious Waseda University in He becomes aware of the fact that the exercise of power based on militarism and nationalism is a mistake, and he decides that aikido, both in its technical curriculum and spiritual message, can serve mainly as a bridge to bring nations together.
Importantly, it can also allow Japan to regain some of its lost pride by showing the world that his country can still produce good things. Given the unfavorable conditions, even Kisshomaru has to abandon Tokyo to settle in Iwama for three years, he manages from there the administrative affairs of aikido. The directors of the old Kobukai foundation decide that it is time to get their discipline recognized once more by the government.
Although Kisshomaru is now in Tokyo full-time, he is forced to work from as a clerk for the Osaka Shoji society in order to support his family, the operation of the dojo, and the livelihood of the uchideshi.
Kisshomaru runs the first at and the last at At that time, the roof of the building is still not repaired and the dojo is split in two by a panel to separate the space occupied by refugees from the area of practice. The latter finds himself very satisfied, even if he never directly expresses it to his son.
During this period, the great post-war masters begin their apprenticeship under the direction of Ueshiba Kisshomaru and his collaborators. Thanks to the financial support of his employer, Kisshomaru gather enough money to finally renovate the roof of Hombu Dojo. Ueshiba Kisshomaru at the age of 31 years in front of the Kobukan. The first official Hombu Dojo branches are established shortly after. The first of these is the Kuwamori Dojo,  which opens in January in Sakuradai.
Starting from , O Sensei begins to visit Tokyo more frequently to give intensive courses for the deshi. The handling of aikido matters by Kisshomaru opens the door of the dojo to non-Japanese practitioners. Note that Kisshomaru must fight hard with his father to make his progressive views prevail and to convince him to accept foreigners. Kisshomaru realizes that he has to intensify the promotion of the art of his father if he wants to reach a critical mass of students that will guarantee the survival of the discipline.
He decides to organize public demonstrations. This too must be fought over with his father, because until then, only the latter has the task of demonstrating aikido, and only to small groups of handpicked individuals.
However, understanding the need to expand and develop his art, he lets himself be convinced and he answers to Kisshomaru:. Very well. Perhaps it is necessary to reach out to all levels of society. If it helps to clear the muddy stream, this old man will do his best to demonstrate the essence of aikido.
I have already put you in charge. As long as you follow the path of helping society and helping humanity, I have no objection to what you propose. Make use of this old man to help you reach your goals. This first public aikido demonstration takes place in on the roof of the Takashimaya Shopping Center in Nihonbashi.
O Sensei during the first public demonstration held at Takashimaya in For five days, the deshi succeed to each other to present the discipline and O Sensei ensures the final part of the demonstration.
Ueshiba Kisshomaru demonstrating at the ministry of defense in In the late 60s, aikido counts over 2, black belts. Ueshiba Morihei demonstrating at the ministry of defense in The first expert to demonstrate aikido abroad is Mochizuki Minoru, a student of Kano Jigoro and Ueshiba Morihei who has moved to Europe to teach Judo as well as other Budo. Note that the majority of those who officially disseminate aikido abroad are students formed primarily under Ueshiba Kisshomaru in Tokyo.
His first official trip leads him to Hawaii, Los Angeles, and San Francisco over the course of a journey of about three months, an almost unbelievable experience for this former penniless salaryman. From this date and until the end of his life, he regularly travels around the world. Kisshomaru is a man of letters and culture, and his scholarship serves as a vehicle to expand the message of aikido.
He completes his teaching on the tatami by an extensive editorial work. Kisshomaru is clearly the most comprehensive source of information available to us about both pre-and post-World War II eras and even though his sometimes criticized for his limited skills as a historian and some unavoidable biases,  the careful study of his work is a must if one wants to better understand the development of aikido. Kisshomaru writes a biography of Ueshiba Morihei in , which is still authoritative today.
Given the incredible enthusiasm manifested by the public for aikido, it is clear that the tatami space of the Kobukan has become far too narrow and it is decided to build a new structure to replace it. The new Hombu Dojo, a three-floor concrete building an extension is added later opens on January 2, It harbors a total area of more than practice mats. Alan Ruddock and Henry Kono in front of the Kobukan. Behind them are the plans for the future building of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo.
He asks privately to Kisshomaru if he intends to continue after his death and when Kishsomaru responds yes, the old man is appeased. Morihei is known to have never kicked anyone out   and Kisshomaru follows the same precept. This policy is also still valid under the direction of his son Moriteru and organizations who have left the fold Aikikai can gradually be reinstated later.
The international development of aikido is such that establishing a structure to manage some aspects of abroad practice becomes necessary. The International Federation of Aikido is established in and Kisshomaru becomes its first lifetime president.
The main difficulty for Kisshomaru is to get to work together the highly vertical Japanese iemoto system with the more horizontal western system.
Kisshomaru recognizes that if the discipline continues to grow, it is inevitable that contradictions appear. Faced with the refusal of Kisshomaru to modify the curriculum, Tohei leaves the Aikikai in Much has been written about this and the views held by those who did are generally rather strong. I will try to stick to the facts and most importantly, provide an explanation and context to the different choices that have been made. We saw that Kisshomaru Ueshiba and his students are largely responsible for the dissemination of aikido after the war.
After the war, O Sensei travels extensively and when he steps on the tatami, it is often unannounced and mainly to talk about his philosophy. Ueshiba Morihei taught if he ever really taught an art of war to a social and political elite within a culture of war. In this context, Kisshomaru understands that aikido is relevant because of its message of universal harmony and he decides to mainly present it as a vehicle for that.
Biography of Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Second Doshu of Aikido
W hen reading an article or a definition about aikido, one obviously finds a great deal of information about its founder, Ueshiba Morihei. Many of our teachers often look up to this man they never met in order to justify not only technical, but also moral choices. However, what few people know or accept is the fact that Aikido, as it is practiced today around the world, owes not only to Morihei, but also to a large extent to his son Kisshomaru. In reality, Morihei has never really systematically taught to anyone a topic that would be worth an entire article and it is Kisshomaru whose task became to ensure that aikido could be appreciated and understood by the general public. Without his work, it is likely that the majority of us would not know aikido today and that the art would either be practiced in a confidential manner, or disappeared entirely. Ueshiba Morihei having relocated far from Tokyo during the middle of World War II, Kisshomaru had, in the midst of a very unfavorable period to take over from a genius father, but one whose character and life choices were far from easy to follow. Today I would like to tell you a bit more about the second Doshu of aikido and to review the extend of the work he has accomplished when succeeding to his father, hoping to make you understand the reason why he is rightfully regarded, in Japan and elsewhere, as the true father of aikido as we practice it today.
Aikido is a modern Martial Art that has been pioneered by Morihei Ueshiba. Search location on Google Maps. Masanosuke Tsuboi. Leads a group of 54 families in migrating to Shirataki now known as Engaru-cho , Monbetsu-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture. The Founder meets Mr. Onisaburo Deguchi, of the Omoto religious sect and devotes himself to ascetic spiritual training.