Kisshomaru Ueshiba

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kisshomaru Ueshiba
Born(1921-06-27)June 27, 1921
Ayabe, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
DiedJanuary 4, 1999(1999-01-04) (aged 77)
Tokyo, Japan
Native name植芝 吉祥丸 Ueshiba Kisshomaru
Teacher(s)Morihei Ueshiba
ChildrenMoriteru Ueshiba

Kisshomaru Ueshiba (植芝 吉祥丸, Ueshiba Kisshōmaru, June 27, 1921 – January 4, 1999) was a prominent Japanese master of aikido.[1] He was the son of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido, and became the international leader of aikido after his father's death.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Ueshiba was born on June 27, 1921, in the city of Ayabe, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.[1][2][3] He was the third son and fourth child of Morihei Ueshiba and Hatsu Ueshiba (née Itokawa).[4][5] Ueshiba began training under his father around 1937.[1]

Aikido career[edit]

In 1942, while he was still studying at Waseda University, Morihei Ueshiba (who was retiring to Iwama) appointed him the head of the Kobukan Dojo in Shinjuku, Tokyo.[1] He saved the dojo from fire bombing several times during the World War II.[1] Ueshiba graduated with a degree in economics in 1946.[1]

Speaking about the period just after World War II, Moriteru Ueshiba said, "there was not yet much activity at the Hombu Dojo. For a time my father [Kisshomaru Ueshiba] was actually in Iwama instead ... starting around 1949, he worked for about seven years at a company called Osaka Shoji. 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."[6]

Beginning in 1948, Ueshiba oversaw the development of the Aikikai Honbu organization (and eventually the tearing down of the Kobukan Dojo in 1967 to construct the Aikikai headquarters).

Later life[edit]

After Morihei Ueshiba's death in 1969, Kisshomaru Ueshiba took on the mantle of Doshu (hereditary head).[1][2][3][7] In 1995, Ueshiba received the Zui Hosho Medal from the Japanese government.[3] By 1998, Ueshiba's health had declined and this necessitated visits to hospital.[2]

Ueshiba died around 5:30 PM on January 4, 1999, in a Tokyo hospital.[1][2] The cause of death was respiratory failure.[8] As his father was the first Doshu, he was the second Doshu, and after his death, his son Moriteru Ueshiba became the third Doshu, following the iemoto system.


  • Kisshomaru Ueshiba, A Life in Aikido: The Biography of Founder Morihei Ueshiba (2008), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2617-0 [1]
  • Kisshomaru Ueshiba, The Art of Aikido: Principles and Essential Techniques (2004) Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2945-4
  • Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Best Aikido: The Fundamentals (2002) Kodansha International, ISBN 978-4-7700-2762-7 [2]
  • Kisshomaru Ueshiba, The Spirit of Aikido (1987), Kodansha International, ISBN 978-0-87011-850-0 [3]
  • Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Aikido (1985), Japan Publications Trading, ISBN 978-0-87040-629-4


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Pranin, S. A. (c. 2009): Encyclopedia of Aikido: Ueshiba, Kisshomaru Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on March 1, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e Goldsbury, P. (1999): Obituary: Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba Retrieved on March 2, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Aikikai Foundation: Doshu chronology Archived 2009-10-01 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  4. ^ Dang, P. T., & Seiser, L. (2006): Advanced Aikido (p. 3). Tokyo: Tuttle. (ISBN 978-0-8048-3785-9)
  5. ^ Pranin, S. A. (1993): Morihei Ueshiba & Kisshomaru Ueshiba Retrieved on March 11, 2010.
  6. ^ Pranin, S. A. (1999): Interview with Moriteru Ueshiba Archived 2010-12-04 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on February 28, 2010.
  7. ^ Dang, P. T., & Seiser, L. (2003): Aikido basics (p. 22). Boston, MA: Tuttle. (ISBN 978-0-8048-3490-2)
  8. ^ Obituary - Doshu Kisshomaru Written by Peter Goldsbury, 1 February 1999
Preceded by
Morihei Ueshiba
Dōshu of Aikikai
April 26, 1969 – January 4, 1999
Succeeded by
Moriteru Ueshiba
Preceded by
Koichi Tohei (de facto)
de jure Dōjōchō of Aikikai Hombu Dōjō
Succeeded by
Kisaburo Osawa (de facto)