Kisshomaru Ueshiba (June 27, 1921 – January 4, 1999) – was a son of the Morihei Ueshiba, founder of the Aikido and was a second Doshu which literally translates as a tradition keeper.
Kisshomaru was born in Ayabe, Kyoto prefecture as a fourth child of Morihei and Hatsu Ueshiba but only he and his sister survived. Been doing Kendo and Kenjutsu before started Aikido in 1937 with his father. In 1942 O-Sensei retired to the Iwama Dojo and Kisshomaru was appointed as head of the Kobukan. Young Ueshiba was studying economics at Waseda University at the time and graduated in 1946.
There was not much activity in the Dojo as the martial arts were prohibited in Japan during the war times and Hombu was used as a refugee center. Starting from 1948, second Doshu reviewed the development of the organization and pushed the Aikikai headquarters construction on a place of the old Kobukan. Kisshomaru Ueshiba had to take a regular job in the Osaka Shoji company and been teaching in the mornings and evenings through years. This is how current Hombu Dojo was born in the very same place it is now.
There are many people who idolize Morihei Ueshiba as “almighty” or as a kami (a divine being). I think it’s a fine thing as long as it inspires hard training. However, as long as he’s a human being, he cannot be almighty. So I think the most important thing in aikido is to cultivate your own individuality, or rather, better individual characteristics through one’s own aiki training having an understanding of the efforts made by the Founder to construct the aiki path.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba is known for organizing the martial art created by his father. He is the reason behind the Aikido names and classification we use these days, an author of several Aikido books. It’s during his time Aikido became known in the world and Japanese art became recognized internationally. For that second Doshu was awarded multiple times from the Japanese government including a last award posthumously. His son Moriteru is now a third Doshu.
Enjoy beautiful articles made with Kisshomaru Ueshiba by Stanley Pranin and Christopher Li.