Masando Sasaki (February 1, 1929 – February 15, 2013) – was an 8 Dan Aikido Aikikai Shihan and a Shinto priest. Was an Otomo for the O-Sensei and been teaching in the Hombu Dojo.
An interview was taken on June 9, 2018, during a seminar with the Shihan at Chisinau, Moldova. Hiroyuki Sakurai held 6 Dan at the time. During the 2020 Kagamibiraki ceremony, Sensei received 7th Dan from the Aikikai.
Koichi Tohei (20 January 1920 – 19 May 2011) was a first one to be promoted to a 10 Dan by the Morihei Ueshiba ever. He taught people like Hiroshi Tada, Seigo Yamaguchi, Mitsugi Saotome, Sadateru Arikawa, Kazuo Chiba, Yoshimitsu Yamada, Steven Seagal and many others.