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Fukiko Sunadomari passes away at age 92

by Stanley Pranin

Published Online

We are saddened to announce the passing of Fukiko Sunadomari Sensei in Fujisawa, Japan, on May 1 at age 92. Born into a family of devout Omoto believers, Fukiko Sensei was one of the early female instructors at the Aikikai Hombu Dojo in Tokyo and a confidante of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba. She served as the “Fujin Bucho” (Head of the female instructors section) of the Aikikai for many years until the passing of the Founder.

Fukiko Sensei began her martial arts’ career as a student of the famous naginata teacher Hideo Sonobe in the late 1930s prior to her joining the Aikikai. She did extensive research on Morihei Ueshiba to assist her older brother Kanemoto Sunadomari in writing the first biography of the Founder published in 1969. (Click this link for an interview she conducted while researching the life of the Founder in the 1960s)

Fukiko Sunadomari assisting O-Sensei c. 1965

Although never in the public eye, she was an important personnage in aikido history for her close association with the Ueshiba family. Fukiko Sensei is survived by her younger brother Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei, a famous aikido instructor based in Kumamoto, Kyushu, Japan. Aikido Journal Editor Stanley Pranin attended her funeral held on May 3 in Fujisawa.