UESHIBA, KISSHOMARU 植芝吉祥丸
(27 June 1921-4 January 1999). Also Koetsu. B. Ayabe. Son of Morihei and Hatsu UESHIBA and Second Aikido DOSHU. Graduate in economics of Waseda University (1946). Kisshomaru began serious training as a teenager c. 1937 and appears taking UKEMI for his father in the 1938 technical book BUDO. He became the director of the KOBUKAN DOJO while still a university student in 1942 after his father's retirement to IWAMA. During the war years, Kisshomaru saved the dojo on several occasions from burning to the ground as a result of the fire-bombing of Tokyo.
Kisshomaru oversaw the postwar development of the AIKIKAI HOMBU from its beginnings in 1948. Employed for a number of years by a securities company, he eventually quit his job c. 1955 to devote all of his time to supervision of the growth of the Aikikai. In 1957, Kisshomaru published his first book on aikido which was a popular success and reprinted many times. Since then, he has authored more than 20 volumes on the art, several of which have been translated into English.
In 1963, Kisshomaru made his first trip abroad to the U.S. and subsequently traveled on numerous occasions to North and South America, and Europe. Although his efforts to expand the Aikikai on an organizational level are well-known, it should be noted that his technical influence was also great. Kisshomaru gradually modified the technical curriculum of the Aikikai by reducing the number of techniques taught and creating a standardized nomenclature. His flowing style of technique that emphasizes KI NO NAGARE movements have also become a de facto standard in many Aikikai dojos worldwide.
Upon his father's death in 1969, Kisshomaru inherited the title of Doshu. Among the numerous awards he received are the Blue Ribbon Medal from the Japanese government on 29 March 1987 and a Gold Medal from the French government on 19 May 1990. Interviewed AN#30, 31, 56, 57, 77, 79-81. Upon Kisshomaru's passing in 1999, his second son MORITERU UESHIBA, assumed the role of Third Aikido Doshu.
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