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(b. 1937). Aikikai Shihan. Began practice of aikido c. 1955 in a Tokyo branch dojo. He entered the AIKIKAI HOMBU DOJO as an UCHIDESHI c. 1960 and remained as an instructor until departing for the U. S. in 1975. His organization called AIKIDO SCHOOLS OF UESHIBA was established in the late 1970s and includes more than 40 dojos. It operated on an independent basis until January 1988 when it was recognized by the AIKIKAI HOMBU. Saotome's organization functions independently of the UNITED STATES AIKIDO FEDERATION, but the ranks given by the two groups are considered to be equivalent and interchangeable. Saotome has written two books on aikido (see bibl. ). He travels extensively in the U. S. and makes regular trips to France. Interviewed in AN#71-72. See Pictorial p. 96. Washington D. C. Aikikai, 421 Butternut St. NW, Washington, D. C. 20012 USA (202)829-4202.

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