Kisshomaru Ueshiba Doshu Passes Away Leaving a Significant Accomplishment
Kisshomaru Ueshiba passed away at the age of 77 at 5:39pm on Janaury 4th at the International Kokuritsu Medical Center in Tokyo, following an extended period of rehabilitation.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba was born on June 27th in the year 1921 as the son on the founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei, and became Doshu (Leader of the Way) following the death of his fater in 1969. In addition to conducting rigorous training in both the techniques and spirit of Aikido under the close supervision of his father the Founder, Kisshomaru Ueshiba also made a significant contribution to adapting Aikido to the modern world and to popularizing it among a broader group of practitioners.
Kisshomaru Ueshiba was the first person to introduce Aikido, which had previously been restricted to a relatively closed group, to the general public via open demonstrations and practices. Following the first public demonstrations, Kisshomaru Ueshiba initiated the All Japan Aikido Demonstration, which continues to be held once every year under the sponsorship of the Aikikai Foundation and which remains one of the main events on the Aikido calendar. Kisshomaru Ueshiba held firmly to the belief that the main object of Aikido training lies in the process of daily practice, and stressed the importance of forming personal character through regular training. This aspect of Aikido training has become the main core of the Aikido of today, which remains a Martial Art without either contests or conflict.
In addition to the above, Kisshomaru Ueshiba also had a career of over 30 years as author, during which time he produced numerous books. Several of these books have been translated into foreign languages, and remain important guideposts for the many overseas practitioners of Aikido today. He also made many trips overseas to give personal instruction, demonstrations and lectures to help spread and improve understanding of Aikido abroad.
Aikido is currently practiced in over 70 countries, and Kisshomaru Ueshiba helped to lead the international community of Aikido practitioners as Permanent President of the International Aikido Federation.
News of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's death was immediately spread throughout the global Aikido community, and was also communicated via the internet. Newspapers around Japan carried related stories in the morning editions on the 5th. Numberous messages poured in from all around the globe by fax, e-mail and other forms, and most overseas instructors of Aikido made trips back to Japan in order to participate in the ceremonies. The ceremonies were split into three parts, two of which were conducted on January 6th and 7th in Shinto fashion under the sponsorship of the Ueshiba family. Over 2,200 people participated in the Vigil.
The funeral sponsored by the Aikikai was also held in Shinto fashion on January 17th at the Aoyama Funeral Parlor, which was also well attended. The ceremony was presided over by ex-Prime Minister T. Kaifu, with Moriteru Ueshiba serving as the Ueshiba family representative.
Last revision date: June 15, 1999.
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