Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei 植芝 盛平 大先生
The Founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei O-Sensei, was born on December 14, 1883 in Tanabe, Japan. By the mid 1900’s, O-Sensei was an expert of several older schools of armed and unarmed combat. The development of Aikido was a combination of his martial arts skills (most notably Daito-ryu Aiki-jujitsu) with his life experiences and philosophy.
By the 1920s, O-Sensei was a well sought after instructor of his martial art, referred to as Aiki-budo at that time. He taught in Tokyo at the Imperial Court and Imperial Household Ministry. His student body included members of high military and political status as well as already established martial artists.
O-Sensei built the Kobukan Dojo in Tokyo in 1931, now referred to as Hombu Dojo or the Aikido World Headquarters, currently headed by O-Sensei’s grandson, Ueshiba Moriteru Sensei.
O-Sensei moved from Tokyo to Iwama (Ibaraki prefecture) in 1942 where he built the Aiki Shuren Dojo, now known as the Ibaraki Shibu Dojo, and the Aiki Jinja (shrine). O-Sensei continued to teach and train and further his knowledge of Aikido.
O-Sensei was awarded with the Japanese Medal of Honor (1960), Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette (1960), and the Order of the Sacred Treasure (1968).
O-Sensei took his last breath on April 26, 1969. A memorial service to honor O-Sensei is held every year on April 29 at the Aiki Jinja in Iwama.