Reader Leo Tamaki has notified us of the sad news of the passing of Kanshu Sunadomari Sensei yesterday, November 13. He apparently was active teaching until August of this year.
Sunadomari Sensei was born in 1923 in Kagoshima Prefecture. He began his training under Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba during World War II in Tokyo in 1942. Sunadomari Sensei resumed training in Tokyo after the war, relocating to Kyushu in the early 1950s. He opened his Manseikan Dojo in Kumamoto in 1954, and built an extensive organization named “Manseikan Aikido” centered mainly in Kyushu. He was promoted to 9th dan in 1961. Sunadomari Sensei authored a number of books on aikido, including one in English.
Sunadomari Sensei hailed from a family of devout Omoto believers that was close to Founder Morihei Ueshiba. His sister, Fukiko was a confidante of O-Sensei and “Fujin Bucho” (director of the women’s section) of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo during the 1950s and 60s. Sunadomari Sensei’s elder brother, Kanemoto, wrote the first biography of Morihei Ueshiba published in 1969.
Aikido Journal offers its heartfelt condolences to Sunadomari Sensei’s family and many students.
Photos and comments by journalist and martial artist Leo Tamaki from August 2010:
“Sunadomari Sensei enjoyed practice very much. He had the chance to have a very supporting circle of family and students. (By the way I am seated in the center of the picture with a ponytail)”
“Sunadomari sensei talked with passion about the teachings of O-Sensei and the spirit we have to cultivate.”
“Lately it seems that Sunadomari Sensei took pleasure in playing the harmonica like when he was a boy. He took it on himself to go give concerts to entertain the elderly in retirement homes, even though he was now older than many of the people living there! Sensei kindly played for us classics like ‘Ue wo muite arukou’ (Sukiyaki) each time we came.”