Passing of Masatake Fujita Shihan at age 77

Masatake Fujita Shihan (1937-2014)

Masatake Fujita Shihan (1937-2014)

“I knew nothing about aikido at the time, but from the moment I saw O-Sensei’s face I could tell he wasn’t an ordinary person,”

We are saddened to announce the passing of Aikikai Shihan Masatake Fujita Sensei in Japan yesterday, May 28, 2014, after a long illness. Fujita Sensei started aikido at Takushoku University in 1956 and in 1967 joined the office staff of the AIkikai. He later became the head of the international division of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo and traveled extensively abroad both in a teaching and administrative capacity.

The staff of Aikido Journal expressed its condolences to Fujita Sensei’s family and followers all over the world.

Editor Stanley Pranin conducted an interview with Fujita Sensei to be found here:

Here is another article on Fujita Sensei by Peter Goldsbury published recently entitled “It Had To Be Felt #50: Masatake Fujita: When is a Hombu Deshi Not a Deshi? When He’s the Secretary”:

For more information on Fujita Sensei and to express condolences, please visit the following Facebook page:


  1. It was with dreaded anticipation, that I received confirmation that Masatake Fujita Shihan had finally succumbed to the condition which hospitalized him for the past few years. Once extremely vibrant, ambitious and totally dedicated to the image and wellfare of the Ueshiba family and tradition, he worked tirelessly for many decades on behalf of the genius he loved, admired and studied in every aspect. This devotion to the Founder of Aikido carried forth to the succeeding generations of Ueshibas, with the greatest impact occurring during the stewardship of Kisshomaru Dosnu.

    It was during this period that I first met and began an exciting, productive and often personally strange relationship with this unusual Japanese man who seemed to always march to a different drum beat, one only he could hear.I first met him in 1973 when Mariye Takahashi and myself brought proofs of negative writings and actions of Koichi Tohei, primarily aimed at Aikikai Foundation, Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and the Founder himself. As we discussed these matters with the late Kissaburo Osawa, Dojo-Cho of Aikikai Hombu, and Kisshomaru Doshu himself, Fujita Sensei seemed to be hovering within earshot of everything. It was not until later that I learned of how important a role he played as advisor, confidant and “fixer” for the Ueshiba family over the decades.

    I also interacted with him when he would visit annually with Dang Thang Phong Sensei at his Westminster Aikikai Dojo in California. The special practices he conducted were instructive and illuminating.

    I mourn, not only the loss of a good friend and mentor, but also a truly significant role player in the course of Aikido’s directional growth and organizational progress during the ’70’s, 80’s and 90’s. His influence and authority seemed to diminish significantly upon the passing of Kisshomaru Doshu in 1999.

    May he truly Rest in Eternal Peace, so richly deserved.

    In Oneness,

    Francis Y Takahashi

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