Historical photos: “The first person to introduce Aikido to the US revisited,” by Stanley Pranin

Takeshita receiving the keys to San Francisco in 1935

Today I was looking through some old photo albums. I happened across my collection of photos of famous Admiral Isamu Takeshita. The admiral was an early student of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and one of the people most responsible for Morihei’s success in Tokyo and his introduction into elite circles of Japanese society.

You may recall that I did a brief article titled “Who was really the first person to introduce Aikido to America?” back in October of 2011. I published this rare photo you see here. On this trip, we know that the admiral visited Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. There were large Japanese communities in each of these cities.

Well, as I was looking through the old Admiral’s album, I caught a glimpse of an unusual photo in one of the contact sheets. I couldn’t get much of an idea of what was going on other than the admiral was wearing the same suit he was when receiving the keys to San Francisco. I noticed it had a hand-written caption that I couldn’t make out. By then, very curious, I decided to scan that photo to get a better look. Here is what I found…

Admiral Isamu Takeshita in Hollywood with child actress Jane Withers, 1935


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