Screencast: Focus on History — “Ueshiba Family Tree: The Line of Succession” by Stanley Pranin

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) and his wife Hatsu (1881-1969)

Morihei Ueshiba’s Family and Line of Succession

In this screencast, Stanley Pranin presents a chart containing an abbreviated genealogical tree of the Ueshiba Family and discusses Morihei Ueshiba’s family background, aikido-related relatives, and the line of succession in aikido.

Duration: 6:29 minutes

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Transcript of screencast

Hi, I’m Stanley Pranin, and welcome to another episode of “Focus on History.” Today I’d like to present to you some important information on Morihei Ueshiba’s family background. I will briefly discuss the following topics:

- Morihei’s parents and sisters, especially, the importance of the marriage of the oldest sister, Tame, to Zenzo Inoue, and their son, Yoichiro.

- The marriage of Morihei’s daughter, Matsuko, to a famous kendoka, who was designated as Morihei’s successor

- Kisshomaru’s selection as Morihei’s actual successor, and the Ueshiba family line of succession including the present Doshu, Moriteru Ueshiba, and his son and future Doshu, Mitsuteru Ueshiba.

A couple of conventions I use in this chart are as follows:: the yellow background denotes the paternal line of the Ueshiba family; the gray background indicates family members who are directly related to the development of aikido, and the purple line shows the line of succession of aikido’s leaders, known as “Doshu.”

Ok, let’s get started. First of all, Morihei’s parents were his father, Yoroku, and mother, Yuki. Yoroku was a prominent resident of Tanabe, moderately wealthy, and a long-serving town council member. The couple had a total of 5 children, 4 daughters–Tame, Hisano, Chiyo and Kiku–and one son, Morihei. Morihei was the fourth born.

Morihei’s eldest sister, Tame, married a man named Zenzo Inoue about 1889. Zenzo was one of Tanabe’s wealthiest citizens. Their union produced eight children, the fourth of whom was a son named Yoichiro. This Yoichiro was a rebellious boy and was raised for several years in Morihei’s household.

Zenzo was very closely allied with Morihei’s father, Yoroku, and was highly influential in a number of key decisions made in Morihei’s life that ultimately allowed him the freedom and means to become a professional martial arts instructor, and later create aikido.


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