Mitsunari Kanai Shihan


Chief Instructor of New England Aikikai from 1966-2004, Mitsunari Kanai Shihan was one of the last uchi deshi (live-in apprentice) of the founder of Aikido, Professor Morihei Ueshiba, or O-Sensei, with whom he studied intensively for over ten years.  An 8th degree black belt in Aikido, Kanai Sensei was also a master of other martial arts of Japan and expert in the use of the sword and staff.  He was assigned to New England Aikikai in 1966 by Aikido World Headquarters in Tokyo.

Kanai Sensei was instrumental in the founding of the United States Aikido Federation and was Technical Director for the Eastern United States. He taught widely in Japan, Europe, and throughout the United States and Canada. He passed away on March 28, 2004. 

As an 8th degree black belt and master instructor, Kanai Sensei thought deeply about the principles of Aikido and wrote about them. Below, you can read his unpublished book, Technical Aikido, as well as  interviews and other articles. Please know that this is copyrighted material and has been made available here for personal use only; reproduction or publication is prohibited.



30th anniversary of New England Aikikai - 1996

A message from Kisshomaru Doshu, Hombu Dojo, Japan

It has been 30 years since New England Aikikai was founded. On this occassion, I would like to extend my congratulations from the bottom of my heart. All my good wishes go to Mitsunari Kanai Shihan, as well as my appreciation for his pure attitude to Aikido training and for his consistent, never-ending efforts.

I recall that the founder of Aikido, Kaiso Morihei Ueshiba, greatly praised Mitsunari Kanai Shihan for his hard-working and pure attitudes.

30 years ago was a time when Aikido had not been yet known in general. The ceaseless efforts of Mitsunari Kanai Shihan have done much to change this. As Doshu, I thank him from my heart for his continuous pursuit and commitment to Aikido.

When my thoughts turn to the future, to the new millennium and the 21st century, I have a deep belief that creation will bring forth the unity with the universe that is expressed in Aikido.

At the same time, my heart is filled with great expectations of the further accomplishments of Mitsunari Kanai Shihan who has been united with Aikido.

Again I would like to express my congratulations, and convey the enormous respect I feel on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of New England Aikikai.

August 9, 1996
Kisshomaru Ueshiba