In his work A Study of Kuki Archives (九鬼文書の研究, 1941) Miura Ichiro writes about a meeting which he’d had in Tokyo with soke Kuki Takaharu and the founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei. According to Miura, Ueshiba would have said: “my budo is that of Kukishinden”.

In 1919 Ueshiba joined the new religious movement Omoto-kyô. It’s leader Deguchi Onisaburo asked him to organise budo lessons at the headquarters of the organisation in Ayabe. During a trip to Tokyo, Ueshiba witnessed two men practicing sword training on the grounds of the Asakusa Sensôji temple. An older man named Saito was teaching a younger man sword forms of a high level. When Ueshiba asked about the origin of the techniques, Saito answered that this was the bujutsu of the Kuki family. Impressed with the fact that he had come across a kobudo school that had its roots in the same area as the Omoto-kyô headquarters, Ueshiba immediately asked for instruction. Kenjutsu formed the heart of this line of Kukishin-ryu, but Ueshiba was also very much interested in forms of Shinto spirituality, which Saito called Kuki Reijutsu.

Ueshiba’s further search eventually brought him into contact with soke Kuki Takaharu.

From their first meeting onward they became friends and together they would establish

Takemusu Aikido (武産合道‭)‬, an early precursor of what would later become aikido.

(The full name was Amenomurakumo Samuhara Aikido 天之村雲九鬼武産合). During the Second world war, Ueshiba founded the Aiki Jinja in Iwama, Ibaraki-ken,

for which he requested Kuki soke to become honorary head priest. Takaharu complied and at the inauguration ceremony of the shrine he acted as master of ceremony.

Ueshiba remained on friendly terms with the Kuki family until he died and after the war he would regularly teach aikido at Takamikura dojo, the hombu dojo of Kukishin-ryu.

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              Entrance to the Takamikura dojo

Kuki Takaharu and Ueshiba Morihei

in Tokyo, 1964.

Aiki Jinja