Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

Hatsumi Yoshiaki was born December 2, 1931 in Noda, Chiba Prefecture. He later changed his name to Masaaki. Yoshiaki's father introduced him to the martial arts (kendo) when he was only seven years old. In high school he was a soccer player, was a gymnast, a boxer, and also studied social dancing, as well as Judo. In his college years, he continued to study boxing and Judo while he earned his major in Theater Arts.

Medical school came next, during which he earned his 4th dan in Judo, and was asked to come train personnel at the nearby Yokota US Army base. What seemed to take the Japanese years to learn, the larger and physically fit Americans picked up in months. This disillusioned Dr. Hatsumi, and he began to search for an art that could not be defeated so readily by mere speed and strength... a warrior art.

When he was 26 years old, this search led Dr. Hatsumi to Soke Takamatsu Toshitsugu in Kashiwabara City west of the Iga region in Japan. Takamatsu-sensei agreed to teach him this still secretive art. As often as possible, Dr. Hatsumi made the trip to Soke's house that took over half a day, one-way.

After mentoring Dr. Hatsumi for fifteen years and shortly before his death on April 2, 1972, Soke Toshitsugu Takamatsu granted Dr. Hatsumi license and authority as Soke of the nine schools that now make up Budo Taijutsu

International Awards and Recognition

For his efforts to spread the art of the Bujinkan throughout the world, Dr. Hatsumi has been recognized by many governments, private organizations and distinguished individuals. Some of his most notable accomplishments and accolades are as follows: International Awards and Recognition:

• Apostolic Blessing awarded by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Vatican, April 2001
• World Cultural Grand Prize: Martial Arts Division for 2000, World Peace and Culture Association
• Social Cultural Distinguished Service Award for 1999, Japanese Culture Promotion Society
• Chairman of the International Department, Japan Literary Artists' Club, 1990-1994
• Professor of Natural Sciences (USA), Trinity College
• Cross and Sun Medal, presented by the King of Spain, Juan Carlos
• Blackbelt Magazine's Instructor of the Year award for 1986
• Awards from the Spanish Secretary of State for the Intelligence Agency, from London Metropolitan Police Headquarters
• Letters of Thanks from Prince Charles' Secretary, the London Secretary of State for the Environment, the London Ambassador's Secretary, and the Mayor of London
• Letter of Appreciation from the Premier of South Australia, John Bannon
• Letters of Appreciation from the Director of the National Security Agency and the FBI Academy, USA
• Letters of Appreciation and Birthday greetings from US Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton
• Honorary Member of the Texas Rangers
• Letters of Thanks from the US State Governors of Texas, Georgia, Maryland, California, New Jersey and Tennessee
• Honorary Citizen of the State of Texas and the cities of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Gatlinburg, USA; Dublin, Ireland; Jordan Valley, Israel and many others

Martial Arts Actor, Director and Writer

In addition to his background as a martial artist and doctor, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi is a highly respected writer, actor, and artist. Dr. Hatsumi is an accomplished artist of brush and ink in the Nihonga style. His art work has been exhibited at the Nagai Gallery of Tokyo and in Paris, France. He has written numerous books and articles on philosophy and martial arts that have been translated into many languages. He writes a weekly column for a local Chiba prefecture newspaper and is a recurring subject of the major Japanese martial arts magazine, Hiden. An accomplished actor and director of both movies and television, he starred in the TV series, Jiraiya, for four seasons. He also coached and directed notable martial arts film stars, Sonny Chiba and Toshiro Mifune. His films creditts include:

• Acted as "Yamaji Tetsuzan" on Asahi TV series, Jiraiya
• Advisor on Shinobi no Mono (The Ninja, starring Ichikawa Raizo), Chokugeki Jigokuken (Direct Hit, Fist from Hell, starring Sony Chiba)
• Advised or Directed the following TV shows: Yagyu Ichizoku no Inbo (The Yagyu Clan Conspiracy), Kage no Gundan (Shadow Corps, with Sonny Chiba), Kaze no Fujimaru (Fujimaru of the Wind), Onmitsu Kenshi (Spy Swordsman)
• Advised or directed the following stage and theater productions: Shinobi no Mono, Jinshin no Ran (The Jinshin Rebellion), Akahige (Redbeard), Kuroda Sodo (the Kuroda Disturbances), Sengoku Meimeiden (Tales of the Warring States)

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