Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, Soke
HATSUMI MASAAKI. Hatsumi Masaaki 初見良昭 (originally Yoshiaki) Sensei was born on December 2, 1931 in Chiba Prefecture Japan. He studied Asian and Western martial arts (judo, karate, and boxing), fine arts, soccer, gymnastics, acting, and dancing. He began studying the martial arts traditions taught by Takamatsu Toshitsugu at the age of 27 (approximately 1958). As his last and only "true" student, Hatsumi Sensei succeeded to Takamatsu Sensei's nine schools of ancient Japanese martial arts in 1972. He founded the Bujinkan Dojo, where he teaches the martial art derived from these traditions called "Budo Taijutsu".Hatsumi Sensei received a doctorate degree (USA) of philosophy after he submitted his study entitled "Find that Bushido is to Die". He also received the title of Knight from the German government in May of 1994, confirming his abilities to teach budo extensively. He also starred in many Japanese television action dramas such as "Jiraiya", "Ninja-boy-Fujimaru", and "Ninja Nights". Hatsumi Sensei's list of titles and awards includes: Blackbelt Magazine's Instructor of the Year (1986),
Knight (Germany), Doctor of Philosophy (USA), Doctor of Human Science (USA), Texas State Honorary Citizen, Honorary Texas Ranger, Los Angeles Honorary Citizen, Atlanta Honorary Citizen, Dublin Honorary Citizen, etc.
On November 22nd, 1999, Hatsumi Sensei was awarded the prestigious International Culture Award by the Japanese government. The highest honor given for cultural exchange, the award was presented to Hatsumi Sensei by a representative of the Imperial Household. In May of 2001 he was also presented with an award from Pope John Paul II for his achievements in promoting kind relations among the world's people - the first time such an award was given to a martial artist.
Hatsumi Sensei continues to transmit his unique spirit and inexhaustible energy to the Bujinkan community through annual Daikomyosai seminars in Japan, videos, and densho written teachings.