Saito Sensei-From Iwama to the World

Saito Morihiro kanji


* Tenugui
* Bill Witt

Saito family crest.

Saito Sensei, May 2000 in California

February 2014-latest updates coming at last!

Please send me any photographs and any stories of Saito Sensei's wife, whom we all know as okusan. There have been requests to bring some light onto her supportive and possibly heroic role over the years.

Morihiro Saito, 9th dan, shihan, and our aikido Sensei and friend, was with us from March 31, 1928 until May 12, 2002.

Let's follow photographically and anecdotally how this strong young farm boy developed into the man who continues to inspire us.


Saito Sensei was extremely well photographed for his many books and videos. However, this is a central place for us to share more informal and personal photos and memories. Let's enjoy photos and stories that remind us of the many-faceted person Saito Sensei was and the many good times we shared along the aiki-michi, and stay in touch as time marches on.

YouTube Videos

Links to informal online YouTube of Saito Sensei coming soon. Recommendations welcome!


You may have a favorite photo of Saito Sensei, Hitohiro, okusan, or others of the extensive Saito family. Please include the year and place, circumstances and names of individuals in the photo. E-mail your favorite Saito Sensei photographs and stories to Patricia Yarrow at, or by mail:

Patricia Yarrow
Ryogoku 3-3-8-404
Sumida-ku, Tokyo-to
Japan 130-0026


Soren Andersen in Copenhagen, Denmark has launched a database of people who stayed in Iwama. If YOU stayed in Iwama, please email Soren Andersen ( of KÝbenhavns Aikido Klub ( your name and the dates you were there. For those of us who were there many times, just do your best to be complete. The link to the database will be posted here soon.


Alessandro Tittarelli ( of Iwama Shinshin Aiki Shuren Kai has a photo gallery with pictures of Osensei Ueshiba Morihei, Saito Hitohiro Sensei, Saito Morihiro Shihan.


  • Please include the link to this site ( if you post a photograph from here.

  • Photo recognition indicates the source (and photographer if known) of the photo and is not necessarily the kind person who sent it.

  • The title "Sensei" is used with Saito Sensei. For simplicity, everyone else is referred to by name only.

  • The Takemusu Aikido Association (TAA) generously supports by providing server space and covering the annual domain name fee.


2002 August 01. Website launched.

2002 August 19. Pages added: "Tenugui" and "Bill Witt: Early Years".

2003 February 22. "Hitohiro Sensei" page added. My new address to mail photographs for this website.

2003 July 15. Remove reference to "under construction" for Andreas Wiemann's dojo. Update Hitohiro's webpage. Check format.

2004 June 06. Add photos from 1973 from Mary Bartlett, and two from 1989 from France. Added seminar links to Hitohiro page. Viewer count: 13,392.

2004 July 15. Add photos from 1970-1990 from Bruce Klickstein, and one from Roland Spitzbarth. Italicize all Japanese words. Updated Hitohiro page with his dojo website and email address. Added email link to Soren's "Iwama Deshi Database" project. Viewer count: 15,030.

2005 May 12. Add "Letters to the Website" page and two photos. Change link name from "Best Photos" to "Favorite Photos". Correct names, titles, and a few links. NEXT: Adding photos from Turramurra. Viewer count: 22,265."

2005 May 24. Added photos from Derek Minus of Turramurra, Australia. Special thanks for early photos of Hitohiro. Viewer count: 22,630.

2005 June. TAA agrees to fund the domain name. Aviv Goldman had graciously paid for the name until this point.

2005 December 25. I wrote my thesis, completed my MA in Japanese language and literature, said fond farewell to UCAR aikido, and moved to the remote island of Awaji in Japan. Website connectivity is problematic. Updates: Photos added to 2001 from Jean Marc Serio. TAA of Italy weblink corrected. Request from Justin in London honored. Viewer count: 28,707.

2006 August 12. Now I am settled in Yokohama, Japan, enjoying the fruits of my recent MA, teaching English for a private high school, and contemplating my future research. I'll start visiting Iwama and Hitohiro in the Spring of 2007. Updates: Additional photos from Roland Spitzbarth (Suisse), Roy Vrijs, Greetz Roy (Holland), and Joerg Beile (Suisse). Bruce Klickstein page reintegrated into yearly pages. All links checked. Added Wikipedia links. Added kanji for names. Corrections and additions from Brian Lemko (California,USA), Michael Hacker, Richard Hutchison (Georgia, USA), and Christopher Li (Hawai'i). Continuing to teach English at Meiji University and Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo. Viewer count: 36,230.

2007 March 28. Update copywrite dates. Minor corrections. Would like to revitalize the Hitohiro page. On homepage, launched links to Saito Sensei photo galleries and video collections. Viewer count: 43,945.

2007 April 19. Update all pages to 2007. Name correction from the person's now grown son. New server meant new logging on info. Viewer count: 44,553.

2008 April 30. I've finally moved back into Tokyo! Next month I rejoin my friends at Yoyogi aikido. In the middle of updating the entire website now. Carlos Nogueira from Brasil sent many wonderful photos. I'm posting several. Adding links. Viewer count: 54,808

2014 February 06. Updates begin as I recast the entire website into Dreamweaver CS4 on my iMac. Since 2008, I have been...distracted with a broken leg, then in early 2013 getting both knee joints replaced. Just did not have the mental space to deal with websites, but now I am recovered and joyfully back in the saddle. Viewer count: 79,700

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