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Kiyoshi Nakakura (1910-2000) was a Japanese practitioner of kendo, iaido and aikido.

Nakakura was originally the top kendo student of Nakayama Hakudō.[1] When Nakayama was asked to send a representative of kendo to Morihei Ueshiba's aikido dojo, he appointed Nakakura to the role.[2] Nakakura married Ueshiba's daughter Matsuko and was legally adopted into the Ueshiba family, taking the name Morihiro Ueshiba.[3]

Nakakura was impressed with Ueshiba's martial skills (particularly after his adopted father was able to fend off a simultaneous attack from both Nakakura and the fencing expert Junichi Haga), but disagreed with Ueshiba's Oomoto-kyo beliefs and left the family after a few years.[1] His role as heir to Ueshiba's art was taken by Ueshiba's birth son, Kisshomaru.[2]

Nakakura continued to train in kendo and iaido throughout his life, achieving 9th dan in both.[4]


  1. ^ a b John Stevens (16 February 1999). Invincible Warrior. Shambhala. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-8348-3016-5.
  2. ^ a b Thomas A. Green; Joseph R. Svinth (2010). Martial Arts of the World: An Encyclopedia of History and Innovation. ABC-CLIO. p. 134-135. ISBN 978-1-59884-243-2.
  3. ^ "Do you know the story? "O-Sensei's Adopted Son and Heir Apparent"". Aikido Journal. Aikido Journal. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Nakakura sensei". All Belgium Kendo Federation. Retrieved 30 March 2017.