Aikido was developed over his lifetime by founder Morihei Ueshiba (植芝 盛平) (1883-1969). Upon his death in 1969, his son Kisshomaru Ueshiba (植芝 吉祥丸) (1921-1999), became the lineage holder, or Doshu (道主), and was principally responsible for the dissemination and practice of aikido we know today. The Founder’s grandson, Moriteru Ueshiba (植芝 守央) (1951-), is the third Doshu, and the current director of the Aikikai Foundation (公益財団法人合気会) and Hombu Dojo. Mitsuteru Ueshiba (植芝充央) also known as “Waka Sensei” (若先生) is the current successor (後継者).
The Aikido Foundation runs and operates Hombu Dojo (合気道本部道場), also known as the Aikido World Headquarters.
The original dojo, designated the Kobukan (皇武館), was built in 1931 at the current site in Wakamatsu-cho, Tokyo. Thereafter followed the heyday of the dojo, and it was nicknamed “hell dojo.” During the war, O Sensei largely receded to Iwama, in the Ibaragi Prefecture, where the Aiki Shrine was built. In the aftermath of the war, the dojo was utilized as a shelter for homeless families, until 1948 when the government reallowed the establishment of the Aikikai. The dojo was renamed the Ueshiba Dojo and World Headquarters of Aikido. In 1954, the dojo was officially titled Aikikai Foundation: the Hombu Dojo of Aikido. The current building of concrete was constructed in 1967, replacing the prior 3-story wooden structure. The fourth and fifth floors were added in 1973 as part of a remodernization.