Takeda Sokaku Timeline

This timeline is reproduced from the archive of Aikido Journal. Many thanks to Josh Gold at Aikido Journal for permission.

1859 – Born on October 10, 1859 at the Takeda Mansion in Oike, Aizu Bange-cho, in present-day Fukushima Prefecture. Father, Sokichi Takeda (1819-1906), mother Tomi (unknown dates), daughter of Dengoro Kurokochi.

1867 – As a boy of eight, witnesses battles of the Aizu War taking place all around him.
on December 14.

1868 – [Mass suicide of family of Saigo Tanomo, chief councillor (karo) of Aizu Han during Aizu War.]

c1869 – Studies Hozoin Takada-ha Sojutsu from his grandfather, Dengoro Kurokochi.

c1870 – Studies Onoha Itto-ryu sword began as a boy at the Yokikan dojo of Toma Shibuya in Aizu Bange-cho.

c1871 – Competes and wins in sumo matches in regional tournaments without his father’s permission.

1872 – Expelled from temple school due to misbehavior. Becomes a live-in student (uchideshi) at the Jiki Shinkage-ryu dojo of famous swordsman Kenkichi Sakakibara (1830-1894) in Tokyo. Curriculum includes sword, staff, spear, small bow, kusarigama, naginata, and other weapons.

c1874 – Participates in Gekkenkai fencing tournaments popular at the time.

1875 – Returning home from Sakakibara dojo for visit, narrowly escapes gang battle on bridge in Inawashiro in Fukushima Prefecture. Cuts several attackers and saves himself by jumping into the river.

1876 – Death of older brother, Sokatsu on September 2. On return home, encounters three outlaws waiting in ambush and kills one with his sword and seriously injures other two.
Father Sokichi decides Sokaku is to enter priesthood succeeding his late brother. Enters Tsutsukowake Shrine precinct in eastern Shirakawa County in Fukushima Prefecture under the tutelage of Chikanori Hoshina (Tanomo Saigo).
Abandons priestly duties to join Takamori Saigo’s anti-government forces in Kyushu.
Kenkichi Sakakibara provides Sokaku letter of recommendation to Shunzo Momonoi (1826-1886), Headmaster of the Kyoshin Meichi-ryu sword school of Sakai City, Osaka. (November)

1877 – Secretly departs from Osaka to join Takamori Saigo’s army, but later abandons plan.
Set out on journey to Kyushu for self-training (September). Joins a troupe of acrobats in Nagasaki Prefecture.

1878 – In Kumamoto Prefecture, observes Okinawa-te (karate) arts, and defeats karate expert.
Tours Kyushu and Okinawan islands.
Possible journey to Hawaii (undocumented).

1879 – Returns to Kyushu from Okinawa. Engages in sword training while traveling around Kyushu.
Encounters religious ascetics and practices esoteric Buddhism.

1880 – Engages in spear training at Sakai dojo in Kumamoto. Loses two front teeth in match with two opponents using real spears.

1882 – Engages in fight with gang of construction workers in Fukushima Prefecture during which he kills several attackers. Jailed for one month before being acquitted after verdict ruling deaths self-defense.

1887 – Accompanies Tsugumichi Saigo, younger brother of Takamori Saigo, to Hokkaido.

c1888 – Marries Kon and union produces two children.

c1890 – Visits of unknown duration to Nikko Toshogu and Ryozen shrines to study under Chikanori Hoshina.

1891-1897 – Possible periods of training under his father Sokichi that included Daito-ryu techniques (speculative).

1898 – Conducts Daito-ryu seminar in Miyagi Prefecture in May, earliest record from Sokaku’s enrollment books (eimeiroku).

1899 – Conducts a series of seminars in Miyagi Prefecture.

1900 – Conducts seminars in Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

1901 – Conducts seminars in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.

1902 – Conducts seminars in Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures.

1903 – Conducts seminars in Iwate Prefecture.

1904 – Conducts seminars in Hakodate, Hokkaido, Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

1905 – Conducts seminars in Miyagi, Fukushima and Yamagata Prefectures.

1906 – Conducts seminars in Yamagata Prefecture.

1907 – Conducts seminars in Yamagata Prefecture.

1908 – Conducts seminars in Yamagata Prefecture.

1909 – Conducts seminars in Yamagata, Miyagi, and Akita Prefecture.

1910 – Conducts seminars in Akita and Fukushima Prefecture, and Hokkaido.
Accompanies Akita prefectural police chief Takarabe Sanehide to Hokkaido.

1911-1912 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.

1913 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.
Marriage to Sue (1890-1930) about this time. Union produces seven children, including Tokimune Takeda, Sokaku’s successor.

1914 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.

1915 – Meets Morihei Ueshiba in February at Hisada Inn in Engaru on introduction of Kotaro Yoshida (1883-1966).
Conducts back-to-back seminars in Engaru with Morihei Ueshiba participating (February to March).

1916 – Conducts seminars in which Morihei Ueshiba participates, possibly in Shirataki (February to March).
[Third son, Tokimune, born in October in Shimo-Yubetsu, Mombetsu-gun, Hokkaido]
Establishes residence in Shirataki around this time.

1917 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido, probably in which Morihei Ueshiba participates.

1918 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido, probably in which Morihei Ueshiba participates.

1919 – Morihei Ueshiba departs Shirataki leaving house and possessions to Sokaku Takeda (December).

1920 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.

1921 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido and Fukushima Prefecture.

1922 – Conducts seminars in Fukushima Prefecture (February-March).
Visits Ueshiba home in Ayabe, near Kyoto, where he teaches in “Ueshiba Juku” (April 28 to September 15).
Awards Kyoju Dairi teaching certification and Shinkage-ryu sword transmission scroll to Morihei Ueshiba (September).

1923-1928 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.

1929 – Admiral Isamu Takeshita studies under Sokaku Takeda, presumably with Morihei Ueshiba present (unconfirmed testimony of Tokimune Takeda).

1930 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.
Awards Kyoju Dairi teaching certification to Kodo Horikawa.
Interviewed by Tokyo Asahi News journalist Yoichi Ozaka in July. Article appeared in print on August 17, 1930.
Second wife, Sue, perishes in fire in Shirataki.

1931 – Conducts seminar in Morihei Ueshiba’s Tokyo dojo just prior to its official opening (April).
Conducts seminars in Hokkaido and Yamagata Prefecture.

1932 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.
Awards Kyoju Dairi teaching certification to Yukiyoshi Sagawa.

1933 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido and Yamagata Prefecture.

1934 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido and Iwate Prefecture.

1935 – Conducts seminars in Fukushima, Yamagata, Iwate Prefectures, and Hokkaido.

1936 – Conducts seminars in Miyagi and Saitama Prefectures, Tokyo and Osaka.
Takes over instruction of Osaka Asahi News dojo from Morihei Ueshiba.

1937 – Conducts seminars in Osaka and Hokkaido.
Awards Kyoju Dairi teaching certification to Takuma Hisa.

1938 – Conducts seminars in Osaka.

1939 – Conducts seminars in Osaka and Hokkaido.
Awards Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Menkyo Kaiden certification to Takuma Hisa and Masao Tonedate of Asahi News dojo (March).

1940-42 – Conducts seminars in Hokkaido.

1943 – Conducts seminars in Aomori Prefecture.
Dies of stroke while teaching in Aomori on April 25.

© Aikido Journal.

Reproduced with permission from Aikido Journal

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