VANCOUVER WEST AIKIKAI
It is with profound sadness that
Yukio Kawahara Shihan
Kawahara Shihan (8th Dan) was the long-standing Technical Director of the Canadian Aikido Federation and the British Columbia Aikido Federation, as well as a member of the North American Technical Committee. He was designated by Hombu Dojo in Japan as their official representative to Canada. Kawahara Shihan was also the Honourary Dojo-Cho of Vancouver West Aikikai.
Kawahara Shihan was born in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, in 1940. He began Aikido at age 17 as a student of Bansen Tanaka Shihan in Osaka and became uchideshi. Kawahara Shihan was Assistant Instructor at Osaka Aikikai from 1960 to 1972.
Kawahara Sensei was dispatched by Tanaka Shihan to Taiwan as a resident Shihan at Taiwan Aikikai from 1972 to 1973. From 1973 to 1975 he was Deputy Shihan at Osaka Aikikai under Tanaka Shihan’s leadership, and also taught for various university Aikido clubs in the Kansai area of Japan. From 1975 to 1976 Kawahara Sensei became Shihan at Okayama Aikikai.
Kawahara Shihan came to Canada in 1975 (5-dan at that time), at the invitation of Ishiyama Sensei. Kawahara Shihan’s first two years in Canada were spent in Montreal, and then he re-located to the West Coast in 1977. As a Hombu-dispatched instructor, Kawahara Shihan taught extensively through North America, Japan and Europe. He worked with other Japanese Shihans such as Yamada, Chiba, the late Kanai, and the late Tohei Senseis. He taught summer camps in BC and Atlantic Canada and gave highly popular seminars throughout Canada and the world.
Kawahara Shihan passed away peacefully in Victoria on June 2, 2011, after many years of battling cancer. He was held in great respect and affection by all who knew him. He dedicated his entire life to Aikido, improving our lives through his teaching and by example. He will be sorely missed by all of us in the Aikido community.
Sensei's ashes were dispersed at a ceremony in T'souke.
To help preserve memories of Kawahara Shihan, a collection of photographs can be found here.