Kōtarō Yoshida (martial artist)

Kōtarō Yoshida
Born October 1883
Miyama-mura, Tamura-gun, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan

1966 (aged 8283)

Hitachi, Ibaragi Prefecture, Japan

Style Daitō-ryū Aikijūjutsu Shidare Yanagi-ryū Aiki Bugei
Teacher(s) Takeda Sokaku
Rank Kyoju Dairi, Daitō-ryū Aikijūjutsu
Notable students Richard Kim, Masutatsu Oyama, Katsuyuki Kondo

Kōtarō Yoshida (吉田 幸太郎 Yoshida Kōtarō, October 18831966)[1] was a 19th to 20th century Japanese martial artist and member of the Amur River Society (also known as the Black Dragon Society), an ultra-nationalist organization of disenfranchised ex-samurai who promulgated "pan-Asiatic ascendancy" in line with the rise of Japanese imperialism. While by all accounts a prolific martial artist and teacher, there is little surviving documentation of Yoshida's life that has been translated into English. Because he was known to have lived an extremely ascetic lifestyle, and possibly as a result of his political activities and connections, most information on Yoshida today has been passed down through oral transmission by primary sources.

At a young age, Yoshida apprenticed himself to Takeda Sokaku, head of the Daitō-ryū aiki-jūjutsu school, which would soon become popular throughout Japan as part of the public revitalization of the martial arts. Yoshida would become Sokaku's top student, and there is some disagreement as to whether mastery of the art was passed down to Yoshida himself or another Sokaku pupil. Yoshida's status as a top student of Sokaku's is undisputed, and he is in fact credited with introducing Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, to Sokaku.


  1. Pranin, Stanley (2007). "Yoshida, Kotaro". Encyclopedia of Aikido. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
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