Mitsunari Kanai (1939-2004) was an uchideshi or live-in student at Hombu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan and trained under Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, for eight years from 1957-1965. He was sent by Aikido World Headquarters to Boston, where he founded New England Aikikai (NEA) in 1966. A shihan (grand master) in Aikido, Kanai Sensei was chief instructor at NEA from 1966 until his death in 2004. He was intstrumental in the founding of the United States Aikido Federation(USAF) and served as USAF technical director. For almost forty years he traveled all over North and South America, Europe and Asia teaching Aikido seminars. In addition to being proficient in several other martial arts, Kanai Sensei was a master in Iaido, the Japanese martial art of sword drawing.
photo by B Arruda