Hideo Oba Shihan

Hideo Oba Shihan

27th April 1910
He was born in the village of Nakagawa in Akita prefecture, the fifth child of Teiichi and Taka Tozawa. He was the second son among eleven siblings. His father was a self taught ore refining engineer so the family moved first to a copper mine in Okayama prefecture and then the Omodani mine in Fukui prefecture. Teiichi then went to Korea alone leaving his family in the city of Akita. Upon his return they moved to Okazaki.

Hideo entered the new Kakunodate Prefectural Junior High School on the 8th April as a first year student. He belonged to the judo club for five years and was made captain in his 5th year.

He was blessed with physical strength and power so at this time he was unrivalled in judo within the prefecture. After graduation he took charge of judo in the junior high school.

He was awarded his 2nd dan in Kodokan Judo and met Kenji Tomiki who came to the junior high school as a teacher. From September after enlisting in the 17th Akita Infantry Regiment he served in China where he was decorated for repeatedly crossing 'dead lines'.

After demobilisation he returned to his junior high school as an assistant instructor in judo under Kenji Tomiki. He obtained his 5th dan in Kodokan Judo in October.

In September he married Keiko Oba who was famous as a young teacher of the Japanese harp. He adopted his wife's family name.

He obtained his licence for teaching judo at junior high schools. The following April he became a judo teacher at Kenkoku University in Manchukuo. At Tomiki's request Hideo held an additional post as a judo teacher in Shinkyo, the capital city of Manchukuo.

He received his 5th dan in aikibudo from Morihei Ueshiba after which he began instructing aikibudo to the police in Shinkyo. Morihei Ueshiba used him during a budo festival on the 10th anniversary of the foundation of Manchukuo.

He obtained his 6th Dan in aikido. While instructing aikido and judo he was learning kendo, naginata and iai.

He returned to Japan after a period of forced labour at an aeroplane repair shop near the border of the Soviet Union. Tomiki remained in detention and, during this time, Hideo looked after Tomiki's wife. After repatriation he narrowly escaped death from typhus.

After a year of recuperation with support from his wife he became a judo instructor for the Yokote police. He obtained his 6th dan in Kodokan Judo.

He obtained a position at the Akita Prefecture Police Headquarters and became a judo instructor at the Akita Prefecture Police Academy. The golden age of the police judo club was during his tenure.

He retired from his positions with the police because Tomiki invited him to Tokyo. He cherished a desire to help realise Tomiki's ideal that had been interrupted in Manchukuo.

He became a lecturer in the Physical Education Department of Waseda University and at the same time became the Aikido Club instructor.

He left Waseda University and became a lecturer at Kokushikan University. He made great efforts to instruct at many clubs for students and the general public as well as overseas in the UK and Australia.

He was awarded 9th Dan from the Japan Aikido Association by Tomiki.

He became the 2nd President of the Japan Aikido Association and the Director of Shodokan upon the death of Tomiki.

He fell ill but perservered and after leaving the hospital resumed instructing.

He retired from lecturing at Kokushikan University. Tetsuro Nariyama took over his position.

He died in February at the age of 75.