IAF International Aikido Congress 2008 in Tanabe

The International Aikido Federation (IAF) held the 2008 International Aikido Congress from October 5th to 13th, 2008 in the city of Tanabe. During the Congress there were seminars and the IAF General Assembly. Tanabe is the birthplace of Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of the martial art Aikido. 

Thank you very much to all those who participated from around the world. It was an incredible turn out and we were very thrilled to have hosted this event and to have had the opportunity to share the spirit of Aikido and Kumano with the rest of the world. 

Also a very special thank you goes out to the organizing staff and dozens of volunteers, without who we would have not been able to successfully complete this World class event. 

For Aikidoists who have not yet had a chance to pilgrimage to Kumano, Aikido's roots, please come and visit soon.

Gravesite ceremony, October 6th

Kozan-ji Temple

Kozan-ji Temple

Ueshiba Morihei Graveside


Kozan-ji Temple

Over 600 people paid their respects to Ueshiba Morihei.

Ueshiba Morihei gravesite

Kozan-ji Temple


Over 600 Aikidoists from 49 countries are attending the Aikido congress in Tanabe.


Like ghosts flying gracefully through the sacred air, aikidoist make their offerings of form to the Kumano Deity at one of the most sacred sites in Japan; Oyunohara, the former shrine ground of Kumano Hongu Taisha.

Ueshiba Moriteru, Doshu, demonstrating at the sacredOyunohara clearing.

Tada Shinhan at Oyunohara demonstration.

Entrance to Oyunohara.

Giant gateway to Oyunohara.


index.gifTanabe is located in Wakayama prefecture south of Osaka. A train line runs south along the coast to Tanabe.

Transportation from Kansai International Airport >>

Transportation from Tokyo >>

Ueshiba Morihei & Kumano

oyunohara.jpgUeshiba Morihei was born in the City of Tanabe, the entrance to the sacred Kumano region of Japan. Kumano is a prehistoric sacred site based on nature worship. With the introduction of Buddhism to Japan a unique form of Buddhist-Shinto syncretism took place. It was Kumano’s rich spiritual context that deeply influenced Ueshiba and he often returned to his roots to train. It is said that Ueshiba mastered the way of Aikido in Kumano. The demonstration will be taking place at Oyunohara (pictured left), the original site of the Kumano Hongu Taisha.

Aikido Congress Leaflet

Delicious local cuisine

gourmet-map.jpgTanabe is a fantastic place to enjoy fresh, delicious Japanese food in an authentic environment. The Tanabe City Gourmet Map was produced to introduce the culinary culture of Tanabe. 26 of the 29 featured restaurants and pubs have newly produced English menus. Enjoy!

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