A recent visit to Tanabe City in Wakayama Prefecture to visit the birthplace of Ueshiba Morihei Sensei revealed an interesting link between Ando Shihan and Ueshiba Sensei.
Ando Shihan’s unique family crest is the character for “安” (“An”) surrounded by wisteria blossoms facing downward. This was discovered to be the family crest belonging to Ando Shihan’s ancestors: the Ando clan, headed by Ando Naotsugu, the first Ando daimyo of Tanabe and who was headquartered in Tanabe Castle.
Ando Sensei was awarded the title of shihan (Master) in 1993 and he currently holds the rank of 8th dan in Yoshinkan Aikido. He also holds the rank of 2nd dan in aikikai, which he achieved during his time at Tokushima University.
He is also currently the Chairman Shihan at the Yoshinkan Aikido Headquarters Dojo in Tokyo.
Ando Sensei is the author of two books, Chushin Ryoku no Jidai and Aikido no Kai. Chushin Ryoku no Jidai has been translated into Spanish and German. He has produced several DVD titles including The Power of the Void in Aikido, the Dekiru Aikido series and Aikido no Akashi.