The founder of Aikido. Born in Tanabe, Japan, Ueshiba studied martial arts in his youth, and was a soldier in the Russo-Japanese War. In 1907, he took a group to settle in Hokkaido and pioneered a farming community in harsh conditions. A major martial arts influence was Takeda Sokaku, with whom Ueshiba learned and practised Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, a combative form of grappling using locks and throws. He had a number of mystical experiences, especially under the influence of Onisaburo Deguchi, in which he realised the oneness of human existence. He started the Hombu Dojo in Tokyo in 1931, and taught until his death. In his later years, his aikido became lighter yet more powerful, and he spoke of his vision of aikido as an instrument to teach love and harmony.