Born in Kagoshima, Japan, to a family of many generations of
practitioners of Oriental Medicine [he was the 8th generation] he grew
up watching and assisting his mother, Chie Fuchigami-Nakazono, in her
At a very young age he began the practice of Martial Arts [his great
grandfather “Kosuzume” was a regional champion of Sumo] with the Kendo
at the age of 6, the Judo at the age of 12, the Karate at 19. He was
a direct student of O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido, and
he was one of the first Japanese masters to introduce Aikido in
His formal training in the Oriental Medicine [Acupuncture and Kanpo
Herb Prescription] was under Dr. Juzo Motoyama, under whom he
apprenticed from the age of 16 to 22.
In the 1950’s he was very close to George Sakurazawa, founder of the
Macrobiotic method of dietary healing. He left for Madras, India,
with him in several reprises, and directed the Oriental Medical
Department in a hospital for lepers. Also in the 1950’s he studied
Shugendo Healing [an ancient spiritual healing method practiced by
Shugendo priests] under master Sakai, who initiated Masahilo to the
worship of Jizobosatsu [a bodhisattva of healing].
In the late 1950’s to 1960 he was in Saigon, Viet Nam, and taught Judo
and Aikido to the South Vietnamese Army as a combat technique
instructor. He moved to France in 1961, as an official delegate of
Aikikai So Hombu, and taught many students in Europe and North Africa
for 11 years. The Foreign Legion in Marseilles was one of his first
teaching places in France. He met two of the most famous Judo
champions known to Japan in his time—Kenshiro Abbe and Haku Michigami,
both of whom were in Europe at that time to teach Judo. In Judo he
was ranked 5 Dan by Kodokan, and he was promoted to 6 Dan by Abbe
In the early 1970’s, he received the rank of 8th Dan from Aikikai,
which he declined, and left the political arena of Aikido for good.
He left France and moved to the U.S., where he made Santa Fe, N.M. his
In 1978, he established his school of Oriental Medicine and
Acupuncture, in which the practice of Aikido was a part of the
In 1984, he was awarded a distinctive status of “Living Treasure” by
the City Of Santa Fe for his cultural and spiritual contribution to
In 1985, he was presented with the award of Exceptional Achievement by
the State for inspiring the passage of the Acupuncture Act by the
October 8, 1994, he passed away in peace as his lifelong wife, Harue
Nakazono, watched him exhale his last breath.
Prepared by Jiro Nakazono, for Henry Ellis Sensei.