Toshishiro Obata

Toshishiro Obata
Meet Toshishiro Obata, a 2014 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month nominee

Title: President and Chief Instructor
Organization/Business: International Shinkendo Federation; Obata Foundation

"As a world-renowned martial artist, teacher, and author, Toshishiro Obata has dedicated his life to preserving and disseminating traditional Japanese culture, martial arts, and the samurai way of life in the modern era, keeping a vital heritage alive and illuminating its value for the generations to come." Nominator (wishes to remain anonymous)


  • Born and raised in Japan where he studied a variety of classical and modern martial arts; since immigrating to the United States, has dedicated himself to the refinement and spread of traditional martial arts and culture, especially that of the samurai.
  • Founded the non-profit Obata Foundation with the goal of curating and disseminating traditional Japanese culture both in the U.S. and worldwide.
  • Inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 2007.
  • Featured on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, the Travel Channel, National Geographic and in various news stories representing the martial arts teachings, theories, and values of Japan. Has also appeared as an actor in both US and Japanese films.

  • Teaches six days a week as well as performing seminars and demonstrations both locally and globally, including the New Year's Festival, Cherry Blossom Festival and Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo for over 30 years.
  • Author of numerous books including, most recently, Modern Bushido, a work of philosophy that explores the ways in which the traditional samurai way of life can enrich lives in the 21st century.


Sandor E. Samuels


Daniel J. Lieber