Kawahara Shihan began Aikido in the 1950s as a student of Bansen Tanaka in Osaka. Tanaka Shihan started studying with O’Sensei in 1935 and continued until World War II. After WWII, he built Osaka Aikikai in 1951 under O’Sensei’s direction. O’Sensei would frequently stay in Osaka for extended periods during those years.
Before coming to Canada in 1975, Kawahara Shihan taught for a period in Taiwan. His first 2 years in Canada were spent in Montreal, but he soon relocated to the West Coast in 1977. He traveled extensively to encourage the growth of Aikido in Canada, and he taught a yearly summer camp in British Columbia that drew participants from across the continent and overseas. The first of these camps was held in 1979 in the small town of New Denver, BC. Since that time, the camp has grown and included such guest instructors as the present Doshu, Fujita, Miyamoto, Masuda, and Osawa Shihans from the Hombu dojo, as well as North American Shihans such as Yamada, Kanai, Chiba, Tohei, and Sugano.
Kawahara Shihan passed away in 2011.