Hajime Iwata was born in 1909 in Aichi Prefecture, located in the Chūbu region.
Drawn to wrestling from a young age, Hajime competed in Sumo competitions during his high school years.
At the end of the twenties, the young Iwata lives in Tokyo in a student residence called Shuyodan Gakusei Kojosha.
This private school, founded and directed by the famous Doctor Kenzo Futaki , aims to develop the mind and the will. Students from different universities in the capital live there together all year round.
Living conditions and discipline are strict, each student must participate in daily chores and it is forbidden to use a brazier during the winter.
The meeting with master Ueshiba
In his dormitory, Hajime meets Montaro Mori, a student at Imperial University in Tokyo. In winter, to warm up, boys usually do physical exercises, including Sumo. Mori easily throws Hajime along with another friend who is still a fourth dan student in Judo. Surprised by this result and the techniques employed by young Mori, Iwata asks him what art he uses. The latter tells him that he is studying Aïki-Jujutsu. Intrigued and suspicious, Hajime asks his friend to take him to his dojo.
The latter does and takes him to a house next to Meijiro station, just a few blocks from the dormitory.
The two young men are greeted by Hisao Kamada , a young practitioner. Hajime immediately joins the group and takes part in the training… before being strongly reprimanded by master Ueshiba as soon as he enters the dojo. The latter accuses him of practicing without asking permission and describes him as insolent! The teacher asks him to come back with a letter of recommendation if he wishes to join the group. This was delivered to him by Doctor Futaki in person, himself a disciple of Master Ueshiba for several years.