Miyako Fujitani, born on February 3, 1952, in Osaka, Japan, is a renowned Japanese aikido instructor and the author of several books on the subject. Fujitani began her journey into the world of martial arts at a young age, eventually establishing her name as a prominent figure in the aikido world. In addition to her exceptional skills, she is also known as the former wife of American actor and martial artist Steven Seagal.
Fujitani’s passion for aikido led her to become the founder and head instructor at Tenshin Dojo in Osaka, which she established in 1976. Under her guidance, the institution has flourished, attracting numerous students and producing some of the finest practitioners in modern-day aikido. Alongside her successful career in aikido, she has remained an influential figure in the martial arts community, contributing to the development and promotion of martial arts worldwide.
Despite her profound expertise in aikido, Miyako Fujitani remains grounded in her commitment to offering the best guidance to her students. While her skills and accomplishments have gained her widespread recognition, she continues to inspire the next generation of aikido practitioners, ushering in a new era of martial arts that combines traditional techniques with modern-day innovation.
Early Life and Family Background
Childhood and Osaka Origin
Miyako Fujitani was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. She comes from an Asian ethnicity and grew up surrounded by the rich and diverse culture of her homeland. Throughout her childhood, Fujitani had the unwavering support of her parents, who provided her with a nurturing environment to grow and flourish.
As a young girl in Osaka, Fujitani was exposed to a variety of artistic and cultural pursuits, which helped shape her into the well-rounded individual she is today. The city of Osaka, with its vibrant history and traditions, played a pivotal role in molding her personal and professional life.
Fujitani’s family background also played a significant part in her upbringing. They instilled in her the values of hard work, dedication, and perseverance, which she carried with her throughout her career and life.
Miyako Fujitani is a renowned Japanese martial artist who has dedicated her life to the art of Aikido. Having achieved the prestigious 7th dan black belt, she is recognized as an Aikido master. Fujitani began her training under the guidance of the legendary martial arts figure, Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. Ueshiba’s instruction helped her develop an in-depth understanding of the art and the concept of “ki”—the life force energy present in Japanese martial arts.
In her pursuit of Aikido mastery, Fujitani displayed exceptional commitment, sharpening her skills to become a distinguished martial arts instructor. Over time, she turned her passion into a teaching profession, helping others learn the intricate techniques and philosophies of this unique Japanese martial art.
In Osaka, Miyako Fujitani founded the Tenshin Dojo, an institution that aims to impart the knowledge of Aikido and help students reach their full potential. As the lead instructor at Tenshin Dojo, Fujitani incorporates a balanced mix of traditional Aikido techniques and modern training methods, ensuring that her students receive a comprehensive education in this martial art.
Several notable martial artists and instructors have emerged from the Aikido Tenshin Dojo—testament to Fujitani’s dedication and skill as a teacher. Apart from her work at the Tenshin Dojo, Miyako Fujitani also established the Aikido Shoubu Dojo, which further propagated the art of Aikido in Japan.
Overall, Miyako Fujitani’s Aikido journey reflects her unwavering commitment to this martial art, her diligence in mastering its techniques, and her ability to inspire and train the next generation of Aikido practitioners.
Marriages and Relationships
Marriage with Steven Seagal
Miyako Fujitani married American actor Steven Seagal in 1974, after he moved to Japan to study martial arts. Seagal, an American actor, producer, and martial artist, met Fujitani while training under her father, a renowned Aikido master. The couple had two children together: a son named Kentaro and a daughter named Ayako. During their time together, Seagal and Fujitani managed a successful Aikido dojo in Osaka.
Divorce and Aftermath
Their marriage ended in a divorce in 1987, which created complicated circumstances for Seagal’s personal life. Around the time of their separation, Seagal had started an affair with actress Kelly LeBrock, whom he later married in 1987. This marriage led to the birth of three children, but it also ended in divorce in 1996.
In addition to these relationships, Seagal was briefly married to actress Adrienne La Russa in 1984, though the marriage was annulled due to it being discovered that he was still legally married to Fujitani at the time. After his second divorce, Seagal married Erdenetuya Batsukh, a Mongolian dancer. The couple is still together and has a son named Kunzang.
Though her marriage with Seagal ended, Fujitani continued her involvement in the Aikido community. She is an accomplished Aikido master in her own right, running the Osaka dojo even after her divorce from Seagal. While Seagal’s relationships have been tumultuous, it appears that both he and Fujitani have maintained successful careers in their respective fields and continued to cultivate their love for martial arts.
Miyako Fujitani has two children from her marriage with American actor Steven Seagal. The couple has a daughter, Ayako Fujitani, and a son, Kentaro Seagal.
Ayako Fujitani, born in 1979, followed her parents’ footsteps and pursued a career in the entertainment industry. As both an actress and a writer, she has made a name for herself. She starred in various Japanese films and TV shows, as well as international projects. Some of her notable works include “Shiki-Jitsu,” “Tokyo!” and the American science-fiction drama “Man from Reno.” In addition to her acting career, she has authored a few novels and short stories.
Kentaro Seagal, born in 1975, also entered the entertainment world, primarily focusing on acting. He appeared in several Japanese films, TV shows, and commercials throughout the years. Kentaro gained attention for his leading role in the movie “Death Trance” and also appeared in “Pi-Pikkusu Wo Atsumete.” He has worked in various genres, from action movies to dramas. Tiles like “Kokoro gin no sora” and “Ginga no hate no kikkake” further showcase Kentaro’s versatile acting skills.
Career in the Film Industry
Work as Actress
Miyako Fujitani is a talented Japanese actress who has made a name for herself in both Japanese and international films. She began her acting career in the 1970s and quickly became known for her captivating performances. Over the years, Fujitani has appeared in various movies, including the popular Gamera: Guardian of the Universe and Ultraman Max.
In addition to her work in Japanese cinema, she has also dabbled in Hollywood productions. Her acting prowess caught the attention of renowned actor and martial artist Steven Seagal, leading to her involvement in several of his films. These collaborations include action classics like Above the Law, The Patriot, Under Siege, Hard to Kill, and Exit Wounds.
Not only is Miyako Fujitani well-versed in the art of acting, but she also has a thriving career as a writer. She made her mark as a scriptwriter in the Japanese film industry, often working on the same projects she acted in. This multi-faceted talent enabled her to contribute significantly to the creative vision of these films.
Fujitani has also ventured into novel writing, providing readers with engaging stories that showcase her vivid imagination and literary skills. Her works have been well-received in the literary world, further demonstrating her creative versatility.
Miyako Fujitani’s career in the film industry, as both an actress and a writer, has been nothing short of impressive. Her accomplishments have made her a respected and cherished figure in both Japanese and international cinema.
Social and Digital Presence
Miyako Fujitani is present on various social media platforms to connect with her fans and followers. She primarily uses Twitter and Instagram to share updates about her personal life, work, and accomplishments in aikido.
Her Twitter account, with a considerable number of followers, showcases her thoughts, achievements, and retweets from other martial artists and aikido aficionados. Twitter helps her engage with her fans, answer questions, and discuss topics related to martial arts.
On Instagram, Miyako Fujitani shares moments from her daily life, giving her followers a glimpse into her world outside of the dojo. The platform allows her to share both casual and professional photos, demonstrating a balance between her personal and aikido-related pursuits.