Ichiro Abe is one of only three living Kodokan 10th dan and one of only 15 to have reached this rank. He was promoted at the New Year Kagami biraki Ceremony on January 8, 2006 along with Toshiro Daigo and Yoshimi Osawa.
Ichiro Abe was born on November 12, 1922 and educated at Tsukuba University. He was sent by the Kodokan as a judo teacher to France in 1951 and Belgium in 1953. He was director of the Kodokan International from 1969 to 1997 and director of the Kodokan Council from 1997 to 2004.