Monday, December 17, 2007

Some unsung personalities in our lineage.

I realize that many of you aficionados out there have already heard of these folks. But it has come to my attention that a great deal of those who would be interested, have not. So, with no further ado, I give you something that you may not already know.

Ryu Ko Arakaki who was responsible for Chojun Miyagi’s initial training, and introduced him to Kanryo Higashionna. If the reader plays around with the name, he may come up with an interesting historical perspective.

Tate KoJo operated the KoJo DoJo at the Okinawan Ghetto in the city of Fuchow in the Fukien province of China. The KoJo DoJo is where such luminaries as Miyagi and Uechi among others, did their initial training when visiting China. It seems that the KoJo DoJo was a gathering place for various Chinese boxers.

Juhatsu Kiyoda was a senior student of Kanryo Higashionna. He founded a style called Toon Ryu after the death of Higashionna...

Miyagi, Kiyoda, and Shinzato

Jinan Shinzato was Miyagi’s top student. He would have been the heir apparent, had he not been killed early in World War 2.

Seiko Higa was a junior classmate of Miyagi’s in Higashionna’s dojo. Becoming a student of Miyagi, after Higashionna’s death, he was the only person that Miyagi ever granted permission to teach GoJu Ryu. Miyagi petitioned the BuTokuKai to issue him the Renshi menkyo. He later attained the Hanshi menkyo from BuTokuKai after Miyagi’s death. (Incidentally, Miyagi was the first karateka to be issued the Kyoshi menkyo from BuTokuKai.)

Takeo Maruta was a student of Miyagi who moved to Kyushu in Mainland Japan. He was a carpenter by trade, and also operated a dojo. He was Gogen Yamaguchi’s first Sensei, and was responsible for Miyagi’s being invited to visit Ritsumeikan University, which is how Yamaguchi met Miyagi.

Nei Chu So, originally of Korean decent, but living in Japan as a citizen, was a junior dojo mate of Gogen Yamaguchi, who like Yamaguchi, also trained with Miyagi during his visit to RitsumeiKan . He later became a member of Yamaguchi’s Japanese GoJu Kai. He was Masutatsu Oyama's GoJu Ryu instructor.