The ソグワチグワ Soguwachiguwa was a 3 day celebration beginning with the full moon in January. Okinawans would pay tribute to 歳徳神 Toshitokujin, a Shinto Kami of agriculture, seeking good fortune for their crops in the coming year. When the Gregorian Calendar was adopted, January 15th became the day that Soguwachiguwa was observed.
In 1956 on the occasion of ソグワチグワ Soguwachiguwa (Okinawan dialect) / 小正月 Koshogatsu (Japanese), the Little New Year, Master Shimabuku called a special meeting at his home & dojo in Chan village to announce a new name for his unique style of Okinawan Karate. Previously, his style had been called as Chan Migwa Te (in the late 40s) and later Su Nu Su (early 50s). He chose “Isshin Ryu” because “all things begin with one, and the heart is the most important part. Isshin Ryu is the One Heart Way/Method.
Traditionally, the Coming Of Age Day, Seijin-no-Hi, was also celebrated on January 15th. It’s the mark of entering adulthood. You could say that Master Shimabuku’s Karate entered its adulthood at this time and emerged as Isshin Ryu Karate.
Like an Okinawan Hibiscus, Master Shimabuku’s Karate bloomed as “Isshin Ryu” on that January day in 1956. Seeds of Isshin Ryu have since been carried on the winds across the oceans and around the globe.
In January of 1972, Sensei Sutton planted one of those seeds at Penn State and established the Penn State Karate Club. With help from Sensei Dorow & Sensei Liskai, PSKC developed strong roots. PSKC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.