Sept 19, 1908 – May 30, 1975
Thank You to the Penn State Japanese Friendship Association for inviting the Penn State Karate Club to participate in their 2022 Matsuri event earlier this month.
A few brave audience members joined us on stage for the participation part of our presentation. Here they are going through Fukyugata Dai Ichi, a special introductory kata developed by Master Shoshin Nagamine (長嶺 将真) in the 1940s to help promote Okinawan Karate.
On this day in 1936, prominent Okinawan masters gathered in Naha and formally adopted the term Kara-Te 唐手 (empty hand). The masters present included Hanashiro Chomo (1869-1945), Kyan Chotoku (1870-1945), Motobu Choki (1871-1944), Miyagi Chojun (1888-1953), Kiyoda Juhatsu (1886-1967, Chibana Chosin (1885-1969), and Shinpan Shiroma (1890-1954).
*The three highlighted in bold text are Shimabuku Tatsuo’s teachers.
Large Karate demonstrations, like the following video, are held in Okinawa on October 25th to commemorate the Meeting Of The Masters and celebrate the Okinawan art of Karate.
The declaration of KARATE NO HI (空手の日) KARATE DAY
Sept 19, 1908 – May 30, 1975
Over a century ago, in the small village of Chan, on a small island in the south pacific, a boy was born. One day he would become a Karate Master whose art would reach beyond the shores of Okinawa and spread across the globe.
“Dragon Man” of Isshin Ryu, Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei
(September 19, 1908 – May 30, 1975)
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.