Fighting Tradition of Japan
is doubtful whether the Japanese people and the country as a whole can really
be understood or appreciated by anyone without a degree of knowledge of
their martial culture." -Donn F. Draeger
Jinen-ryu, established in 1933 by Yasuhiro Konishi (1893-1983), is deeply
rooted in a rich tradition of Japanese warrior culture. To understand the
tradition and the philosophies that this style of karate-do represents, we
must first visit the origin of budo and trace the path on which it was formed.
Birth of Japan
land around the current Japanese islands was formed about 70 million years
ago. According to archaeologists, humans lived on the land as early as 2.5
million years ago. During the last ice age (50,000 to 10,000 years ago), a
massive movement of the earth separated the land from the Eurasian Continent,
and the Japanese islands were formed. This geographical isolation from the
continent provided the Japanese with protection and the opportunity to develop
their own unique culture. -- more
of Osamu Ozawa
by James Tawatao
Shihan Osamu Ozawa was born into a samurai family on
November 25, 1925 in Kobe, Japan. His family is believed to have descended
from the Takeda clan. Takeda Shingen was one of Japan's most famous and brilliant
warriors and it was into this great and famous samurai lineage that Haruo
Ozawa, Master Ozawa's father was born. The Ozawa family crest (mon) is indeed
the famous Takeda bishi, or Takeda family symbol.
Ozawa was introduced to the art of karate in 1937 when his cousin Daiichiro
Aizawa came to visit the Ozawa family in Kobe after a devastating typhoon
destroyed and severely damaged nearly 50 percent of the city. He started his
karate training at the age of thirteen and in December 1938, he went and sought
out Kenwa Mabuni, founder of the Shito-ryu style of karate. He trained under
Master Mabuni for two years.
March 1942, at the age of 17, Master Ozawa entered Hosei University and was
introduced to Shotokan karate when he joined the university karate team. Kimio
Itoh was the team captain and the chief instructor was Grand Master Gichin
Funakoshi, the man who first introduced karate to Japan from Okinawa and founder
of Shotokan Karate. In September 1944, Gichin Funakoshi promoted Master Ozawa
to shodan or 1st degree black belt. -- more
with Reverend Toshio Kuramoto
of the Hollywood Shorinji
Interviewer: Richard Killion -
Dragon Times #16
The Rev. Kuramoto is a former student of the
founder of Shorinji Kempo, Doshin So, and currently the chief instructor of
the Hollywood, California, Shorinji Kempo dojo.
Killion: When did you start Shorinji Kempo?
Kuramoto: In 1968 at the Kongo Zen Sohonzan Shorinji,
in Koshigaya Doin, Saitama-Ken, Japan.
How long have you been a Zen Acu-Therapist ?
Kuramoto: 30 years. I learned through the Shorinji Kempo
dojo in Saitama Prefecture.
Killion: What inspired you to join Shorinji Kempo?
Kuramoto: When I learned of Shorinji Kempo, I wanted
to challenge my life through martial arts . --
by Richard Killion - Dragon Times #14
In 1928, Doshin So, the founder (also refered
to as Kaiso) travelled through China studying as he did so various forms of
Chinese Kempo. Under the guidance of the head of the North Shorinji Giwamonken
School of Kempo, Wen-Lanshi, he studied its techniques in great depth including
the practice of embu, a kata-like form that requires two people to perform,
and a hallmark of modern Shorinji Kempo. (Note that the word Shorinji is the
Japanese pronounciation of Shaolin Temple Boxing.) In 1936, at a ceremony
at the school, Doshin So became the official successor.
the Russian Army's occupation of Manchuria, Kaiso concluded that the course
of the world's events was not dependent on ideology, religion or nationalism,
but on the quality of the individual person and of his or her actions. This
conclusion strongly influenced the shaping of Shorinji Kempo and its philosophical
base Returning to the devastation of postwar Japan he found the youth of his
homeland discouraged, and with little if any sense of purpose. His great concern
for their moral welfare and the future of his country caused him to devote
his life to training young people with "courage, strength, mercy and a sense
of justice," principles that in the fullness of time would find international
of Rev. Yamamori
by Richard Killion - Dragon Times #15
Yamamori sensei is one of the pioneering instructors
who introduced America to Shorinji Kempo.
When did you start Shorinji Kempo? Did you study any other martial art before
Yamamori: April 8, 1960 started at the Kyoto Betsuin Dojo. Previous to this
I studied in Judo up to the 2nd degree Black Belt.
What inspired you to join Shorinji Kempo?
To make my soul, mind & body strong.
When did you train at the the Kyoto Betsuin ?
In the evenings, after work 5 times/week, until I left for the United States
in 1968. -- more
Karate of Chotoku Kyan
Interview with the Seibukan's
Shimabukuro sensei is an exceptional instructor with a pedigree that stretches
back through his father, Zenryo, to his teacher, the legendary master of Shorin
Ryu karate, Chotoku Kyan. This interview is his first appearance in Dragon
Times, although we are sure that, as he is currently producing a video with
Tsunami Productions, it will not be his last. We are indebted to Mr. Dan Smith
of the Seibukan for his help with this interview.
explain the relationship of your father to Chotoku Kyan sensei.
My father studied with Kyan longer than any other student. He was a baker
and he delivered the bakery goods daily to the area where Kyan sensei lived
and received instruction from him at his home. My father only trained with
Kyan sensei. He had no other teacher.
When did he (your father) start training with Kyan sensei, and for how long
did he train?
My father began training with Kyan sensei in approximately 1930. My father
and mother had moved to Chatan Son from Shuri at this time. He trained with
Kyan sensei until the war began. The students Kyan had before my father's
time such as Aragaki and Taro Shimabukuro had died before my father began
training. The only other person to train for any length of time with Kyan
sensei was Nakazato Joen sensei, who trained at the Kadena High School for
six years before the war. -- more
by Harry Cook
is well known that the striking methods of Okinawan karate were introduced
to Japan in the 1920s by teachers such as Gichin Funakoshi, Choki Motobu,
and Kenwa Mabuni, it is less well known that some of the native Japanese schools
of ju-jutsu made extensive use of techniques that may seem at first sight
to be typical karate techniques.
some of the kicking techniques seen in modern karate were taught in the nineteenth
century by ju-jutsu instructors. E.J. Harrison says that he was taught a kind
of front kick (mae-geri) when he began training in Japan. He wrote, "On an
Atemi chart bequeathed to me by my first Jujutsu.teacher1 of the Tenshin Shinyo-ryu
at Yokohama, this spot (Suigetsu-the solar plexus) is described as the most
secret of that school. When kicking your opponent in this spot, keep the toes
curved and deliver the blow with the ball of the foot." --more
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