Also known as Kusankun, Kusanku, Kuanku, Kosokun or Koshankun (Kung Kong Su or Kung Hsiang Chun in Chinese), Kushanku was a military attache from China, skilled in fistic arts, who was sent to Okinawa sometime in the mid to late 1700s. It is believed that he was accompanied by an Okinawan from Shuri by the name of Shionja who trained with him in China. This incident was recorded in his book entitled Oshima Kikki, written by Tobe Ryoen of Tosa village, Okinawa. Kushanku is credited with the creation of the Kata bearing his name. His most notable pupil was Sakugawa Tode. For more information on Kushanku, visit Wikipedia
Takahara Peichin was an Okinawan teacher of Karate from Akata village who was well known as an astronomer and mapmaker. His most noteworthy pupil was Sakugawa Tode. For more information on Takahara Peichin, visit Wikipedia
Born Kanga Teruya in Tori Hori village in Shuri, Okinawa, Sakugawa Tode (also known as Sakuma Tode or Sakugawa Chikudoun Peichin) was a security officer for a commercial shipping line who began his training under Takahara Peichin and later studied with the famous Chinese military attache Kushanku.
Tode was the early Okinawan word for Karate and was given to Sakugawa for his skill in the fistic art. He was perhaps the most influential figure in the early development of Okinawan Karate. Sakugawa Tode is credited with establishing an early code or set of precepts known as the Dojo Kun: Seek perfection of character (Jinkaku No Tassei). Be faithful (Seijitsude Are). Endeavor to excel (Kojoshin Wo Mote). Respect others (Tanin Wo Uyamae). Refrain from violent behavior (Mizukarano Chikara Wo Seigyoseyo).
His most noteworthy pupils were Matsumura Sokon and Matsumoto. For more information on Sakugawa Tode, visit Wikipedia
Ruruko, also known as Ryuru Ko, Ryu Ryo, Ryu Ryo Ko, and Liu Liu Kung (in Chinese), was a Chinese teacher of a form of southern Shaolin Chuan Fa (known as Nakitsuru Ken in Japanese) based in Fuzhou in the province of Fukien. He worked as a carpenter and is best known as the instructor of Master Higaonna Kanryo during Higaonna’s stay in China. Ruruko taught Master Higaonna the five forms (Kata) that became the foundation of Okinanwan Naha-t Sanchin, Seisan, Sanseiru, Seipai and Suparinpei.
MATSUMURA SOKON (1809-1901)
Matsumura Sokon (also known as Matsumura Bushi, Matsumura Bucho, Matsumura Buseitatsu, or Matsumura Unyu) was born in the Yamagawa village in Shuri, Okinawa. He studied under Sakugawa Tode and, to a lesser degree, the Chinese military attaches Iwah and Ason.
Matsumura served as an instructor and bodyguard to the last three Okinawan kings: Sho Ko, Sho Iku, and Sho Tai. He also served as an envoy for the Okinawan royal family, and as such, travelled to Fuzhou in Fukien province, where he studied Chinese fistic arts. Matsumura was given the title Bushi or Warrior which was a title of great respect given to a select few who possessed superior ability in the martial arts.
Among his most notable pupils were Itosu Yasustune, Kuwae Ryosei, Yabu Kentsu (Yabe Norimichi), Kyan (Kyabu), Azato Yasustune, Hanagi (Hanashiro) and Chomo (Hanagusuku Nagashige). For more information on Matsumara Kokon, visit Wikipedia
ITOSU YASUTSUNE (1830-1915)
Itosu Yasustune (also known as Itosu Anko and Shishu An) was born at Yamagawa Village in Shuri, Okinawa. He was (along with Higaonna Kanryo) one of the two major fountainheads in the development of modern era Okinawan Karate.
Itosu began his training under Matsumura Sokon and became his top pupil. He also trained to some degree with Gusukuma and Matsumora Kosaku of Tomari. Itosu was a short, stocky man who possessed great strength. He could reportedly crush stalks of bamboo in his bare hand, and he was known for his skill in the Naihanchin Kata.
Master Itosu introduced Karate to the Okinawan school system as part of a physical education program at the Shuri Jinjo Elementary School and the Dai Ichi Junior High School. He also served as an instructor to the Okinawan Royal Family.
Perhaps of all Okinawan Karate teachers Master Itosu had the most distinguished list of pupils, including Funakoshi Gichin, Chibana Choshin, Hanashiro Chomo, Mabuni Kenwa, Yabu Kentsu, Tokuda Anbun, Toyama Kanken, Yabiku Moden adn Shiroma Shimpan.For more information on Itosu Yasutsune, visit Wikipedia
HIGAONNA KANRYO (1852-1915)
Higaonna Kanryo (also known as Higashionna Kanryo and nicknamed “Machu,” or “Moshi,” as a child) was born in Nishimura Village in Naha, Okinawa. He, Along with Itosu Yasustune was one of the two major fountainheads in the developmnet of modern era Okinawan Karate.
It is believed that Higaonna first received instruction in Tode from an Okinawan named Arakaki Seisho from Kume Village, Naha. At the age of twenty he travelled to Fuzhou province in Fukien, China, with a fellow Okinawan named Yoshimura Udon. Upon arriving, he stayed at an Okinawan settlement called Ryukyukan and soon after make the acquaintanace of a Chinese martial arts expert named Ruruko, from whom he learned a souther Shaolin form of Chuan Fa (Known as Nakitsuru Ken in he Japanese pronunciation).
After fifteen years in China, Higaonna returned to Okinawa, where he became a martial arts instructor for the Royal Family during the reign of King Sho Tai.
Master Higaonna was well known for his ability in the Kata Sanchin. His main disciples were Kyoda Juhatsu, Miyagi Chojun, and to a lesser degree, Mabuni Kenwa. For more information on Higaonna Kanryo, visit Wikipedia
TOYAMA KANKEN (1888-1966)
Toyama Kanken (also known as Oyadomari Kanken) was born on September 24th in Shuri, Okinawa, where he studied under and became s senior student of Master Itosu Yasutsune. He also trained to a lesser degree with Master Higaonna Kanryo and a Master Itarashiki. Toyama rounded out his martial arts studied by learning traditional Okinawan weapons (Kobudo) under Masters Oshiro, Chibana, and Tani.
Master Toyama moved to Taiwan in 1924, where he took a position as an elementary school principal. During this period he studeied Chinese fistic arts under Masters Chin and Rin. In 1930 he moved to the Meguro section of Tokyo where he established his Dojo, which he named Shudokan.
Toyama founded the All Japan Karate-Do Association (Zen Nihon Karate-Do Renmei) in 1946. Master Toyama taught many noteworthy pupils, both through the Shudokan and through the auspices of the All Japan Karate-Do Association. For more information on Toyama Kanken, visit Wikipedia
KYODA JUHATSU (1887-1968)
Kyoda Juhatsu was born in the city of Naha, Okinawa. He began his karate training under Higaonna Kanryo at the age of fifteen, one month before Miyagi (Miyagusuku) Chojun (1888-1953), the founder of Goju Ryu, began his training.
Kyoda was a middle school teacher and principal who established serveral karate programs within the Okinawan school system. He served for a period as the chief Karate instructor for the Okinawan branch of the Dai Nippon Butokukai Kai druing the 1930′s
Master Kyoda called his system To-On Ryu after the Japanese characters that represeneted the name of his teacher, Higaonna.
In 1944 he moved to the city Beppu (Oito Prefecture) on the island of Kyushu where he taught a limited number of select pupils. During his later years his youngest son, Juko, took on the majority of his teaching. Master Kyoda was well known for his expertise in the Kata Sanseiru. For more information on Kyoda Juhatsu, visit Wikipedia
Master Kyo Kochi (pronounced Shue Sheng Zhi in Chinese) was a professor at the Taiwan Medical University. Master Kyo was an expert in Chinese medicine as well as an expert in a variety of Chinese martial arts.
Known as Kancho Sensei to his followers, Master Onishi was born in Iyo-Gun Village in the Ehime-Ken prefecture on the island of Shikoku, Japan. As a descendant of the Oshimiki Samurai clan, he was initiated into the martial arts and ways at an early age. He received his introduction to Karate from an Okinawan teacher, Shimabukuro Shigehiko, and later became a disciple of the famed Master Toyama Kanken.
Onishi Kancho Sensei obtained a letter of introduction from Master Toyama to another renowned Okinawan Master, Kyoda Juhatsu, and was eventually accepted as his pupil. In this fashion, Master Onishi became the thoroughly schooled in both Shuri-Te and Naha-Te. Onishi Kancho Sensei began teaching at the Iyo Shrine in 1951. Shortly thereafter, he gave instruction to the Karate clubs of the Matsuyama Foreign Language College, Ehime University and Kochi University. In 1952, Master Onishi, with the advice and consent of Masters Toyama and Kyoda established Koei-Kan, and on April 2, 1954, he opened the first official Dojo in the Kanagawa prefecture.
During this period, he was residing at the headquarters (Honbu) of the All-Japan Karate-Do Association in the Meguro section of Tokyo where Master Toyama received a request from the U.S. Air Force to make documentary film on Karate. Master Toyama accepted, and assigned Onishi Kancho along with another instructor, Mr. Ikeda Yukimitsu, to demonstrate, as a result, Master Onishi began teaching U.S. military officers in the Yoyogi section of Tokyo. He furthered his knowledge by becoming a pupil of a Chinese Master named Kyo Kochi (Japanese pronounciation) in 1957, and later studied and exchanged idease with another Chinese Master named An Tenei (Japanese pronounciation). In this capacity, Master Onishi has traveled to mainland China and Taiwan. Master Onishi succeeded Master Toyama as Chairman of the All Japan Karate-Do Association and in 1975 he crystallized the formation of a separate curriculum, which he termed Karate-Do Gaku and later Kendo Gaku (Ken-fist, Do-way, Gaku-study).
Onishi Kancho Sensei has taught throughout Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Master Onishi currently serves as the Chairman of the International Koei-Kan Karate-Do Federation and the International Kendo Gaku Federation (with Headquaters in Tokyo, Japan). Master Onishi has authored five books in Japanese and continues to teach and lecture worldwide.
Many of the names listed in the genealogy are given in both the Japanese pronunciation and in the ancient Okinawan dialect known as Hogen. In some cases there is more than one name listed for the same person. These are either nicknames, name changes, which were a common practice on Okinawa, or diffferent pronunciations of the same characters.
It should be furhter noted as a point of reference that the Okinawan people are referred to in Hogen as Uchinanchu. The title Peichin describes a class of Okinawan officials who were repsonsible for civil law enforcement and adminstration. There were two classifcations of Peichin: Chikudun, recruited from the common people, and Satunushi, recruited from the upper class. The Peichin were extant from (1509-1879)
Master Toyama (Oyadomari) Kanken seated right. Master Onishi Eizo standing, black Uwagi (jacket).
Mr. Onishi Yukinaga (Onishi Kancho’s father second from left), Master Toyama (Oyadomari) Kanken, Master Onishi Eizo.