Answers over guessing

In 1940, Nagamine Shōshin was awarded the title of Karatejutsu Renshi.

In 1956, after the establishment of the Okinawa Karate-do Renmei he served as vice-president together with the first president Chibana Chōshin.

Members were Yagi Meitoku (Gōjū-ryū), Nagamine Shōshin (Matsubayashi-ryū),  Chibana Chōshin (Shōrin-ryū), Higa Seikō (Gōjū-ryū), Higa Yūchoku (Shōrin-ryū), Fukuchi Seikō (Gōjū-ryū), Uechi Kan’ei (Uechi-ryū), Miyahira Katsuya (Shōrin-ryū), Gushi Jokei (Matsubayashi-ryū), Nakazato Shugoro (Shōrin-ryū), Tomoyose Ryūkō (Uechi-ryū), Toguchi Seikichi (Gōjū-ryū) etc.

Four years later, in 1960, for the first time in the Okinawa karate world the ranking system based on dan and kyū grades as used in Judo, Shogi, etc. was implemented in Okinawa by the Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei. It should be noted that the Dan-kyu system was used previsouly, obviously since the late 1950s, at least by .

From 1961 until 1969 Nagamine was appointed in four consecutive sessions as the president of the Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei, and received the title of Hanshi.

Chibana Choshin (Shōrin-ryu, president of Okinawa Karatedo Renmei) and Nagamine Shoshin (Matsubayashi-ryu, vice-president of Okinawa Karatedo Renmei), durinng Kumite in the 1950s.

Chibana Choshin (Shōrin-ryu, president of Okinawa Karatedo Renmei) and Nagamine Shoshin (Matsubayashi-ryu, vice-president of Okinawa Karatedo Renmei), durinng Kumite in the 1950s.

The Okinawa Karate-do Renmei was abandoned and newly established in February 1967 as Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei, with Nagamine Shōshin as its first president, again uniting the powerful and talented persons of Okinawa Karate.

It should be noted here that most Okinawan Karate people at that time did their promotion tests in their own dōjō up to 4th dan. Higher Dan grades – 5th and above – were awarded by the Zen Okinawa Karate-do Renmei. For example, Arakaki Seiki of Shōrin-ryū received his Renshi title from it in 1967, as did many many others, while Nagamine was still president (there were also other associations).

Let yourself be shown the certificates of 5th and 6th dan of your old senseis, you will see.

The Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei as an organization is symbolic for leaving the minor differences between styles and schools behind and instead underlined the similarities of Okinawa Karate. In 1977, for more than 20 years now presenting the united front of the Okinawan Karate circles, the Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei held a general assembly, under president Uechi Kan’ei.

On this occasion, the “four great men representative of the post-war Okinawa Karate world” were awarded the title of Hanshi 10th Dan by the general assembly: Yagi Meitoku (Gōjū-ryū), Higa Yūchoku (Shōrin-ryū), Nagamine Shōshin (Matsubayashi-ryū), Uechi Kan’ei (Uechi-ryū).

Among the members of the Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei who unconditionally supported this move were many high grade leaders, such as Tomoyose Ryuko (Uechi-ryu), Shinjō Seiyū (Uechi-ryū), Yonaha Seishō (Uechi-ryū), Takamiyagi Shigeru (Uechi-ryū), Akamine Eisuke (Kobudō), Itokazu Seiki (Uechi-ryū), Miyagi Tokumasa (Shōrin-ryū), Higa Toshio (Uechi-ryū), Nakahodo Tsutomu (Uechi-ryū), Kadekaru Shigeo (Shōrin-ryū), Senaha Shigetoshi (Gōjū-ryū), Shima Isao (Matsubayashi-ryū), Shimabukuro Zenpō (Shōrin-ryū), Yonamine Masao (Shōrin-ryū), Uechi Kanmei  (Uechi-ryū), Nakamoto Masahiro (Kobudō), Yagi Meitatsu (Gōjū-ryū), Yagi Meitetsu (Gōjū-ryū), Taira Yasutaka (Shōrin-ryū), Yonamine Kōsuke (Uechi-ryū), Nakamura Seigi (Matsubayashi-ryū), Shinjō Masanobu (Gojū-ryū) and others.

Many of them would later be awarded 10th Dan, too.

1977 general assembly of the Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei.

1977 general assembly of the Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei.

© 2015, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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