Kamiunten Tonfa

Kamiunten Eisho originally produced wheels for horse-drawn vehicles, but then karate and kobudo master Soken Hohan (1891-1982) taught him how to make Bo, Nunchaku, Tonfa, and other wooden weapons and Kamiunten became a wooden weapons craftsman.

He once also produced weapons for world famous brand “SHUREIDO.”

The Tunfa are replica I designed according to an original model made by Mr. Kamiunten. This original was lend to me for this purpose back in 2002 by a Okinawa Kobudo World Champion, who first taught me Hama Higa no Tunfa over two days at my garden dojo. Usually I gave them as gifts and in this way some pairs even found their way back to Okinawa. I’am sure they will serve well for many years.

Mr. Kamiunten’s name is usually only known among some of the most experienced masters of Okinawa Kobudo, including Hokama Tetsuhiro, Cezar Borkowski, and Nakamoto Masahiro, the latter of which sported notes and images of Mr. Kamiunten in his publications. When I told Hokama Sensei about this little Tunfa project more than 10 years ago, he was one of the few who understood was I was talking about, because he knew Mr. Kamiunten.

The nunchaku and the three section staff in the top right of the first image were made by Mr. Kamiunten. The three Nunchaku in the center are from “SHUREIDO”. The three section staff at the right bottom were given to Yamaguchi Seishu by Kishaba Chogi of Yamanni-ryu.

Last but not least, a photo was taken of the Tonfa during my time in Okinawa and found its way on the Okinawa Dento Karatedo Shinkokai, THE umbrella association of Okinawa karate kobudo associations.

© 2022, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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