The first private dojo in Okinawa?

Some time ago, I wrote about the development of the Okinawan dojo, which is at the core of modern Okinawa karate. Without dojo, there would be no Okinawa karate. Of course, this blog post is pretty limited, but it is a big topic that should be considered carefully, from the military training area at Kume during the kingdom era to the open spaces called Uganju of each village, to Shikina-en guard house where Matsumura taught, to the Normal school and Middle school of the early 20th century, Motobu Choyu’s karate study group in the 1920s, to the Okinawa Butokuden in 1939. So there are several phases that need to be distinguished.

Originally, Okinawan dojo of the early 20th century were institutionalized places such as at schools or police, while private dojo were largely outdoor places. As a general rule, full-fledged private Okinawan indoor dojo developed in the postwar era, during the time of US government until 1972.

Recently, Emanuel Sensei of Shorin-ryu Torino, Italy, shared a photo of Chibana Choshin’s Karate Research Institute in 1929. I am not sure but I guess it was an outdoor dojo as well. I have inquired with Emanuel and he’s trying to find out more.

As regards the first confirmed full-fledged, dedicated Okinawan indoor dojo so far, it seems to have been opened by Nagamine Shoshin. Established in 1942, Nagamine built a new dojo of approximately 39.6m². At the opening ceremony, 71-year-old Kyan Chotoku gave a commemorative martial arts demonstration of Passai and bojutsu.

Around that time, a student of Keiō University Karate Club visited Okinawa, which is still remembered in the records of the Keio University Karate Club. At that time, the central persons of Okinawa Karate were Hanashiro Chomo and Miyagi Chojun, but it is said that only Nagamine Shōshin had a formal indoor karate dojo instead of using the yard as a training place.

So, what was the first private dojo in Okinawa? I and the global karate community would appreciate any additional information.

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