The History of Okinawa Karate Associations, based on common interests

19since the 1950s the movement of post-war Okinawan Karate organizations began. The era saw the establishment of the Okinawa Karate-do Renmei in May 1956 (first president Chibana Chōshin), the Okinawa Kobudō Kyōkai in June 1961 (first president Higa Seitoku), and the Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei in February 1967 (First president Nagamine Shōshin). Since the return of Okinawa from American government to mainland Japan in 1972, Okinawa was organized within the mainland organization Zen Nihon Karate-dō Renmei. Various organizations repeatedly joined and separated, which was like a group dance, and this state of affairs continued through the 20th century.

Thus, coming the 21st century, in January 2008 the Okinawa Dentō Karate Shinkōkai was formed with the Governor of Okinawa (Nakaima Hirokazu) as its president. As the governing body of the main Karate organizations it aimed at providing a structure to respond to the international demands of the 21st century. The four main member organizations were the Okinawa-ken Karate-dō Rengōkai (president Goya Hidenobu), the Zen Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei (president Senaga Yoshitsune), the Okinawa-ken Karate-dō Renmei (president Hichiya Yoshio) and the Okinawa Karate Kobudō Renmei (president Shima Masao).

The attached commemorative photo was taken in May 1960 and was provided by the late Kinjō Hiroshi Sensei. At the time the term of office of president Chibana Chōshin of the Okinawa Karate-dō Renmei expired, and new officers were to be elected for the next term. Therefore, the representatives of each school gathered in a restaurant in Naha Sakae. In the front row with a bow tie is Kinjō Hiroshi who came from Tōkyō all the way and preached for reappointment of Chibana Chōshin. However, Nagamine Shōshin of Matsubayashi-ryū became the next president.

commemorative photo, May 1960

commemorative photo, May 1960

Front row from left: Yagi Meitoku (Gōjū-ryū), Nagamine Shōshin (Matsubayashi-ryū), Kinjō Hiroshi (Nihon Karate-dō Kenshūkai Sō-shihan), Chibana Chōshin (Shōrin-ryū), Higa Seikō (Gōjū-ryū), Higa Yūchoku (Shōrin-ryū).

Second row from left: Fukuchi Seikō (Gōjū-ryū), Uechi Kan’ei (Uechi-ryū), Miyahira Katsuya (Shōrin-ryū), and Gushi Jokei (Matsubayashi-ryū).

Back row, 4th from the left is Nakazato Shugoro (Shōrin-ryū), to his right is Tomoyose Ryūkō (Uechi-ryū),and at the right end is Toguchi Seikichi (Gōjū-ryū).


  • Okinawa Karate Kobudō Jiten 2008: 605.
  • Translation: Andreas Quast

© 2013 – 2015, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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