Nagamine reveals secret of karate to the Metropolitan Police Department

After his first assignment to Tōkyō in 1936, Nagamine again had the opportunity to travel to the capital in 1941. This time he was dispatched to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which at that time included the Bureau of Police Affairs, an agency of the Ministry of Home Affairs responsible for the nationwide coordination of police work, and in particularly for the secret police. After receiving in-service training for about a month, and just before his return to Okinawa, he had the opportunity to demonstrate karate at the martial arts practice hall of the Metropolitan Police Department. At that time, Nagamine was the only “Karate-jutsu Renshi” (licensed instructor) among all the police officers in the whole of Japan. On December 4, 1941, an article about the demo was published in the evening edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun, one of the most important and most widely circulated newspapers in Japan.

“Policeman Karate Instructor – ‘Secret’ (of karate) revealed to the public”.
Yomiuri Shimbun (December 4, 1941, evening edition)

Policeman Karate Instructor – “Secret” (of karate) revealed to the public

At 11 am of the 3rd (of December 1941), Nagamine Shōshin (35), inspector of the Okinawa Prefectural Police Department, who was in Tōkyō for official business, revealed the essence of karate in front of all the department members at the special guards’ martial arts hall behind the Metropolitan Police Department.

Mr. Nagamine is a 2nd dan in jūdō and kendō and the only police officer in the whole of Japan who has the title of karate-jutsu renshi. He is keenly aware that karate-dō is used as a toolkit of acts of violence. In order to popularize correct karate, he took the opportunity on occasion of being selected as a trainee at the police training center last month.

After demonstrating kata in front of the visitors such as secretary-general Akabane of the internal department of the Metropolitan Police Department, the second division chief Yokota Osamu, and staff of the martial arts training section of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, he demonstrated the special skill of breaking with his toetips (ashisaki) and hands three pine boards of 1.8 cm thickness each held by his partner. (The photo shows the demonstration, with Mr. Nagamine on the right)

© 2020, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.

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