Kobudō 6: Nohara Kamaichi and Takara Shigeru
[Okinawa Times] November 23, 1961
The eldest performer
Nohara Kamaichi (83)
Born in 1879 in Tomimori, Kochinda Village. 83 years old. It is the oldest among the performers. Even children in the hamlets who do not know Bōjustu are well aware that when “grandpa Nohara” is mentioned, it means the “master of Bōjustu”.
A small built man like Mifune Jūdan (1), his vigorous moves do not betray a man of 83 years.
Before WWII, the Tomimori hamlet was famous for Bō, and on the day of August 15th, there was a Bōjustu demonstration with the hamlet being divided into south and west. However, it was interrupted after WWII. Mr. Nohara tried hard to revive the hamlet traditional Bōjustu (Shihō-kiri), but he did not succeed. It seems that young people have no interest in the cudgel. As he has handled the staff for more than 70 years, he is sad that the Bō is going to die in the community.
Last year, for the opening of the community center, this grandpa who loves Bōjustu performed a demonstration. For the hamlet’s wedding ceremonies, celebrations and the likes, he is always delighted to perform.
“It is really good to be able to perform at the Naha Theater on the recommendation of the Kodudō Association soon. Because of my age, I cannot show a lively cudgel anymore but I firmly remember the kata,” he said enthusiastically.
Until the age of seventy, it was nothing for him to handle a staff of 70 kin (2), thus he has managed to perform lightly ‘Shihō-kiri’. Although he says that “One can’t beat aging”, he goes on performing vigorously what is “Sanpō-kiri”.
(Present address: Kochinda Village, aza Tomimori)
(1) Jūdō master Kyūzō Mifune (1883 – 1965)
(2) 1 kin is approximately 600 grams
Perfoming Kiai-jutsu and ‘Seisan’
Takara Shigeru (53)
During the next demonstration, he will perform Kiai-jutsu and Seisan (karate). Mr. Takara grew up learning various martial arts from his father, Mr. Kamado, who loved martial arts since childhood. It has been more than 40 years since he held a sai trident at the age of ten years old.
At first, he took out his father’s sai and nunchaku and used them as fun toys but gradually became interested. After the passing of his father Kamado, he studied under Kyan Chotoku (Chanmī-gwa) and began to practice karate earnestly. Mr. Takara can perform either karate, kobudō or Kiai-justu, but this time, in particular, the association requests him to perform Kiai-justu and Seisan.
He was introduced to “Kiai-justu” by Mr. Tamura Yoshikazu, who lives in Tomita Village in Chiba Prefecture, but he demonstrates a technique that seems to be unhuman. Passing an approximately 20 cm long needle through his arm and attaching a chain to it, he then pulls a large passenger car, or pass the car over his stomach, truly techniques unbelievable for human. Since the venue at the Naha Theater is small, a car cannot be used. Yet he says that he still wants to introduce a secret technique for a change. Seisan is one of the kata of Chanmī-gwa. Similar to Sanchin, the main purpose is to develop the form and train muscles, and he says that anyone who practices karate must temper this way.
Kiai-jutsu needs at least 20 years of practice to be mastered. But the countless needles scars on both arms of Mr. Takara seemed to give an account of the pain of the training.