1969 article on masters Kaneshima and Nagamine
Okinawa Kōkai no Yūbe
National special invitation exemplary demonstration (Part I)
(Published on September 20, 1969)
（@ The Okinawa Times Newspaper）
On October 10th at the Nippon Budōkan, the “Okinawa Kōkai no Yūbe – Okinawa Public Evening”, an exemplary demonstration of karate will be shown to nationwide karate fans. On the 25th, it will be performed at the Okinawa Times Hall. Members to be dispatch to Japan and the program have already been decided, and every demonstrators are determined to demonstrate the “true essence” of authentic karatedō in their first all-Japan performance. So, we have asked six hanshi who are authorities of the Okinawa karatedō world to introduce themselves and their demonstrations.
Rōchin is one of the “secret techniques”
Kaneshima Shinsuke Hanshi-sei (Head of Tozan-ryū Shindōkan)
A 73-year-old senior, the only “Hanshi-sei” (1) in the Okinawa karatedō world. Born in a family that has been dedicated to karate since his ancestors, Kaneshima Hanshi-sei started karate when he was fifteen, in a privileged environment. For the first four years, he was trained by Motobu Chōyū sensei, and then went to Taiwan for more karate training. In Taiwan, he became a student of Toyama Chōgi sensei, a native of Shuri, and studied for more than two years. At present in his Yonabaru Town house, having chosen the name Tozan-ryū, and despite his old age, he is passionate about teaching his juniors with his strong physical strength developed through karate training.
For this public demonstration, he will perform Rōchin (2) taught by Toyama sensei. Rōchin is a painstaking work of Toyama sensei, and many various techniques to protect oneself have been incorporated in this kata. It seems it is today one of the “secret techniques” of Kaneshima Hanshi-sei, and he has taught it only to one Okinawan disciple and one disciple in Kumamoto. In response to the cameraman’s request, he performed Rōchin in his home dōjō. Through his secret technique’s performance, Kaneshima Hanshi-sei showed an even more serious expression.
Kaneshima Hanshi-sei has been looking forward to demonstrate Rōchin to the nationwide public and has train hard. He said: “On the mainland, karate has been turned into a competition. Therefore those who reach 40 years old become referees and don’t sweat anymore. No doubt they will be surprised by a grandpa’s performance, but this is why I have to show a further more powerful performance.”
As the chairman of the Federation (3), he aims at ❶ Unity in the common interests where authentic karate goes beyond styles, ❷ Introducing correct karatedō outside the prefecture.
- Hanshi-sei: In the JKF “Karate Shinbun” dated of August 20, 1969 can be found an article titled “Current Status of the Karate World in Okinawa”. In it, Director Yamaguchi Gōgen, Chairman Kaneshima, Toguchi Seikichi Shihan, Vice-chairman Yagi discuss the future issues that karate faces. At the beginning of the article, Mr. Yagi said, “Okinawa karate is currently divided into five groups: Shōrin, Sukunai-hayashi, Matsubayashi, Uechi, and Gōjū. There are thirty dōjōs. Ranks are up to Godan (5th dan) and above this they are divided into three groups: Renshi, Kyōshi and Hanshi. Hanshi who are over 70 years old are given the title of Hanshi-sei.” <Note: Currently, Chairman Kaneshima is the only Hanshi-sei. >
- Rōchin: in the text, this kata is written both in katakana and 2 kanji that can be translated as Dragon advance or march.
- The Zen (All) Okinawa Karatedō Renmei (Federation). Established on February 26, 1967. Nagamine Shōshin was the first Chairman while Mr. Kaneshima served as the 2nd chairman from 1969 to 1971.
Mr. Nagamine – Performing the true Kūsankū
Nagamine Shōshin Hanshi (Head of Matsubayashi-ryū Nagamine Dōjō)
Since the age of seventeen and for about forty years, he has been devoting himself to karate. After receiving karatedō tuition from the great seniors Arakaki Ankichi and Kyan Chōtoku, he has also received instruction from Tomari’s Matsumora Kōsaku and Shuri’s Matsumura Sōkon (1). For this reason, he took the character “Matsu” from both men’s surnames, and immediately after the end of the war, he opened his present Matsubayashi-ryū dōjō in Miebashi district of Naha City. Until last year, he served as the first chairman of the Zen Okinawa Karatedō Renmei. While striving for the healthy upbringing of the birthplace’s world of karatedō, he teaches his juniors the traditional kata of “Tomarite” and “Shurite”.
Passai, Chintō, and Kūsankū are three of his special techniques, but at the Nippon Budōkan, he will perform Kūsankū. Speaking of Kūsankū, although not a word that novices are aware of, it is an old kata that has been popular as Kūsankū. According to the Ōshima’s records, the origin of Kūsankū traces back to 200 years ago, when a Chinese envoy by the name of Kūsankū performed in the Ryūkyū dynasty. As it seems to be a kata to defeat large men, it is favored by agile people. Nagamine Hanshi is a small man but yet still performs Kūsankū with the lightness of a young man. The characteristics are the kicks and the cross-shaped enbusen. Also, because it is a long performance, it could be compared to the Ryūkyūan dance Nufa bushi (2).
According to Nagamine Hanshi, “Because match oriented karate is becoming popular on the mainland, this kata Kūsankū also is spreading in a chaotic way. Using the chance of demonstrating at the Nippon Budōkan, I would like to show the correct form there.” His expression looks like he would like to go straight ahead right away. He is 62 years old from Tomari, a place where karate was flourishing.
- [Correction] In the introduction of Nagamine Hanshi, it was written that Nagamine Hanshi received instruction from both Matsumora Kōsaku and Matsumura Sōkon. Correctly it should have say that he received instruction from direct students of these masters, namely Motobu Chōki and Kyan Chōtoku, (Correction printed in the newspaper of September 21)
- Onna odori: Beautiful and elegant, the onna odori is the most important genre in the classical dance. A group of seven dances called “nana odori” are known for their great beauty – Shudun, Nufa bushi, Tsuikuten bushi, Yanagi, Amakawa, Kasekake and Nuchibana. (…) The onna odori consists of three dances: a beginning, a central and a concluding dance. The dances are performed to the lyrics of the ryuka, so selected that the dances have a thematic development and tell a story. In the kingdom Period, the onna odori was danced by men, but today the dances are performed by women. (Source: Keys to Okinawan culture – Published in 1992 by the Okinawa Prefecture Government)