1969 article on master Kushi and Wankan
Okinawa Kōkai no Yūbe
National special invitation exemplary demonstration (Part II)
(Published on September 21, 1969)
The theorist of the karate world
Kushi Jokei Hanshi (Matsubayashi-ryū dōjō instructor)
He is a direct disciple of Nagamine Shōshin Hanshi. An expert in Okinawa sumō, Kushi Hanshi was a classmate of Nagamine Hanshi at Naha Commercial School (1). At that time, Mr. Nagamine was already devoting himself to the training of karate. Following his repeated suggestions, Mr. Kushi became fascinated by karate, a lifelong learning sport. Since then he received instruction from Mr. Nagamine, and today, he is passionate about teaching the juniors at the Nagamine Dōjō as a Matsubayashi-ryū instructor.
Blessed with a solid physical strength, he is a sumō wrestler who before the war won three times the Naminoue Dedicatory Sumō Tournament. Even in karatedō, he was able to greatly improve his skills because of his predisposition. In 1944, on the recommendation of the Okinawa branch of the Butokukai, he was supposed to go to the title/rank examination board in Kyōto, but the war didn’t allow him to do so. Said to be the theorist of the Okinawa karate world, the writing activities of Kushi Hanshi in the field of karatedō are also always receiving much attention from related parties.
Sportification of karatedō as it can be seen on the mainland have been criticized for losing the essence of karate. At the demonstration, he will display his favorite kata Wankan (Wankwan). Wankan is said to be a “Tomari type of Tī” but the creator is unknown. However, it is said to be a kata that has a long history. This is because the new kata, such as Pin-an and the likes created by Mr. Itosu Sōkō (2) start from the left. However Wankan starts from the right, like Kūsankū, so it is presumed to be an old kata.
One characteristic of this kata is that it contains many makite (machidī) techniques, in which the performer catch the hand that attacked and without letting it escape strikes a deadly blow. It is said to be a kata particularly suitable for people with large body, and the dynamic performance of Kushi Hanshi is interesting. He was born in Tomari, Naha and is 61 years old.
- At that time, Naha City Business School. Today, it is the Okinawa Prefectural Naha Business Senior High School, located next to Matsuyama Park in Naha City.
- As written in the original text. Most likely to be Itosu Ankō.
- Part two of the article introducing Shimabukuro Zenryō sensei will soon be available.