A Certificate from Miyagi Chojun?
A Certificate from Miyagi Chojun?

A Certificate from Miyagi Chojun?

So here’s the thing, by all accounts Miyagi Chojun was adamantly against the commercialization of Karate-do; including the issuing of ranks and certificates. Remember what happened to Yamaguchi Gogen when the he asked Miyagi for a recommendation for promotion to Hanshi through the Dai Nippon Butokukai? A request that Miyagi completed ignored. So it came as quite a surprise to me to stumble across this certificate a few years ago supposedly bearing the names of Mabuni Kenwa and Miyagi Chojun!

The certificate was posted on Facebook by Tang-Shou-Tao (but has since been removed) and apparently came from the 70th anniversary commemorative program of Kenyu-ryu Karate-do. It is a go-dan / shihan certificate issued to Watanabe Masaru on October 1, 1944 (Showa 19). Needless to say that I am highly skeptical of its authenticity as although the names of both Mabuni or Miyagi are visible, the seals are illegible. However  if the certificate is authentic then it represents, to the best of my knowledge, the only example of a certificate bearing the name of Miyagi Chojun.

The caption attached to the certificate on Facebook read, “A rare exception of a shihan [license] from Mabuni Kenwa Shihan. On October 1, 1944, it was issued [the certificate] under the name of the chief of the Japan Karate Association Headquarters as well as Miyagi Chojun shihan (photo is from the 70th anniversary of the 70th anniversary of Kenyu-ryu Karate-do) (1).

(1)  摩文仁賢和師範の希少な当時の師範免除です。昭和19年10月1日、大日本空手道会本部の名により、宮城長順師範と連名で発行されていました。(写真は賢友流空手道創流70周年記念誌より)

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