Kamiya Jinsei (1894 – 1964)

Like everyone around the world I am experiencing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although regular practice has ground to a halt, I consider myself fortunate that I am healthy and continue to work and train from home. Since I have been given this gift of time I decided to temporarily restart my blog to provide some light reading to the Okinawa Karate-do and Kobudo Community. I have one request and that is if you would like to share the article you are welcome to do so. However, please share the link and not cut and paste the articles in their entirty. The first entry below is about Goju-ryu and Kobudo expert Kamiya Jinsei. The next article will be about his grandson Kamiya Masashi. Enjoy.

Marital Artist (Karate – Goju-ryu & Kobudo), Physician, Athlete, Artist.

Born Takamine District, Kuniyoshi; present day Itoman City. Learned Goju-ryu Karate from its founder Miyagi Chojun. After the war was active in the revival of Karate with the founding of the Shurenkai Dojo to which Miyagi and many other notable martial artists were invited to the opening ceremony. 

From age 18 to 27 he studied at present day Jikei University School of Medicine. After receiving his certification returned to Okinawa. Outside of his profession (paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology) he was remembered as an entertainer, educator and athlete. Furthermore he was a certified instructor of Nomura-ryu. He was involved in the preservation and promotion of traditional Okinawa music and dance which laid the foundation of these arts in the Itoman area. 

Miyagi Chojun (front row, seated) & Kamiya Jinsei (front row, seated, 3rd from the right) 1932 (Photo published by the Okinawa Times)

From age 18 to 27 he studied at the current Jikei University School of Medicine, and following his certification returned home to Okinawa. Besides his business (pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology) he left behind many achievements in the fields of public entertainment, education, and physical education. In addition, he was qualified as an instructor of Nomura-ryū and made efforts to preserve and promote Okinawa classical music and dance. This laid the foundation of the performing arts in present-day Itoman and surrounds. 

Kamiya Jinsei practicing Bojutsu (1947) (Photo published by the Okinawa Times)

After the war he taught staff fighting and Karate (holder of Kyoshi license) to elementary and junior high schools as well as youth associations in Itoman, and served as the president of the Itoman District Athletic Association for several years. He was featured in the Encyclopedia of Okinawa published by the Okinawa Times (Volume 1).

Kamiya was a versatile man with talent in medicine, education, performing arts, and martial arts. He was a prestigious person in multiple fields, and was considered skilled in all of them. His personality was kind and gentle, and he enjoyed interacting with the local people more than anything else; he was known as a man of the common folk.

He died at the age of 70.

Written by Higaonna Morio & Takamiyagi Shigeru. 

Original Article in Japanese