Kamiya Masashi

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Karatedo

Here is the second article about Kamiya Masashi, Kamiya Jinsei’s grandson. I think his story is inspirational. Enjoy.

Following his Magnificent Grandfather’s two Paths: Medicine and Martial art. Kamiya Masashi, Director of Kamiya Clinic for Mother and Child.

Kamiya Masashi

One of the best students of the founder of Goju-ryu, Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953), was Kamiya Jinsei (1894-1964). Just like the man who also made a name for himself in paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology in Itoman, his grandson, Kamiya Masashi (58) is also a karateka who works as an obstetrician and gynaecologist at the “Kamiya Clinic for Mother and Child“.

Masashi doesn’t remember much as Jinsei died in his childhood, but  every time he hears about his grandfather’s reputation he feels much respect for him. Masashi is currently a san-dan in Karate. Commenting on following the same paths as his grandfather, “I’m not as successful in Karate as my grandfather, but I push myself and I want to continue as long as I’m able.”

According to Masashi’s friend, Atsushi Kaga, a researcher at the Research Institute for Regional Studies at Okinawa University, Kamiya Jinsei studied under Miyagi in 1928. In 1941, Miyagi (along with Jinsei) served on the Okinawa Prefecture Karate Special Committee which officially approved the kata Fukyu 1 and 2. Jinsei was multi-talented, studying Kobudo and receiving certification in the Nomura-ryu school of Ryukyu classical music. After the war, he was active in reviving martial arts and the arts.

Masashi was five years old at the time of Jinsei’s death and was not taught karate but instead loved soccer. “My grandfather seemed to always be hitting my dad’s back during Sanchin. He got some pretty hard training”, Masashi laughs. He started Karate after he entered Dokkyo Medical University and trained for six years in the same style as his grandfather, Goju-ryu. After graduating, he returned to Okinawa 20 years ago. he opened his medical company and named it “Jinseikai” to show respect for his grandfather.

Performing Passai kata.

Masashi drifted away from Karate, but 14 years ago when Mr. Kakazu Atsushi (now the vice president of the prefecture karate dojo) opened a dojo in Itoman city, he started to practice again with the children. He was already 40 years old. “My body didn’t move like it used to, so I couldn’t do it every day.” Due to his profession, he has little time to spend practicing Karate, and he is often gets called back to work even during his twice-weekly training sessions. Even so, he enjoys interacting with his fellow students at the dojo and keeps going for his own health.

Mr. Kakazu is a Matsubayashi-ryu stylist. The school is a bit different from his grandfather’s but he doesn’t care about the school saying, “Its an Okinawa tradition. I don’t want to later regret that I didn’t do it.” Step by step he is trying to get closer to his grandfather knowing that he is doing the same thing as his grandfather did; practicing and not showing what he has learned to anyone. This makes him happy. 

Kakazu Atsushi, Karate
Mr. Kakazu Atsushi teaching Karate


Originally Published by the Okinawa Times on July 23, 2017 19:34 from the series “Karate and Me”