Nagamine Shoshin in the News

Nagamine Shoshin (right)
Nagamine Shoshin (right) breaking boards in front of members of the Tokyo Police Force

Its amazing what resources are available on the internet these days. It makes obtaining information that was previously unavailable on the history and development of Karate-do easily accessible at the click of a ‘mouse’. All this new information helps us piece together the development of the art that we practice and come to a better understanding of what it is we practice and why.

Below you can find one small example to this puzzle. It is a short article originally published in the Asahi Shimbun December 4, 1941 that talks about a young Matsubayashi-ryu founder Nagamine Shoshin traveling from Okinawa to Tokyo to give a demonstration of Karate-do to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force (1).

On the morning of December 3, a public demonstration was held in front of all members of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Force to show the essence of Karate-do. It was conducted by Nagamine Shoshin (35 years old), a lieutenant policeman, who traveled to Tokyo from Okinawa. Besides being a nidan in Judo and Kendo, he is the only master level Karate instructor (renshi) in the police force.

He is saddened by the use of Karate as a tool of violence and was given the opportunity last month to choose several police trainees from the police training centre to learn and spread correct Karate-do.

The result of this showcase was that he demonstrated in front of the police chief cabinet secretary Mr. Akahane and second chief cabinet secretary Mr. Yokota, as well as members of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, martial arts (section). He demonstrated kata as well as breaking three pine boards, two centimetres thick.

Nagamine Shoshin, Karate, Kobudo, Vancouver, BC, Kitsilano
Originally published on December 4, 1941 in the Asahi Shimbun. A photo from the demonstration. Nagamine Shoshin (right).
(1) There were a few kanji that I was unable to read completely and had to make an educated guess. If there are errors in the translation, then they are mine.