There are several books about the Kojo-ryu, and I would like to examine what is written about it. From the old books, we have Karate-do Kyohan, written by Tominakoshi (Funakoshi) Gichin, published on May 25, 1935 (Karate-do Kyohan Reprint, May 26, 1985, published by. Kazusa Co.) The text is in Volume 1, Chapter 3. History of Karate, page 9, last two lines. The contents are as follows. (more…)
In the above book, he wrote about an interview he conducted with the Kojo family in the 1970s, accompanied by an interpreter. It seems that he came from England to interview him at a time when almost no Japanese had come to talk to him about Karate. The photo of the 12 stances of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac were taken by Mr. Tatsumi Kojo. Now they are invaluable photos. The neko-ashi-dachi is very low. Foreign researchers have been enthusiastic since then. The book is still available on the Amazon site today. (more…)
Like my previous post on Kojo-ryu from Yamada-san’s blog, I was reluctant to translate his announcement as I know it will cause complaints, denials, justifications, and all other sorts of political manuvering among the different groups that purport to practice Kojo-ryu Karate-do. However, I feel its important to hear (what appears to be) the Kojo family’s opinion about all the groups that are practicing Kojo-ryu. This information comes from the blog of Yamada Michio (8th dan) and purported senior student of the 6th Soke, Kojo Kafu.
In all honesty, I must be “a few bricks short of a load” as my Irish father would say to be talking about Kojo-ryu as it seems to bring out the worst of Karateka who supposedly practice or support the style. But maybe that is exactly the reason why I write about it because it pulls the internet Karate trolls from the woodwork and into the daylight.
At any rate, it seems the drama in Kojo-ryu is never ending. As readers of this blog are probably well aware, a video was released earlier this year by Okinawa BBTV showing the main kata of Kojo-ryu featuring Hayashi Shingo and his students. The “phantom” Karate style was no longer hidden in the shadows after the video was released. It caused a bit of an uproar among Karateka outside of Japan who quickly denounced it as not ‘true’ Kojo-ryu; whatever that means.
Well, it seems that this video also struck a nerve in Yamada Michio. So much so to write about it in his blog. From what I can piece together, Yamada, 8th dan, was a senior student of the 6th Soke Kojo Kafu, and appears to be in contact with the Kojo family to this day (more on that in a later blog post). Ironically, he also lives in Tottori prefecture where Hayashi Shingo resides. There he has a dojo and teaches a handful of students. Below you can find a rough translation of his thoughts on the video and althought he does not mention Hayashi Shingo by name, its obvious his comments are directed towards him.