ORAL HISTORY ABOUT KANRYO HIGAONNA HANDED DOWN FROM DISCIPLES OF SEIKO HIGA
by Akio Kinjo
Remarks: this is a part of the e-book “karate denshinroku” (= real history of karate) written through mr. Akio kinjo, a karate researcher and a kungfu teacher in okinawa. Pages 35-forty (okinawa tosho middle, 1999)
I started out learning on karate once I entered ryukyu college in 1955, however quickly i found it very tough or nearly impossible to accomplish that due to a small variety of books or written substances on karate. I visited the university library and plenty of other big libraries to find valuable books on karate, but i could not discover them. Despite the fact that i found a historic article concerning the beginning of karate, it was always quite simple and quick sentences together with about 5 or six strains. Its content was additionally now not so new to me.
Consequently, i commenced collecting oral history about karate. The maximum treasured and concrete oral records become received from grand grasp seiko higa of gojuryu. At that point sensei higa installed a karate dojo (= a schooling corridor) in front of itoman primary faculty. I practiced karate there. After the practice, i used to speak with sensei higa approximately karate. We had been so absorbed in talking that we forgot approximately the time. His memories have been no longer only exciting but additionally very important as substances for discovering on karate.
Seiko higa’s father is seishu higa. Seishu higa is a far off relative of kanryo higaonna who brought karate of naha style to okinawa from fuzhou city, fujian province, china. As seishu higa and kanryo higaonna were true buddies, drinking sake (= rice liquor) they used to talk approximately kanryo’s recollections in fuzhou, china and his karate schooling there. At that time seiko higa became nonetheless a boy and he sat beside his father and listened their conversation with much hobby. That is why he had a wealthy and concrete oral records approximately kanryo higaonna.
There are two disciples of seiko higa who had been exceeded down the oral records from him and recognise extra details than me. One is the deceased choshin ishimine and the other is saburo higa, an acupuncturist.
Sensei choshin ishimine became the first-rate among disciples of sensei seiko higa. While he changed into young, he changed into devoting all his time and energy to karate education with sensei higa. His performance of suparinpe is so outstanding that no one may want to do higher than him. I suppose that in 1953 there had been best five or six karateka who ought to carry out suparinpe well.
Sensei ishimine taught me karate enthusiastically as he became not best my karate instructor but additionally my cousin. He additionally had “bubishi”, the secret book of karate which was handed down from generation to generation with the aid of copying the book in the high-rating disciples of gojuryu. At that point i used to be a high school pupil and could not recognize the content of the e-book at all, however i copied the “bubishi” cautiously. I nevertheless keep it handy now. This valuable ebook may be very beneficial to clear up the mysteries of karate.
The disciples of sensei choshin ishimine are mr. Yasuichi ishimine, the chief teacher of kobukan, mr. Riki uechi residing in miyako island, mr. Tsuneo kashima, the chief instructor of miyako-kobukan, mr. Atsushi kuwae, the leader trainer of shumyokan in yonabaru. They had been additionally passed down the equal oral history as mine. As for karate of shuri style, i succeeded in accumulating treasured oral history from sensei choshin chibana of kobayashi-ryu, sensei chozo nakama and sensei hohan soken of shorin-ryu matsumura seitoha.
Lately i also succeeded in collecting oral history from sensei seikichi higa (seiko higa’s son), the president of gojuryu global karate kobudo federation, sensei shinpo matayoshi, the president of all okinawa kobudo federation, and sensei eiichi miyazato, the president of gojuryu karatedo association.
Primarily based at the above-referred to substances in okinawa and the substances i obtained in fujian province, china once I studied kungfu there, i’ve been seeking to clear up the secrets of karate.
The oral records that i gathered from sensei seiko higa, sensei choshin ishimine and mr. Saburo higa is as follows.
(1) the name of chinese master of kanryo higaonna is phonetically: to ru ko or to lu ko or ru ru or lu lu or ka chin ga ru ru or ka chin ga lu lu or ru ru ko or lu lu ko. Nobody is aware of his exact name. It is so confused that no person is aware of which is accurate, that is his surname and which is his own call. Chinese language characters for his name are not available either.
(2) wai shin zan and to ru ko have been famous as exceptional kungfu masters in fujian province.
(three) wai shin zan was a army officer. To ru ko ran his personal kungfu college as a first-rate trainer.
(4) to ru ko became not from fuzhou. He immigrated to fuzhou from different village or town. His residence turned into near river or sea.
(5) to ru ko came to ryukyu (= okinawa) collectively with wai shin zan as a navy attache of sappushi (= a sort of ambassador of chinese language emperor).
Be aware: in line with seikichi higa, to ru ko’s go to to ryukyu is questionable.
(6) nobody is aware of the nickname of kanryo higaonna in china or how he was referred to as by way of chinese language people.
(7) after arriving in fuzhou, china, kanryo higaonna visited wai shin zan to invite for kungfu training. But wai shin zan did no longer receive him, because military officials have been no longer allowed to teach martial arts to civilians. So he recommended higaonna to visit the kungfu school of grasp to ru ko.
(eight) there were lots of burnt-out incense cores on the front altar of to ru ko’s dojo (= a schooling corridor).
(9) kanryo higaonna worked as a ferryman at some stage in his early days in china.
(10) kanryo higaonna become not taught something in any respect by using to ru ko for a few length just after becoming a member of the kungfu school, but he had to do household chores of to ru ko family. He most effective skilled with implements or tools.
(11) when the river flooded, kanryo higaonna came to the house of to ru ko by means of boat and rescued his circle of relatives. At the hazard of his existence, higaonna saved to ru ko’s daughter from drowning whilst she become carried away by means of a heavy flood. He often mentioned his memory of this very risky occasion to his disciples in okinawa.
(12) after the flood subsided, grasp to ru ko stated to kanryo higaonna, “thanks to your courageous act, we were rescued from the flood. You have saved our life. We are very thankful to you in your help. As a reward i can take care of your touring expenses for returning for your country, ryukyu(= okinawa). Inform me how lots you want.” then kanryo higaonna spoke back, “master, i got here to fuzhou all the manner from ryukyu to analyze kungfu. I’ve been holding on patiently until you train me kungfu. As for the costs for returning to ryukyu, i suppose i’m able to manage on my own. Grasp, please teach me kungfu!” on the grounds that then, kanryo higaonna became a formal disciple of master to ru ko. He discovered and studied difficult many kungu secrets and in-depth techniques of kungfu from his master.
(thirteen) on the night of august 15 of the old lunar calendar, the students of to ru ko and the students of wai shin zan held a party at the boat to look the stunning moon. At the birthday celebration, there has been a combat among kanryo higaonna and the strongest student of wai shin zan.
(14) to determine who received or misplaced the combat, the masters held a competition of electricity and kata (= kungfu forms) between the two college students. Kanryo higaonna accomplished kata thoroughly with striking at lightning pace, kicking and really rapid actions of his frame. Seeing kanryo higaonna’s high-quality and brilliant kata performance, the strongest pupil of wai shi zan time-honored his grasp’s advice and became reconciled with kanryo higaonna.
(15) kanryo higaonna mastered kungfu so properly that ultimately he acted as an assistant leader teacher at the dojo.
(sixteen) sooner or later kanryo higaonna requested the grasp for permission to go back to ryukyu (= okinawa). The master answered to him, “i’m so vintage that i can not train kungfu any longer. If you want to go back for your u . S ., you have to continue coaching kungfu to my college students here some years more in order that some of them should emerge as my successors.”
(17) some years later, whilst kanryo higaonna became approximately to go back to ryukyu, the master gave him a spear shaft this is cut off. He said to kanryo higaonna, “that is for you. This spear shaft was reduce off once I fought with a tough opponent who changed into superb at sword combating artwork. Despite the fact that my spear become cut off, however i won the struggle. It was my toughest reminiscence. I give you this spear shaft as a souvenir. Hold this well with you.”
(18) whilst kanryo higaonna became going back to ryukyu, grasp to ru ko turned into very old. His eyesight changed into additionally awful. (that is an oral history from sensei eiichi miyazato, one of senior college students of grand master chojun miyagi.)
(19) kanryo higaonna’s karate of naha fashion become created via master to ru ko. He created it by means of combining his kungfu with techniques of numerous patterns.
(20) the prototype of sanchin that kanryo higaonna taught in the early days in okinawa is as follows.1- exceptional from these days’s sanchin, your hands ought to be constantly open arms (= nukite or spear-hand), now not closed fingers or fists.2- you strike with nukite (= spear-hand) in no time and bring back your hand to the basic sanchin position.Three- the sound of respiratory nearly can not be heard. While your nukite is brought back to the simple sanchin role, you make the quick and sharp sound of respiration.4- inside the late days, kanryo higaonna changed the hanging pace of sanchin; changing the very quick putting into the gradual movement.
(21) chojun miyagi went to fuzhou, china on commercial enterprise of tea buying and selling. After returning to okinawa, he asked sensei kanryo higaonna about sanchin in china, “in fuzhou, china, they had been respiratory with the sound ‘haa haa’ or ‘fuu fuu’ like a massive snake roaring once they achieved sanchin. Why do not we have any such respiratory manner?” sensei higaonna responded, “theirs are proper. And ours are real, too.” then again chojun miyagi requested, “in that case, will you train me their breathing manner with the sound?” sensei higaonna responded without delay, “you are too young to analyze it.”
(22) after sensei higaonna exceeded away, chojun miyagi began coaching karate at a commercial faculty in naha. About at that point, he changed sanchin regularly. He modified open arms into closed fingers or fists whilst he struck and pulled lower back. Later he made sounds when he changed into breathing in and respiratory out. In the end he made sanchin of goju-ryu as we’re doing now.
(23) kanryo higaonna become illiterate, so we don’t have any written data by him.
(24) in china, if you want to study kungfu, you need to pay a lot of cash to your kungfu master. Sensei higaonna known as one of these kungfu as hanchinti (= a commercial enterprise karate or a making-cash karate.)
(25) sensei seiko higa said, “sensei kanryo higaonna has mastered such a lot of strategies of kungfu, because he changed into the formal direct disciple, now not an ordinary pupil.”