Yoshiaki tsujikawa

Yoshiaki tsujikawa

Yoshiaki tsujikawaBorn in Chuo-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo, Japan on February 10, 1916, Tsujikawa Yoshiaki Hanshi graduated from Daisan Shinko Municipal Commercial School and Kansai Acupuncture and Moxa cautery and Jusei College. Tsujikawa Hanshi actually first began studying Karate-do in January 1934 from a book written by the famous “Father of Modern Karate-do, Gichin Funakoshi“.

In July, 1935 Tsujikawa sensei joined the “Dai Nippon Karate-do Kai” Hyogo Branch which was under the direction of Nishikawa Eiji at the time. During 1936 Tsujikawa Yoshiaki sensei joined the head office of the Dai Nippon Karate-do Kai and began receiving instruction directly from Master Mabuni Kenwa, founder of Shito-ryu Karate-do.

Early school picture of Tsujikawa sensei
Early school picture of Tsujikawa sensei

Tsujikawa sensei recalls fondly the days of training at the Dai Nippon Karate-do Kai under Master Mabuni Kenwa. He remembers during 1937 Master Mabuni with his gentle look, sitting in front flanked by Takemasa Tomoyori and Yoshikatsu Hase. The practice at the time he recalls comprised mostly of kata and kumite (with fixed offence and defense sides). Free sparring or jiu-kumite was only used on special occasions. The training was rough and hard. Punches (tsuki) and kicks (keri) were actually made without stopping, and throws (nage) and take-downs (gyaku) were also used. The Karate-gi (uniform) was not like what is used today Tsujikawa sensei recalls. They would use Kendo’s quilted jackets and Judo’s trousers. Quite often during the hard training, the uniforms used to be torn off. Tsujikawa sensei remembers the lessons of Master Mabuni were very severe, unlike the gentler style later on.

From left Master Mabuni, unknown, Yoshiaki Tsujikawa.
From left Master Mabuni, unknown, Yoshiaki Tsujikawa.

Throughout the turmoil of the post-war era, Master Mabuni, though contending with poverty, endeavoured to contribute to the reconstruction of Japan by the spreading of karate-do, and devoting his life to the promotion of Shito-ryu Karate-do.

During 1938, Yoshiaki Tsujikawa sensei became the leader of the Dai Nippon Karate-do Kai, Hyogo Branch. By 1941, Tsujikawa sensei established his Kobukan dojo for the purpose of cultivating leaders for Karate-do. In April 1950, he changed the name of his dojo from Kobukan to Yoshinkan.

In August 1974, Tsujikawa sensei received a “Person of Merit for Sports” award from the Hyogo Sports Association; January 1985, received a “Person of Merit for Budo” award from the Japanese Budo Association; October 1988, received a “Person of Merit for Sports in Kobe” award from the Mayor Of Kobe.

Tsijikawa Sensei recall the days with Master Kenwa Mabuni

From left to right,Master Chojiro Tani, Master Mabuni, Master Tsujikawa.
From left to right,Master Chojiro Tani, Master Mabuni, Master Tsujikawa.

AS I recall the days of training at the arena of dai Nippon Karatedo Kai, around 1937, I remember master Kanwa Mabuni, with his gentle look, sitting in the front flanked by Takamasa Tomoyori and Yoshikatsu Hase.

The practice at that time comprised mostly the basic forms together with kumite with fixing the offense and defense sides. Free kumite was only used in special occasions. The training was rough and hard. Tsuki and Keri were actually made without stopping, and nage and gyaku was much employed too. The karate suit was not smart like today. We used Kendo’s quilted jacket and Judo’s trousers. During the hard training, the cloths used to torn of quite often. The lessons of master Mabuni were very severe, unlike the gentler style later on.

Throughout the turmoil of the post-war-era, master Mabuni though contending with poverty, endeavored to contribute to the reconstruction of Japan through the diffusion of karatedo, devoting himself to the promotion of Shitoryu Karatedo.

Sadly, he passed away suddenly on May 23, 1952, before he could realize his aspirations. I vividly remember how we all, pupils of master Mabuni, pledged to carry on our master’s wishes to realization.