Mississippi Isshinryu Karate
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Shishi-no-kun 添石の棍

     This kata was quite difficult to trace the origins of. The kanji (Sino-Japanese ideogram) for this kata in Isshinryu are usually written in a manner that is very similar to the name for a separate bojutsu tradition called Shushi no Kon. However, upon witnessing these two kata being performed, one can immediately see that they are two different kata.
In Matayoshi Kobudo there appears a kata named Shishi no Kon. However, the form is quite different from Isshinryu's Shishi no Kon, and the kanji for the Matayoshi kata are the same as the kata that in the Taira lineage this is pronounced Soeishi no Kon (Matayoshi, 1996).

Observing this, this author immediately looked up the kata Soeishi no Kon in Inoue's series. The similarities are striking. Upon further investigation, it was found that Shishi is the Okinawan pronunciation of the kanji. Based upon these observations, this author concluded that the Shishi no Kon no Dai of Shimabuku Tatsuo is based upon the Soeishi no Kon Dai of Taira. As with Chatan Yara no Sai, Taira learned this kata from Kamiya Jinsei. As with the other Taira-based kata within the Isshinryu Kobudo curriculum, it is unclear whether Shimabuku or Taira made these changes, or if it was a collaborative effort.

This kata is named after the Soeishi family, who, according to Miyagi (1987) were the instructors to the King. The kata itself, again according to Miyagi (1987) uses the bo in a horizontal manner, different from other cudgel traditions. According to Nakamoto (1983), this kata, along with the previously mentioned Shushi no Kon, as well as Choun no Kon, are said to have been developed by a certain Soeishi Sensei, who was a high ranking lord in Shuri.

*from The Kobudo of Shimabuku Tatsuo by Joe Swift, 1998


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