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Matsumora Kosaku
1829-1898

Matsumora Kosaku

Matsumora Kosaku

     Matsumora Chikudon Peichin Kosaku was a prominent bushi from the west side of Tomari village. His family were indirect descendents of the first Sho king. As a boy, he studied Chinese classics and Confucianism at the Tomari School for young men from families of position. Matsumora was short in height, but his wide shoulders and massive chest revealed a muscular body.

Matsumora studied Karatedo from Uku Giko for 3 years, emphasis was on developing a strong foundation while learning to use his legs for mobility and hips to generate power. Master Uku taught Matsumora three Kata known in Tomari as Naihanchi.

Matsumora then studied with Teruya Kishin. He learned the Katas Passai and Wanshu from this great master. Master Teruya was so impressed with this young bushi that he invited Matsumora to continue his training at the family tomb. This was the greatest honour that the young man could receive, because at this time the study of Karate was still practiced in total secrecy, and very late a night. Being caught at practice meant certain death.

It was at the family tomb that Teruya revealed bunkai or application training to Matsumora so that he could understand the deeper meaning of the kata movements and the practical application of the moves.

When Matsumora was in his early 20's, he successfully defended himself and several townspeople against a Satsuma swordsman. Matsumora disarmed the swordsman and threw the sword in the river, losing only his little finger in the encounter. Losing one's sword in battle was, for any samurai, a loss of spirit. However for a samurai of the fierce Satsuma clan to lose his sword to an Okinawan was an unimaginable disgrace.

Losing a finger however made Matsumora a marked man. Fortunately, the whole town of Tomari came to his rescue by hiding his were-abouts from the retaliating government officials. Matsumora went into hiding/seclusion in the Nago area.

Matsumora was also a master of Bo-jutsu, the study of the 6 foot wooden staff, and Jo-jutsu the 4 foot stick, despite his "handicap".

Matsumora Kosaku is well remembered for fighting injustices brought on all Okinawan's by the Meiji Government. He is credited with saving the Neewagumuchi, an Endowment to the people of Tomari from the scavenging officials.

His relentless battles against injustices during the Japanese take-over earned him the name "Fist Saint".

*from http://www.itosu-kai.com

 

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