Miyagi (1888-1953) is the founder of today's Goju-Ryu
karate-do; he was responsible for taking Naha-te
and formulating it into a system.
Miyagi was Kanryo
most talented and chosen pupil. Miyagi
came from a rich family of high esteem, shipowners
who imported -amongst others- medicines from China
and supplied these to the royal family, the government
and business houses. To prepare him for his future
task to lead the family, when only eleven years
old Chojun was brought to Ryuko
i (1875-1961), who on his terms
sent him at the age of fourteen to Kanryo Higaonna.
Here Chojun Miyagi, together with Juhatsu Kyoda
(1887-1967), was tutored thoroughly in Higaonna's
After the death of Higaonna the well-off Miyagi,
who occupied himself full-time with the study of
martial arts, planned a trip to Fuzhou, the mecca
of South-Chinese fighting arts (Nan Quan), to visit
the birthplace of Kanryo Higaonna's Naha-te and
to pay his respects to Ryu Ryu Ko's grave. For two
months Chojun Miyagi together with Aisho Nakamoto
(1881-1945) stayed in Fuzhou to train and they also
visited the Julianshan Fujian Shaolin Temple.
Back on Okinawa he became friends with two tea-merchants
from Fuzhou Wu Xianhui (Jap. Go Kenki) and Tang
Daiji (Jap. To Daiki, both of them where famous
martial arts teachers. Wu Xianhui (1886-1940) came
to Naha in 1912 to teach White Crane boxing and
made friends with amongst others Juhatsu Kiyoda,
Chojun Miyagi and Kenwa
Together with Wu Xianhui, Chojun Miyagi left to
visit Fuzhou again at the end of the twenties. Apart
from Wu Xianhui who emigrated from Fuzhou to Naha
in 1912, Miyagi had as already stated a good relationship
with Tang Daiji (1887-1937) a Tiger Boxing (Hu Quan)
master who also emigrated from Fuzhou to Naha. Introduced
by Wu Xianshui, Miyagi met in February 1936 in Shanghai
the famous Monk Fist (Luohan Quan) master Miao Xing
(1881-1939). Miyagi is said to have trained for
some time diligently with Miao Xing and other Chinese
masters associated with the Jingwu Athletic Association.
He also visited the national martial arts championships.
Miyagi dedicated his whole life to the development
of what was called 'toudijutsu' (China hand art)
or simply 'te' on Okinawa. In 1921 crown-prince
Hirohito visited Okinawa before travelling to Europe.
Due to his visit Shuri-te as well as Naha-te (by
Chojun Miyagi) was demonstrated.
In 1925 Miyagi demonstrated for prince Chichibu-Nomiya
and shortly after, in 1926, he founded the Okinawa
Karate Kenkyu-Kai (Okinawa Karate Research Club)
together with Chomo
(Tomari-te) and Kenwa
. One year later, Chojun Miyagi demonstrated
to Jigoro Kano, grappling, locking and throwing
techniques and the correct use of breathing. Kano
was very impressed by this toudijutsu and introduced
Miyagi, accompanied by his friend Mabuni in Japan.
At the end of the twenties and the beginning of
the thirties, Miyagi, together with his -at that
time- top student Jinan Shinzato (1901-1945), gave
seminars and demonstrations at Japanese universities,
Budo-tournaments and at the crowning festivities
of crown-prince Hirohito.
In 1933 Chojun Miyagi registered 'toudi' officially
as Goju-Ryu at the Japanese regulating Budo-institution,
the prestigious Dai Nippon Butokukai, the All Japan
Martial Arts Association.
Later on Miyagi was distinguished by the Ministry
of Physical Education, receiving the highest honour
of the Dai Nippon Butokukai and was appointed representative
of the Butokukai department for Okinawa.
Thus Goju-Ryu karate-do -the name derived from the
Bubishi- was the first and eldest karate-tradition
recognised by the Dai Nippon Butokukai; its founder,
Chojun Miyagi, acquired an outstanding position
May 1934, Chojun Miyagi travelled on invitation
to Hawaii where he taught and gave demonstrations
until February 1935. His teachings for that matter
were referred to as kempo karate.
On the 25th of October 1936 the most outstanding
Okinawa-masters (Chomo Hanashiro , Chotoku Kyan,
Choki Motobu, Chosin Chibana, Juhatsu Kiyoda and
Chojun Miyagi) assembled and changed the name toudijutsu