Sanda Kanagusuku "Ufuchiku" (1841 - 1926).
Kanagusuku was a police commissioner "Ufuchiku" which was also his nickname. Often his style of
kobujutsu is referred to as the 'Ufuchiku Kobujutsu'. He was a student of, Bushi Matsumura and Matsu
Higa. He also acquired much of his weapons knowledge on the streets of Okinawa dealing with
criminals. He was also the bodyguard to the last Okinawan king, Sho Tai. The knowledge that he
passed on was priceless, even in his own time. By the Meiji era, Kanagusuku was relieved of his royal
duties, but, so respected was he, he remained in the office of chief magistrate. However, his martial
knowledge almost never got passed on.
After a long martial career, the great Ufuchiku planned to commit jiha ritual suicide in 1912, after the
death of his "liege lord", Sho Tai. After spending a lifetime collecting and adapting various weapons
from the criminal element, as well as the traditional Okinawan kobujutsu, Kanagusuku was ready to
leave this world without an heir to his legacy. This without the bequeathing of his knowledge to
posterity. Respecting those entreaties, Kanagusuku began teaching a rather rough and
uncompromising individual named Takashiki, as well as giving occasional lessons to members of
well-connected, once-noble families. Later, after realizing that there was so much to pass on, Ufuchiku
took on another full-time student. This man was, in contrast to the gruff Takashiki, an educated
schoolteacher. His name was Kina Shosei (1882-1981) and he would become the successor to
Kanagusuku, as official head.of the "system". Kina studied under both Kanagusuku and Takashiki,
teaching alongside his large and powerful senior for many years.
Kina Shosei (1882 - 1981)
Kina Shosei was born on 5th January in the small village of Shimabuku, Kita Nakagusuku. Kina Sensei
was a school teacher, and apart some Karate training with Itosu and Yabu, his main goal was the study
of Kobujutsu with Ufuchiku Sensei (Sanda Kanagusuku), which he started at the age of 20.
In 1973, he was awarded the 6th Order of Merit by the Emperor and in 1974 he was awarded 1 0th
Dan by the All Okinawa Karate and Kobudo Rengokai. Very humble and a brave man, he saved his
village in Okinawa during World War II.
Kyan Shinei (1912 - 1997)
Kyan Shinei was a student of both Karate and Kobudo. He studied kobudo (principally saijutsu) with
Kina Shosei. A large, strong built man, Kyan Shinei was well-known in Okinawa as an expert of both the
Sai and Bo.
Kyan Shinei was a long-time friend of Nagamine Shoshin. One of the earliest members of
Matsubayashi-Ryu, Kyan Sensei was a Hanshi, 9th Dan, in the art at the time of his death.
Two of the Sai kata practiced in Matsubayashi-Ryu are attributed to him. The basic kata is simply called
Sai Dai Ichi and the more advanced kata is referred to as Kyan No Sai.
In the postwar period, Kyan Shinei worked in the education field and he was best known for his political
career. First elected in 1970, he served five terms in the Japanese National Diet, earning the nickname
Mr. Okinawa. He also saw Karate as a way to good health, longevity and peace. In 1991 he wrote:
Okinawan Karate tells us to pay high respect to the life of our enemy and settle any violence
peacefully without using weapons, which may be used only for protecting ourselves from attack. The
traditional way of self-defense is purely defensive, not offensive.
I am proud of this philosophy of Okinawan Karate.
The early history of Kobudo in Matsubayashi-Ryu is well known to have been influenced by Shinei
Kyan. Kyan sensei is known to be directly responsible for the introduction of two bo katas, Shiromatsu
No Kun and Shirotaro No Kun.
Kyan Shinei died on 16th July 1997.