This week in history…(25 September – 1 October)

25 September

On 25 September 2016, Miki Nakamachi competed at the 59th JKA All Japan Karate Championships. She normally performed the kata Gojushiho Sho in competition. However, in honour of her son, Hugo, she decided to perform the kata Unsu. Meaning ‘Cloud Hands’, she saw Unsu as representing her son’s little hands in the clouds. Hugo had died two days after being born, from a medical complication.

She was very happy with her sixth-place finish. She wasn’t interested in winning the event.

26 September

On 26 September 1969, The 1st All Japan Open Karate Tournament took place at the Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo. A full-contact competition, the tournament was open to martial artists from other styles. Both Terutomo Yamazaki and Yoshiji Soeno made it to the final, where Yamazaki won the title.

27 September

On 27 September 1946, Shito-Ryu master, Yoshimi Inoue was born in the small coastal village of Tottori, Japan.

There were no martial arts available to Inoue as a youngster. In 1961 he bought a Karate book written by Teruo Hayashi from which he started to teach himself.

On 27 September 1985, the 28th JKA All-Japan Championships took place at the Budokan in Tokyo. Masao Kagawa became the Grand Champion, winning both the Individual Kata and Individual Kumite events. The previous year he had been runner-up in both events.

On 27 September 1987, the 30th JKA All Japan Karate Championships were held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. This was the first All Japan Championships held after Nakayama’s death. Minoru Kawawada finished ahead of Tomoyuki Aihara and Yuji Hashiguchi, to claim the kata title. By finishing in joint third place with Tomio Imamura, behind Masaaki Yokomichi, and Katsutoshi Shiina in the kumite event, he was named Grand Champion.

28 September

On 28 September 1897, Shinkin Gima was born in Shuri, Okinawa. On Okinawa, he studied under both Yasutsune Itosu and Kentsu Yabu before attending university in Tokyo.

In 1922 he met and began training with Gichin Funakoshi. He was Funakoshi’s first black belt and would eventually reach the rank of 10th Dan.

On 28 September 1985, the Shoto World Cup took place at the Budokan in Tokyo. Japanese competitors won every medal on offer. Minoru Kawawada became Grand Champion after winning both the Individual Kata and Kumite titles.

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