This week in history (9 August – 15 August)

9 August

On 9 August 1945, the United States of America dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki. This was three days after they dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima. Hiroshi Shirai and his family survived the dropping of the bomb.


On 9 August 1975, the film ‘Karate Bullfighter‘ was released in Japan. The film, the first in the trilogy of films was based on the life of Mas Oyama. Sonny Chiba played the role of his teacher, Oyama. Later that year, on 27 December, the second film, ‘Karate Bearfighter‘ was released in Japan. The final film in the trilogy, ‘Karate for Life‘, was released on 14 May 1977.


14 August

On 14 August 1934, the founder of American Goju-Ryu Karate, Peter George Urban, was born in Jersey City, USA.

Serving in the US Navy Urban was stationed in Yokohama, Japan. In 1953 he began studying Karate as a student of Richard Kim. In 1954 he was transferred to Tokyo. There he was introduced by Kim to Mas Oyama and Gogen Yamaguchi and was allowed to train with them.


On 14 August 1945 William ‘Billy’ Higgins, a member of the first non-Japanese team to win the World team kumite title in 1975, was born in Bootle, England. A phenomenal fighter famed for his lightning-fast techniques, Higgins enjoyed a long and distinguished competitive career at a domestic and international level. He is the winner of multiple European and World titles.


On 14 August 1960, the second British Karate Federation (BKF) Summer School was held at the Imperial Private Hotel in Scarborough, England.

The ten-day residential course started on Sunday the 14th and finished on Thursday the 25th. Tetsuji Murakami was the instructor of the course and was assisted by Vernon Bell. Attendees were graded on the final day of the course.


On 14 August 2013, Kiyoshi Yamazaki was honoured at a lunch for the 2013 Nisei Week Pioneers.

The 73rd Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival was held in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. The festival was a celebration of Japanese American culture and history. The other people honoured at the lunch were Fumio Demura, Chogi Higa, Takayuki Kubota, Nori Ugematsu, and Yoshiko Yamaguchi.


15 August

On 15 August 2006, Shotokan master, Tetsuhiko Asai, died from heart failure aged 71 years.


On 15 August 2013, Tomiko Mitsuoka was awarded her 8th Dan. This made her one of the highest graded women in the Shotokan Karate world.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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