Among the Okinawan
surname, there are many names that end with Gi, or ι, which means "a castle."
Once in Okinawa, the word was prononced "Gusuku", thus Chojun's surname was
called Miyagusuku then. @ Chojun was born April 25, 1888 at Naha City.@ He was born to
a @ pharmacist who had access to the royal family.@ He was named Matsuu, Ό. @ He,
however, was adopted by his uncle who did not have son for his successor. @ Chojun was
named when he was three years old by the adopted family of Miyagi.
1902, Chojun begun Naha-te practice with Kanryo Higaonna when he was fourteen years of age
for three years.@ In October, 1905,@ Chojun left for China at the same city Higaonna
visited,@ Fuchou in Fukien province.
The purpose for this
trip was to evade the military service tasked by the Japanese government.@ Ever since
the 1868 Reformation, the new Japanese government started to adopt the European
parliamentarism as well as legistrative, administrative Judicial organization.@ The
first national legislation regarding duty of military service became law in Japan in 1873.
@ @ Japan copied the system from the French government.@ According to revised
legislation in 1889, any Japanese male citizen between 17 to 40 years of age were all
subjected for the duty.@@@ The government enforced the law in the prefecure of
Okinawa in 1890.@ In this first visit to the city, Chojun suported himself by making and
selling the bomboo ware like Higaonna did.@@ Chojun sold stretchers made of bomboo
skins called "Mokko" in Japanese.
To defend Chojun for
his act of evasion, author of this site must point out the fact that it was understandable
for Okinawans to be defiant against the Japanese government because they had been the
victims of Japanese invasion.@ Though the Satsuma clan occupied the island in 1609, the
clan never took away of the islander's freedom of associating with the Chinese government
or maintenance of its monarchic government.@ In 1872, the Japanese government decided to
rule the island directly and banned the island from associating with China and disbanded
the king from his authority.@ In 1879, Okinawa became a prefecture of Japan, in which to
islanders had no sense of duty being a Japanese citizens.@ It was common among the
islander youth to leave their home for China when they reached seventeen years of age. @
experienced extremely difficult times living alone in the foreign city.@ Though his
adopted parents@were one of the wealthiest families, it was said that to support Chojun,
the family almost lost of all itsfortune.@ Chojun, in fact, also tried to locate those
instructors of Higaonna at the city but it was unsaccesful.@ Chojun had to came back
home in 1908 and volunteered for military service to fulfil his obligation.
After his military
service, Miyagi went back again to Fuchou city to locate Chinese instructors from 1915 to
1917. @ According to his eldest daughter, Tsuru (currently named Yasu) his attempt was
fruitless because the Chinese were not enthusiastic to cooperate with Chojun for his
effort. @ Fuchou City was also known as a center of underground activists against Manchu
government of Chin, ΄ after the fall of Ming, Ύ in 1664.@ The headquarters of
Ten-Chi organization Vnο was in that city.@ All other revolutionary organizations
fought against their own government of Manchu, including Japanese, and Western government.@
The organization was known for its propagnda of "Defy Ching and Obey Ming"½΄Ύ
or "Destroy Manchu and Reform China"@ Ε»Ώ@ Thus the entire city was
quite hostile against foreign tourists like Chojun.
did in fact encounter with some local Kang Fu schools and studied Fukien version of
Shaolin Chung from time to time though it was not consistant or systematic.
One of the basic
training method in the Goju-Ryu called Sanchin Oν starts with clenched fist, on the
other hand most Sanchin in Fukien Crane used opened hand.@ Chojun added a kata form to
his school naming it Tensho ]Ά of which the opening begins with opened hands.@ It
was possible Chojun wanted to introduce another version of Sanchin that he witnessed in
With his charismatic
personality and devoted commitment to promote the art,@ Chojun succesfully took
leadership in Okinawa for his school that was named Goju-Ryu Karate, meaning Hard and soft
style art of Chinese Hand _¬θ.@ It was Jinan Arazato, V’mΐ, the
oldest student of Chojun who named the style Goju-Ryu.@ It was 1933,@ in Kyoto, Japan,
Arazato represented Chojun and demonstrated Chojun's program at a martial arts events. @
Japanese martial arts experts suggested to him that claim a school name since it was
common for Japanese to present the events identifying their school in the program menu.@
Arazato temporarily used the name for that occasion and reported to Chojun about it.@
Chojun agreed and authorized the name Goju-Ryu and ever since then he used the name for
official events.@ He was the first among the Okinawan Karate leaders who used the school
name for the art.
Higaonna, Chojun was built in large phisique.@ The writer recall his huge hands and
their knuckles when he was played on Chojun's lap at age of five and six years.
The most significant
contribution of Chojun to the art was that he introduced the arts at the public schools
and @ organizations such as the police department and athletic institutions.