Association : Who we are and what's in a name?
sensei first went to Okinawa and was permitted to take
classes at Onaga sensei's dojo in 1989/90, his dojo was barely a year old and it
was registered with the Zen Okinawa Karate Do Renmei as "Shorin-Ryu Onaga Karate
Dojo". Sensei had every intention of eventually buying or building a place that
he would call the Shinjinbukan, but until that time came he would simply hang
the dojo kun from where the name Shinjinbukan is derived and few people knew
what he intended to call the school.
Kogan sensei's return to Canada after his second year in Okinawa, he opened a dojo in Vancouver
BC. There were no other dojo outside Okinawa other than the one in Argentina
under the direction of Miguel Ramos, who was using the name "Onaga Karate dojo".
Kogan sensei used no
school name and simply called what he did "Shorin-ryu". Since the dojo was a
private closed door dojo, not having a name didn't matter. When Onaga sensei
visited Vancouver in '96, Kogan sensei had just opened a public dojo in Kitsilano, a
neighbourhood of Vancouver. After a discussion with Onaga sensei as to what would be an appropriate
name for the dojo, Onaga sensei encouraged Kogan sensei to use the name Shinjinbukan as
that was what he intended to eventually name his school.
The Shinjinbukan Canada
dojo was formally opened. Over the years Miguel Ramos in Argentina, Jimmy Mora
in the USA, and Yoshihiko Shinzato in Peru each adopted the name to a greater or
2001 many things changed, Kogan sensei no longer lived in Canada, his dojo was
now just outside of Seattle Washington, two of his senior students were on opposite sides
of the country each running a dojo and the Kitsilano dojo was still going
strong. Calling ourselves "Shinjinbukan Canada" seemed inappropriate, we'd
crossed the 49th parallel and had dojo in multiple locations. As a result our
group adopted the name Kokusai Shinjinbukan, with each dojo using the
name of the town or neighbourhood it's located in.
Since we started using this name
Kokusai Shinjinbukan, the question has been asked whether we have have broken away from the Shinjinbukan Hombu,
absolutely not!! In fact, once again just like when the Kitsilano dojo adopted
the Shinjinbukan name before any other dojo, we had taken the name in trust, so
to speak. Onaga sensei and Kogan sensei had discussed the eventual repurposing of the
"Kokusai Shinjinbukan" name to include all students outside of Okinawa.
that day arrived, it was a convenient label for a small group of students
following Onaga sensei's path.
2007, at Kogan sensei's dojo outside Seattle, with all but one of Onaga sensei's overseas deshi
present, as well as others, Onaga sensei established the Kokusai Shinjinbukan as
well as the Shinjinbukai.