Sensei Uematsu Yoshiyuki
A Japanese Renaissance Man
Uematsu Yoshiyuki finishes a drawing of Bodhidharma
for Christopher Caile during Caile's visit to
Kanazawa in May, 1999.
In May of 1999 I visited Japan and stopped off in
Kanazawa to see Joe Swift (see his article on "Throws
in Karate"). I was introduced to Joe's Sensei, Uematsu
Yoshiyuki, 8th dan and Chief Instructor of the Mushinkan
Goju ryu Honbu dojo. He was a delightful, courteous,
most open and humble man who was quiet interesting
too. He not only was well versed in Goju Karate, but
in iaido and the art of polishing and refurbishing
classical Japanese swords. We sat and talked and had
tea in the business office of his dojo attached to
his house. We were surrounded by his collection of
classical Japanese samurai swords, helmets and other
paraphernalia. Topics of conversation ranged far and
wide, and the hours passed among smiles and Joe's
translations back and forth between Japanese and English.
Yoshiyuki had also been a student of Zen for many
years and was an excellent artist. He generously presented
me with the drawing of Bodhidharma seen in this article,
something I prize. It hangs on the wall of my office.
Joe is fortunate to have Yoshiyuki as a teacher.
Yoshiyuki was born on January 1, 1948 in Nagasaki,
Japan. At age 9, he began Zen training at Shofukuji
Temple in Saga Prefecture, where his uncle Mori Goho
was the head priest. His Budo training began the next
year, also under Mori, who taught Shoreiryu Karate
Kobudo as well as classical Japanese martial arts.
He entered the Sojiji Temple in Monzen, Ishikawa Prefecture,
in 1971, and at age 24 opened the Mushinkan Dojo.
He has worked to promote Budo in Ishikawa Prefecture
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Myth or Reality?
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