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Kyan Shinei (1914-1997)

Kyan Shinei was a student of both Karate and Kobudo. He studied kobudo (principally saijutsu) with Kina Shosei. A large, strong built man, Kyan Shinei was well-known in Okinawa as an expert of both the Sai and Bo.

Kyan Shinei was a long-time friend of Nagamine Shoshin. One of the earliest members of Matsubayashi-Ryu, Kyan Sensei was a Hanshi, 9th Dan, in the art at the time of his death.

Two of the Sai kata practiced in Matsubayashi-Ryu are attributed to him. The basic kata is simply called Sai Dai Ichi and the more advanced kata is referred to as Kyan No Sai.

In the postwar period, Kyan Shinei worked in the education field and he was best known for his political career. First elected in 1970, he served five terms in the Japanese National Diet, earning the nickname Mr. Okinawa. He also saw Karate as a way to good health, longevity and peace. In 1991 he wrote:

Okinawan Karate tells us to pay high respect to the life of our enemy and settle any violence peacefully without using weapons, which may be used only for protecting ourselves from attack. The traditional way of self-defense is purely defensive, not offensive.

I am proud of this philosophy of Okinawan Karate.

Kyan Shinei died on 16th July 1997.