O Sensei Shoshin Nagamine
I was born in Tomari-son, Naha City on July 15 1907, of my father, Shoho and my mother Gozei. Though my physique was rather small, I was active and aggressive as any other healthy boys in my preschool days. Completing the compulsory education of primary school in March 1923, I entered Naha City-run 5-year Commercial School. However, when I was second-year student of the school, I suffered from a gastroenteric disorder and given a medication for some time. But, because of inefficacy of the medication, I had to resort to a diet, while practicing Karate at the backyard of neighbor friend, Mr. Chojin Kuba. It was in 1926 and I was 17 years of age.
Though the hard work both at school and training of Karate, I succeeded in recovering from illness, making me quite confident of good health. When I reached the senior year, I had a chance to participate, as a leader of Karate Club, in an annual martial arts of Kendo and Karate among various schools. In those days, I began, earnestly, work out every night at the ground of Tomari Primary School, under the guidance of old master, Mr. Kotatsu Iha.
After graduation in March, 1928, I started a full-scale practice, becoming the disciple of Mr. Taro Shimabokuro of Shuri City, who was senior of me by one year. It was my daily task to cover 8 km road between Shuri and Naha on foot to master the art of Karate. Thanks to the warmhearted encouragement of brother Taro, a hope was aroused in me, was enamored with the charm of martial art, and thus my appetite for Karate surpassed that of eating. Under the guidance of another Sensei, Ankichi Arakaki, I made further progress in the skills of Karate. Recovery of health was complete then, I was 162 cm tall with marvelously developed physique.
In 1928, I was examined for conscription, and passed it as class 'A' infantryman, and assigned to the 47th Infantry Division stationed in Oita Prefecture, Japan. In April of the same year, I was dispatched to skirmishes in Sainan, China, and in July next year, returned to Okinawa after an honorable discharge from the military service.
Thinking about my future profession in which I may be able to utilize the skills of Karate, I decided it was policeman. And, in 1931, I was appointed a policeman of Okinawa Prefecture. The notion that I should scientifically study Okinawa Karate which, had never been systematically analyzed in the past, and the wishes for cultivating and training of body and mind could never get out of my mind.
My Training With Kyan Sensei
During my first assignment days at Kadena Police Station, from December 1931 through August 1936, I was deeply influenced by direct guidance of most famous Sensei, Mr. Chotoku Kyan who became my second teacher. In April 1936, I was sent to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, as a trainee policeman, and, during a six-month period I had a chance to receive some advice about peculiar Kumite movements from then celebrated master of Karate, Mr. Choki Motobu in Hongo ward, Tokyo. After returning to Okinawa, I continued to serve as a policeman of Okinawa Prefectural Police force.