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Time Line Of Uech Ryu Karate Do

May 5, 1877 Kanbun Uechi; day of birth

Birth of Kanbun Uechi in RyuKyu Domain, Motobu Division, Izumi Village, Daikon Ridge (Okinawa-ken, Kunigami-gun, Motobu-cho, Aza Izumi, Daikon Ridge), eldest son of a samurai family. Izumi, a mountain village on the Motobu Peninsula in northern Okinawa. His father was Kantoku and his mother was Tsuru.

1894 Kanbun Uechi; age 17 years

Sino Japanese War breaks out.

March 1897 Kanbun Uechi; age 19 years, 10 months

Kanbun, with the approval of his parents, flee's to China in order to escape Japanese military conscription. He arrives in Foochow City, Fukien Province in the same month and stays at the RyuKyu-Kan Jueneki (Okinawan Fellowship Hall) temporarily. In early summer he 
joins the Kugusuku Dojo, taught by a Chinese named Kaho Kojo and an Okinawan named Makabe Udun. Soon after, he leaves there and comes under the tutelage of Shushabu (Shushiwa), a teacher of Pan-gai-nun (half hard - half soft) Kenpo. For the next ten years Kanbun immerses himself in the study of Kenpo and Chinese medicine. It was during this time he met Gokenki -- a native of Foochow City and also a master of Fukien Shaolin which specialized in Hakutsuraken (white crane boxing).

Spring 1904 Kanbun Uechi; age 27 years (approximate)

Kanbun receives his certificate of proficiency and becomes assistant instructor at his teachers school.

1906 Kanbun Uechi; age 29 years (approximate) 

Kanbun begins teaching in Fukien Province in the South-western town of Nanching (Japanese: Nansei or Nansoye) about 250 miles from Foochow.

Autumn 1909 Kanbun Uechi; age 32 years

A student of Kanbun kills another man in a dispute over irrigation of the drought stricken rice fields. Kanbun closes his school in Fukien Province.

February 1910 Kanbun Uechi; age 32 years, 9 months

Kanbun returns to Okinawa without incident. He enters the country speaking fluent Chinese, wearing Manchu clothing, and styling his hair in a queque. As such, Kanbun is able to convince Japanese 
officials that he is a Chinese scholar. For the next 17 years he farms at Izumi.

During this interval, Gokenki (Kaku Ch'uan, crane fist master), a Fukien tea merchant sets up temporary residence in Naha (Okinawa's capitol city). Professional acquaintances who hear his 
stories visit Kanbun Uechi. They frequently and earnestly beg Kanbun to teach but meet with denial and obstinate refusals.


May 10, 1910 Kanbun Uechi; age 33 years

Kanbun marries Gozei Toyama.


June 26, 1911 Kanbun Uechi; age 34 years, 1 month

Birth of Kanei Uechi (Uechiryu's 2nd Master) at Izumi, Motobu.  Kanbun and Gozei would bear additional children in the years that followed; a daughter named Tsuru (who died at age 3),   Kame (2nd daughter), Tsuru (3rd daughter; named after the first daughter), and Kansei (2nd son). 

1912 Kanbun Uechi; age 35 (approximate)

Gokenki moves to Okinawa on a permanent basis and opens a tea shop in Naha. He begins to openly make it known that Kanbun is a truly great Karate Master.

1914 Kanbun Uechi; age 37 (approximate)

First World War begins.

1922 Kanbun Uechi; age 45 (approximate)

Birth of 2nd son; Kansei Uechi.

1924 Kanbun Uechi; age 47 (approximate)

Kanbun leaves his family on Okinawa and goes to the industrialized Kansai region on the mainland of Japan in search of stable employment. He arrives in Wakayama-ken, Wakayami-shi, Tebiro-cho.   He finds employment as a janitor in a cotton textile spinning mill (Hinomaru Industrial, Inc.) located at Hinomaru Sangyo Kabushiki Kaishi. Ryuyu Tomoyose (age 24), a young Okinawan who lives next 
door, convinces Kanbun to teach him Kenpo. It is the first time Pan-gai-nun is taught outside of China.

April 1926 Kanbun Uechi; age 48 years, 11 months

In compliance with the strong request of the leaders of the Okinawan Prefecture Association, Kanbun establishes the Shataku (company living quarters) dojo inside the cotton mill compound. Ryuyu 
Tomoyose, Saburo Uehara, and others enter the institute. Kanbun makes Ryuyu Tomoyose his assistant. He teaches 3 kata; Sanchin, Seisan, and Sanseiryu. Also included in the training was body 
conditioning and Chinese medicine.

1927 Kanbun Uechi; age 50 (approximate)

Kanei Uechi (age 16) enters the Shataku dojo. His seniors were Ryuyu Tomoyose, Saburo Uehara, Genmei Uezato, Kaei Akamine, Susamu Tamamura, Yamashiro Kata, and Gichu Matayoshi.

April 1932 Kanbun Uechi; age 54 years, 11 months

Kanbun establishes a dojo at Wakayami-shi, Tebira, Kyo Dori 1-1 (also known as Showa Dori). This is a migrant Okinawan community. Kanbun names the dojo Pan-gai-nun-ryu Karate-jutsu Kenkyu-jo  (Pan-gai-nun Karate Study Hall).

April 1933 Kanbun Uechi; age 55 years, 11 months

Organization of "the Shubukai" by the senior students and creation of the constitution of 6 articles and 5 items. This was in effect until the 1952 revision.

1935 (approximately) Kanbun Uechi; age 57 (approximately)

A formal Dan/Kyu ranking system came into being. Dan ranks were licensed by direct recognition of Kanbun's skilled authorization.Ryuyu Tomoyose and Kanei Uechi were the only two men to receive Dan rank and eventually the title of "Hanshi" personally from Kanbun Uechi. This occurred between 1926 and 1945.

April 1937 Kanbun Uechi; age 59 years, 11 months

Kanbun Uechi awards his son, Kanei Uechi (age 26), the certificate of full proficiency and gives his approval for Kanei to establish a branch dojo Tsurumi Hashi Dori, Nishinari-ku, Osaka (Kansai region).

October 18, 1939 Kanbun Uechi; age 62 years, 5 months

Kanei Uechi (age 26) marries Shige Nahahara from Izumi, Okinawa. World War II begins.  Kanei and Shige would bear 7 children in the years that followed; 4 girls; Takeko, Mitsuko, Tomoko, Keiko, and 3 sons; Hiroaki, Hiromasu, and Hirohumi. 

1940 (early January) Kanbun Uechi; age 62 years, 8 months

Kanei Uechi (age 29) moves and establishes a dojo in his home at Hyogo-ken, Amagasaki-shi. Kotoku Iraha, Soryu Furugen, and Seiki Itokazu are active as a trio of the Hyogo dojo.


January 14, 1940 Kanbun Uechi; age 62 years, 8 months

Ryuyu Tomoyose is licensed as Godan rank.


Autumn 1940 Kanbun Uechi; age 63 years (approximate)

Pan-gai-nun-ryu Karate-jutsu Kenkyu-jo changes its name to the Uechiryu Karate-jutsu Institute and Kanbun Uechi is made the founder and grandmaster of Uechiryu."


January 14, 1941 Kanbun Uechi; age 63 years, 8 months

The Pacific War begins. Kanei (age 30) is promoted to Godan.


May 10,1941 Kanbun Uechi; age 64 years

Hiroaki (or Kamei Uechi), eldest son of Kanei is born.

April 1942 Kanbun Uechi; age 64 years, 11 months

Kanei Uechi (age 31) returns to his native Okinawa and opens a dojo at Miyazato in Nago (this came to be known as Uechiryu Karate-jutsu Research Club at Miyazato village near Nago). Kansei Uechi (Kanei's younger brother of 10 years) and Kohan Toyozato are his pupils. It is the first time Uechiryu is taught in Okinawa.

Later, most of Kanei's students are drafted to World War II. Kanei returns to Nago, Okinawa to look after his family. Kanei entrusts future affairs of the Hyogo dojo to his senior pupils; Kotoku Iraha, Soryu Furugen, and Seiki Itokazu.

1944 Kanbun Uechi; age 67 years (approximate)

Kanei Uechi (age 33), his younger brother Kansei, and most of the students are drafted for duty into the Japanese military service to defend Okinawa. The Nago dojo is closed. Kanei is assigned to the Ie-jima garrison commanded by Major Tadashi Igawa. Kanei was later transferred to Colonel Takahiko Udo's Kunigami ground support unit.


January 1945 Kanbun Uechi; age 67 years, 8 months

Ryuyu Tomoyose was awarded the highest title of "Hanshi" from Kanbun Uechi.


1945 Kanbun Uechi; age 68 years (approximate)

The Pacific War ends. Kanei Uechi returns to Okinawa.

October 1946 Kanbun Uechi; age 69 years, 5 months

Kanbun Uechi returns to his village. His fellow students and travelers are Seiryo and Seiryu Shinjo (father and son). Upon leaving, he places care of his school to Ryuyu Tomoyose. Others return separately. Kanbun Uechi reopens the school his son Kanei began in Nago, Okinawa.

1947 Kanbun Uechi; age 70 years (approximate)

Kansei Uechi (second son, age 25), a member of the Japanese forces that were disarmed by the Russian army in Manchuria returns to Nago after spending 2 years in a Siberian prison camp.

January 1948 Kanbun Uechi; age 70 years, 8 months

Kanbun performs for the Nakijin Village Fireman's Organization. Three days later Kanbun falls ill with Nephritis (a liver disease also known as Bright's disease) making this his last public performance.

November 25, 1948 Kanbun Uechi; age 71 years, 6 months

Kanbun Uechi dies from Nephritis. He was living on Ie-jima Island prior to the time of his death.

April 1949 Kanei Uechi; age 37 years, 10 months

Kanei Uechi establishes the Nodake thatched hut dojo at Ginowan-cho, Aza Nodake 1537 banchi; the Kanzatobaru dojo at Naha is also set up (Mr. Seiki Itokazu from the Hyogo dojo is senior student).  Kanei does this with the help of Ryuoko Tomoyose (son of Ryuyu) in Ginowan-cho. The school is named Uechiryu Karate Kenkyu-jo (Uechi Karate study hall). Ryuko Tomoyose is 20 years old.

June 1955 Kanei Uechi; age 44 years

Kanei Uechi moves and establishes a dojo at Ginowan-cho, Aza Futenma 163 Banchi (tiled roofed).  The dojo was more than 850 square feet.

May 1956 Kanei Uechi; age 44 years, 11 months

The first meeting of the Okinawan KarateDo Renmei (Okinawan Karate Federation) is held in Naha with Uechiryu as a charter member.

Winter 1956 Kanei Uechi; age 45 years (approximate)

George E. Mattson (age 19) begins his approximately one and a half year's tutelage under Ryuko Tomoyose at the latter's home in Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa.

July 1957 Kanei Uechi; age 46 years, 1 month 

Kanei Uechi moves the Kanzatobaru dojo (in Nago) and the tiled roofed dojo to his current residence (Ginowan-cho, Futenma 166 banchi).


December 15, 1963 

His residence is rebuilt into a large ferro-concrete dojo and named "Uechiryu KarateDo."

July 11, 1959 Kanei Uechi; age 48 years, 1 month

Kanei Uechi receives a Master Instructor Certificate and "Hanshi" title in the name of Kanbun Uechi from his senior Hanshi Ryuyu Tomoyose.

December 15, 1963 Kanei Uechi; age 52 years, 6 months

Reconstruction of the school in Futenma is completed and the school is renamed "Soke Shubukan" (style Headquarters).

Winter 1966 Kanei Uechi; age 55 years (approximate)

Kanei Uechi, Ryuko Tomoyose, and other members of the Uechi Karate Association visit Taiwan and meet with Chinese Kenpo experts to discuss the origins of Pan-gai-nun. As a result, it is believed that "Shushabu" is a variant pronunciation (due to differences in dialect) of "Shushiwa," a famed Kenpo teacher from Foochow.

March 19, 1967 Kanei Uechi; age 55 years, 9 months

Kanei Uechi is awarded the rank of Hanshi Judan (10th Dan) by the Zen Nihon KarateDo Renmei (All Japanese KarateDo Federation). He is officially recognized as the Master of Uechiryu KarateDo.

April 11, 1967 Kanei Uechi; age 55 years, 10 months

Kanei Uechi is awarded the rank of Hanshi Judan (10th Dan) by the Zen Okinawan KarateDo Renmei (All Okinawan KarateDo Federation).

August 1967 Kanei Uechi; age 56 years, 2 months

Kanei Uechi and Ryuko Tomoyose visit the United States of America to observe Uechiryu KarateDo.

January 1971 Kanei Uechi; age 59 years, 8 months

Shubukai is renamed "Uechiryu KarateDo Kyokai" (Uechi Karate Association) which becomes an international organization with member schools in the United States, Canada, England, France, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

1974 Kanei Uechi; age 63 years (approximate)

Many distinguished and talented martial artists who built up Uechiryu's first Golden Age were awarded the "Kyoshi" title posthumously at the Uechiryu KarateDo Association's general meeting.  The senior students who were still living received the "Kyoshi" title retroactively to December 3, 1964. As such, December 3, 1964 was the date on which the Uechiryu KarateDo Association first issued the "Kyoshi" title.

May 1975 Kanei Uechi; age 63 years, 11 months

Kanei Uechi assumes office as the president of the "All Okinawan KarateDo Federation."

October 1978 Kanei Uechi; age 67 years, 4 months

Pan-gai-nun-ryu was reformed by a breakaway group of Kanei's disciples headed by Seiko Itokazu and Takashi Kinjo.

April 1984 Kanei Uechi; age 72 years, 10 months

Kanei Uechi, Ryuko Tomoyose, Kansei Uechi, and other members of the Uechi Karate Association visit Foochow City (Fukien Province, China) to retrace Kanbun's life in China and the origins of Uechiryu.

August 1984 Kanei Uechi; age 73 years, 2 months

The same group along with Kanei's wife Shige, eldest son Kanmei, and nephew Hirosada visit the United States to observe Uechiryu in America.

November 1985 Kanei Uechi; age 74 years, 5 months

Kanei Uechi and a number of Okinawan Instructors hosted a winter camp on the island of Okinawa. Over 60 Americans attended this 2 week camp.

February 24, 1991 Kanei Uechi; age 79 years, 8 months

Kanei Uechi dies in Okinawa.


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