5 June 1885|
Tottori-cho, Shuri, Okinawa, Japan
|Died||26 February 1969
|Rank||Hanshi, 10th Dan|
|Notable students||Arakaki Ankichi, Katsuya Miyahira, Shūgorō Nakazato, Nakama Chozo, Yuchoku Higa|
Chōshin Chibana (知花 朝信 Chibana Chōshin?, 5 June 1885 – 26 February 1969) was an Okinawan martial artist who developed Shorin-ryū karate based on what he had learned from Ankō Itosu. He was the last of the pre-World War karate masters, also called the "Last Warrior of Shuri" He was the first to establish a Japanese ryu name for an Okinawan karate style, calling Itosu's karate "Shorin-Ryu" (or "the small forest style") in 1928.
Chibana Choshin was born as the second son of Chibana Chohaku and wife Nabi on 5 June 1885. The family held a distinguished history and resided in Okinawa's Shuri Tori-Hori village (presently Naha City, Shuri Tori-Hori Town). His family traced their lineage from a branch of the Katsuren Court and Choharu, Prince of Kochinta, fifth son of King Shoshitsu (Tei), but lost their titles and status after Mutsuhito, the Meiji Emperor, banned the caste system in Japan. To support themselves, the family turned to sake brewing.
Choshin began his study of martial arts under Ankō Itosu in 1899 when he was about fifteen years old. He applied and was accepted as a suitable candidate for instruction, and for thirteen years until he turned 28, Choshin trained under Itosu. When Itosu died at the age of 85, he continued to practice alone for five years, and then opened his first dojo in Tori-hori district at the age of 34. He later opened a second dojo in Kumojo district of Naha City.
During the World War II Battle of Okinawa, Chibana lost his family, his livelihood, his dojo, a number of students, and nearly his life. He fled the war, but afterward returned to Shuri from Chinen Village and began teaching again. He first taught in the Gibo area, and then at ten other sites in the Yamakawa[disambiguation needed] district of Shuri and Naha, eventually relocating his main headquarters (hombu dojo) from Asato to Mihara[disambiguation needed].
From February 1954 to December 1958, Chibana served as Karate Advisor and Senior Instructor for the Shuri Police Precinct. In May 1956, the Okinawa Karate Federation was formed and he assumed office as its first President. Chibana was associated with Chotoku Kyan, with whom he performed karate demonstrations to promote Shorin-Ryu style of karate.
By 1957, Chibana had received the title of Hanshi (High Master) from the Dai Nippon Butokukai (The Greater Japan Martial Virtue Association). In 1960, he received the First Sports Award from the Okinawa Times Newspaper for his overall accomplishments in the study and practice of traditional Okinawan Karate-do. On April 29, 1968, was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, 4th Class, by the Emperor of Japan in recognition of his devotion to the study and practice of Okinawan karate-do.
In 1964, Chibana learned that he had terminal throat cancer, but he continued to teach students in his dojo. In 1966 he was admitted into Tokyo's Cancer Research Center for radiation treatment and after some improvement, Chibana once again resumed teaching with the assistance of his grandson, Nakazato Akira (Shorin-ryu 7-Dan). By the end of 1968, Chibana-sensei's condition worsened and he returned to Ohama Hospital and died at 6:40 a.m. on the 26 February 1969, aged 83.
- Lineage, reihokan.com; accessed 17 July 2014.
- "Dipping My Toe in the Water", chibanaproject.blogspot.com, 1 January 2006; accessed 14 January 2006.
- Sells, John. Unante, W.M. Hawley, 2nd edition (2000). p. 106; ISBN 0-910704-96-1
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- Garrett, Terry. "Interview with Patrick Nakata, a student of Chosin Chibana", chibanaproject.blogspot.com; 1 January 2006; accessed 14 January 2006.
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- Bishop, Mark. Okinawan Karate, Second Edition, Tuttle Publishing, p. 74, ISBN 0-8048-3205-6
- Estrada, Ernest. "Chosin Chibana - Sensei". Ihadojo.com. Retrieved 19 July 2010.