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Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid
|First appearance||The Karate Kid|
|Last appearance||The Next Karate Kid|
|Created by||Robert Mark Kamen|
|Portrayed by||Pat Morita (films)
Fumio Demura (fight scenes in films)
Robert Ito (animated series)
|Title||Staff Sergeant (US Army)|
Mr. Miyagi is a fictional karate master played by Japanese-American actor Pat Morita in The Karate Kid films. He is referred to as 宮城成義 (which can be translated as either Shigeyoshi or Nariyoshi Miyagi in Hepburn romanization), as written on a pickup name board in the airport scene in The Karate Kid Part II. However, he is called Keisuke Miyagi (which can be back-translated into a number of Japanese names) at the commendation for Japanese-American soldiers at the start of The Next Karate Kid. He is known as Miyagi Yakuga in the 1989 animated television series. Mr. Miyagi mentors the characters Daniel LaRusso and Julie Pierce in the films. Morita earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the first film.
The Karate Kid screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen stated that Mr. Miyagi was named after Chōjun Miyagi, the founder of Goju Ryu Karate-Do.[not specific enough to verify] Also, the karate style depicted in the movies is the Goju Ryu style.
Keisuke Miyagi learned karate from his father, a fisherman in Okinawa, Japan. Miyagi worked for the richest man in the village, whose son Sato was Miyagi's best friend. In a departure from the local tradition of fathers only teaching karate to their own sons, and at Miyagi's request, Miyagi's father also taught Sato. Miyagi fell in love with Yuki, who was arranged to marry Sato. Dishonoured by their love, Sato challenged Miyagi to a fight to the death. Miyagi chose to emigrate to the United States without Yuki, to avoid fighting Sato.
World War II military service
After first arriving in Los Angeles, he attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and was later interned in the Manzanar Japanese internment camp at the onset of World War II. During this time, Miyagi joined the U.S. Army and received the Medal of Honor (he was a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, historically one of the most highly decorated regiments in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients). While in the Army, he taught his Army commanding officer, Lt. Pierce, the art of karate. During his service, Mrs. Miyagi and their newborn son died in the Manzanar camp due to complications during childbirth, a loss that haunted him for decades. What Miyagi did during the time between the war and the first Karate Kid film is not fully known.
Awards and decorations
Here are the medals and service awards displayed on Staff Sergeant Miyagi's uniform in The Karate Kid. Also in his trunk was the congressional Medal of Honor.
The Karate Kid films
In The Karate Kid Miyagi works as a maintenance man in Daniel's apartment building.
In The Karate Kid Part II Yukie writes to Miyagi, telling him his father is dying. Miyagi and Daniel travel to Okinawa, where Sato tries to goad Miyagi into a fight to restore his honor. After Miyagi saves Sato from a collapsed building during a typhoon, Sato renounces his hate and the two make peace.
In The Next Karate Kid Miyagi mentors the orphaned granddaughter of his former commanding officer and teaches her to dispel her anger through the healing powers of martial arts. He becomes a surrogate father to her.
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Mr. Miyagi has a deep philosophical knowledge of life and has extraordinary martial arts skill. In the second film, Mr. Miyagi explains that he is descended from Shimpo Miyagi, who was very fond of both fishing and sake. One day in 1625 while fishing and very drunk, he passed out on his fishing boat off the coast of Okinawa and ended up on the coast of China. Ten years later, Shimpo returned to Okinawa with his Chinese wife, his two kids, and the secret of Miyagi family karate. This implies that Shimpo Miyagi, like many Okinawan karate masters, was trained in Chinese martial arts during his stay in China. The secret of the Miyagi family karate appears to be a Den-den daiko, on which the drum technique is based. Other aspects of the style involve the crane technique, breathing technique, techniques from the kata Tensho (wax on wax off) and the kata Seiunchin.
Appearance in Reality Fighters
Mr. Miyagi trains the player and is a hidden unlockable fighter in the game Reality Fighters for PS Vita. He wears his trademark outfit, uses a fishing pole as a weapon, repeatedly mentions his bonsai-growing, and makes subtle references to Karate Kid, including the fly-and-chopsticks exercise.
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- "The name "宮城成義 Miyagi" on a pickup name board, held by Chozen Toguchi, in "The Karate Kid Part II" at 25:50". Image posting (Facebook). 2017-08-31.
- "Keisuke - Jisho.org". Retrieved 2017-08-31.
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- The Karate Kid Blu-Ray
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