Shinpan Gusukuma

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Shinpan Gusukuma
Shinpan Gusakuma.gif
Taira Town (Taira-chō), Shuri, Okinawa, Japan
Died1954 (aged 63–64)
Naminoue-gū, Naha, Okinawa, Japan[1][2]
Other namesShinpan Shiroma
Teacher(s)Ankō Itosu
Notable studentsSeiichi Iju[3]

Shinpan Gusukuma (城間 真繁, Shiroma Shinpan, 1890–1954), also known as Shinpan Shiroma by the Japanese, was an Okinawan martial artist who studied Shōrin-ryū karate as a student of Ankō Itosu. Gusukuma also trained under Higaonna Kanryō in the Naha-te style. Gusukuma went on to establish Shitō-ryū with Kenwa Mabuni.[4][5]

Early years[edit]

Gusukuma Shinpan born in 1890 in the town of Taira in Shuri, Okinawa. At the age of thirteen, he began the study of karate with Anko Itosu, and in 1908 he began training with Kanryo Higaonna, along with Kenwa Mabuni. In 1909 at the age of eighteen, Shipan was inducted into the Japanese Navy. He became a school teacher by profession and worked as a professor in the Shuri Dai Ichi Elementary School where he also taught karate. He was also known for his skills as an acupuncturist and taught the art.[6]

Shinpan began teaching Shorin-ryu shortly after World War II and was associated with Miyagi Chojun, Kyoda Jyuhatsu and Kyan Chotoku. He taught regularly at Shuri Castle and had a dojo at his home in Nishihara City.[7]

On Okinawa, there were two branches of Shito-Ryu, one founded by Shinpan Shiroma and the other by Kenwa Mabuni.[8] Because he continued to maintain schools only in Okinawa, Shinpan created the only known Okinawan branch of Shitō-ryū. He established an organization called the Shinpan Shiroma Shito-ryu Preservation Society to assist with his teaching and served as president.[9]

Final years[edit]

Shinpan suffered during the Battle of Okinawa and lost many of his students, but after World War II, he reopened his dojo in Shuri.

Shinpan died in 1954 at the age of 64. He taught class and trained for two hours on the day of his death, ate a light dinner and went to bed early. Three hours later his wife found that he had died in his sleep.[10] His student Horoku Ishikawa continued his branch of Shito-ryu.