Hawaii Karate Seinenkai
The Hawaii Karate Seinenkai Salutes:
Chinyei Kinjo
December 21, 1899 to 1987

Chinyei Kinjo (also sometimes known as Chinei Kinjo or Chin'ei Kinjo) was born on December 21, 1899, in Naha, Okinawa, just 16 days after his father, Chinzen Kinjo, had left Okinawa for Hawaii. Chinzen Kinjo was one of the original 26 Okinawan immigrants to Hawaii (the 27th member of the group failed the physical examination in Honolulu and was sent back to Japan).

Kinjo grew up in Naha and graduated from the Naha Shogyo Kozo Gakko (Naha High School), where he studied Goju Ryu under Chojun Miyagi. After graduating, his father called him over to Hawaii. At his father's urging, he intially worked at a sugar cane plantation, but after a few months, quit that job (plantations were not longer allowed to require their workers to enter into long term contracts) and enrolled at Iolani High School. During that time, he also worked at the Young Hotel Bakery. Later, he worked for a bank in Honolulu. Then, in April 1926, he became the editor of the Yoen Jiho Sha, a Japanese language newspaper located in Koloa, Kauai, but also read on Oahu and other islands. It was the major Okinawan newspaper of the time. The two major Japanese language newspapers in Honolulu, The Hawaii Hochi and The Nippu Jiji, were Japanese owned.

The Yoen Jiho Sha had began publication in February 1921, as the Koloa Times (Koloa is a small town on Kauai). Its first pulisher was Hiroshi Suzuki, who was followed by Ginjiro Arashiro and Yoshio Oyadamari. Kinjo was its fourth editor and would remain at that post until the newspaper closed in 1970 (his tenure was only interupted during World War II when he was interned in Santa Fe, California -- note: many Japanese publishers, teachers and clergymen were so interned). As the editor of the main Okinawan newpaper in Hawaii, he had an unique opportunity to promote Okinawan news and culture.

Chinyei Kinjo (left) with Seichu Yamashiro and
Seisho Tokunaga. Chojun Miyagi is seated.
Photo courtesy of the family of Chinyei Kinjo.

In this capacity, he sponsored the 1934 visit of Naha-Te expert and Goju-Ryu founder, Chojun Miyagi, to Hawaii. See Chojun Miyagi's 1934 Visit to Hawaii, by Charles C. Goodin. Dragon Times, Volume 17, 2000. See Dragon Times Online. Miyagi was Kinjo's instructor at the Naha Shogyo Kozo Gakko. Miyagi intially visited Oahu but spent the bulk of his visit on Kauai with Kinjo.

Kinjo would have also been at the Yoen Jiho Sha when Kentsu Yabu visited Kaui in 1927. However, the newspaper was not archived until 1941. Thus, we do not have access to microfilm of the Yoen Jiho Sha articles about either Yabu or Miyagi. Fortunatley, Karate researcher Bruce A. Haines interviewed Kinjo about Miyagi's visit and received English translations of some of the articles that had appeared. Haines is the author of Karate's History and Traditions, Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1968, and Karate and Its Development in Hawaii to 1959, University of Hawaii, 1962.

Kinjo also promoted Judo (Ju Jutsu), which was practiced at the Yoen Jiho Sha property in Koloa. One of the well known Judo instructors at this club, was Bigboy Oyasato.

After the war, Kinjo eventually relocated the Yoen John Sha to Honolulu. In March and April, 1959, he published several articles about the return of Mitsugi Kobayashi from Okinawa. Kobayashi has studied Goju-Ryu under Seko Higa, a student of Kanryo Higashionna (Chojun Miyagi's teacher). The Yoen Jiho Sha sponsored a Karate demonstration in Honolulu in late April 1959, featuring Kobayashi and other local Goju-Ryu instructors. It is reported that Watoku Higa assisted with this demonstration.

Through his position as the editor of the Yoen Jiho Sha, Chinyei Kinjo had a unique overview of more that 60 years of the history of the Okinawan community in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Karate Seinenkai respectfully salutes Chinyei Kinjo, an educated man who used his position as the editor of the Yoen Jiho Sha to promote the Okinawan art of Karate, particularly the Goju-Ryu form, in Hawaii.

The spirit of Karate is the Aloha spirit

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