Hawaii Karate Seinenkai
The Hawaii Karate Seinenkai Salutes:
Kenneth Murakami
1932 - 1992

Kenneth Kazuto Murakami was born and raised in Papaaloa on the Big Island (Hawaii). He joined the Air Force in 1951 and was stationed in Japan. He studied Goju-Ryu under Kanki Izumigawa at the Senbukan Dojo in Kawasaki City in Kanagawa Prefecture. George Miyasaki also trained with Izumigawa at the same time.

Izumigawa had studied under Seko Higa. Higa had studied under Kanryo Higashionna (of Naha-Te) and trained with Chojun Miyagi (the founder of Goju-Ryu). Higa's senior student in Hawaii was Mitsugi Kobayashi.

When he returned to Hawaii, Murakami taught Karate at several locations: his aunt's garage, the old Jikoen Temple, the Daijingu Temple, and the Aiea Hongwanji. George Miyasaki also taught with Murakami. Tomu Arakawa trained with them in these early days. Another of their students was Karate researcher Bruce Haines.

Front row: Kyoichi Koike & Kanki Izumigawa. Back row:
Kenneth Murakami, unknown, George Miyasaki, unknown.

In 1961, Murakami sponsored the visit of Izumigawa to Hawaii. Izumigawa, 10th dan, was accompanied by Kyoichi Koike, 4th dan. The pair arrived in September and stayed for about three months. On October 20th, Izumigawa, Koike and students from Murakami's dojo, gave a demonstration at McKinley High School. This event also marked the third anniversary of the founding of the Goju-Ryu Hawaii Senbukan.


Early members of the Hawaii Karate Congress. Front: Jimmy Miyaji,
Kenneth Murakami, Robert Igarashi, Winfred Ho. Back: Mitsugi
Kobayashi, unknown, unknown, Walter Nishioka, Carlton Shimomi.

Murakami was one of the founding members of the Hawaii Karate Congress. Hirokazu Kanazawa was the President and Carlton Shimomi was the Vice President. On November 5th, the Hawaii Karate Congress gave an Exhibition at the Civic Auditorium. The senior sensei from Japan who participated in the Exhibition included Izumigawa, Hidetaka Nishiyama, Kanazawa and Koike.

In 1977, Murakami joined the International Zen Dojo in Kalihi Valley where budo and Zen are taught as one. He also taught "ki" classes for senior citizens at Moanalua, Waipahu and Halawa. Murakami was the senior Karate instructor at the International Zen Dojo until his death in 1992.

The Hawaii Karate Seinenkai salutes Kenneth Murakami and his dedication to the promotion of Karate and the principles of Zen.


The spirit of Karate is the Aloha spirit


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