Hawaii Karate Seinenkai
The Hawaii Karate Seinenkai Salutes:
Akio Nozoe
January 22, 1926 to September 3, 1987

Very little information is available in English about Akio Nozoe, who was born on January 22, 1926, in Kumamoto, Japan. He was the postmaster of a town in Kumamoto Prefecture.

Nozoe studied Shorin-Ryu under Shoshin Nagamine (the founder of Matsubayashi-Ryu and student of Ankichi Arakaki, Chotoku Kyan, and Choki Motobu). His favorite kata was Chinto. It also appears that he trained with senior Shotokan instructors, including Masatoshi Nakayama. Students in Hawaii observed that Nozoe's style of Shorin-Ryu was similar in some respects to Shotokan.

Nozoe began to teach Karate in Kumamoto, in 1946. According to Kenji Hayashi (in the translation of an article sent to the Hawaii Karate Seinenkai by Ivan Borredo of Catalonia, Spain), Nozoe first taught under the name of the "Karate-do Kenkyukai." He wanted to help the young people without work to have a motivation for living after the second world war. In 1952, he changed the name of his school to "Kumamoto Karate-do Fukyukai." Then in 1956, he adopted the name "Kushin-kai" which means Infinity (Ku), Soul (Shin), Society (Kai).

One of Nozoe's senior students was Shigenobu Nakano, who taught a class next to his house in Futsukaichi, near Ashiya Air Base. Nakano also studied Wado-Ryu under Takemoto. Wado-Ryu was founded by Hironori Ohtsuka (senior student of Gichin Funakoshi). Nakano's style of Karate is known as Nippon Shorin-Ryu Karate-Do Kenshin Kai. Nakano's senior student is Tsutomu Watanabe, who teaches at the Montreal Karate Club in Monreal, Canada. He also has dojo in Norway and Spain.

Shigenobu Nakano Carlton Shimomi

During a tour of duty in the Air Force, Carlton Shimomi studied Karate under Nakano and also trained with Nozoe. In July 1956, after he returned home to Hawaii, Shimomi established the Shorin Ryu Karate Club (also known as the Kushinkai Club) in Kapahulu. He was the head instructor and Charles M. Iwakami was the assistant instructor. This was the first "traditional" dojo opened in Hawaii after World War II. It was a branch of Nozoe's Kushin Kai.

Around 1962, Shimomi sponsored the visit of Nozoe and Nakano to Hawaii. The pair met with many Karate instructors here, including Hirokazu Kanazawa. It appears that Nozoe had practiced with Kanazawa in Japan.

A series of DVDs about Nozoe and Nakano's form of Karate has been produced. They can be ordered at home.online.no/~desinil/ and www.mandalkarateklubb.no/. The cover of one of the DVDs is shown at right (click to enlarge). It was donated to the Hawaii Karate Museum by Yngvar Nilsen. This DVD features Tsutomu Watanabe.

The Hawaii Karate Seinenkai salutes Akio Nozoe, and thanks Dr. James Herndon (a long time student of Nakano Sensei), Ivan Borredo, and Yngvar Nilsen for providing information about Nozoe and Nakano.

The spirit of Karate is the Aloha spirit

Copyright © Hikari Institute, a Hawaii non-profit corporation and federally
tax exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3). All rights reserved.