|As a result of his
acquaintance with Seiryo Shinjo, Kanbun Uechi became fond of Seiryo's son,
the exuberant Seiyu Shinjo.
Young Seiyu pleaded for years with his father to let him study karate. Seiyu became a student at Kanbun Uechi's Tebira dojo in 1939. He was ten years old.
Eventually Seiryo began teaching his son at
home, in addition to Kanbun's teaching. Seiyu Shinjo was exposed to this
unprecedented learning opportunity for nine years.
|When Kanbun Uechi returned to
Okinawa in 1946, Seiryo Shinjo relocated with him, taking his young son,
Seiyu. After the death of Kanbun Uechi, Seiyu Shinjo continued to train
under Kanei Uechi.
Kanei can be seen at the left of the adjacent picture overseeing a sparring match with Seiyu Shinjo.
Seiyu eventually took over the dojo of his father, Seiryo Shinjo, in Kadena, Okinawa. For many years, he taught students as Kanbun Uechi had taught him. This dojo, now owned and operated by Seiyu's eldest son, Kiyohide Shinjo, still operates on the same site as it has for three successive generations.
Unfortunately, Seiyu Shinjo died
at an early age. After his passing, the legendary Kanei Uechi had this to say:
"It already has been three years since the great loss to our Association. Unfortunately, once Seiyu Shinjo became seriously ill, modern medicine could not help him. He worked actively as a teacher and as a board member of the Uechi Ryu Karate Do Association. Karate was not recognized by society during the 1940's to 1970's. Mr. Shinjo made great efforts to popularize, develop, and organize karate.
Moreover, I could say that he was one of the persons who made the greatest strides toward karate becoming internationally known as a cultural inheritance of Okinawa. He was instrumental in making the Uechi Ryu Karate Do Association, one with an international stature.
There are many of Mr. Shinjo's students actively teaching Uechi ryu karate all over the world. I can rely on Mr. Kiyohide Shinjo, son of Seiyu Shinjo, to carry on his father's will."
-- Grand Master Kanei Uechi
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