top of page
Association : Who we are and what's in a name?

When Kogan sensei first went to Okinawa and was permitted to take classes at Onaga sensei's dojo in 1989/90, the Onaga Karate Dojo was barely a year old and it was registered with the Zen Okinawa Karate Do Renmei as "Shorin-Ryu Onaga Karate Dojo". Onaga sensei had every intention of eventually buying or building a place that he would call the Shinjinbukan, but until that time came he would simply hang the dojo kun from where the name Shinjinbukan is derived and few people knew what he intended to call the school.

Upon Kogan sensei's return to Canada after his second year in Okinawa, he opened a dojo in Vancouver BC. There were no other dojo outside Okinawa other than the one in Argentina under the direction of Miguel Ramos, who was using the name "Onaga Karate dojo".

At first Kogan sensei used no school name and simply called what he did "Shorin-ryu". Since the dojo was a private closed door dojo, not having a name didn't matter. When Onaga sensei visited Vancouver in '96, Kogan sensei had just opened a public dojo in Kitsilano, a neighbourhood of Vancouver. After a discussion with Onaga sensei as to what would be an appropriate name for the dojo, Onaga sensei encouraged Kogan sensei to use the name Shinjinbukan as that was what he intended to eventually name his school.

And so the Shinjinbukan Canada dojo was formally opened. Over the years others have adopted the name.

In 2001 many things changed, Kogan sensei no longer lived in Canada, his dojo was now just outside of Seattle Washington, two of his senior students were on opposite sides of the country each running a dojo and the Kitsilano dojo was still going strong. Calling ourselves "Shinjinbukan Canada" seemed inappropriate, we'd crossed the 49th parallel and had dojo in multiple locations. As a result our group adopted the name Kokusai Shinjinbukan, with each dojo using the name of the town or neighbourhood it's located in.

Since we started using this name Kokusai Shinjinbukan, the question has been asked whether we have have broken away from the Shinjinbukan Hombu, absolutely not!! In fact, once again just like when the Kitsilano dojo adopted the Shinjinbukan name before any other dojo, we had taken the name in trust, so to speak. Onaga sensei and Kogan sensei had discussed the eventual repurposing of the "Kokusai Shinjinbukan" name to include all students outside of Okinawa. Until that day arrived, it was a convenient label for a small group of students following Onaga sensei's path.

In 2007, at Kogan sensei's dojo outside Seattle, with all but one of Onaga sensei's overseas deshi present, as well as others, Onaga sensei established the Kokusai Shinjinbukan as well as the Shinjinbukai and the name has now been adopted by several others around the world.

bottom of page