The search for Shushiwa

Shushiwa is the Japanese pronunciation of Chou Tsu. He was one of Kanbun Uechi's greatest influencer during the early training years.

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jwlavasse
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The search for Shushiwa

Post by jwlavasse »

Timeline of events relevant to the search for Shushiwa (Zhōuzihé 周子和).

Oral tradition says Uechi Kanbun上地完文 said his teacher was something like Shushabu シュサブ, Shusabu シュサブ, Shushabun シュシャブン but they were written down phonetically in Katakana and not in Kanji (Chinese characters) so it was unknown who Uechi Kanbun's 上地完文 teacher truly was in China. Some guesses to the Chinese characters were Shushabun 周謝文 (Zhōu xiè wén in Mandarin) and alternatively Shusabu 周佐武 (Zhōu zuǒwǔ in Mandarin)

1954, Kanshiwa 完子和 kata was created by Uechi Kanei 上地 完英 but was called at this time Kanshabu カンシャブ and possibly written Kanshabu 完佐武. However as Kanbun 完文 called his teacher Shushabu and thus at this time Kanshiwa 完子和 was called Kanshabu.

1966. Okinawan went on a research trip to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Kanei and Tomoyose spoke with various masters and Japanese speakers living there and decided Kanbun's teacher Shusabu may have been him saying Zhōu 周 Shifu 师父 in Japanese and began searching for a master with the surname Zhōu 周 and found a magazine article about Zhōuzihé 周子和 and Yèshàotáo. It was assumed at this time Zhōuzihé 周子和 was Kanbun's teacher.

In the 1970's when the kanshiwa officially became part of the the Uechi-ryu 上地流 curriculum it was decided to pronounce Zhouzihe's 周子和 name using a Japanese reading of the characters "Shushiwa" rather than the Shushabu that Kanbun 完文 called his teacher. The name Kanshiwa 完子和 taking the characters Kan 完 in honor of Kanbun 完文 and Shiwa 周子 in honor of Shushiwa 周子和 was suggested by Takamiyagi Shigeru 高宮 城繁 sensei 先生 and thus Kanshabu 完子和 is now pronounced Kanshiwa and is now written 完子和 rather than Kanshabu カンシャブ or Kanshabu 完佐武.

Two of Kanbun's Chinese students are said to have visted Okinawa amd demonstrated their Suparinpei to Seiko Toyama in 1976.

Publication of Uechi Kanei's 1977 Seisetsu Okinawa Karate-do: Sono Rekishi to Giho 精説沖縄空手道―その歴史と技法 (Skill and Theory of Okinawa Karate. Its History and Techniques) AKA the Uechi bible, The Uechi Kyohon and the Big Blue Book. The name Shushiwa 周子和 was used in this book for Kanbun's teacher.

I believe Kanei and Tomoyose visited Fúzhōu in March of 1981. Wèiqíqí 魏齐祺, Vice Chairman of Fujian Provincial Wushu Association, gave a special report to Provincial Wushu Cooperation on June 8, 1981, and proposed to establish a "Zhōuzihé 周子和 (Shushiwa) and Wushu Activity Investigation Team".

1982 Fuzhou delegation visits Kanei Uechi Funtenma dojo on Okinawa. Kanmei Uechi and Ryuko Tomoyose were present. Two students of the Koza dojo of Master Yonamine performed sanchin. Kiyohide Shinjo performed sanseirui.

Lǐyīduān 李一端 the former president of the Fuzhou Marrtial Arts Association then wrote the letter inviting Uechi Kanei 上地 完英 to Fuzhou in 1983 saying they had discovered Shushiwa and invited Kanei to return.

They returned in 1984 (I think but not sure which month) and were given a photograph of Zhōuzihé 周子和 (Shushiwa). While in China they also saw performances by Ruǎndōng 阮东 of mínghèquán 鸣鶴拳 (crying crane boxing) and master Zhāngtiāncì 张天赐 of hǔxíngquán 虎形拳 (tiger shaped boxing) who they were told then was a student from the lineage of Zhōuzihé 周子和 (Shushiwa).

After the Uechi delegation returned home from China, Ryuko Tomoyose gave an interview with George E. Mattson and Marty Dow stating after seeing the presentations in China he now doubted Zhōuzihé 周子和 (Shushiwa) was Kanbun's teacher.

Lǐyīduān 李一端 published the research of the "Zhōuzihé 周子和 (Shushiwa) and Wushu Activity Investigation Team" in a March 1984 article in Wulin Magazine.

1984 Aug Thompson Island camp, Boston MA. Zhāngtiāncì 张天赐 of hǔxíngquán 虎形拳 (tiger shaped boxing), Ruǎndōng 阮东 of mínghèquán 鸣鶴拳 (crying crane boxing) visited. Tomoyose Ryuko 友寄隆宏 sensei was present along with Uechi Kanei 上地 完英.

Then shorty after that in 1985 the Fuzhou Martial Arts Association published a book documenting the existing tiger fist lineage of Zhōuzihé 周子和 (Shushiwa) they had discovered:

Hǔxíngquán 虎形拳 (tiger shaped boxing)
first edition 1985

Authors: Wèiqíqí 魏齐祺, Hújīnhuàn 胡金焕, Sūnchóngxióng 孙崇雄

Publisher: Fújiàn rénmín chūbǎn shè 福建人民出版社
(Fujian People's Publishing House).

I am working on translating now.

Zhāngtiāncì 张天赐 from this lineage o hǔxíngquán 虎形拳 (tiger shaped boxing), visited the US in 1984 George Mattson’s summer camp on Thompson’s Island in Boston with Ruǎndōng 阮东 of mínghèquán 鸣鶴拳 (crying crane boxing).

I 1993 (or 1994) Simon Lailey was studying in China and was invited by Bill Finnerty who was researching Uechi ryu's origins, and invited him to go on a secret mission where they met Guōkǒngxī 郭孔熙 yet another student from a different lineage of Shushiwa. Simon become Guōkǒngxī student and learned the 108 from (yibailingba aka Suparinpei) and also trained with Zhāngtiāncì 张天赐.

1997 Brian Roger's visit Zhouzihe's hometown Minhou, Fuzhou. There is supposed to be a video of a modern adept of Zhōuzihé doing Sanchin, seisan and part of suparenpei but he messed up and stopped.

Staring in about 1998 I started researching the enigmatic and elusive"Shushiwa" only to discover a great deal was know about him in China but I there is so much it is almost unfathomable and much of it contradicts the story we have been told. For the last almost 40 years all the new information about Zhōuzihé 周子和 "Shushiwa" that has been coming out of China has been ignored most likely due to Tomoyose doubting the connection in 1984. That is a whole other story in it's self.

Much, much more to come.
Justin LaVasse 🙇‍♂️

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they may never sit.

-Greek proverb-
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emattson
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Re: The search for Shushiwa

Post by emattson »

"... were written down phonetically ..."
Remember long ago when a Chinese were writing down people's names in Chinese, I asked him why my name in Chinese characters doesn't have the rich, full lines that his name shows. Turns out that spelling out phonetically will result in characters that looked like badly pruned trees, simple scratches. Maybe the result will look better if translated to meaning of the person's name. For instance, "Erik" is an Old Norse translation to the word "eternal ruler."
Erik

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.”
- John Adams
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Re: The search for Shushiwa

Post by emattson »

"Two of Kanbun's Chinese students are said to have visited Okinawa and demonstrated their Suparinpei..."

Interesting how after the tragic death of a peasant by Kanbun's student didn't discourage them from continuing with their training. Wonder how they dealt with it? They probably needed to reassure many angry, distrustful people.
Erik

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.”
- John Adams
jwlavasse
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Re: The search for Shushiwa

Post by jwlavasse »

Zhōuzihé 周子和 Shushiwa was famous for doing the Lǎohǔ diào 老虎吊 (tiger hang) where he was hung from a noose and savagely beat with a stick with no harm done to him. I image this is the stunt he and Kanbun performed to draw crowds to sell medicine and support the school. I also think an overeager student if Kanbun's perhaps attempted this stunt with tragic effect when Kanbun was away visiting Zhōuzihé/Shushiwa for further training resulting in Kanbun being charged with murder. This is why he fled China leaving behind his 1st wife and daughter in China. He then married Gozei Toyama on Okinawan thinking his life in China was over but in 1924 his 1st wife or his daughter was able to come to Okinawa Japan and to save face for Gozei Toyama he moved to Japan to be with his 1st family. This also explains why when he moved back to Okinawan he lived in Ie-jima Island instead of Magic with Gozei Toyama, Kanei and his Okinawan family.

There could possibly still be a government document regarding Kanbun murder charge that could prove or disprove this along with a Chinese marriage rexird but so far I have had no luck locating them. I suspect being a foreigner Kanbun's option were limited and if he lived with Zhōuzihé/Shushiwa he may have married a member of Zhōuzihé/Shushiwa's family.

As for Kanbun's school I have read a teaching position opened and Zhōuzihé/Shushiwa sent him to fill the position. If that is the case it would make since a replacement teacher was sent and the school could have continued. 🤷‍♂️
Justin LaVasse 🙇‍♂️

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they may never sit.

-Greek proverb-
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emattson
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Re: The search for Shushiwa

Post by emattson »

There are two people with similar names which may cause confusion. Ryuyu Tomoyoso was the first of Uechi Sensei’s students at the Japan's textile company dojo. He was Ryuko Tomoyose's father. Ryuyu Tomoyose, an Okinawa man born in February 1897, tried, at the age of 29, to convince Kanbun Uechi to teach him karate.
https://www.southkungfu.com/history-e.html

Ryuko Tomoyose was born in 1929 and lived in his grandparents' household in Okinawa. Around 1955 or 1956, While Uechi Kanei was operating the Uechi-ryu dojo in Nodake Ginowan City, it gained high reputation and foreigners flock to it to learn. Uechi Kanei needed an interpreter so he asked Ryuko Tomoyose for help since he understands some English. Some time later, people from Torī Station in Yomitan arrived wishing to learn. Unlike the usual few times a week the others were satisfied with, the military servicemen wanted to study every day, including Sundays and holidays. Uechi sensei couldn't handle the workload so he handed them over to Ryuko Tomoyose. He would teach them from his house from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. George Mattson was one of his students.
https://okic.okinawa/en/archives/newsto ... iinterview
Erik

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.”
- John Adams
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