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The most important Teacher

| Yoshida Kotaro 1883-1966 |

Yoshida was a graduate of Tohoku Gakuin in Sendai (1906), Waseda University and an American University. He authored numerous books, operated a newspaper company and oversaw a private library.

Although few are still alive that had actually seen him perform, there is much evidence that beyond compare. His skill was acclaimed by such notables as Mas Oyama in his book “This Is Karate”; Katsuyuki Kondo, Yoshida taught Kondo in his later years (Kondo trained from 1963 to 1965 with him); and, our own Richard Kim.

He was a staunch right-wing activist and belonged to such ultra-nationalist organizations as the Genyosha (Black Ocean Society) which later became Kokuryu kai (Black Dragon Society). This group believed very much in the old ways of the samurai and, even though the samurai class was disbanded in the Meiji Restoration (January 3, 1868), it still operated but in the quiet. Yoshida was a member of this elite group and continued its ways and teachings until he passed away.

Yoshida lived with Sensei Richard Kim in Yokohama, in his house with his family, and this is when and where he taught Sensei Kim. He trained under Yoshida Kotaro for seven years (according to Black Belt Magazine, June 1969). Sensei Kim often expounded on how difficult these years were under Yoshida. He was apparently tough to deal with and a real task master.

Yoshida Sensei began his training rather late in life, as he began when he was 29 years of age in 1915. He began under the direct tutelage of the legendary Sokaku Takeda in Hokkaido, in Shiragi Saburo Takeda Ryu Ju Jitsu. Sokaku Takeda was so impressed with Yoshida’s skill he even gave him a teaching license (Kyoju Dairi) which in those days was something very special.

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Richard Kim | Hanshi | 10. Dan | 1917-2001

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