The Okinawa Times article featuring Dai Sensei’s 100 year celebration has been translated by its author, Mr Akira Kobasigawa.
Karateka Yagi Meitoku-shi Seitan 100 Nen Sai in Canada
by Akira Kobasigawa
To celebrate Dai Sensei Meitoku Yagi’s contribution to Okinawa Karate (e.g., he founded the Gojuryu Meibukan Sohonbu) and to commemorate the 100th year of Dai Sensei’s birth, more than 200 people gathered on March 4th at the Rouge River Community Centre in the Town of Markham, situatted just north of Canada’s largest city, Toronto. Meitetsu Yagi-shi, currently Kancho of the Meibukan Sohonbu, President of All Okinawa Karate Renmei, and the second son of Grand Master Yagi, also attended the celebration from Okinawa.
The Karate-gi and other items that Dai Sensei Yagi used regularly were displayed in the assembly hall. In the same hall, yudansha as well as novice class students demonstrated various Gojuryu kata. Sean Wong-shi (renshi 6th dan) who has been teaching Karate classes at the NOX dojo in Markham for the past 22 years, Richard Fall-shi (renshi 6th dan) who teaches at the London Goju Club, and Kancho Johanes Wong (7th dan) of Meibukan in Austraria, each performed solo demonstration of Kata. Eleven-year-old Ryuhei, a great grandson of Dai Sensei, demonstrated “seipai,” which concluded the 2-hour program.
In his concluding speech, Wong-shi told the audience: “Dai Sensei has said frequently that it is good to become strong by learning Karate. It is far more important, however, to become a good person by practicing Karate.” Meitetsu-shi summarized the special events with the following remarks: “It’s a great honor that people from foreign countries had been so impressed with one particular Okinawan’s achievements and his views of living that they eventually planned, organized, and held a celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth outside of Okinawa. Realizing this motivates me to work continuously hard so I could preserve Grand Master Meitoku’s legacy and get closer to what he had achieved.”