Author Topic: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)  (Read 18884 times)


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Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« on: March 20, 2003, 10:07:32 AM »
;)Here's something that may explain one of the Mitose mysteries in the founding of Kosho Ryu Kenpo:

James M. Mitose has related the story of one of his ancient kenpo ancestors, "Kosho" who sat under an old pine tree on the temple grounds and meditated, coming up with "new revelations" of Kenpo. Hense the name Kosho Ryu and eventually Kosho Shorei Ryu.
  Bear in mind now of the many different spellings of the same name or word due to the many dialects of the Japanese and Chinese languages. ???  In ancient Okinawa a Chinese General/Emmissary, Kusanku, came to Okinawa bringing with him the art of Chinese Kenpo. According to history he left behind the form, "Kusanku", named after him which found its way into Shotokan Karate, modified and re-named Kanku-Dai.
  According to the different dialects Kusanku can be spelled in a variety of ways, including Kosakan, Ku Shankan and........"KOSHOkan"!!!!!!:o  Could Mr. Mitose borrowed the history from Okinawan karate and "modified" it to fit his own personalized account? Could the monk "Kosho" who inspired Kosho Ryu actually be the same Chinese General/Emmissary who helped in the early development of Okinawan Te into Okinawan Karate! This would also help bring more evidence in support of the Okinawan connection that Mitose had made reference too. Imho, there could be something to this. It is common knowledge that Mitose had been known to plagerize from Okinawan sources and modify the information or pictures to fit his own history. That's an innovation! Perhaps, he really was Kenpo's First Innovator! ;D  

* New information provided on 05-31-03 suggests a possible link in Mitose's  family bloodline and the 'Kosho' name. I stated from the start I would be open minded on this so this latest info. is currently being evaluated for its credibility. ;) On 06-05-03 I made a new post on this matter. I now believe the popular theory I reported on in the Kusanku post above does not have merit. I have also learned that the 'Kosho' name is prevalant in the arts but the kanji doesn't translate to 'old pine tree' except in only one family, that with the Mitose connection.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 10:25:44 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2003, 10:37:47 AM »
That is very interesting.  I will be seeing Hanshi Bruce Juchnik this Saturday.  Should I ask him some of this?  ::)

What would the entire Kosho community do if all of this (and everything else that is coming up) is true?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2003, 11:38:55 AM »
Well, Sensei, I know I like to make a joke once in a while about these "mysteries" when I do a post :D but in all sincerity I feel I'm being fair and we got some positive feedback from Sijo Emperado as far as Dr. Mitose's abilities being that of a master sensei. I also remember something  Professor Ferriera stated, and he was referencing what one of the Hawaiian masters ( Sig Kufferath, said about Mitose's ability (so it is heresay), he stated Mitose's Kempo was very good but his Ju Jitsu, not so good. I would love to tell you who he was quoting, I think I remember but I'm not sure so give me some time and I'll e-mail some of the guys that were with me when Professor Ferriera said it. If not, I'll get in touch with him. ** It was Sig Kufferath, Matt Barnes-thanks for the update! :) )
   As far as all this history goes right now, here's what I do. #1  In my schools I have a disclaimer that states something like the history of James M. Mitose is clouded in mystery and controversy and the following is a popular account of Mitose's family, friends, students and Mitose, himself,  but does not neccessarily reflect the beliefs or opinions of Shihan Joe Shuras. #2 I have his picture up with the others in the lineage line, however, instead of having him listed as the 21st Descendant blah,blah,blah.....I have: Dr. James M. Mitose who undisputedly planted the "seed" of Kempo in Hawaii in those early years that grew and evolved into the many highly sophisticated systems we have today. I feel that is a very accurate statement that won't leave me with "egg on my face"
    As far as Hanshi Juchnick goes, there is nothing wrong with confronting your instructor with questions in regards to the art that you are paying a tuition to learn. That is how I got started into this history thing! Just ask respectfully and imho, he is obligated to answer you as truthfully as possible. I say this not to sound sarcastic at all but being the 22nd Descendant of Kosho Ryu he should give plausible answers to most if not all of your questions. Agree?

PS: John, you're a smart guy, you will draw your own conclusions, either positve or negative, when you hear his answers! Let me know! ;)

UPDATE: Information provided by the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai has led me to believe that James Mitose is indeed the 21st descendant of his family art, but not the Yoshida lineage. This is explained on a new post dated 06-05-03. Please check it out. :)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 10:26:11 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2003, 12:12:19 PM »
Joe, I'll let you know what I get back from him.  I don't think he will take questions or comments like the ones on this site to well.  But I think, like you said, being the 22nd GM he is responsible for presenting the truth.  

And if someone doesn't know the truth, they should just tell the truth about that.  Saves you in the long run when people find out what is really true.

I'll ask him in private to see what he says.  It might be better than bringing it up at the seminar.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2003, 12:32:37 PM »
Some say James Mitose was a good martial artists, some say he really didn't have much skill.

Which do we believe?

If Sijo Emperado states that Mitose's skills were better than his (Sijo's) than one must believe that James Mitose was very skilled.

Where did he learn this from?  I guess that is the mystery.   :-/

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »

Offline John Bishop

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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2003, 01:51:41 PM »
Shihan Joe:
There are very many holes in the Mitose story.  One thing we haven't mentioned is that of his claim in his books of being the "21st generation Great Grandmaster of Kosho Ryu Kenpo" duplicates the claims of Doshin So, the founder of Shorinji Kempo.  His book states that he (So) was the 21st generation Great Grandmaster of Shorinji Kempo, a system that originated at the Shaolin temple.  Mitose had told Thomas Young that he was teaching them "Shorinji Kenpo"!
Almost everything that is in Mitose's books can be found in previously published books.  Some writings and illustrations being almost identical copies.

There is no "Dr. " or "Rev." James Mitose.  After his trial the Los Angeles Co. Probation Department did a exhaustive background investigation on him as part of their sentancing recommendation.  I quote from this report (which I still have) "the defendant held himself out to the community as being a minister of the First Protestant Espiscopal Church.  Investigation revealed that the defendant was never ordained or attended  any seminary or college of divinity."  

Reading the whole account of what Mitose's elderly victims went thru is a horror story that I hope no one ever has to go thru again.   The sad thing is even after he was arrested many of his other elderly victims were too terrified to testify against him.

UPDATE 06-12-03: In going over a document supplied by Sigung Bishop from Mitose's probation officer for a parole hearing, Mitose stated he was a doctor of herbal medicine.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2003, 01:47:10 PM by Shihan Joe Shuras »
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Professor Gerry Scott

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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2003, 02:10:00 PM »
Aloha Sigung John Bishop

I am having trouble with my office computer.

Please delete my post to John Evans and I will
post my reply at home.


Professor Gerry Scott
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2003, 04:22:15 PM »
 Sigung John, I did hear about him referring to the art to Thomas Young as Shorinji Kempo but that Doshin So 21st Descendant duplication I haven't come accross until you pointed it out. That, I find very interesting. ;) It kind of re-enforces my belief that he takes other peoples' history, modifies it to fit him and then adopts it as his own! Look at that Kosho thing I had brought up. One of Kusanku's spellings is Koshokan, who brought Chinese Kempo to Okinawa.
  As far as Mitose as a human being, I  know exactly what you're saying. Dr. Chapel sent me some authentic documentation on his crimes and related investigations by the District Attorney's Office. This is legal documentation that I don't feel anyone can doubt and if someone does, they're just kidding themselves. I really don't get into that aspect for the mere reason that's a done deal, lol, I figure I don't have to check that out  'cause I'm totally convinced of it! No mystery there! ;)  It's public information if anyone reading this doubts what Sigung Bishop is saying.
  I was just thinking the other day when I was working out (Yeah, I know you could smell something burning ;D ) that I noticed its not just myself, but many of us have such an interest in the truth on Mitose. Any martial artist that I have talked to that's interested in history has delved into this mystery & controversy. So, I ask why? Its simple. He's where it all started from. I think initially many of us wanted to prove his legitimacy because we were afraid it would damage our art and in turn us, in our identity, as true martial artists. Don't get me wrong, not our abilities or of those who taught us but our standing in the martial arts community and all the "crap" that would be thrown our way by other disciplines. As I said before, if you doubt your birth then you doubt you existence! Well, I don't feel that way anymore. I could care less! Mr. Mitose, whatever his motives were, served as the catalyst that triggered Professor William K.S. Chow who produced Sijo Adriano Emperado and it all snowballed from there! :) Look at it this way, everyone has a "black sheep" in the family, so we have ours! ;D

                              Respectfully submitted, Shihan Joe

Update: 06-06-03/ This has been explained in a new post dated 06-05-03. Doshin So's actual title came in 1947, not 1936 as previously reported. Mitose arrived in Hawaii in 1937 and taught outwardy in 1942, claiming 21st descendant but never of the Yoshida lineage. In all due respect, that was Jim & Al Tracy's misinformation.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 10:26:38 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2003, 06:27:31 AM »
He was a very able student and was introduced by Master Chen to Wen Taizhong the 20th grand master of Shaolin Yihemen Quan becoming his direct pupil.  In 1936 Doshin So became the 21st and only non the tradition.

Sigung Bishop, I got the above from the Doshin So website. Notice the year Doshin So became the 21st grandmaster-1936-just in time for Mitose to pick up on it (Mitose's entrance into Hawaii according to Al Tracy was Feb. 7, 1937, other souces have it chronicled around 1936) regardless, who's right, it's perfect timing for Mitose, plus, like you said about Thomas Young's statement of Mitose calling it  "Shorinji" Kempo at that time- the same as Doshin So! ;)  Thanks for the insight, That one got by me! :)   Shihan Joe

* There may be a correction on Doshin So. The above source did state 1936 but on 05-31-03 my research has also noted the date 1947. I will be attempting to verify this soon.
*Note: This was verified on 06-04-03.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 09:02:12 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2003, 07:15:06 AM »
*The reason I am posting this (excerpted from Dr. William Durbin's website) is in case any of you hear of these claims I want to point out something. What I was looking for when I found this information was a verifiable  link to the story of Mitose studying under Seiko Fujita in Japan. According to Dr. Durbin the "verification" comes from a Japanese Ninjitsu Master living in Canada! ???  Well, who is he!!!!!!!!!! ;)

Dr. Durbin's website states:

Mitose taught Kempo Jujutsu, yet it was more than just the Kempo Karate of Choki Motobu. This can be seen by the fact that the blows used by Mitose on the Makiwara were different than normally done by Okinawan Karateka.

The use of the bottom fist is indicative of a type of Koppo used by some branches of Ninjutsu training. There is also the fact that Mitose gave to his student, Nimr Hassan, a seal which listed Koga, Shorei, and Kosho, as the three systems which he taught. The arts Ninjutsu, Karate, and Kempo were listed as well.

If it is true, that Mitose studied Koga Ryu Ninjutsu, from whom did he learn it? A Japanese Ninjutsu master living in Canada verifies the fact that Seiko Fujita did in fact teach Koga Ryu Ninjutsu and that Mitose studied with him during his time in Japan. This makes perfect sense, since Fujita was part of the entourage that trained with Motobu.

It is believed then that Mitose trained in Kempo Karate (known variously as Motobu Ryu, Shuri Ryu, and Shorei Ryu) and Ninjutsu, specifically Koga Ryu, and possibly the related Sato Ryu Kempo, which was also taught by Seiko Fujita. There has always been a close relation between Kempo and Ninjutsu, mainly through the temples where Kempo developed and the Nimpo concept of patience as a religious discipline and it's application to espionage.

What about the skills that Mitose taught? Those who knew him directly say that his skills were excellent. His Jujutsu skills, that is his grappling skills, were not typical and this is easily understandable, if he did in fact train with Choki Motobu.

UPDATE: In all due respect to Dr. William Durbin, I have found his accounts of Mitose history filled with inaccuracies and myth. There is no Koga Ha Ryu Ninjitsu or Seiko Fujita connection in Mitose's background. This was fabricated but not by Mitose.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 09:08:59 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »

Offline John Bishop

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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2003, 08:28:48 AM »
Let's see, Nimr Hassan (aka Terry Lee) the eager young student of James Mitose.  Wanted to learn the true art of Kosho Ryu kenpo from Mitose.  Was so devoted to Mitose that he strangled a 65 year old man to death and half killed his wife at  the request of Mitose.  Was going to kill a second elderly gentleman for Mitose, but got scarred away from his house.  Turned state's evidence and testified against Mitose, his son (not Thomas) and wife.  Served time in prison for the murder of Frank Namimatsu.  Moved to Philadelphia and changed his name first to Hassan Ramsey, then Nimr Hassan.  

Well William Durban has found a great source of historical information with Hassan. ???
Surprising how far someone will go to call themselves a history expert, sell books, sell magazine articles, sell their system.

So far the "really true" history of Kosho Ryu Kenpo is:

A:  Mitose was trained at the Koshoji Temple in Kumamoto Japan from the age of 5, and became the 21st generation Great Grand Master of Kosho Ryu Kenpo.  

B:  Mitose received his training from his maturnal uncle, the renowed Okinawan Kempo master Choki Motobu.  

C:  Mitose was decended from the famous Yoshida Samarai Clan (not the famous teriyaki Yoshida sauce people) who's castle was on the T.V. show, Shogun.

D: Mitose trained under Seiko Fugita, and learned the mysterious Koga Ryu Ninjitsu, and possibly Sato Ryu Kenpo.    

So far these so called historians can't even agree on the name of Mitose's art.  Or what he really taught.  
Is it, Kenpo Juijitsu, Kosho Ryu Kenpo, Shorinji Kenpo, Kosho-Shorei Ryu Kempo, Kosho Shorei Koga-Ha Kenpo?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:03 PM by -1 »
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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2003, 09:06:54 AM »
Sigung John, so Terry Lee is his "reliable" source. ::)  I suspected him but didn't know for sure. After this post, I'm done with the Seiko Fujita connection. In case challenged by the other side I wanted to dig a little more and this is what I got. I never found any corroborating source to back up the Mitose/Fujita connection established by Dr. Durbin but I did find some interesting information titled "The History of Koga Ryu" by Don Roley. The following is a cut & paste from that article.............CASE CLOSED ;)   Shihan Joe

But there are problems when one looks close enough. Tragically, Fujita died suddenly and left no successors to his style of ninjutsu. Indeed, there is no one in Japan that has claimed to have learned any physical skills such as stealth from him. Most of his books that he took so much time to assemble can now be seen at the ninjutsu museum in Ueno. Instead of being passed on to a new master of the Koga ryu they rot in their display cases, only occasionally being lent out to researchers. Today, many people try to lay claim to the Koga ryu. Some try to do so with truly bizarre stories, but some try to do so by claiming to have been taught by Fujita Seiko, or having their teacher being taught by Fujita. Their claims are given no credit in Japan. The Bugei Ryuha Daijiten lists Fujita's school under the Koga style, and even refers to it by is proper name of Koga-ryu XXXX-ha. No one I have seen in the west who had laid claim to his art even seem aware of the proper name of the -ha that Fujita laid claim to. His books on the art are great and of interest to anyone who is truly serious about researching ninjutsu. But aside from what can be found in these books, little else of his art seems to have survived.
 In closing, I apologize for some of the gaps I have left in this work. Considering the amount of frauds that now wish to profit off of the Koga name and Fujita's art, I decided to try to be as informative as I could without giving away information that could possibly allow someone to create a story to fool the unwary. Thus I have not given out pieces of information such as the particular -ha that Fujita taught, the particular name that the surviving Iga ninja were known as, nor the names of some of the ryuha that sprang from the Koga. These bits of information are commonly available in Japanese sources, but I am reasonably certain that most of the people that seek to make a quick jump to fame by use of the Koga name will not be willing to put in the effort to learn the language and do the searching themselves. Some of the works that helped make this work possible are, Fujita, Seiko- "Doron Doron, Saigo no Ninja" Nihon Shuhousha, Tokyo 1958 Fujita Seiko- "Ninjutsu Hiroku" Soushinsha, Tokyo 1937 Shimizu, Yukata- "Fujita Seiko- Ninpo no Kyou to Jitsu" Hiden Koryu Bujutsu issue #11, pages 12- Ishikawa, Masatomo- "Shinobi no Sato no Kiroku" Suiyousha, Tokyo 1982 Nawa, Yumio- "Ninjutsu no Kenkyu" Japan Publications Inc. Tokyo, 1972 Okuse, Hichiro- "Ninjutsu, Sono Rekishi to Ninja" Shinjinbutsu Juraisha, 1995 (reprint) Tobe, Shinjuro- "Ninja, Sengoku Kage no Gundan" PHP Business library, Tokyo 1995 Watatani, Kiyoshi- "Bugei Ryuha Hyakusen" Akita Shoten, Tokyo 1972

 UPDATE: In all due respect to Dr. William Durbin, I have found his accounts of Mitose history filled with inaccuracies and myth. There is no Koga Ha Ryu Ninjitsu or Seiko Fujita connection in Mitose's background. This was fabricated but not by Mitose.


« Last Edit: June 06, 2003, 09:11:23 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2003, 02:57:58 PM »
There has been a flood of information on this forum on the history of James Masayoshi Mitose. An honest attempt was made in a search for the truth and imho the following conclusions have been drawn. Please feel free to add your comments, opinions and/or corrections to the following 2 Posts:

  1) James M. Mitose's title of Reverand & Doctor was self-bestowed.    
      This was brought out at his criminal trial.
      Okay, I know what some of you are thinking, and I agree, a  
       lot of masters have done that, yes, they have.  
       Didn't Chow take the title of professor because he
       so respected Professor Okazaki? Mitose took it as
       an ordained minister. Update: 06-01-03: Mitose stated he was a Doctor of herbal medicine trained in his family art, however, he was never an ordained minister. Source: Court records.
  2)  It appears he taught an eclectic blend of Okinawan  
       Kempo & Japanese Ju Jitsu which both arts can  
       trace their origins to China. So this part of history,
       the Kempo, the Ju Jitsu and the Chinese or Shaolin
       origins, has merit. Who taught him? Don't know for
       sure. Looks like Motobu. The evidence Motobu's
       family presented is, he is not on  Motobu's black belt
       registry or tree. However, that doesn't mean he
       wasn't taught the rudiments or surface arts and had
       the natural ability to develop it on his own. Another
       possiblity, hardly anyone in Hawaii at that time
          would have recognized any limitations or
          weaknesses in this "newly" introduced art of Kenpo.
          The Ju Jitsu? Influenced by Okazaki's Danzan Ryu?
          Information supplied by Professor Gerry Scott
          confirmed Mitose & Okazaki had shared the same
          dojo. Sijo Emperado stated
          Mitose's "strong"Japanese accent (unlike the
          Hawaiian-bred Japanese) suggests he may have
          spent his formulative years in Japan. If so, did he
          study there? No one knows for sure. Update: 06-01-03: Mitose learned Naihanchi from Robert Trias and never studied directly under Motobu-Source:Shihan Michael Brown, Kosho Shorei Ryu Kempo. Mitose added Okinawan Kempo of Motobu/Trias to his already exiting Kosho Ryu family art. It is now acceptable to me and will be explained in detail in my post on 06-05-03 that Mitose had previous training in Japan in his family art and blended it with some of the popular Okinawan style(s) of that time and place, as all systems do. So, does our Kajukenbo/Kempo have an Okinawan influence? Imho, absolutely!
       3) "21st Descendant and training at Shaka-In Temple"-
       cannot be verified. The temple mentioned was
       founded by the Buddhist monk Shozan and no
       Kosho Ryu training took place there. Where are
       the lineages of the 200 monks that according to
       the Mitose history trained there at the peak of its
       activity? There are none, not one monk can be
       traced in Kosho.  Doshin So was the 21st  
       Descendant of Shorinji Kenpo. According to
       Professor Thomas Young, Mitose originally called his
       art Shorinji Kempo. Coincidence? UPDATE: 06-01-03
October of 1588 warrior monks of Shaka-in clashed with the forces of Konishi Yukinaga resulting in the destruction of the temple but was rebuilt at a future time- Source: Historical records confirmed. However, there is no written evidence as of yet that Mitose actually trained at the temple and by the same token there is no evidence that he didn't. Shihan Brown stated he has record of a 'Kosho' art being taught at this temple. To update the other statement, Doshin So laid claim to the title in 1947, long after Mitose arrived in Hawaii and started teching, not 1936 as previously reported. Most ryus of that time had between 19-22 Descendants. Yes, coincidence and timing is off.

  4) The name "Kosho" is not recorded in any martial
      arts history until Mitose starting using it in the 20th
      Century. Actually from what I understand, not until
      he moved to Californina sometime after 1953.  Do
      to dialectic variations, the spelling of the Chinese
      General/Emmissary who brought Chinese Kempo to
      Okinawa, Kusanku, has several deviations, one
      being KOSHOkan. Was this history "borrowed" also?
      Kosho was never mentioned in his book "What is
      Self Defense (Kenpo Ju Jitsu)" which was written in
      1947 and first published in 1953. Update: Mitose's maternal grandfather was Kosho Kyohei and has been said to have been his teacher. Mitose's maternal grandmother was Kosho Toju, she was not married to his grandfather, Yoshida Sakuhei. Mitose's mother, Kiyoka ,was the result of an affair. More details in a future post. The name Kosho has been found in Japanese amrtial arts history. See the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai historian, Shihan Michael Brown.

  5)"The 1936-1937 Timing Factor" has another
      interesting twist. A book that Hanshi Craig Seavey
      and I were shown by Professor Kimo Ferreira was
      published in "1936" by Master Thomas Miyashiro
      Hawaii's First Sensei-showed "undisputed"
      plagarism in Mitose's book, What is Self Defense?
     (Kenpo Ju Jitsu), including pictures.

  6)  Seiko Fujita's Grandfather was allegedly Seiko's
       teacher when he was a child and taught the
       family art of Koga Ha Ryu Ninjitsu was the 13th
       Descendant who passed the torch to Fujita who
       became the 14th descendant. Fujita was an
       extremely popular Japanese martial artist during
       Mitose's beginnings in Hawaii in the mid 30's.
       Another adapted and modified "history" that
       became the Yoshida/Mitose story of at 4 or 5 being
       taught by his grandfather at the family temple? Update:06-01-03 / The Koga Ha Ryu Ninjitsu connection appears to have absolutely no merit.

   7) Ability? Sijo Emperado stated his abilty was that of
       a Master-Sensei, that he was also a strong man
       and gave an example of how Mitose had a very
       powerful punch.  Professor Kimo Ferriera of Hawaii
       stated that Sig Kufferath was reported to have remarked, Mitose's
       Kempo was very good, Ju Jitsu not so good. Sijo
       Emperado believed the opposite, that his Ju Jitsu
       was better than his Kempo. Mr. Parker' statements
       were rather negative in Infinite Insights Into
       Kempo but in a more indepth interview in Black Belt
       magazine, August 1990,"Tales of American
       Karate", "My Experiences with James Mitose" by Ed
       Parker (page 11), quotes from Mr. Parker: I'm not
       saying that all of Mitose's teachings were
       impractical. He did employ methods that, once
       modified, could work with convincing results. I also
       give him credit on the order that fundamentals are
       taught. It was his belief that one should not
       risk exhausting himself by attempting to grab and
       throw his opponent.
                                         CONTINUED ON NEXT POST...
« Last Edit: June 07, 2003, 08:17:55 PM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


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Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2003, 03:20:45 PM »
            Throwing, Mitose warned, exposed one's vital points.
            Mitose also taught how to unknowingly maneuver
            your opponent into precarious and vulnerable
            postions. There is a lot more to this interview but
            this should suffice. The negative was basically
            Parker thought his moves lacked continuity and
            forethought and left one dangerously exposed plus
            the lack of circulartory movements. Mitose chose to
            predominately employ linear moves.

   8)  Character? This is a problem.  Unfortunately, he was incarcerated for murder, extortion & kidnapping. Mr. James M. Mitose was also under investigation by the State of California's District Attorney's Office for other unrelated crimes prior to his arrest. Mr. Mitose, the man, was not a role model for martial artists to follow. Please, I do not wish to hurt or offend any of the family and friends of James Mitose but as a police officer I have a moral and ethical obligation in reporting, to seek the truth, be factual and not to mislead the public in any way shape or form. I take this obligation very seriously and for that reason must distance myself from this part of Mitose's life.  Again, my deepest and most sincere apologies to the Mitose family for any misunderstandings of my intentions. I gave an honest effort to be fair and balanced. Thank you.

    9) Credit & Acknowledgement as Founder in our
        In my humble opinion,
        He was the catalyst that sparked Professor
        William K.S. Chow, Sijo Adriano Emperado,Professor
        Thomas Young, Grandmaster Edmund K. Parker.......
        James M. Mitose planted the seed that grew and
        spread and was cultivated and refined into some of
        the most functional self defense systems we have
        today. Mitose was, indeed, the 21st descendant of Kosho Ryu Kempo. Despite this man's character flaws and deception, it has nothing to do with the finished product of what we have evolved from any more than a single cell ameba resembles a man. What's wrong with a base inspired by Shaolin Ch'uan Fa and blended with Japanese Ju Jitsu and Okinawan Karate?
         Look at it this way, the samuari planted the
        seed of ju jitsu and they would have made Mitose
        look like a choir boy! Nothing wrong with all the fine
        ju jitsu systems we have today, right?  Everyone
        has problem members in their families and that part of the
        Mitose legacy is just something we all have to learn
        to deal with.  I problem!
         *Thanks Much for everyone that contributed on this research.........Respectfully submitted, Shihan Joe Shuras

*** Please note as to the above Mitose posts, labeled #7, that Matt Barnes, who attended the same Kimo Ferreira seminar with me in Framingham, Ma., posted on 5-30-03 that it was Sig Kufferath who stated Mitose's Kempo was better than his Jui Jitsu. I remembered the quote but went blank on who said it. Thank you, Matt.


« Last Edit: June 07, 2003, 10:48:43 AM by Shihan Joe Shuras »


  • Guest
Re: Solving a Mitose Mystery (?)
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2003, 01:07:03 PM »
I would like to make a correction on the above from documents received from Sigung Bishop. It appears Mitose took the title of Dr. as in the treatment of patients with herbs for health and medicinal purposes. Other unrelated sources suggests this was part of his family training but I have no documentation to back this up.
 * Also I took an excerpt from information supplied to me by Dr. Ron Chapel as pertaining to James M. Mitose:

The Situation of Karate Overseas:
Mutsu Mizuho Shihan & American Karate

by Ohgami Shingo
**Excerpted from the above by Shihan Joe Shuras

Presently, the principal styles of Japanese/Okinawan karate are very popular in America, however, so too has Kenpo Karate played a significant role in the development of karate in America. James Mitose (1916-1981), was another Nikkei from Hawaii, who was recognized as an expert in Kenpo Karate. Mitose was Born in Hawaii but sent to Kyushu (Japan) when he was four year old in order to learn 'Komatsu-ryu Kenpo', which was allegedly part of his family heritage. It is said that he stayed in Japan for 15 years (c.1920- 1935) before returning to Hawaii where he taught his style to anyone without prejudice, even after WW2. (Ref: What is self defence? Kenpo Jujutsu by Mitose)
Other than the name Komatsu-ryu being located in the "Bugei Ryuha Dai Jiten", there's virtually no other information about it anywhere?! I think four years old is just a tad young to actually learn anything seriously, but, it is said that this style went to the mainland and Kenpo Karate was created from it. Notwithstanding, if Mitose really did reside in Japan during the said time frames, that must also mean that he would have never been able to meet Yabu, Motobu, Higaonna, Mutsu or Miyagi there. At any rate, if we look at the first two pages of Mitose's book it is obvious that he took the photos of Mutsu & Higaonna from "Karate Kenpo" and published them. However, later Mitose replaced these with photos of Motobu from his 1932 publication entitled, "Watashi no Karatejutsu"). By virtue of the photos published in his own book, Mitose obviously was influenced by Motobu and Mutsu. If for no other reason, at least he'd seen their books. I wonder if he got them in Japan or Hawaii?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by 1054443600 »