SHIHAN Kazuo SAKURA was born in Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan on May 28th,1929. He is the third son of four brothers. He began Martial Arts training at an early age and comes from a family of Martial Artist. He made great record at Yamaguchi prefecture elementary school Kendo Championship winning to 27 competitors straight.
Shihan Sakura (left) with his brothers.
They trained Judo and Kendo together.
Shihan Sakura attained Judo Sho-Dan rank at the age of 14 from Gensui Heihachiro Togo (General of the Navy). Shihan Sakura used Hanegoshi technique at examination winning to two adults.
Shihan Sakura entered Meiji University (Meidai). After the end of the Second War, Japanese people couldn't train Kendo and Judo for a little while by the Americans order. He decided to enter Karate Club at that time Meijin Hironori Otsuka was teaching at Meiji University.
Shihan Sakura was Shusho (Captain) of Meiji University Karate Club. He won the University Karate Championship twice. Besides Shihan Sakura some of its members were Shihan Jun Motoyoshi and Sensei Yoshitaka Hada. During Shihan Sakura's college days Meiji University was the strongest of University Karate Club in Japan. Hanshi Tatsuo Suzuki was always training at Meiji University Karate Club however, he was at Nihon University (Nichidai) Karate Club that time.
In front row left to right, Sensei Hada is wearing glasses, Meijin Otsuka is sitting chair, and Shihan Sakura.
In back row, Shihan Motoyoshi without Gi.
Shihan Sakura is standing center with cap. Hanshi Suzuki is standing with hakama.
"The Men of Legend" Shihan Sakura and Hanshi Suzuki are most senior Wado-Ryu instructors in the world and Legends of Meijin Otsuka's students. They are good friends.
Founder of Wado-Ryu Karate Meijin Otsuka and his best student Shihan Sakura.
Founder of Shotokan Karate Sensei Gichin Funakoshi, and his best student Sensei Masatoshi Nakayama, Sensei Hidetaka Nishiyama.
On March 1st, 1954 Meijin Otsuka awarded Shihan Sakura his "Wado-Ryu Karate-Jutsu SHIHAN Menjyo (certificate)". He is one of only two people known to have received a SHIHAN Menjyo (license) directly from the founder Meijin Otsuka.
Shihan Sakura was responsible for being one of the first Wado-Ryu instructors to teach Americans. Shihan Sakura began to teach American Serviceman (The Navy and The Marine Corps) in 1954 in
Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan.
His first and senior American student was Sensei John Bell, California, USA. Sensei John Bell was the first American to earned Sho-Dan from Shihan Sakura. Besides Sensei John Bell some of good American students are Sensei Floyd Smith, Philadelphia, USA and Stanton Beale.
Shihan Sakura, Shihan Matsuki, Shihan Murashige, and Sensei Bell are in this picture.
Meijin Otsuka, Shihan Sakura, Shihan Matsuki, Shihan Murashige, Sensei Bell are in this picture.
In August 1955, demonstration with his brother Master Zenshiro Sakura at Nishiki river.
Shihan Sakura married on December 18th, 1955.
Shihan Yoshikazu Nakamura was born in Iwakuni city, Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan on July 10th, 1958. He is first son of Yoshiharu Nakamura.
With the approval of Meijin Otsuka, Shihan Sakura started Bushinkai on October 24th, 1963.
Proper Name: Shukyo Hojin Shinto Bushinkai
Bushinkai is Shihan Sakura's federation in which he is the first founder.
Shihan Nakamura entered Bushinkai in 1974.
On January 29th 1982, Meijin Otsuka died at the age of 90.
Shihan Sakura awarded Yoshikazu Nakamura his "Bushinkai Karate-Do Shihan" on June 28th 1996.
Shihan Sakura's samurai family crest
On September 28th 2002, The Legend of Wado-Ryu Karate, Shihan Sakura died at the age of 71.