Article by Emanuel Giordano

Kotake Ieshiro is the author of two texts on Karate: Anata no Miomomoru Karate Gokui Kyohan (1955) and Zukai Setsumei Karate no Naraikata (1961). Although not much is known about this author, his first book is very interesting and full of contents that will be explored in the next articles.
In this short article I would like to bring to your attention the kata Passai practiced by him. Although the description is accompanied by only two illustrations (of the same technique), from a translation of the text this Passai is the same as the one already presented by Miyagi sensei in his book Karate-do, published two years earlier. This version, therefore, has the same peculiarities, in this case the initial position different from that of the other Passai / Bassai, namely a morote-uke with the left hand closed and resting on the right elbow; and the position of the hands and feet adopted after fumikomi-geri (see drawing).
This confirms the version presented by Miyagi sensei in his book (examined in this article), thus excluding that it was a personal variant. Although it is therefore likely that this is the scholastic version that was taught to the Shihan Gakko in the years in which he was attended by Miyagi sensei (1911-1916), having not been able to trace the information relating to the studies followed by Kotake Ieshiro, it is not possible for me to confirm this assumption. However, the other kata described and illustrated in the book (Pinan shodan, Pinan nidan and Naihanchi shodan) are again identical to those of Miyagi, which suggests that the two trained at the same time and with the same teachers.
Unfortunately the author, with the exception of a short part of the book where he talks about the origins and the different styles of Karate, has focused more on the situation in mainland Japan and on the Karate technique, thus not reporting anecdotes about the Okinawan masters (although many are cited) as Miyagi did.
  • "Shorin-ryu Karate: kata 2" (here)
  • "Shorin-ryu Karate: kata" (here)
  • "Shorin-ryu Karate: The legacy of the bodyguards of the king of Okinawa" (here)
  • "The legend of the masters of Okinawan Karate: Biographies, curiosities and mysteries"  (here)