Inaba, Shobu Hanshi
Inaba Hanshi 2006
Inaba, Shobu, Hanshi is the senior student of Motobu, Chosei Soke of Motoburyu Kempo and Motoburyu Udonde. Inaba Hanshi has been with Motobu Soke for 60 years. Both Motobu Soke and Inaba Hanshi trained with Uehara, Seikichi, Soke of Motoburyu Udonde as well. One has to admire the loyalty of Inaba Hanshi to the Motobu family and to the art as well. Below is Inaba Hanshi's excerpt on his perspectives and insights growing up in the pre-war and war years of World War ll.

When I was at Pre-War Middle School, we use to use a primitive rifle called “Fire Lock” (Explanation-This weapon had a rope at the end of the rifle and the rope was pulled to shoot the rifle instead of pulling a trigger) during training because we didn’t have enough rifles. It looked like a Samurai movie the way we trained for war. At that time we also used “Bamboo Tube”(long Bamboo Pole) to carry water instead of using Canteens like the Americans used. Soldiers who did not have rifles, used Take Yari or “Bamboo Spears” (Explanation-This was long Bamboo Poles that were cut and sharpened to resemble a spear. There was not enough metal around at this time to make a real Yari). According to my classmate who applied for Pre-School of Fighter Pilot Training, called “Yokaren” (Explanation-This would be the equivalent of ROTC programs in the High Schools today), it seems like they didn’t have any planes available for War training.

So I asked him:

“What kind of training did you get?”

He answered:

“They dived into the ocean, very deeply, with depth charges attached to their bodies. Many times, many died accidentally.” (Explanation-The exact translation here is a bit complicated. The actual translation says that depth charges were attached to the student’s head. However, the best explanation seems to indicate that there were exercises that plunged the student into the ocean to simulate a plane crash, maybe preparing these young students to become Kamikaze, in which you had to be 18 to apply for). The top Military Officials at that time didn’t know the most important timing when to withdraw themselves from the War. They didn’t want to face the reality that they didn’t realize the facts. The mountain climbers will turn around and descend the mountain, even though they can see the top of the mountain and it’s very close to where they are, if the weather gets worse. The top Japanese Military Officials at that time didn’t have the kind of braveness to make a decision to withdraw from the War. Also, we had witnessed numerous brutal acts done especially by top Generals, in front of our own eyes. Those high-ranking Military Officials didn’t have Bushido Spirit, like many Gaijin (foreigners) who respect Bushido as a Japanese Spirit. The Japanese Government gathered up school age children and those children had to dig bunkers for Anti-Aircraft Guns and to protect the airstrips. Everyday the women and young boys risked their lives and continued to fight against the Allies. We were disgusted to see about the misery of war and the foolishness of the war. Once the War breaks, rationality will not exist, such as the surprise attacks or cowardice and cruelty to Prisoners of War, which are violations of the treaty. The dropping of the Atomic Bombs, which were intentionally aimed at common citizens along, with the indiscriminate bombings and inhumane massacres. But the winners of the War will call it justice. It can’t be Justice. The War is nothing but foolish massacre. We shouldn’t start the war if we argue that wars are coward or the violation of rights. To forget the misery of war is the same as to forget the importance of Peace.



(Explanation-Literally translated this means “Don’t Invade-Don’t get Invaded” The best explanation for this is trying to understand the concept of not attacking, however never waiting long enough to be attacked. This can be viewed in terms of Martial Arts or in terms of a Political Philosophy)

Martial Arts are the same as the war; it’s a “Warlike Art”. If they don’t realize war is foolish and a miserable action, and think that Martial Arts is something beautiful, I don’t think they can achieve the same philosophy of the forerunners before us. (Explanation-The point of this is to make the reader aware that Martial Arts is not meant to be something beautiful, that Martial Arts needs to be viewed as a product of war.) The founder of Motobu Kempo, Motobu, Choki Sensei speaks of many Masters and Experts in his books.

“Mr…………” is the expert for this technique and “Senior Grandmaster so and so” is the Master of this particular weapon. These Masters names were introduced and written by Motobu, Choki Sensei with the highest respect. Don’t have a narrow mind such as you believe that you are the best. I believe its very important, not to have a narrow mind in this Society. Motobu, Choki Sensei clearly told his students during World War ll, that Japan would lose the war, because he could see the reality then, not like the leaders of Japan at that time.

Karate’s Basic Meoto-De which is called Ryote or Morote today. (Explanation-This concept is based on the posture taken by the person in which they are grabbed by their hands, however it’s more about the stance than anything else). People think Meoto-De is unique to Motobu Kempo. I assume the reason is the body is the ‘Family’ the front hand being the Husband and the backhand means the Wife. So the Man and Wife protect their Family and fight against the enemies. This is the concept of Meoto-De (Explanation-There are other styles of Martial Arts that also use this concept and see the body and a ‘Family’ unit. In any explanation, the concept is that one part of the body looks after another). People don’t have respect today for our forerunners instruction. The parents kill their children and the children kill their parents in Japan. It happens very often now. There is the tendency to do anything they feel like doing. I can’t find the order or discipline of people anymore. I sometimes feel, maybe Japan will end up with the destruction of mankind someday. I believe we can learn the moral and the value of life from our ancestors and from our culture, which has been part of Japan for thousands of years, including the good things, and the things to be reconsidered.

Patriotism should not be taught in the classroom, it should be learned naturally. We used to be enemies of the Americans, but now the Japanese and Americans can respect each other. I thought, “ It is our duty to make people understand, all over the world the real meaning of Budo, and Bujutsu":

OKASAZU-OKASAREZU- (Don’t Invade, Don’t Get Invaded)

I felt the necessity to spread this Concept of Budo at Seminars all over the world.

On the way home from America, I was already looking forward to my next visit to America or other foreign countries to train with many people.


Motoburyu Daidokan Kancho

Inaba, Shobu Hanshi