Japan, Karate, Karate Masters Portrait Project, Okinawa, pentax 645Z, profoto
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Kenichi Yamashiro 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo

On Friday evening we travelled down to the very south of the main island of Okinawa to the dojo of Kenichi Yamashiro. He is the 83rd sensei to be photographed for the project, and it was fascinating to meet him.

Kobudo is the weapons system of Okinawan martial arts and is often studied alongside karate. Arguably kobudo is an intrinsic part of traditional karate, or perhaps traditional karate is an intrinsic part of kobudo.

Yamashiro sensei trains with a wide range of weapons, including some which I’d never seen before such as the spinning bo staff.

Hopefully in the future we’ll be back again to interview him for the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate documentary series.

Kenichi Yamashiro, 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo,. Photographed March 1st 2019 at the Komesu Yamashiro Dojo
Kenichi Yamashiro, 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo,. Photographed March 1st 2019 at the Komesu Yamashiro Dojo
Kenichi Yamashiro, 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo,. Photographed March 1st 2019 at the Komesu Yamashiro Dojo
Kenichi Yamashiro, 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo,. Photographed March 1st 2019 at the Komesu Yamashiro Dojo
Kenichi Yamashiro, 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo,. Photographed March 1st 2019 at the Komesu Yamashiro Dojo
Kenichi Yamashiro, 9th dan Matayoshi Kobudo,. Photographed March 1st 2019 at the Komesu Yamashiro Dojo

All images captured using the Pentax 645Z and 90mm lens. Lighting using the Profoto B1 and softlight reflector.

A big thank you to Gary Hughes for assisting with lighting, Yuki Willson and James East for interpreting, and Mike Clayton for help setting up the shoot.

A huge thank you to Kenichi Yamashiro for inviting us into his dojo and giving up 3 hours of his time to chat and demonstrate his love of kobudo. We look forward to returning to capture it again on video.

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