100 Kata for Karate Day 2018 took place on October 25th beside the Naminoue Shrine in Naha City, Okinawa. Matsuda sensei and Arakaki sensei were the masters that welcomed the attendees to the event. The event was organized by my good friend James Pankiewicz of the Dojo Bar and Asato Dojo. Great to see so many people taking part at the Okinawa event, and also across the world. The 100 Kata for Karate Day has become a rigorous annual challenge for many karateka. Arakaki sensei and Matsuda sensei, are both in fine health at 75 and 80 years old. Matsuda sensei told me he’d just been to the Namie Amuro farewell concert as he’d been her karate teacher many years ago. (For those who are unaware, Namie Amuro is Japan’s Beyonce.) Congratulations again to all those who took part.
On Friday I photographed 9th-dan master Yoshimasa Matsuda and his son Hirokazu Matsuda at Naminoue Shrine, Naha City, Okinawa. On January 31st Matsuda will receive the rank of 10th-dan. Naminoue Shrine is the most famous shrine on Okinawa. The fact that Matsuda is a local resident and supporter of the shrine meant we were given permission to use it as a background for the photographs.