Yesterday, October 12th 2020, Tetsunosuke Yasuda passed away. A karate master and a true gentleman. I photographed him in 2014 when he was a sprightly 88 years old and he showed off his incline sit-ups while holding a weight above his head. Our paths crossed several times, as for a decade I rented a house through his Yasuda Jutaku housing company. Each time we met he was such as kind, generous man full of praise and encouragement for our project to document Okinawan karate. When I decided to create a book of the first 58 karate masters I’d photographed, I placed Yasuda Sensei at the center on the front cover . A lovely lovely man, and the international karate community will miss him dearly.
Although 88 years old, Tetsunosuke Yasuda is still training in karate. Before the portrait session, he held a 10 kilo barbell plate behind his head then started doing sit-ups. Yasuda sensei is one of the few 10th dan masters of karate. It was great to meet him, and an honor to take his photograph. He was smiling almost the entire session. A real gentleman.