Shudokan Karate-Do History: Toyama Kai Founder
Tanaka Mikio: (1942- )
Judan Hanshi of Okinawa Seito Karate Do
(10th degree black belt, Superior Teacher of Okinawa Authentic Karate Do )
Tanaka Mikio was born on January 28, 1942 at Koyama in Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo.
He started working for Nikon Corporation, a world wide known manufacturer of optical instruments, after finishing his education at Minato Technical School in March 1960. He retired from the company in January 2002 at the age of 60.
Tanaka’s Karate career officially started on July 14, 1958, at the age of 16, when Toyama Kanken allowed him to enter his Shudo-Kan Dojo. Tanaka had had to wait three long years before he became a student of Toyama, though, as Tanaka’s father had not approved of Tanaka learning karate due mainly to the dangerousness of Karate.
Less than two years after his initiation into the Shudo-Kan Dojo, he earned Shodan (1st degree black belt) on March 10, 1960 from Toyama. He continued his training there, and on April 1, 1965, Toyama honored him with Shihan diploma (teaching license of Karate with 5th degree of black belt). Tanaka continued training and teaching others under Toyama’s guidance until November 24, 1966, when Toyama died at the age of 78. Toyama’s only son, Hatoyama Hiroshi succeeded directorship of the Dojo and became second-generation principal of the Shudo-Kan Dojo. Tanaka, then Rokudan Shihan (6th degree black belt teacher) continued to train many students for Hatoyama, as the principal trainer at the Shudo-Kan Dojo. Tanaka was honored with Hachidan Hanshi (Superior teaching license with 8th degree black belt) in 1976, and Judan Hanshi (Superior teaching license with 10th degree) in 1995 from Hatoyama.
17 years after the passing of Toyama Kanken, Hatoyama decided to close the Shudo-Kan Dojo in March 1983. Tanaka then decided to establish his own school of Karate, the Toyama Kai, named after his teacher and located his Dojo in Shinagawa Ward of Tokyo on April 13, 1983. He has taught since then well over 200 students, both young and old, from all walks of life in Japan as well as from abroad. At his Dojo, Tanaka always stresses the importance of his master’s teachings, including, among others, the preservation of the traditional techniques and Kata he learned from Toyama.
Tanaka’s training at the Toyama Kai Tanaka Dojo normally takes place twice a week. Tanaka’s preferred and often-practiced Katas are Passai Dai and Koryu Gojushiho. One of his hobbies, outside of Karate, is to travel by local train. He believes in the idea that peace, not force, should prevail in the world, and his motto in Karate is, “Continuation is the key to find the truth.”