Profile of Master Tomosaburo Okano

Okano-Sensei was born in Tokyo in 1922. In childhood, he was already showing his talent learning Kendo and horseback riding. In 1941, he started practicing Karate under his Sempai, Mr. Toshio Igarashi, a member of Takushoku University Karate Club.

Master Okano with son, Tomokatsu, and Mayor of Hachioji
In the following year, Mr. Igarashi introduced Okano-Sensei to the Shotokan dojo in Mejiro, Tokyo. Master Okano entered the dojo to become a student of Grand Master Gichin Funakoshi: "The Father of Modern Karate" and his third son, Master Yoshitaka. On October 10th of the same year, Okano established The Kenkokai Karate Club, gathering people eager to learn it.

Through it was in wartime, Okano kept coming to the Shotokan dojo three times a week, all the way from Hachioji City. After the end of the war in 1945, Okano
was discharged from the Air Force, and had to face his dearest teacher Yoshitaka's death. At this point, the Kenkokai was revived.

In April 1947, Hachioji City Physical Education Association was newly founded, and Okano became the official of the Karate section. In 1948 he formed Kenkojuku dojo Kenkokai at the present location in Minamimachi, Hachioji.

He has dedicated his life to spread Karate-Do, and has participated in several organizations such as: Tokyo Santama Karate-Do Masters' Association, Tokyo Karate-Do Federation, and so forth. He is a holder of an authorized 8th degree black belt from the Japan Karate Federation, an authorized 7th degree Iaido Kyoshi from the Japan Kendo Federation, and Sokanryu Okinawan Kobudo Master's degree.

He also has shown his talents in Flower Arrangement and Kodachi (short sword), and has researched Asayama Ichiden Ryu Jyujutsu.

Master Okano in California

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To the memory of those who have gone before us. Rei!

Okano-Sensei demonstrating his karate
Every Movement Reflects a Lifetime of Dedicated Training.
Okano-Sensei's Visit With Egan-Sensei in San Rafael, California
1998

In Memoriam

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1920-2003

Master Okano passed on peacefully. He died from an apparent brain aneurysm. He was found in his apartment, sitting in his favorite sofa-chair, above the dojo. He contributed much to the tapestry of life, and he will be remembered by many.


Photos

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Kenkojuku Board Members Kenkojuku Dojo (circa 1959)
Kenkojuku Senior Instructors
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