Photo of Sensei and student bowing

Hope Yama Dojo

Hope, British Columbia, Canada

"All things begin with one." - Tatsuo Shimabuku

Losier's Isshin Ryu Karate School patch

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Master Shimabuku's Dream

The Patch Takes Shape

The Name of the Goddess

The Isshin Ryu no Megami Explained


Master Shimabuku's Dream

Isshinryu no Me Gami patch
Isshin Ryu no Megami

There are different versions of Master Shimabuku's now-famous dream. The following version is based on an interview granted to Sensei A.J. Advincula in 1984.1

In the mid-1980s, Sensei requested an interview of three men who studied under Master Shimabuku in the late 1940s and 1950s. The men were Master Eiko Kaneshi, Genyu Shigema, and Kenji Kaneshiro. The interview, conducted by Sensei Advincula, took place in Okinawa in December 1984.

The students explained that one day in the 1950s, Master Shimabuku had a dream. In this dream, a goddess appeared to him. The goddess, who was riding a dragon, told Master Shimabuku that since he had enough karate knowledge, he must now teach everyone. One of the students (Kaneshi) stated that after this dream, Master Shimabuku made two pictures of the goddess, one for himself and one for Kaneshi, his student.

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The Patch Takes Shapes

In 1958, twenty-year-old A.J. Advincula (he was not a sensei at this time) was serving with the United States Marine Corps in Okinawa. That December, he began studying karate with Master Shimabuku. Soon afterwards, Master Shimabuku told his dream to Advincula.

In early 1961, Advincula and another karate student received Master Shimabuku's permission to take the goddess's portrait to Naha, the city where Master Shimabuku is thought to have first seen it. There, the two men asked a shop to produce a patch or crest, using the portrait of the goddess and a design done by Advincula as a guide. Advincula made one more request of the shop: the outline of the patch must be in the shape of a vertical fist with the thumb on top. (Advincula's fist was the model for the outline of the patch.)

Photo of A.J. Advincula at Agena dojo

A young A.J. Advincula, ca February 1961,
standing in the Agena dojo. He is wearing the
first patch* of Isshin Ryu karate, as approved
by Master Shimabuku.


Photo of A.J. Advincula

A.J. Advincula in Hope, BC, 2001.

* To view a picture of the original patch or crest as designed by Sensei Advincula, along with the updated (2000 version), see

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The Name of the Goddess

The goddess has slightly different names, depending on individual Masters. For example, Master Shimabuku called the goddess "Isshinryu no Me Gami" (Goddess of Isshinryu), while Master Uezu, Master Shimabuku's son-in-law, called her "Mizu Gami" (Water Goddess). As for Sensei Advincula, he refers to her as "Me Gami".

According to the 1984 interview granted by Kaneshi and Kaneshiro, the name "Mizu Gami" is not correct. Both men state that the goddess "has nothing to do with water" and that she is "not a Water Goddess".

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The Isshin Ryu no Megami Explained

For an explanation of the different elements found in the Isshin Ryu no Megami patch, see the following websites:

Meanings of the Megami - patch

The True Story of the Isshin-Ryu Patch

The Isshin-Ryu Megami

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1. "Interview". Retrieved 22 January 2003 from Isshin-Ryu on the World Wide Web:

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