Nippon Seibukan Dôjô
The Nippon Seibukan Dōjō, or “School of the Japanese Hall of the Righteous Warrior”, serves as a center for the preservation and study of the Japanese martial arts, both classical koryū bugei and modern gendai budō. It was founded in 1952 by Suzuki Masafumi with support from the Imperial House. The Seibukan dōjō is located in Kyōto, Kansai region, on the main Japanese Island of Honshū.
Suzuki Masafumi passed away in September 1991. Upon his death Kawano Yasuo became the new Kanchō or president.
Masafumi Suzuki Kancho
Masafumi Suzuki was a dedicated practitioner and teacher of Japanese budō. His knowledge was both broad and deep. The grades he held were reflective of this knowledge, and included: 10th dan in Gōjū-ryū karatedō, 9th dan in jūjutsu (yawara style), 8th dan in kendō, 8th dan in iaidō, and 5th dan in jūdō. Suzuki-hanshi’s teachers included such illuminaries as Miyagi Chōjun, Miyazato Ei’ichi, Shimabuku Tatsuo, Tōyama Kanken. Upon the founding of the Seibukan it was common to have the opportunity to train with many notable teachers. The Seibukan Honbu (Headquarters) was located in the ancient capital of Japan, Kyōto. It was officially opened by its Founder Suzuki Masafumi, who served as its kaiso-seki [founding member]. Nowadays some people mistakenly say the Nippon Seibukan has ceased to exist. The truth is very different because not only does it continue to exist, also though smaller than it used to be, it keeps the same traditions and spirit as before.
At its opening, the Nippon Seibukan was considered one of the world’s biggest budō academies. Within its walls were taught Okinawa Gōjū-ryū karatedō, Okinawa kobudō, Kōdōkan jūdō, Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū iaidō, kendō, aikidō, jūjutsu, naginata, and jukendō.
Suzuki Masafumi-hanshi was undoubtedly a man of extraordinary mental and spiritual strength, a natural leader, and especially gifted at bringing budōka from different ryūha and organizations together for the common good. He built bridges of cooperation within Asia, and between East and West. Consequently, and as a direct result of his hard work and leadership, important achievements in contemporary martial arts and their preservation were achieved during his lifetime.
In September of the 3rd year of the Heisei Era (1991) Suzuki Masafumi-hanshi died in Taiwan. An extensive funeral was held in the Seibukan in Kyōto, which in 1992 was followed by a memorial service also held in Kyōto. In attendance, among others, were Vernon Bell of the European Ju-Jutsu Union (EJJU) / International Ju-Jutsu Federation (IJJF) in the United Kingdom, and George Anderson of the United States Karate Association (USKA) in the United States. Anderson-hanshi represented the USKA following the death of its Founder, Robert A. Trias-hanshi. Bell held the rank of hanshi 10th dan and Anderson held the rank of hanshi 9th dan, both granted by Suzuki-hanshi.
In 2008, because of the unauthorized use of the names and logos of the Nippon Seibukan Academy, Zen Nihon Sōgō-Budō Renmei [All Japan Budō Federation] or SōBuRen on diplomas, certificates and advertising materials, a special international committee was formed to protect the legacy of Suzuki Masafumi-hanshi. The committee is overseen by two shibuchō [branch directors], one for the East and one for the West. Both were appointed by the current Director/President of the Nippon Seibukan Dōjō, Kawano Yasuo-hanshi. In addition, trustworthy shidōin [advisers] have been appointed by Kawano-hanshi to serve in their respective countries. These committee delegates assist in verifying Nippon Seibukan Dōjō diplomas, evaluating curriculum, and screening applicants for membership of the Nippon Seibukan Dōjō and All Japan Budō Federation.