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Oyata, Seiyu

Taika* Oyata's family lineage dates back to the Zana family, which was a Bushi family in Shuri, Okinawa. His ancestor Zana Oyakata (Oyakata is a title) was the King's scholar. When Japan invaded Okinawa around 1609, the Shuri King was captured and the Zana family head resisted and was killed. The Japanese also required the family to change their name to Sinda which means Death. Years later the family name was changed to Ikemiyagusiku and eventually became Oyata.

Taika's father was the middleweight Sumo champion of all Okinawa. When he was young, he and the rest of the Sumo team challenged all comers in Okinawa. Kana Oyata was the strongest man on the team and won the competion for his native island. Taika was the fourth son of Kana Oyata and the youngest. His three brothers Taro, Kiseii and Akio were killed in the second World War. He also fought during the war and was commissioned a lieutenant in the Japanese Navy. If the war continued a few months longer, Taika Oyata would have joined his brothers in death because he had been selected for a suicide (torpedo) mission. His death certificate had already been sent to his remaining family. As a part of training in the Navy, Taika was required to train in Iado (art of the sword), and this is where Taika got his introduction to Martial Arts. When the war ended Taika returned to Okinawa and continued his studies of the martial arts. About this time he started a job working for the US government delivering food to the smaller islands. Food was not readily available and there was much starvation on the islands. Taika Oyata was stationed in the village of Termu where at age 17. He met Uhugusiku No Tan Mei who was from a Bushi Family that resided in Shuri. Uhugusiku No Tan Mei was about 93 years old at the time of their meeting. Because Taika Oyata had royal blood in his ancestry he was allowed to study under Master Uhugusiku. Taika Oyata took extensive weapons training from Master Uhugusiku, learning many aspects of the indigenous weapons of Okinawa.

Taika was also introduced to Master Wakinaguri who as a Chinese Martial Artist and also a Bushi warrior. Master Wakinaguri was asked to teach Taika the art of vital point striking and pressure point striking, techniques for which Master Wakinaguri was renowned. When Taika Oyata met him he noticed that all the fingers on Master Wakinaguri's hands were the same length. This was due to many years of training by thrusting his hands into pumice.

Taika Oyata was Master Uhugusiku's only student at the time. He considered Taika a family member calling him "Mago" which is Okinawan for grandson and teaching him more than he would have a regular student. After the deaths of his previous instructors, Taika joined an analytical research group along with Master Nakamura and trained with Master Uehara. He was accepted as an instructor/student in Master Nakamura's Dojo because he had studied from Uhugusiku No Tan Mei. From Master Nakamura, Taika learned the twelve empty hand kata he now teaches to his present students. Taika worked with Master Uehara (Motobu Ryu) on weapons and was a training partner.

Through the years, Taika has constantly analyzed the kata and the human body. He developed his own style of tuite that wasn't dependent on strength but on execution of technique.

*Taika is a title meaning "big house" or "God like person."

Information reproduced from the website of the Academy of Ryute Menpo with the Permission of Mike Minor Shihan. (Edited for punctuation and clarity)

To find more articles of interest, search on one of these keywords:

tuite,Taika, Zana family,Kana Oyata,Uhugusiku No Tan Mei,Wakinaguri, Kyusho. kyusho jutsu

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