RYUSHO SAKAGAMI (1915 - 1993) was born in Hyogo Prefecture, Kawanishi City of Japan, the son of a very prosperous "Saki" (rice wine) family businessman. He began practicing the martial art of KENDO" (way of Japanese Fencing) around the age of ten and in his later teen years began to study "IAIDO" (way of Samurai Sword Draw). Ryusho Sakagami continued to dilligently practice these arts and by 1934/35, he was enrolled at the prestigeous Tokyo University, the KOKUSHINKAN, who's specialty was producing the top KENDO instructors in Japan. While attending university, he became interested in the art to KARATE-DO and KOBUDO and later began to receive instruction from the famous Okinawan master, MODEN YABIKU.
As a result of his efforts to further promote the martial art to Karate-do, Ryusho Sakagami was awarded the honorary Karate-do title of
"RENSHI" (man of discipline) in 1942 from the DAI NIPPON BUTOKU-KAI, the most prestigeous martial arts organization in Japan at the time.
After the Grandmaster's death, Sakagami Sensei moved to the Tokyo area where he taught for a short time in 1953, and then, finally settled in the town of Tsurumi located between the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama.
By 1955, Sakagami Sensei had firmly established the "ZEN NIPPON KARATE-DO ITOSU-KAI" headquarters for instruction in the martial arts of KENDO, KARATE-DO, KOBUDO, and JODO (way of the short-staff).
Over the next few years, Sakagami Sensei continued with the study of Ryukyu Kobudo under the direction of Grandmaster SHINKEN TAIRA who awarded him a Shihan licence in 1959, and later promoted him to the level of 8th Dan, Kobudo in 1963.
Master Sakagami's reputation as a highly qualified and well respected martial artist became legendary throughout Japan and around the globe.
By this period in time, he had also distingushed himself to a level of 5th Dan in AIKIDO, 5th Dan in JUDO, and 7th Dan in JUKENDO (way of Rifle & Bayonet). During 1962, Sakagami Sensei was greatly honored by being awarded the 7th Dan, KENDO - "KYOSHI" (man of high attainment) level of distinction.
Besides serving as a director for the "Protection and Promotion of the Ancient Martial Arts of the Ryukyu Islands", Master Sakagami was one of the original "founding fathers" of the "Federation of All-Japan Karate-do Organizations" (F.A.J.K.O.) established in 1964 and proudly served as it's "chief technical judge" for many years. By 1977, he was again honored by receiving the 7th Dan, JODO - "KYOSHI" level of distinction.
Among Master Sakagami's more notable disciples were his son Shihan SADAAKI SAKAGAMI (Chief Instructor, Japan Headquarters), Shihan SEIKO SUZUKI (Tokyo - founder of present SEIKO-KAI SHITO-RYU), Shihan FUMIO DEMURA (1965 founder of SHITO-RYU ITOSU-KAI, U.S.A.), and Shihan KEI C. TSUMURA (1969 Founder of SHITO-RYU ITOSU-KAI, CANADA).
Grandmaster Ryusho Sakagami died of heart failure on Tuesday, December 28, 1993.
Sakagami Ryusho. Karate-do Taikan-Pinan. Tokyo, Japan: Kyusei Inc.,1974.