Eiichi Miyazato (1922-1999) was a leading Okinawan master of Goju-ryu karate. He was a senior post-war student of Chojun Miyagi, founder of the Goju-ryu style. Miyazato held the rank of 10th dan in karate and 7th dan in judo; on his death, he was honored with the degree of 8th dan in judo.
Eiichi Miyasato began training in Matsuo, Naha City with Chojun Miyagi sensei when he was 17. He became an assistant to Chojun Miyagi sensei and also joined the Ryukyu Police Department in 1946 on Miyagi’s recommendation. He became a physical education instructor at the police academy and assisted Miyagi (already an instructor at the academy), teaching karate and judo. After Miyagi’s death in 1953, Miyazato inherited his training equipment and he took up the position of teaching at the Garden dojo, which had been Miyagi’s dojo.
After the death of Miyagi in 1953, Miyasato maintained the garden at Miyagi sensei’s residence and instructed the disciples of Miyagi. He was officially recognized as the successor to Chojun Miyagi sensei in April 1954, at the general meeting of the then Okinawa Goju-kai.
After Miyagi’s death (1953), his family communicated that Miyagi, the founder of the style, wanted Eiichi Miyazato to succeed him. The Goju Ryu committee (formed by its major students) at a meeting in February 1954 voted almost unanimously Eiichi Myzato as the official successor to Chojun Miyagi.
In 1957, Miyazato opened his own dojo, the Jundokan, in Asato, Naha. The building had three levels, with Miyazato’s dwelling located on the top level. Through the early 1970s, while he instructed students, he acted as an advisor to the All Japan Karatedo Federation and the All Japan Karatedo Federation Goju-kai, as president of the Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Federation, and as the first president of the Okinawa Goju-ryu Karatedo Association, among other important responsibilities.
In 1972, he retired from the police force and devoted the rest of his life to teaching karate.
On March 20, 1988, the Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate-do Kyokai awarded him the rank of 10th dan in karate. Apart from his karate rank, Miyazato held the rank of 7th dan in judo from the Kodokan, and was President of the Okinawa Judo Federation.
Miyazato received numerous awards for his contribution to the martial arts. In 1984, he received an official commendation from the Kodokan. In 1994, he was awarded a Commendation for Distinguished Service from the Nihon Budo Kyogikai and received an official commendation from the Okinawa Judo Federation. In 1998, he received an official commendation from the Japanese Ministry of Education.
Eiichi Miyazato passed away on December 11, 1999 in Naha hospital. Miyazato’s dojo is currently run by his son, Yoshihiro Miyazato.
Miyazato’s students included Riyosei Arakai, Shinzo Chinen, Teruo Chinen, Yoshio Hichiya, Morio Higaonna, Kiichi Nakamoto, Anyu Shinjo, Shinichi Iribe, Masanari Kikukawa, Seikichi Kinjo, Mike Mancuso, Tetsu Gima, Tsuneo Kinjo, Atsumi Iida, Kenei Shimabukuro, Hiroshi Ganaha, Kazuya Higa, Hisao Sunagawa, Nanko Minei, Keikichi Nakasone, Kenei Shiabuku, Masaji Taira, Koei Teruya, Tetsunosuke Yasuda, Ryoichi Onaga, Jaime Sequeira Pereira (Shibucho to Portugal), Richard Barrett, Mike Clarke.