James Mitose - Georgia Kenpo

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James Mitose

Kenpo Profiles



21st Great Grand Master of Kenpo
James Masayoshi Mitose


James Mitose was born in Kaelakekua, North Kona, Hawaii on December 30, 1916. the second child of Otokichi Mitose and Kiyoka Yoshida. James M. Mitose was sent to Japan, at the age of 3 years 10 months, to live with his mother's family and was schooled in his family's art, Kosho-Shorei Kenpo by his Grandfather Sukuhei Yoshida.

Some of his training was held at the family temple on Mt. Kinkai. James Mitose lived in many different parts of Japan during his training but he always lived with his grandparents. At the age of 14, James Masayoshi Mitose became the 21st Great Grand Master in the family system of Kosho-Kenpo. James Mitose was the 1st Great Grandmaster to not have the family name Yoshida. After seventeen years of training Masayoshi Mitose would return to the United States in February 1937.

During World War II, James Mitose joined the National Guard, but was mustered out after a couple of weeks, and he spent most of the war years as a civilian. During the war years Mitose taught the lethal aspects of Kenpo, which he deemed appropriate under the prevailing conditions. As the end of the war grew near many of the sons and grandsons of Sukuhei returned to their family home on Mount Kinkai, overlooking the city and harbor of Nagasaki. When the United States dropped the bomb on Nagasaki thus virtually the entire Kosho sect of the Yoshida Klan of Japan was annihilated. James Mitose the last Grand Master of Kosho, was left with full authority, as the sole inheritor of all the family secrets.

As the war grew to a close, Mitose tried to teach all of the other aspects of Kenpo, but found that his students were not interested in the less violent, non-violent and healing aspects of Kenpo. Frustrated and disgusted, he quite teaching.

James Mitose came to the continental United States in 1953 and he disappeared from the Kenpo world until he was brought to trial and convicted of murder and extortion in 1974 and sentenced to Folsom prison. James Masayoshi Mitose died while in Folsom prison on March 26, 1981.

Despite his conviction and incarceration James Mitose was responsible for bringing his families art of Kosho-Shorei Kenpo to the world. He was the first to teach his families art to non-family members. If there was no James Mitose there would be no Kenpo.

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