Friday, December 14, 2012

Chojun-Goran Powell


Goran Powell

Ymaa Publication Center, Dec 16 2012, $12.99

ISBN: 9781594392535

Now retired from his job at the harbor, Kenichi Ota reflects back on the life of the late great karate Master Chojun Miyagi who died back in 1953 in his sixties. Kenichi recalls meeting the great man in 1933 when as a foolish young boy growing up on Okinawa he was caught in the tidal waves of a typhoon. Over the next few years Kenichi studied karate under the tutelage of his master Chojun as cold war hostilities between America and Japan grew until Pearl Harbor began the combat. The pair traveled together to China to study the essence of karate while WWII slowly turns against the Japanese. As the American military head to Okinawa to begin the invasion, the Japanese army drafts every able person to defend the island. Following the ignoble defeat, Master and Student must help their fellow Okinawans rebuild. Eight years later, the student begins to consider ways to save the reputation of a great man, teacher and friend.

Chojun is a refreshing WWII biographical fiction from the point of view of a karate student providing insight into the martial arts and the devastation of the war on his island through Kenichi’s filter of his beloved Master. The karate fights are top rate and the lead protagonists seem fully developed caring individuals. However, it is Okinawa during and after the war that makes for a powerful historical thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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