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4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  58 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A typhoon brings the renowned karate master Chojun Miyagi into the life of young Kenichi Ota, who must prove himself before he can enter the master’s inner circle. As once-peaceful Okinawa prepares for war, master and student venture to China in search of the deepest meaning of karate.

After the destruction of Pearl Harbor, the tides of war turn against Japan and an Americ
Paperback, 347 pages
Published December 16th 2012 by YMAA Publication Center (first published December 1st 2012)
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Nov 10, 2012 Shomeret rated it it was amazing
Like many people, I have seen The Karate Kid movies without realizing that there was a real Okinawan karate master named Miyagi. I am also interested in the history and culture of Okinawa. Returning to Okinawa with a novel about a student of the real Miyagi was definitely appealing for me. My copy of Chojun by Goran Powell is an ARC from Net Galley.

Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953) was the founder of Goju-ryu Karate . He was born in Naha, the capital of Okinawa prefecture on the main island. This book i
Dec 23, 2012 Charmaigne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
I loved this book as it gives a more personal insight into the Pacific war that was fought after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. How it affected the founding father of Goju karate, his students and the island of Okinawa.

An amazing moving and very thought provoking book.

Rreally looking forward to more books by this author.
Viviane Crystal
Dec 16, 2012 Viviane Crystal rated it it was amazing
Many years ago, thousands of viewers enjoyed the movie character "Miyagi" in "The Karate Kid." But Chojun is the story of the real karate sensei or teacher Chojun Miyagi and his story is a worthy, very human and therefore real account of what it is like to fully engage in karate in and out of extraordinarily difficult times!

Kenichi Ota is the narrator of this tale, a young boy initially who wants to train with Miyagi but is told to practice holding his breath while underwater in the shores of Ok
Jun 05, 2013 Basho rated it really liked it
Excerpt of my review:

It is said that you can only truly know someone by fighting them, for in the stress of combat the mind of the other is laid bare: their intentions, their fears and their mental balance. However, this is when facing an untrained mind. The master’s mind is like the void states of Zen Buddhism known as Mushin and Zanshin, the flowing stream and the rock in its centre, from which actions flow without recourse to any thing, not even a simple desire for victory. When fighting some
Feb 08, 2013 Sunflower rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: History buffs, martial artists, Asian history, military
Recommended to Sunflower by: Michael Clarke
I was unable to put this book down. Goran Powell has intertwined the lives of two people, Chojun Miyagi--a real person and Kenichi Ota--a fictional one. It's a powerful, absorbing story of life before, during and after the invasion of Okinawa in World War II. The historical background is the battle of this island by the Japanese and American forces. But the powerful story is the story of Master Chojun and student Ota as they search for the deepest meaning of karate, and as Ota finds after the wa ...more
Alain Burrese
Jul 07, 2013 Alain Burrese rated it it was amazing
“Chojun a novel” by Goran Powell is an engaging well spun tale based on the martial arts master Chojun Miyagi, who lived from 1888 to 1953. Powell weaves fact and fiction together in a believable and highly entertaining story about the renowned Okinawan karate master who founded Goju-Ryu Karate, and the fictional student, Kenichi Ota, who's point of view shares the adventure in this fictional memoir.

Any martial artist interested in history will be delighted with the way historical fact and liter
Mar 07, 2013 Olaf rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Olaf by: Goran Powell
Shelves: first-read

Goran Powell's done a wonderful job of writing up the story of the real Mr Miyagi. As someone who has practised karate (albeit a different style), I found his descriptions of Karate to be spot on, and his descriptions of life in Japan in the 40s ring true, based on other materials I've read.
The pace of the book is also very good- the chapters have a good flow to them, and the breaks are at very convenient spots, ideal for reading when you're likely to be interrupted. I found the story grippi
Kenichi Ota, an Okinawan living in Naha, desperately wants to learn karate from the famous Chojun Miyagi. From the dojo to his uncle’s shipping business and into the war with America, Kenichi and Miyagi struggle through life’s hardships and their relation to karate.

This novel is at its best when in the dojo, the practice arena for students of karate. Karate seems both humble and forceful through the detailed descriptions of positions, kata, and physical abilities.

Unfortunately, Powell suffers a
Mar 27, 2016 Rachelle rated it really liked it
"Chojun" is the story of Chojun Miyagi and the modern history of Karate as told through one of his students, Kenichi Ota. This historical novel spans pre and post WWII, but with the unique perspective of Okinawa and its people, who were only recently added to the Japanese nation.

I loved the historical knowledge and detail, especially of the Battle of Okinawa and post WWII with the American occupation. As a karateka, I loved reading a fictional account of its history and Goju-ryu, I couldn't put
Bert Edens
I received a copy of this book from YMAA publishers for the purpose of reviewing the product.

I expected this to be a novel about karate and the protagonist's training in the art, his relationship with his sensei, his struggles, and so forth. What I found was a book that was so much more. Specifically, it goes into great detail of the events before and after the Battle Of Okinawa, how it impacted the protagonist, Ota Kenichi, his family, friends, civilians, etc. While karate was a very important
Aug 29, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it
As a student of history, karate, and human nature,I was captivated by Chojun. It is a well written fictionalized memoir.

The karate history is what initially interested me, but the Okinawan perspective on the Pacific war and the finely developed characters were what completely drew me in. The premise is obvious (and I wish that I had thought of it!) but the writing is solid and the emotions ring true.

I recommend it, strongly--especially for war buffs and karateka.
Jan 19, 2016 Carrie rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
This is the third and final book I will read for my trip to Okinawa. I was a bit disappointed by the content of this story. I was hoping for more Karate philosophy or something like that. In fact it was more history of the Battle of Okinawa which I've read about in two previous books already. I know that sensei Miyagi lived through this battle. Had I not already read about it, it would have been a more fresh story. Overall though, a good book.
Mar 16, 2013 Alex rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and was thoroughly impressed. The author writes in a simple style that allows you to feel connected to the main character Kenichi Ota. Further, the novel provides an excellent perspective of what life was like on the island of Okinawa during the Second World War.
Marcus Lubiato
Aug 08, 2013 Marcus Lubiato rated it really liked it
Aprendi sobre a origem do Goju-ryu, vida do Chojun Miyagi e ainda sobre os efeitos da 2ª guerra em Okinawa.

Presente da Tamy <3
Jan 22, 2013 Christine rated it really liked it

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Martial Arts Fiction: CHOJUN 7 25 Dec 12, 2012 12:30PM  
Martial Arts: CHOJUN 1 13 Dec 06, 2012 04:02AM  
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Goran is a writer who holds a 5th Dan in Goju Ryu Karate. He lives in London and teaches and trains at Daigaku Karate Kai, one of the UK's strongest clubs. In 2006 his first book Waking Dragons was an instant bestseller on Amazon's martial arts listing and is now in its second edition. In 2008 he co-produced the highly acclaimed Four Shades of Black written by his Sensei Gavin Mulholland.

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