Satunuku -Tode- Sakugawa

The mysterious Kusanku of a Chinese envoy settled in Okinawa for some time. His most famous student was Satunuku "Tode" Sakugawa (1733-1815). It is believed Sakugawa became a student of Kusanku in 1756.

Sakugawa was a student of Takahara Peichin (1683-1760) until the arrival of Kusanku in Okinawa. At that time Sakugawa was granted permission from Takahara Peichin to train under Kusanku.

At the age 17, Tode Sakugawa began his martial arts training under an Okinawan monk named Peichin Takahara. At age 23, Sakugawa was advised by Takahara to leave and train under Kusanku, a Chinese master in Kung Fu. Sakugawa traveled to China with Kusanku to study and learn all that he could from Kusanku. Sakugawa learned valuable lessons from Kung Fu and went on to become a great master himself.

Sakugawa returned to Okinawa in 1762 to introduce this fighting method. Before long Sakugawa was considered an expert in the Chinese hand fighting method. It is said that Sakugawa was awarded the title of Satonushi for his services to the Okinawa King.

Sakugawa soon started to teach the Chinese hand way in Okinawa. Combining what both his teachers had taught him, he structured a training system. This made him the first Okinawan teacher of Tode.

Many of his students rose to greatness. Among them were Chokun Satunku Macabe, Satunuku Ukuda, Chikuntonoshinunjo Matsumoto, Kojo, Yamaguchi ("Bushi" Sakumoto), Unsume, and Sokon “Bushi” Chikatosinumjo Matsumura.

Tode Sakagawa was an important factor in the development of “Te” on the Okinawan Islands. Sakugawa was credited with forming several “Bo” kata, which are still practiced today. In addition, Sakugawa also created “Dojo Kun” which has become a tradition with many styles.

When Tode Sakugawa was 78, he taught his greatest student, Sokon Matsumura the art of “Te”. It would be Sakagawa’s student, Sokon Bushi Matsumura, who would be considered the forefather of many Karate styles.