Development in Sweden

Picture from the first Shorinji Kempo branch in Sweden, early 70s.

The first Shorinji Kempo branch was registered by Hombu on the third of June in 1970, shibu-chō was Hagiwara-sensei. Kanemi Hagiwara studied at Stockholm University and, according to verbal information, started to teach Shorinji Kempo in 1969. It was first in 1970 that the branch officially was registered by Hombu.

After Hagiwara-sensei, during 1970, Yokoichi-sensei took over. In 1972 Shuichi Kawai became shibu-chō in Stockholm Shibu. Kawai-sensei came from Rakutō dōin in Kyoto. After him followed a number of Japanese instructors with a connection to Rakutō dōin.

In 1975 Fumiyasa Sakata arrived, he had earlier started up Shorinji Kempo in Jyväskylä, Finland, and in 1976 Akio Matsushita came to Sweden.

1978 the instructor name was Yoshiyuki Horikawa and that same year Shorinji Kempo Bromma Shibu was established under the leadership of Yuji Hirase. The responsibility as shibu-chō in Bromma was later, in June of 1980, taken over by Roy Colegate.

During the end of the 70s there was also a club started by Kozo Toyokawa, at that time the branch was called Ungdom, but later the name was changed to Stockholm Södra.

In 1981 Shorinji Kempo was started in Visby, and after some different instructors it had Leif Larsson as shibu-chō for several years.

The above information is based on verbal information from different instructors, but since there aren’t many kenshi left from this time some information concerning years etc. can be somewhat inaccurate.

After a number of different Japanese instructors in the early days, there are 11 different branches today (2009), all run by Swedish kenshi. Some of those who were instructors and students during the seventies are still around, but nowadays more in the background.

Kozo Toyokawa used to live in Finland for a few years, but is back in Sweden and keep in contact with his old students, practice occasionaly and sometimes show up at training camps in Sweden.

Roy Colegate had a few years break during the 90’s but later practiced regularly in Stockholms Studenter. He also sometimes helped out and took care of classes until he tragically passed away on the 28th of February 2002.

Leif Larsson moved back to Stockholm after many years in Visby. He focused his time on his studies and has only been practising sporadically.