THE INTERNATIONAL KARATE
( IKO )
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama
WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THE KYOKUSHIN ORGANIZATION?
Shihan Shokei Matsui
Shihan Yoshikazu Matsushima
Many people have written, asking me if I have information about who is the
real person in charge of the Kyokushin Organization. I have already some pages
to explain and talk about the split groups, so this page will be more a
recollection of the legal battle to establish the truth about who should be the
successor of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama. Of course there are more than just the legal
side that you would like to take into consideration in order to determine who
should be in charge of the Kyokushin Organization.
When Sosai Masutatsu Oyama died the branch chiefs around the world were told that there was a will left by Sosai Oyama, and in that will said that Shihan Shokei Matsui was the one chosen to lead the Kyokushin Organization. Most of the branch chief respected the will of Sosai Oyama and gave their support to Shihan Shokei Matsui. However, months later it was learned that the will was not signed by Sosai Oyama himself but only by the witness. One of big problems was that the witness were the same people who were named as beneficiaries. As a result the validity of the will was questioned very seriously. As a consequence Shihan Yukio Nishida And Sosai Oyama's wife took this case to the Court and after a long process the court of Japan declared that the will has not legal ground, and declared the will null, in the main court. The split of the Kyokushin Organization became inevitable, there were to many bad things said by the different groups that created too much hate between them which makes it almost impossible to get along with each other.
Since the Death of Sosai Oyama 3 mayor groups have been created and Branch Chiefs have but no other choice than to take sides, supporting one or another. Below there are some documents that have been released during this battle for power. This information has the intention to answer some questions that people had made to me, instead of me answer them, I am posting this information so they can find their own answers. However we should not forget that Kyokushin is only one, the division is because of personal and political differences, but if you visit any Kyokushin school from different groups you will see that they all do the same Kyokushin. Of course you would find better teacher than other o teachers with more knowledge that others. You would find small differences on how to do particular techniques or perform a Kata, but still the basic elements are there and are more or less the same. Kyokushin is Kyokushin. Wish you all the best in your search for truth. OSU!
BATTLE ON THE COURT TO CLARIFY WHO HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO LEAD THE IKO
WILL OF SOSAI MASUTATSU OYAMA
This is an Article I found on the Internet. It appears that is Directed by the Oldest daughter of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama. Here you will found the Will of Sosai Oyama translated to English.
KYOKUSHIN NEWS from Kyokushin Karate Oyama Dojo
Kyokushin Karate Oyama Dojo is owned by Ruiko Oyama who is the eldest daughter of Mr. Masutatsu Oyama. This Home Page is published along her mind.
Now, Mr. Matsui is insisting that Mr. Masutatsu Oyama (who had dead in 1994) had left the Will that he is successor of Kyokushin Kaikan. But the Will is fake. So, Mr. Matsui as the successor of it is illegal.
In this Home Page, we describe how he is illegal and criminal.
At first, please read the fake Will, and the judgment of Court to it.
WILL OF MASUTATSU OYAMA
Testator: Masutatsu Oyama
Masutatsu Oyama orally expressed his will to Itsuo Yonetsu as a witness in the presence of other witnesses Yoshiaki Umeda, Akira Kurosawa, Yasuhito Onishi, and Hitoshi Yonetsu and Itsuo Yonetsu wrote it down:
At my death, things shall be dealt with as follows:
1. There should be established a foundation unifying Kyokushin Kaikan and the
International League of Karate. Since it will take time to form a juristic
person, the existing foundation, Kyokushin Shougakukai should be expanded. It
will be all right to merge Kyokushin Kaikan and the International League of
Karate into Kyokushin Shougakukai, if possible.
2. I hope that Yoshiaki Umeda will be the chairman of Kyokushin Shougakukai
and President of Great Mountains ,Inc.
3. The successor of Masutatsu Oyama as Chief of Kyokushin Kaikan and the
International League of Karate shall be Shoukei Matsui. All in charge of
Kyokushin Drill Halls directly belonging to the Headquater in Japan and around
the world and all chapter chairs, and all subchapter chairs shall accept it and
cooperate with him.
4. I hope that Shoukei Matsui will build a new Central Hall as the second
chairman in charge of its construction. (The first chairman was Yoshiaki Umeda.)
Masatsugu Kimoto, Yasuhiro Shichinohe, Yasuhiro Kuwashima, Kenji Midori, Akio
Koyama, Tadashi Mimura, Kyouji Mimura, Akira Masuda, Kenji Ymaki, Hiroki
Kurosawa, Etsuhiro Tamura, Hajime Kazumi, and Kunihiro Suzuki (not in order)
shall assist Shokei Matsui and cooperate with him. All in charge of drill halls
directly run by the Headquarter, all chapter chairs, and subchapter chairs shall
cooperate with him in the regard.
5. I hope that Yoshiaki Umeda will direct Kyokushin Kaikan, the International
League of Karate, the foundation Kyokushin Shougakukai, Great Mountain, Inc.,
Power Karate, Ltd. and all other business related to the League of Kyokushin
Karate and work as Shoukei Matsui's contributor. I hope that Akira Kurosawa will
assist and cooperate with Yoshiaki Umeda. I also hope Yasuto Onishi and Hitoshi
Yonetsu will also do the same. I further hope that Itsuo Yonetsu and Ken'ichi
Nagashima will also cooperate with him.
6. The land and building of Kyokushin Kaikan in Ikebukuro including the land
for a new hall shall be donated to Kyokushin Kankan, the International League of
Karate, Kyokushin Shougakukai, Great Mountain, Inc. The capital and investment,
the rein, shall also be donated. These shall be solely used for the martial art
of Kyokushin Karate. I hope that all these proceedings shall be taken by Itsuo
7. My spouse Chiyako and my third daughter Kikuko shall be equally shared the
land house including all maovables therein in Sakujii. The land and house still
has loans to be paid. I hope that Kyokushin will bear the responsibility to pay
it off. I give the land in Onjyuku, Chiba, my personal deposits and money to
Chiyako. Meanwhile, I hope that Kyokushin will pay one million yen or an
equivalent monthly to take care of her for life.
8. I hope that the magazine Power Karate will remain the organ of the art of
Kyokushin Karate. As long as it remains as the organ, I hope that Kyokushin will
pay my third daughter Kikuko one million yen monthly.
9. The land and villa in Yugawara including the movables, therein, with the
exception of such items as may be needed by Kyokushin shall be given to my
second daughter Ekiko. I hope that Kyokushin will pay her one million yen
10. I hope that Kyokushin will pay may first daughter Keiki one million yen
11. Chiyako, Keiki, Ekiko, Kikuko shall not be concerned with Kyokushin
Karate by any means.
I designate the executer of my will as follows:
the executer: Lawyer Itsuo Yonetsu
Address: 4-22-28, Setagaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Itsuo Yonetsu read the afore-mentioned items to the executor and the
witnesses Yoshiaki Umeda, Akira Kurosawa, Yasuto Onishi, hitoshi Yonetsu and
each witness approved of this writing as accurate and sighned and sealed
Writers: Witness Itsuo Yonetsu
Witness Yoshiaki Umeda
Witness Akira Kurosawa
Witness Yasuto Onishi
Witness Hitoshi Yonetsu
(Signed and sealed)
Comments from one of his family supporters:
The above-mentioned will in Japanese was turned down as void in the local district court in Japan after proceedings and examination.
According to the nation-wide newspaper Asahi immediately after his death, the doctor in the hospital said that despite his lung cancer he looked merely suffering from a usual cold and his wife met and talked with him for a long time on the previous day. He was, therefore, in a position to sign his will, if he so desired. This is an oral will, the validity o f which seems doubtful.
Besides, executors and witnesses may not be the ones who may benefit from the will.
According to one of his family, Masutatsu said, Nobody is to be relied upon. Naturally, it was he, himself, that started and made Kyokushin as it is through his achievement. Everybody should realize the fact. His entire property should belong to his family and not be exploited, by any others .
The Tokyo Court of Family Affair dismisses the Will:
Judgment on the Will No. 5615 of Family Affairs in 1994 and No. 14446 to Request to Confirm the Will
Applicant: Itsuo Yonetsu, residing in 22-28, 4 Chome, Setagaya-ward, Tokyo
His deputy lawyer: Ken' ichi Nagashima (abbreviated)
March 31, 1995
This statement is dismissed for the following reasons:
1) The applicant requested the Court to confirm the two wills as in attached sheets as the real wills of Masutatsu Oyama who died on April 19, 1994 and whose permanent address was at ---,
Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-Ward, Tokyo.
The will (hereinafter referred to as the Will) was said to be made, facing his urgent death.
2) Results by Investigators (Detailed sentences are abbreviated, and only the outlines are given.)
1) Process of the death of the Testator
2) Family Constituents of the Testator
3) Situations leading to drafting of the Will
4) Content of the Will
5) Situations of the Testator at the Time of the Will
6) and 7) Descriptions with regard to the Witnesses
8) The Bereaved Family's and Chapter Chairs' Recognition
9) Date of Application by the Applicant to Verify the will (on May 9, 1994)
3) As has been recognized, the important point on this Will is in
designation of Shokei Matsui as successor of Kyokushin Kaikan (Training Center)
and the International League of Karate do (Way of Karate), while Kyokushin
Kaikan and the International League of Karatedo are organized as foundations and
are planned to be merged into Foundation of Kyokushin Shougakukai (Scholarship)
and Great Mountains, Inc., to which land and buildings for Kyokushin Kaikan, the
main estate of the testator, is requited (= given). In the second place,
Yoshiaki Umeda, a witness, is a director of the Foundation of Kyokushin
Shougakukai and a representative director of Great Mountains, Inc. Both
organizations under his control would be bequeathed the land and the buildings.
He is not equal to the person being bequeathed as in Item 3, Article 973 in
Civil Law, but is similar in kind and, thus, cannot be entitled as a witness.
What is more, this Will was apparently formulated excluding the Testator's
family, based on the two-day long discussion by five people including Yoshiaki
Umeda who accompanied the Testator. (Out of the afore-mentioned witnesses, Akira
Kurosawa and Yasuhito Onishi, judging from their posts in Kyokushin Kaikan and
the International League of Karatedo, do not seem to be justified as having been
able to be involved in the drafting of this Will.) Thinking of his relation with
the Testator, it is only fair and natural to think that Umeda must have been
deeply involved in deciding the contents of the Will and must have controlled
the situation. According to Article 976 in Civil Law, in this Will four of them
may be entitled to been, by appearance, justifiable witnesses with the exception
of Yoshiaki Umeda, who was definitely some interests in this subject. However,
in substance, the person who has interests in this Will seemed to have
controlled the drafting the Will as a witness. Item 3, Article 974 in Civil Law
stipulates absence of the presumed successor, the bequeathed and/or his or her
spouse, and his direct kindship cannot justify the will. In this respect, this
Will cannot be valid. Although the Testator was, at the time, conscious, he left
her eldest daughter's wrongly written name as it was. Because of the progress in
his illness, he was physically and spiritually weak. Under such circumstances
without his family for a long time, the entire content of this Will could hardly
have made freely by the Testator at his option. We cannot, therefore, confirm
this Will as his real will.
We, therefore, dismiss this statement and judge as in the formal adjudication.
Judge in charge of Family Affairs
Family Affairs Department 2
Reasons for the Sentence
This is a judgment made on March 31, 1995. According to this judgment, it was officially confirmed that Mr. Matsui is not a successor of Kyokushin Kaikan. The witnesses appealed to the higher court as unfair. The judgment will be made in spring, 1996.
The judgment showed that Mr. Umeda cannot be a witness and the Will made chiefly by him under his influence cannot be justifiable. It may look that only the inappropriate procedures taken by them led to rejection by the Court.
But the fact is not just that procedure. The Judge ruled inappropriateness of the witness as the main cause for rejection. It may be the only legal ground, upon which the decision was made. The judge analyzed many kinds of information and thought that it was apparently strange and, thus, rejected it as invalid.
For example, the sentence says there is a doubt about why Kurosawa or onishi, judging from their mediocre ranks in Kyokushin Kaikan and the International League of Karatedo, were entitled to drafting of the Will. It is clear that the judge doubted those witnesses, based on the investigation on those witnesses. But those were, what is called, circumstantial evidence and could not be a legal ground to dismiss the Will. Perhaps, the most reasonable ground to dismiss the Will was Mr. Umeda's inappropriateness as a Witness.
The so-called Will writers about Mr. Umeda's share as follws:
Firstly, all properties of Masutatsu Oyama and Kyokushin Kaikan will be donated to Great Mountains, Inc. and Kyokushin Shougakukai. Mr. Umeda will become a representative director of Great Mountains, Inc. and a director of Kyokushin Shougakukai, and will become a guardian of Mr. Matsui, the second leader of Kyokushin Kaikan and Mr. Kurosawa will assist him. Almost all properties of Oyama Family and of Kyokushin Kaikan are to be given to Mr. Umeda and Mr. Matsui. Besides, there is no signature by Masutatsu Oyama. Instead there are only signatures by the witnesses headed by Mr. Umeda. Everybody will think that it is strange. The judge thought so, too. Therefore, the judge pointed out inappropriateness of Mr. Umeda as a Witness to dismiss the statement.
Unnatural Contents in the Fake Will
Actually, besides inappropriateness of Witnesses, there are unnatural points on this Will. For example, while it is clearly written that the properties shall be donated to the foundations controlled by Mr. Umeda and Mr. Matsui, the Testator merely requests monthly payment of such and such amount, saying that the Testator hopes such and such.
What that means is, maybe, Mr. Matsui can delay paying the money for financial reasobns by accounting for difficulty in management. His widow, Chiyako, who had lived with him for a long time, having shared hard times with him, may have trouble in living in comfort, if this happens. The same can be true of his daughters. The Will says that all properties shall be given to Kyokushin Shougakukai. His widow would lose her house, in which she lives.
It is true that he often said that he will not try to leave his property to his family. But it could not have meant the entire deprival of her would-be property at least. Everybody can think of it.
Besides, this Will says that the bereaved family shall not run Kyokushin Kaikan by any means. If this is true, why did'nt he mention it to his family even once?
Chiyako, his widow, has been a secretary-general of Kyokushin Kaikan for a long time. His eldest daughter, Ruiko and her husband, Nobuhiko Tsuura, (the fourth dan holder) has enlarged the operation of Kyokushin Karate in the Kansai Headquarter (covering the major western part of Japan) and Mr. Tsuura has managed big tournaments in Japan including the world tournaments. If we take it into consideration, there is no sense in excluding his bereaved family including his wife, Chiyako. It is hard to believe that there can be such a will in that all of a sudden his family is excluded from his Will without even a word of consultation.
This is not a case to apply the emergency will.
The contents of the Will is very unnatural , as we have seen. In addition, the situation that led to writing of the Will was extremely unnatural.
This Will is said to have been written in two days one week before his death. At that time, Chiyako and his eldest daughter Ruiko was always attending on him with his trainees.
But when those people mentioned as the witnesses came, they told all to leave the room because they wanted to talk about business.
What kind of a will can it be, if it has to exclude the family? Suppose the Testator should hate the family, such a thing could happen. Then, why didn't Masutatsu himself sign the Will or could he have tape recorded his Will? He did not leave any evidence showing that he wrote his Will. Besides, he did not hate his family.
As we have seen, there is no signature of the testator, which cannot be an official will at all and the situation that led to the Will was quite unnatural. Lack in his signature, thus, cannot justify this Will.
For that reason, the witnesses submitted this Will as emergency will to the Tokyo Court of Family Affairs.
Emergency will is to confirm oral will by the testator, because he is dying in a moment and cannot sign and so, instead, the witnesses sign. In other words, the last word at his imminent deathbed is regarded as such a will. (But he was still relatively healthy enough to enjoy conversation with the guests and his families for one more week.) So this is never a case to apply emergency will.
To avoid framing up by the witnesses the Court studied the will whether or not this Will reflected on the deceased person's will.
Importantly, emergency will can effect only after the Court of Family Affairs judges the will as valid.
Therefore, Mr. Matsui is not legally appointed as a successor of Kyokushin Kaikan. As a result of unusually long one year investigation, this Will was rejected by the Court as invalid. Accordingly, what has been written in this Will continue to remain void. In other words, Mr. Matsui has never legally been a successor and there is no ground to assume a post as successor by any means.
Mr. Matsui does not have any right to be a successor and has no right to enter the Headquarter Dojo (Training Center). However, he is trying to stay on, saying that the will does not matter and that he certainly heard the deceased say that he is the successor.
Did they really think that that kind of Will can accepted at the Court? Nobody will think that any will that is made which the testator is still relatively in a sound condition may lack in his own signature and that such a Will can be accepted at the Court.
However, Mr. Matsui and Mr. Kurosawa seem to have thought that this Will will be accepted at the Court. According to the Japanese law, the Court judges the validty of the will. However, what has been customary in deciding the validity in Japanese courts is whether the documents submitted to the Court meet with the requirements as legal documents.
In other words, the Court of Family Affairs does not usually think whether or not the contents are unnatural. If the Court had done as it had done, the Will could have been accepted as valid. If the family wants to sue as unacceptable, they would have to sue separately after the Will is accepted as valid. This judgment would require a few more years. In the meantime, Mr. Matsui and other wanted to control the organizations, based on the plausible fact that it would be accepted in the Court.
But two things did not happen as they had planned. In one sense, the Japanese judiciary system was changing little by little and the Court of Family Affairs in these days began to consider the contents of the Will to verify validity. Secondly, his eldest daughter, Ruiko, knew their scheme and took quick action to submit her opinion to the Court and requested the judge to be careful.
For these reasons, the Court has made judgment on this Will based on the contents in the Will, which had not been the case with decisions by the Court in the past.
From lawyer's point of view, the judgment made this time is unusually definite and the Higher Court will not reverse the decision. Their appeal does not answer the questions raised by the judge at the Court of Family Affairs at all and only tries to change it cunningly.
This is not a power-to power struggle, but a willful crime.
Mr. Matsui and others made up a will to deprival the bereaved family of
the organizations and of the assets of the Oyama Family, which was truly an act
of crime. If the will had been a Masutatsu Oyama 's real one, the bereaved
family would not have objected to Mr. Matsui assuming a post as the successor of
Kyokushin Kaikan, but they say that they cannot accept it because the Will was a
fake. If it had been the real Will left by Masutatsu, himself, they would have
accepted it, no matter what the contents might have been.
But seeing Mr. Matsui take series of willful action, we cannot but think that he was doing all this, fully understanding that the Will was a fake. Under such circumstances, he cannot be entitled or qualify himself as successor.
Such criminal acts must be judged under law. But until their appeal are judged as invalid, the family cannot sue against them. The bereaved family really regret it. But the present Japanese law does not allow them to do it, until the decision is made by the higher court.
Mr. Matsui and others capitalized on this situation and has held many domestic tournaments and a world tournament as successor of Kyokushin Kaikan in the Central Headquarter in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. This is apparently illegal. Mr. Matsui will have to assume some legal responsibilities after the decision is made at the Higher Court. But while he is doing all this misconduct, can't we take any action or do we have to overlook all this?
We may be able to ask the Court for provisional disposition to dismiss Mr. Matsui. But Mr. Tominaga, the family lawyer, does not approve of the family's intention to expell him. He is in a position to decide on any legal proceedings.
He has a power of attorney from Chiyako, her second daughter Ekiko, and her third daughter Kikuko to the effect that they will completely agree to his policy. The bereaved family, thus cannot be opposed to him.
But her eldest daughter, Ruiko, was not able to agree with him from the beginning and has hired a different lawyer and has taken a separate legal activity.
Irrespective of the Higher Court's judgment, the bereaved family, especially, Ruiko, will start a lawsuit including claims for damages. Especially Matsui's privatization of the organization will be sued as an important illegal act, when the Will is not recognized as official.
We do not know what Mr. Tominaga will do when the lawsuit starts. At least, his eldest daughter, Ruiko, is fully determined to make all those involved in this crime and those who helped them, knowing this was a crime subject to law.
Notes on the Witnesses in the Will (in order of signature)
Itsuo yonetsu: Shiseido Corporation lawyer having an office in Ginza. If this Will is judged as valid, he will be able to take all legal proceedings as executor. He is a father to Hitoshi Yonetsu as below (He lied in the Court that Hitoshi Yonetsu was his nephew.)
Yoshiaki Umezu:Director of Toho University and a president of Yokohama Toho Hospital (residing in Saido, Minato-ward, Yokohama). Among these witnesses only he had a post (though merely a honorary one).
Akira Kurosawa: A President of Japan Education Promotion, Inc. He was a yakuza (gang) leader of Kurosawa-gumi Group belonging to the biggest Japanese Yakuza Group Yamaguchi-gumi Group, when the third leader of the Yamaguchi- gumi was ruling. (In other words, he was a boss of Yakuza.) and is said to be affiliated with Midou Kaihatsu, Inc. whose President is Hideo Kurosawa established as a family-based real estate agency in 1978 in Osaka. He denies that he is still a boss of the gang group in essence.
Yasuito Onishi: A City Council of Kishiwada-City, Osaka . He was formerly a trainee of Kyokushin Kaikan and is being financially supported to be a Diet (Parliament) member by Mr. Kurosawa .
Hitoshi Yonetsu: He works in the secretary department in a big corporation, Shiseido Cosmetics Co., and was introduced as Masutatsu Oyama's secretary in some magazines and newspapers, though he has never been worked for Kyokushin Kaikan.
* At present Mr. Matsui is said to be actively doing his job. Actually he
is being backed up by these people. in substance Mr. Matsui is rather used by
them. Besides, Mr. Ho Yong Jung, who became notorious in the economic scandal
with Itoman Trading Co. and was sentenced guilty in the incident, is backing him
up in tie up with Mr. Kurosawa and others. Mr. Ho Yong Jung is a boss of the
financial underworld and is closely related to the gang group. Mr. Matsui was
once his bodyguard. All these five witnesses will be able to play influential
roles in the organizations that Masutatsu left if the Will is accepted as valid.
This was really a good chance to capitalize on and they made such a Will to make
it very useful to them. In passing, secretaries in big companies need to hold
stockholders' meetings smoothly without intervention by one-share holding
Yakuza, necessitating to use other Yakuza not to incur such intervention and
even are familiar with Yakuza.
Important new from Japan
Following is an official translated statement declared
by Kancho Oyama Chiyako and President Nishida Yukio after receiving the Judgment
from the High Court of Tokyo.
1. On the 16th. of October 1996 an announcement was released from the High Court of Tokyo
regarding case 1995 RA NO.420 The rejection of the appeal confirming the statement, that the will has been rejected.
2. In reference to the emergency will, that states Shokei Matsui is to be the successor of
Kyokushin Kaikan. Last spring in the Tokyo Family Law Court as well as recently in the
High Court of Tokyo, the will has been judged as not bearing the true intentions of the late
Sosai Masutatsu Oyama.
3. There may be the excuse that a final appeal to the Supreme Court is yet to come. However, Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, who was becoming weak in physical strength and energy, was surrounded by the witnesses to the will far a very long time, They also refused the entry and inclusion of the family who were waiting near by. Therefore, the High Court of Tokyo declared that the will cannot be recognized as the "free" intention Sosai Masutatsu Oyama. Even if a further/final appeal is made to the Supreme Court there is not even a one in a million chance that the appeal will be accepted.
4. The decision of the Tokyo Family Law Court and the High Court of Tokyo made perfectly clear the fact of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama declaring Shokei Matsui as the successor of Kyokushin Kaikan. is untrue. Shokei Matsui must relearn the teachings of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, refrain from calling himself the "Kancho" of the International Karate Organization Kyokushin Kaikan, cease present activities taking place under this name, and return the Honbu immediately. We want Shokei Matsui to genuinely apologize to the family of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama, to those that are honestly devoted to Kyokushin Karate and all others who have been troubled by his actions.
5. Falsifying the intentions of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama by entering students in professional ring tournaments and presenting a falsified united front are all bending the true essence of Kyokushin Karate and crushing the teachings of Sosai. This must be stopped immediately.
6. We follow the true intentions of Sosai Masutatsu Oyama pursuing the purity of amateurism. Social education, social welfare and international relations are the three pillars that we build our base from. With this and spiritual advancement, we intend to develop as worldly people day by day.
7. There is one International Karate Organization Kyokushin Kaikan. With your support and understanding this expresses our full intentions.
Shokei Matsui's open letter to all IKO Kyokushinkai
Open Letter to All Members of the IKO Kyokushinkaikan from Kancho Shokei Matsui
To whom it may concern, I hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. On November 3rd and 4th, we successfully held the 28th All Japan Open Karate Tournament in Tokyo to over 13,000 spectators live, another 15,000 'viewers' on the internet and in addition the TV special garnered high ratings. The Kyokushinkaikan Benefit Association was inaugurated with a 1,000 guest commencement party at Tokyo's Imperial Hotel to toast to the future of Kyokushin.
We are aware that you may be worried about the situation in Japan with regard to the lawsuit concerning the late Sosai Mas Oyama's last will. We assure you that the organization is doing fine and continues to operate from Honbu. We know some disturbing rumors have been spread, but please do not worry about the situation. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact IKO Honbu directly, we are happy to go over the matter with you.
We hope this brief explanation clarifies any concerns you may have.
1. The appeal concerning the validity of the will, which was brought by Mr. Itsuo Yonezu, was rejected by the Tokyo High Court on the 16th of October. However, Mr. Yonezu has appealed the case to the Japanese Supreme Court and the case is still pending. We'd like to make clear that this case has been brought to the Court by Mr. Yonezu, an attorney who was a witness to the will, in order to confirm the ownership of Sosai Oyama's material property as Sosai intended. This case was not brought about by the IKO nor myself.
2. In reference to the directorship of the organization, I have succeeded the IKO as instructed by Sosai's will and affirmed by many associates and friends of Sosai who, in close contact with him, personally heard his intention to appoint me to succeed the organization. The succession of the organization and the inheritance of Sosai's personal property are two distinctly different issues, which must be dealt with separately.
3. Sosai had not registered any trademarks relating to the Kyokushinkaikan before he passed away. I legally submitted applications of the marks in Japan under my name as my duty and responsibility as Chairman of the IKO. My application was the first trademark application officially submitted in Japan. Regarding the international Kyokushin marks, I have already obtained registrations in most of the leading countries around the world, securing these marks for the exclusive use of our registered affiliates in their home countries.
4. I will continue our operations and activities from the Honbu (Headquarters) building in Ikebukuro. We have financially supported the late Sosai Oyama's family in monthly sums for more than two years since his passing and they have received and accepted the money without hesitance. We will continue to support them and continue to operate from Honbu in Ikebukuro.
It is our duty to make the late Sosai Oyama's will and dream come true and to carry into the future the IKO Kyokushinkaikan that Sosai had founded. We will do our best to make the IKO an eternal entity.
Thank you for your support.
November 12th, 1996
Kancho Shokei Matsui The International Karate Organization Kyokushinkaikan
Japanese Court rejects verbal will
Judgment on the Will, No.5615 of Family Affairs in 1994 and No.14446 to Request to Confirm the Will. Applicant: Itsuo Yonetsu, residing in 22-28, 4 Chome, Setagaya-ward, Tokyo. His deputy lawyer: Ken'ichi Nagashima.
Formal Adjudication: This statement is dismissed for the following reasons:
1. The applicant requested the Court to confirm the two wills as in attached sheets as the real wills of Masutatsu Oyama who died on April 19, 1994 and whose permanent address was at Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-Ward, Tokyo. The will (hereinafter referred to as the Will) was said to be made, facing his urgent death.
2. Results by Investigators (Detailed sentences are abbreviated, and only the outlines are given.)
|Process of the death of the Testator|
|Family Constituents of the Testator|
|Situations leading to drafting of the Will|
|Content of the Will|
|Situations of the Testator at the Time of the Will|
|Descriptions with regard to the Witnesses|
|The Bereaved Family's and Chapter Chairs' Recognition|
|Date of Application by the Applicant to Verify the will (on May 9, 1994)|
According to Article 976 in Civil Law, in this Will four of them may be entitled to bein, by appearance, justifiable witnesses with the exception of Yoshiaki Umeda, who was definitely some interests in this subject. However, in substance, the person who has interests in this Will seemed to have controlled the drafting the Will as a witness. Item 3, Article 974 in Civil Law stipulates absence of the presumed successor, the bequeathed and/or his or her spouse, and his direct kindship cannot justify the will. In this respect, this Will cannot be valid. Although the Testator was, at the time, conscious, he left her eldest daughter's wrongly written name as it was. Because of the progress in his illness, he was physically and spiritually weak. Under such circumstances without his family for a long time, the entire content of this Will could hardly have made freely by the Testator at his option. We cannot, therefore, confirm this Will as his real will.
We, therefore, dismiss this statement and judge as in the formal adjudication of Great Mountains, Inc.
Judge in charge of Family Affairs
Family Affairs Department 2
Letter to all members from Shihan Peter Chong. (Unedited)
Dear Branch Chiefs, Members and friends,
How are you? I wish you and your family are in the pink of health. The 7th Asia Karate (Kyokushin) Tournament in Madras/India on the 7th Oct 1996 was a success with 13 countries took part, the stadium was full house.
Mr. Elango, the Tamilnadu's President, Mr. Mathivana the Chairman and Branch Chief Mr. Thiagaranjan work very hard for the success. Our appreciation and many thanks to them.
The 28th All Japan Open Karate Tournament on the 3rd & 4th Nov 1996 were another great success with more than 13,000 people attending. The next two days it was also shown on Japan Fuji TV. More and more people in Japan are appreciating Matsui Kancho leadership. After the tournament we have a big party celebrating the great success with more than 1,000 guests, and most of these guests were Sosai Oyama's friends. They gave various commemoration of Sosai Oyama and urge all Kyokushin members to support Matsui Kancho, of which it is Sosai Oyama's wish.
We are aware that some of you may be worried about the lawsuit concerning our beloved Sosai Mas Oyama's last will in Japan. We know some disturbing rumors have been spread by the Nishida-Keiji group, but please do not worry about the situation. If you need much information, you may contact IKO Honbu directly by fax: 03-5992 7736 or write to me by fax: 65-734 1795, we would be glad to explain the matter to you.
However, please take note that it is not Matsui Kancho brought the matter (Sosai Oyama's will) to court. The matter concerning Sosai Oyama's will was brought by Mr. Itsuo Yonezu, who is also a friend and attorney for Sosai Oyama. In another word, this case was not brought to court by IKO or Matsui Kancho.
Matsui Kancho mainly/just act according to the will of Sosai Oyama. In fact, Matsui Kancho, Goda Shihan, Mr. Keiji Senpai were with me in Kathmandu/Nepal during the 6th Asia Karate Tournament (April 1994) before beloved Sosai Oyama past away. Sosai died on the same say when we all left Kathmandu/Nepal. And after a few week Sosai Oyama's will was announced, Matsui Kancho was surprised that he was appointed in the will. No one complain and protest about it, no branch chiefs in Japan against it. In fact, all pledge their support.
After one year the matter subside, Mr. Keiji Senpai wanted power, he pushed Mr. Nishida in front to work for it, and Mrs. Chiyako-Oyama wants all the properties and money. I once assisted her (Mrs. Chiyako Oyama) in purchasing a apartment in Orchard Road's area in Singapore. About two years later she sold it, made quite a sum, but told Sosai Oyama that I sold it for her at a lost. (In Singapore, you don't sell houses or apartment at a lost, you made a big sum especially in Orchard Road Area).
Whatever it is, the important thing to remember about Sosai Oyama's will is that even if this particular will were rejected by the Japanese Supreme Court, the question of what Sosai intended would still have to be decided -- a separate process that could take years. Maybe the court can award Sosai Oyama's Material Property to his family by default. But Sosai left clear written instructions about his spiritual legacy, Kyokushin.
In his book, 'The Kyokushin Way' (Japan Publications, Inc. 1979) Sosai Oyama wrote these words, in print, for publication world-wide:
"I have no intention of leaving the large Karate Organization I head to my children. Only a person who has followed the path of development that I have walked can undertake to lead in the way that I lead. I will leave no material wealth to my family. (I often tell my students that they may spit on my grave if I leave such an inheritance.) The torch of hope, will power, aspiration and enthusiasm that has lighted me on my way." (p.100).
I have no doubt that Sosai Oyama intended to provide security for his family. But it is crystal clear, I mean very clear that he had no intention of leaving them in control over his great creation, our IKO Kyokushinkai-Kan. Surely his family do not wish people to spit on beloved Sosai Oyama's grave.
The Nishida group has to make a very loud noise to cover the fact that they have legitimacy at all. While Sosai often mention repeatedly and to many people that he saw Matsui Kancho as his successor, in fact he talk to me in 1992 during the first Singapore International Open Karate Tournament. I have never heard of him mentioning the names of Nishida or Keiji Senpai. And as you can see, he most certainly did not leave to his family the power to choose his successor.
So let us all be strong - never give up.
Osu! Kyokushin Ban-zai!
Peter Chong, PBM (7th Dan).
June 07, 1997
Response from Ms. Grace Oyama regarding questions pertaining to details surrounding Sosai Oyama's disputed will and possible routes to a resolution. (Unedited)
In response to your questions, Mr. Matsui against the wishes of the Oyama Sosai's family members, called himself the successor to Sosai and the organization based on Sosai alleged will. But this document was rejected both by the civil court and the high court in March 1995, and October 1996 - respectively. The only legal possibility left in Japan is to appeal to the Supreme Court. But the Supreme Court is a place wherein fundamental human rights are defined and challenged "the will" is valid or invalid. Therefore it is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court would even accept this appeal. Hence the prediction is that this appeal would be rejected even before judgment. We have been asked very often , if, aside from the alleged document that was executed by the lawyer Yonezu, there might not have been his "real" will. We generally believe that to be impossible for the following reason.
1. Sosai was never told he had cancer. hence it is doubtful if he realized how near death he really was. Also he was in health enough (despite his illnesses) , not to have thought about it concretely. His death and deterioration was that sudden.
2. This is something that only his family would know; but Sosai always detested the idea of both life insurance and Will. He used to get hopping mad for a long time even at the mention of these words. Given his personality, if he really felt he was on his death bed and cared about his organization, he would have gathered not just his family but all the branch chiefs and given his last word.
Mr. Matsui, after the verdict of the High Court, gave an open interview. This is what he declared - that the verdict of High Court is the problem and conflict between the witnesses the "alleged" will and the Oyama family. Therefore the fact that he is Kancho and heir to the organization or his right to own the patent rights, and the name rights to "Kyokushin" is intact and valid. Nothing can be further from the truth. Mr. Matsui may not be responsible directly to the consequences of the courts decisions, but he certainly has his share in the responsibility. According to the Japanese legal system, the contents of the will can not be acted out until the court judges and declares the will to be valid. (Until The Court decides, there is no legal will.) Despite this, and despite the Oyama family's wishes, Mr. Matsui entered Honbu, took over as the heir and the administration under him. This was his free will and choice. Even if the alleged "will" will have been declared valid later on, he should still have been criticized for his action. But, especially given the fact that both the civil and High Court declared the alleged "will" to be Null and void, what he is doing now declaring himself and continuing to do so is illegal, and without basis. Mr. Matsui has never ever been a legal Kancho. We feel people should know and understand that. Hence he has his share of responsibility in the outcome of the Court. Mr. Matsui also declared in an interview, that since most/many of the patent rights abroad are already his, the outcome of the Court's decision should have no interference regarding this. This statement, from a legal point of view, has many problem. He himself is admitting that what he has done has nothing to do with legality. Mr. Matsui also declared that he has already filed for the patent/name rights and acting as though it is already his. But once again that is incorrect. He has already filed for these rights few years back but has not obtained them. This shows that the patent rights office is having their doubts in granting them. The fact that Mr. Matsui already applied for patent rights while the court was investigating the validity to the alleged document shows open contempt for the law, and is not a behavior of someone who believes in fairness at legal right. This is a behavior of someone trying to take away all from the family before legal rights are issued.
To the question, who is going to be the successor if not Mr. Matsui? We don't feel this is the right moment to be answering and investigating that question. The family should make a definite decision, but currently we are having our full share just trying to expose the truth and rights in justice. Hence we feel it is our next step but we have to finish our first step. In Japan, legal system moves at a very slow speed. It would probably take a long time before everything is clarified and finished.
Why do I use the words "deceit" and "fraud" ? For the following. Fraud because Mr. Matsui entered the building based on a document that does not exist. Even in June we were waiting for an explanation from the lawyer and to see the original. I would be happy to mail you . I wrote to the branch chiefs in '94 expressing the strangeness of the situation, I would be happy to mail you a copy if you'll give me your mailing address or Fax number. So I don't have to repeat myself all the time. Plus there will be a book coming out soon (within '97) dedicated exclusively to this problem regarding father's death, the alleged "will", and all its consequence. Once it's published, it will eventually be translated so please be patient. Time will prove and show all. But here are just few more points. We the Family, we're never told that Sosai's will was an emergency will ( whereas Mr. Matsui was informed of this and never told us) - had no idea that there was no signature, not in his hand writing, - no videos, no tapes to even prove he said this, - nothing to prove that the witnesses read the will to him; that the testimony of the witnesses don't coincide, they contradict; - also it was stated in the testimony that the alleged document was read to him but he (Sosai) refused to sign it!! etc. etc. .... "Deceit"- Because of all the above; You have to understand that Yonezu is Mr. Matsui 's personal lawyer as well. He (Sosai) could have chosen a more "neutral" person. Honbu is private property. All I am saying is give us back what belongs to us. Get out of private property!
Grace Eki Oyama: the second daughter of Mas Oyama
5th July 1998
Fax received from European Kyokushin
Organization yesterday 5th July 1998 ( if there are spelling mistakes they
are as read from agreement)
1st Miss CHIYAKO OYAMA KANCHO, for herself and in name of the heirs of the late
SOSAI MASUTATSU OYAMA:
2nd The INTERNATIONAL KARATE ORGANIZATION KYOKUSHINKAIKAN with office
room No 1Ol, 9-21 Shin Ogawa-cho Shinjuku-ku,Tokyo.162, Japan represented by Shihan NISHIDA; hereafter called IKO.
The EUROPEAN KYOKUSHIN ORGANIZATION, organization formed within the intendment of art.246 et seq of the Liechtenstein Persons and Companies Act, domicile in Mauren, represented by the Chairman Mter P..VON ROTZ ;hereafter called EKO.
All parties involved want to develop and spread out the KYOKUSHIN KARATE as created by the late SOSAI MASUTATSU OYAMA ;Therefore they agree to perform, unconditionally, the following clauses.
This present agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the transactions contemplated herein and supersedes all previous representations, negotiations, commitments and writing with respect thereto. The nullity of un-enforceability of any of the clauses of the present agreement shall not result in the nullity or un-enforceability of the entire agreement.
Missis C. OYAMA in here own name and in name of the heirs of the late of Sosai OYAMA declares unconditionally That she will work and negotiate, concerning all Kyokushin interests, only with the International Kyokushinkaikan Organization and European Kyokushin Organization above mentioned.
C. OYAMA in her own name and in name of the heirs therefore will only allow the IKO and ,exclusive, to use all the rights, marks, trademarks. graphics. performances nations, etc resulting from 'kyokushin Karate" as it was created by the late Sosai Masutatsu OYAMA.
Therefore Missis C. OYAMA in her own name and the heirs will never without any reservation, work, negotiate with an other organization Than IKO and EKO this without any reservation!
C. OYAMA in her own name and in name of the heirs will never allow other organizations to use the rights, mark, trademarks, graphics, performances, notions, names, etc
If another organization will use the above mentioned rights, trademarks, etc. C. OYAMA in her own name and in name of the heirs will take immediately the necessary practical a legal steps to prohibit and ban the abuse of sub mentioned rights, trademarks, etc.
Shokei Matsui, who was removed from his position as Kancho, by the Japanese Branch Chief Meeting on April 5th, 1995, has since then, been using the name Kyokushinkaikan, and he has also refused to leave the Honbu building, which is owned by the family of late Sosai Oyama, However, there has now been a reconciliation in the law suit: "Request of leaving the building (Honbu Ikebukuro)" filed by the family, and Matsui will leave the building.
It is understood that since the general opinion was that the family would win this court case, Matsui acknowledged that he has no right to the building, and thus agreed to leave the Honbu building. A reconciliation like this in a civil court case, is equal with a court decision. If Matsui won't agree with the conditions of the reconciliation, there may be a forced execution or similar legal forcing actions might be taken. Therefore, in this case, where the conditions set up by the family has been accepted almost to the fully, you can say that the family in practice has won the law-suit. And, as a result of this, without any appeal, Shokei Matsui, left the Honbu Building on March 6th.
By reading the above it is clear, that the reason for leaving the Honbu Building giving by Matsui (the building is too old, plan to build a new Honbu building etc) is only a way to cover the defeat of the law-suit.
If you look at the fact that Matsui was removed from his position as Kancho by the Japanese Branch Chief Meeting, and that he then lost the law-suit against the family about the emergency will which he based his arguments for the right as successor on and then the lost of this court case about the Honbu Building, it is quite clear that he has no qualification to use the name of Kyokushinkaikan Kancho, neither logically nor legally, everything as been denied.
We would like mass media and others to acknowledge the above facts, and act accordingly with common sense against Matsui and his organization.
Lastly, we would like to add that our organization, Kyokushinkaikan, is now having sincere discussions with the family regarding the conditions of the
March 10, 1999
International Karate Organization KYOKUSHINKAIKAN
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