Sunday, July 13, 2008

Member Profile: Wayne Muromoto

Wayne Muromoto has a lifetime of involvement in the Japanese cultural arts. A resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, he graduated with a BA in Japanese literature and languages from Cornell University. He also received a MFA in Fine Arts, specializing in printmaking and painting, from the University of Hawaii. (Mr. Muromoto has extensively studied traditional Japanese paper making under Fujimori Yoichi Sensei in Tokushima, Shikoku, Japan.)

Beyond his interest in Japanese paper making and painting, Mr. Muromoto has been a practitioner of chado, or the "way of tea," since 1980. He received extensive instruction in the tea ceremony while training at the Urasenke Foundation school of chado in Kyoto, and he studied tea ceremony full-time at the Urasenke Foundation from 1983 to 1984.

Mr. Muromoto also has a long history as a student and teacher of budo and bujutsu (Japanese martial ways and martial arts). He is presently a sandan (third-degree black belt) in modern seitei iaido (the "way of sword-drawing") and a student of classical Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaido under Ohmori Masao Sensei of the Rakuto-Kai at Butokuden in Kyoto. He also is a Shihan-Dai (Associate Professor) in the ancient Bitchu-den Takeuchi Ryu. (Takeuchi Ryu specialize in jujutsu grappling but also includes a vast array of weapons training.) His official permission to receive students and issue rank was granted by the current Headmaster of Bitchu-den Takeuchi Ryu, and he is the only American in history to have received this position. Mr. Muromoto is also one of only two or three registered foreigners given a teaching rank in Bitchu-den Takeuchi Ryu. He is, furthermore, a Senior Advisor for the Shudokan Martial Arts Association and holds the title/rank of Shihan/6th dan in its Traditional Jujutsu Division.

In addition, he is a former writer for the Hawaii Herald. Currently working as a freelance writer, Mr. Muromoto is also the publisher of Furyu the Budo Journal and
Furyu Online. Furyu is one of the most highly regarded magazines in the traditional Japanese budo field. Mr. Wayne Muromoto is also presently head of student media and an instructor at the Mid-Pacific Institute, a private, college-prep middle and high school in Hawaii.