Mas Oyama - Korean?

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MartialArtist

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Mas Oyama was born in Korea, but I never knew he was given a Korean name at birth. Was his ethnicity Korean or Japanese?
 

Matt Stone

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If I remember my history correctly, he was Korean born and raised. He immigrated to Japan, took a Japanese wife and a Japanese name and started building a reputation for himself...
 

Cthulhu

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A quick search turned up a couple of Web sites listing his birth name as Yong-I Choi.

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chufeng

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He moved to Japan at a very young age (at least for someone on his own)...15 or 17 I can't recall which...

He was a spindly kid but grew into a large man...perhaps that's why he took the name Oyama...(big mountain)

:asian:
chufeng
 
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RyuShiKan

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Yes Oyama was Korean and did move to Japan and took a Japanese name.
Taking a Japanese name was mandatory for anyone wanting to immigrate to Japan up until a few years ago.
Oyama was a master promoter and down played his Korean side so much so that he claimed to have been a Kamikaze pilot (something that only a Japanese person was allowed to do) as well as many other things that simply were not true.
I met Oyama several times in Tokyo and I can’t say as I liked him that much.
He definitely had S.M.C. (small man’s complex) and was too full of himself and always seemed to want to stuff his “accomplishments” down peoples throat.
By “accomplishments” I mean his beating up a “bull”……..it wouldn’t have been called a bull where I come from but more like a calf.
A bull where I am from is 1,500 lbs. Of P.O.ed beef.
He also spoke Japanese with a very noticeable Korean accent.
 
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RCastillo

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I was reading about Gen. Choi Hong Hi where he met with Oyama, and tried very hard for him to get involved into TKD, and come back to Korea, which of course, failed. I'm not sure as to the Generals motives, but I doubt they were negative in nature.:asian:
 
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yilisifu

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I never heard about Gen. Choi meeting with Oyama...very interesting.
 
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yilisifu

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Well, not exactly.....the reason he went to Japan was to try to BECOME a pilot. When he got there, he discovered that the Japanese aren't overly-fond of Koreans, and he ended up delivering milk in the city. Later, he enrolled in college where he began his study of Japanese karate.
 

Hollywood1340

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I thought the job description normaly under the heading of "Kamikaze Pilot" ran something llike "Do you want to go out with a bang? Fly yes, land no? Give the ultimate sacrifice for home and country? Have the experience of flying a loaded bomb? Never want to deal with life again? For a one way trip from sunny Japan call.." That is to say, to claim to be one AFTERWARDS would be a miracle.
 
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Kirves

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Originally posted by chufeng
He was a spindly kid but grew into a large man...perhaps that's why he took the name Oyama...(big mountain)

The family with whom he lived when he moved to Japan, was Oyama so he adopted their name.
 

Randy Strausbaugh

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Originally posted by Hollywood1340
I thought the job description normaly under the heading of "Kamikaze Pilot" ran something llike "Do you want to go out with a bang? Fly yes, land no? Give the ultimate sacrifice for home and country? Have the experience of flying a loaded bomb? Never want to deal with life again? For a one way trip from sunny Japan call.." That is to say, to claim to be one AFTERWARDS would be a miracle.
Sort of like saying you had dinner at the Borgia's. :D

Trying to avoid life's potholes,
Randy Strausbaugh
 

Martin h

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Originally posted by Hollywood1340
That is to say, to claim to be one AFTERWARDS would be a miracle.

Actualy no. Some Kamikaze pilot never found a ship to crash into and returned to base (some did this several times), some ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea and survived (actualy some did this to avoid the shame of returning home). Some was shot down attempting to hit the target and was resued.

Anyway the story about Oyama was that at the end of the war he voluntared as kamikaze pilot, but never even got to report to the airfield for training before the war ended.
 
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Littledragon

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MartialArtist said:
Mas Oyama was born in Korea, but I never knew he was given a Korean name at birth. Was his ethnicity Korean or Japanese?[/QUOTE

He was born in Korea so his ethnicity is Korean but when he immigrated to Japan he became a Japanese legend.
 

RRouuselot

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Littledragon said:
MartialArtist said:
He was born in Korea so his ethnicity is Korean but when he immigrated to Japan he became a Japanese legend.
Koreans and Japanese basically hate each other for problems that have occured over the last couple of 100 years. Unike in the US where if you move to the US and become a citizen you are considered an American........in Japan if you become a citizien doesn't make you a "Japanese".
Most of Oyama's fame came from his own propaganda machine. Most of his exploits were exagerated....and in some cases made up or were intentially misleading. As I stated previously......I met him on several occasions and thought he was a jackass.
 

RRouuselot

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Martin h said:
Actualy no. Some Kamikaze pilot never found a ship to crash into and returned to base (some did this several times), some ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea and survived (actualy some did this to avoid the shame of returning home). Some was shot down attempting to hit the target and was resued.

Anyway the story about Oyama was that at the end of the war he voluntared as kamikaze pilot, but never even got to report to the airfield for training before the war ended.[/QUOTE]

This is actually untrue.
He wanted to become a pilot but there was no way in hell the Japanese would let a non-Japanese become a Kamikaze pilot and die for the Emperor.
 

RRouuselot

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Kirves said:
The family with whom he lived when he moved to Japan, was Oyama so he adopted their name.
At that time any non-Japanese asians living in Japan as a "citizen" had to "Japanize" their name. This practice was still in effect until just a few years ago.
 

twendkata71

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Oyama Masutasu Sosai's birth name was Yong I Choi. Perhaps this is why General Choi wanted Oyama to go back to Korea with him. Pehaps they were related. I don't know. Oyama created his own name. Oyama means great mountain( O-great, Yama- mountain)
He knew that by changing his name and making himself seem more Japanese that he would have a better future. Korea at that time was very poor and ran by the Japanese. Many of the young Koreans were shipped off to Japan to go to school in an effort to make them more Japanese. That was the political climate of the time.
 

Miles

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There is a Korean movie called "Fighter In the Wind" which is a fictionalized story of Mas Oyama's biography. It is a pretty decent movie with good martial arts action. The man was obviously talented and a good instructor to have left such a legacy of strong karateka.

Miles
 
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