It is with sadness that I bring you the news of the passing of Tsuruo Fukushima.
He was operated on for a blockage in his intestines. While recovering, he was stricken with
pneumonia and died on 05-12-2006 (81 years old).
He started teaching judo in Okinawa where his club became the only non-Japanese team to ever
win the prestigious Team Tournament in Japan. His students impressed senseis all over the
United States with their strength, speed, and technical abilities. In 1978 he returned to Oahu,
where he continued to teach judo at the Pearl City Hongwanji Judo Club. In 1981 he founded
Leeward Judo Club, who received the Century Award in 2004. In his 54 years of teaching he
produced hundreds of black belts, several of which were national champions, and, of course, two
Olympians, Keith Nakasone and Kevin Asano. His favorite Japanese term was “Ongaeshi,”
to give back. He kept on preaching this to all of his students while dedicating his life to Judo.
His legacy and memory will live on as long as any of his students are giving back to the world by teaching judo.
His wife, Terry, and his two sons, Bobby and Scotty, survive him. Words of condolence can be sent to: