He is wise, he is mysterious and he’ll win a fight against you and your whole skeleton crew. Even if he still can’t catch that fly. He’s Kensuke Miyagi. AKA Mr. Miyagi: karate Master Extraordinaire, bonsai enthusiast and beloved sensei of every 80s movie-goer. Played by The late Noriyuki “Pat” Morita in the karate kid franchise, Mr. Miyagi Is the ex-soldier turned part-time pensive combat expert and Full time apartment building maintenance man, who agrees to take high school newbie Daniel LaRusso under his wing and show him the fighting ropes. Though his lessons are unorthodox – and at times a bit oblique – Daniel learns everything he needs to know from his teacher including the importance of personal balance and spiritual growth. Born to a poor fisherman in Okinawa, Japan Miyagi, along with his best friend Sato, grew up learning karate from Miyagi’s father – a master in his own right. Unfortunately as the two friends aged, they became entangled in a fiery love triangle with the same woman, ripping their relationship apart. Rather than fight his oldest friend, Miyagi chose to immigrate to America landing in California and beginning his new life as a student in Santa Barbara. Miyagi’s stint at UCSB was cut violently short at the beginning of the 1940s forced against his will into the Manzanar Japanese Internment Camp after the Pearl Harbor attacks a terrible sentence that nearly 120,000 other Japanese-Americans would endure, including the actor Morita himself who, as a boy, was sent to the Gila River Internment Camp in Arizona.There, in the Camp, Mr. Miyagi would meet his first wife a woman we know little about, save for their marriage and the loss of their son a loss that haunted him for decades. Instead of biding his time, Miyagi opted to join the US Army. placed in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – an infamous infantry regiment composed of highly-decorated Japanese-born American soldiers. An honorable soldier and a loyal friend, Miyagi taught his commanding officer the art of karate, and was later awarded with the Medal of Honor. The character of Kensuke Miyagi is named after Chōjun Miyagi a fellow Okinawa native and the founder of the Goju-Ryu style of karate – the same style depicted in the Karate Kid movies. Like Mr. Miyagi, Chōjun underwent arduous combat training, studied the arts, and served in the military in WWI and has since become known for his emphasis on inner peace and harmony of the mind, body, and spirit while practicing karate. Sound familiar? Mr. Miyagi’s other great influence, and Pat Morita’s personal friend, is martial arts legend Fumio Demura master of karate and kobudo and sensei to the stars, having taught several famous fighters how to properly aim their punches. including Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, and Bruce Lee, just to name a few. As a fitting tribute to Morita and Demura’s lifelong friendship Demura also played Morita’s martial art stunt double in three of the four Karate Kid films. Pat Morita’s portrayal of the dry-witted, enigmatic Miyagi earned him a well-deserved Oscar nomination in 1984. When we finally meet Miyagi he is a peaceful old man, dressed in his iconic black and white hachimaki, attempting to catch that fly and with such a troubled history, it’s no wonder he sought out a quiet life and tried to put his past behind him. Luckily for us, and for Daniel, he once again finds opportunity to pass on his knowledge and teach a new student. Mr. Miyagi’s sage wisdom lives on through his fans. Especially when painting a Fence or waxing a car. Mr. Miyagi taught us that it is just as important to be kind as it is to be powerful, and to always take care of your mind, heart, and spirit. As long as you have the patience to learn and see wisdom in simple things, you can consider yourself a student of Mr. Miyagi. And maybe (if you’re lucky) catch a fly with chopsticks.