Master Hidetaka Nishiyama Honored by Capitol Flag Flying Event

News Release (1999)

Hidetaka Nishiyama, Master of Traditional Karate, President of the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF) and Chairman of the International Traditional Karate Federation (ITKF), was honored by the U.S. Senate on October 10, 1999 by flying the flag of the United States over the U.S. Capitol in his name.

At the request of U.S. Senator Gorton Slade of Washington, the formal announcement letter stated: “I would like to thank you for your many years of service to this country. Your efforts in bringing the art of Karate to the United States Armed Forces has been immeasurable. On behalf of your grateful students and friends, I wish you the best in your many endeavors.

The flag was flown on the occasion of Master Nishiyama’s birthday, adding to the honor. In addition, the actual flag itself was delivered to Mr. Nishiyama at the AAKF offices in Los Angeles where, on Sunday, December 5, 1999 a celebration took place at which the flag was formally presented to Master Nishiyama. Joining in the event were members of his family, many of his students, relatives and friends who had gathered to share the special day.

According to the Office of the Curator, Washington, D.C., “The United States Capitol flag program began in 1937 as a way for Members of Congress to acknowledge important civic contributions who served their communities in an manner deserving special recognition. The Architect of the Capitol initiated a new program in the mid-1950’s of flying United States flags at members’ requests for presentation to their constituents, either to mark an important event or personal achievement.

We who have had the honor to know him and train under his direction share in this act that symbolically honors his life’s work on behalf of the high standards and goals of Traditional Karate and for the traditions he has preserved for us and future generations. Recognition comes in many forms, sometimes with the fluttering of the flag, but moreover by the gladness and deep appreciation it mirrors in the hearts and minds of his many students who share this special moment with Master Hidetaka Nishiyama.