- "Daniel-san, you remember lesson about balance?" "Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for all life. Whole life have a balance, everything be better."
- ―Mr. Miyagi to Daniel[src]
Nariyoshi Kesuke Miyagi (June 9, 1925 - November 15, 2011), better known as Mr. Miyagi, was a wise karate expert, sensei, and sweet individual. He mentored, taught, and served as the sensei to both Daniel LaRusso and Julie Pierce. He was the originator of the Los Angeles branch of Miyagi-Do Karate and the last known member of the Miyagi family.
Mr. Miyagi was the sensei of the once bullied Daniel LaRusso, teaching him both life lessons and martial arts to protect himself. He helped to shape Daniel into an honorable man, husband, and father. Mr. Miyagi's impact on Daniel and those around him were lifelong, as his teachings were wise and impactful. He was also the sensei of the troubled Julie Pierce, who taught self-control and guided her through a difficult time in her life. Mr. Miyagi passed away on November 15, 2011, at the age of eighty-six, leaving a legacy of teachings to those he encountered.
Mr. Miyagi was descended from Shimpo Miyagi, who was very fond of both fishing and sake. One day in 1625, while fishing and very drunk, he passed out on his fishing boat off the coast of Okinawa and ended up on the coast of China. Ten years later, Shimpo returned to Okinawa with his Chinese wife, his two kids, and the secret of the Miyagi family karate. This, along with Mr. Miyagi's claim from the first film that his ancestor derived karate from Chinese te, implies that Shimpo, like many Okinawan karate masters, was trained in Chinese martial arts during his stay in China. The secret of the Miyagi family karate appears to be a Den-den daiko, on which the drum technique is based. Other aspects of the style involve the crane technique, breathing technique, techniques from the kata Tensho (wax on wax off), and the kata Seiunchin.
Mr. Miyagi was born June 9, 1925, in Tomi Village, Okinawa, Japan. He learned karate originally from his father, who had been a fisherman. Mr. Miyagi claims his first fishing lesson from his father was in the quiet waters of Okinawa at the age of two. Mr. Miyagi initially had a job working for the father of his best friend, Sato, who was also taught karate by Mr. Miyagi's father.
During his teenage years, Mr. Miyagi fell in love with a young woman named Yukie, who was arranged to marry Sato, as pre-arranged marriages were a custom in Okinawa at the time.
In 1943, Mr. Miyagi made a big speech about wanting to abandon this tradition so he could marry Yukie. Sato felt dishonored by this and challenged Miyagi to fight to the death. To avoid the fight, Mr. Miyagi left Okinawa during the night and emigrated to the United States.
Immigrating to Hawaii as a teenager, he worked as a farm laborer in the cane fields, where he met his wife, who was also a farm laborer. The two eventually came to Los Angeles, where he attended and graduated from the Santa Barbara University of California.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, the US officially announced formal entry into World War II. At first, Japanese and Nisei citizens were discouraged from volunteering, and those already in active service were demoted to reserve units over fears of sabotage.
In January 1943, the United States Army issued a call for Japanese-American volunteers. Mr. Miyagi was probably not among the initial recruits being that he was attending college that year even though most of whom came from Hawaii, as those on the mainland were reluctant to volunteer while their families remained in internment camps. It is most likely that he got drafted early the following year in 1944. For fear of espionage due to the Japanese lineage of the soldiers, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was sent to the European theater, Stationed primarily in Italy, and fought the Battle of Anzio. While Mr. Miyagi was in the war, his wife, who was pregnant, was held at the Manzanar internment camp.
Throughout his military service, Mr. Miyagi was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant and was highly decorated. Mr. Miyagi's unit was the 442nd Infantry Regiment, one of the most highly decorated regiments in the history of the United States Armed Forces, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients. Mr. Miyagi was one of them, having earned not only the Medal of Honor but also the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Service Identification Badge. During his military service, he formed a very close friendship with his commanding officer, Lt. Jack Pierce, after he saved Mr. Miyagi's life. Mr. Miyagi taught him the art of karate in exchange for formal dance lessons.
Sadly, while he was away in the war, Mr. Miyagi suffered the greatest personal tragedy of his life. His wife and their son passed away in Manzar on November 2, 1944, due to complications during childbirth when there were no doctors there to help. This was a loss that haunted him for decades, and he never remarried or had children, living a relatively solitary existence.
Following his wife's death and relief from the military, Mr. Miyagi entered into the profession of a maintenance man and built his garden, something he was proud of and continued to work on until he passed away. He also spent time restoring a collection of classic cars, these included a blue and white Nash Metropolitan, a yellow 1947 Ford Super De Luxe convertible, a 1951 Cadillac sedan, and a 1951-53 Pontiac Woodie wagon.
The Karate Kid
In 1984, Mr. Miyagi works as a maintenance man in Daniel's apartment building. On one night, when Daniel is being beaten up by a bunch of Cobra Kai students, Mr. Miyagi swoops him and defeats the Cobra Kai's. He then takes Daniel to his house to treat him. The following morning, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel go to the Cobra Kai Dojo where Mr. Miyagi tries to persuade Cobra Kai's sensei John Kreese to tell his students to leave Daniel alone. However, Kreese, does not support his request and forces Mr. Miyagi to have Daniel fight Johnny. Mr. Miyagi wants the odds to be more even for Daniel and suggests that Daniel and the Cobra Kai students match up at the All-Valley Karate tournament a few weeks from then. Kreese likes the challenge and agrees. He also agrees to order his students not to hurt Daniel until then.
Over the next few weeks, Mr. Miyagi has Daniel do "chores" such as waxing cars with a sponge by moving his hands and arms in a circle, sanding the walkway, staining his fence, and painting his house. Daniel however is frustrated that Mr. Miyagi is making him do chores instead of teaching him Karate. Daniel eventually confronts Mr. Miyagi, who in turn tells him to show him the motions he'd been using to do the chores. After doing so, Daniel realizes that all the chores Mr. Miyagi has made him do are defense tactics, reflex, and muscle-building activities. Mr. Miyagi then attacks Daniel who counters all his strikes.
As the weeks go by, Mr. Miyagi continues to train Daniel and improve his technique. He continues to improve his defense techniques. He teaches him to main strong balance and display offense. Daniel can learn the crane kick from Mr. Miyagi.
At the All Valley Karate Tournament Daniel reaches the semi-final. In the semi-final, he faces Cobra Kai student Bobby Brown who reluctantly and regretfully follows Kreese's order to perform an illegal kick and injure Daniel's knee. As a result, Bobby is disqualified and Daniel automatically advanced to the final. Daniel is taken to the locker room where a medic tells him he won't be able to finish the competition. Daniel asks Mr. Miyagi to use acupressure to fix his knee. Though Mr. Miyagi tells him that has nothing left to prove, Daniel insists he will never be able to achieve his life's balance if he knows his tormentors have gotten the best of him. Mr. Miyagi agrees and partially heals Daniel's leg.
Daniel returns to compete in the final. Right before the final round of the match begins Daniel takes up the crane technique pose and with an approving look from Mr. Miyagi, waits for Cobra Kai's top student Johnny Lawrence to make his move. Daniel kicks out with his leg and connects with Johnny's chin and face, scoring his third point which results in him winning the match and title. Mr. Miyagi gives Daniel an approving smile when he yells to him that they did it.
The Karate Kid Part II
Following the tournament, Mr. Miyagi notices Kreese berating and choking Johnny for losing; he goes to Kreese and persuades him to let Johnny go, and Cobra Kai student Tommy agrees with Mr. Miyagi. However, Kreese threatens to attack Mr. Miyagi next. An angry Mr. Miyagi pulls Kreese off of Johnny and then Kreese attacks Mr. Miyagi, who dodges his attacks, which causes Kreese to punch car windows, severely injuring his hands as a result. Mr. Miyagi is ready to deliver a heavy blow, only for him to tweak Kreese's nose, making him unconscious as a result. The Cobra Kai students left Kreese and Cobra Kai after seeing Kreese's true colors.
Six months later, Mr. Miyagi learns that his father is dying, and returns to Okinawa, where he is reunited with his childhood crush Yukie. He even runs into Sato, Mr. Miyagi's childhood friend who still holds a grudge against Mr. Miyagi trying to marry Yukie despite the old Japanese custom of arranged marriages. Sato relentlessly tries to goad Mr. Miyagi into a fight with him, but Mr. Miyagi just wants to make peace with Sato. Unfortunately, Mr. Miyagi's father then passes away.
Even after his father’s passing, Sato is bent on fighting Mr. Miyagi. He goes as far as to destroy the village to fight Mr. Miyagi. After seeing Sato destroying the village, an angry Mr. Miyagi agrees to fight him. However, after Mr. Miyagi saves Sato from death during a typhoon, Sato renounces his hate and asks Mr. Miyagi to forgive him; the two make peace and Sato helps rebuild the village and disowning Chozen.
On the night of the O-Bon festival, when Kumiko, Yukie's niece, is performing, Sato's bitter nephew Chozen grabs her and forces Daniel to fight him. Mr. Miyagi and Sato try to encourage Chozen not to dishonor Sato, but Chozen refuses. While Chozen is getting the upper hand in his fight with Daniel, Mr. Miyagi advises Daniel to stand down, which then allowed Daniel to flip him over. Eventually, Mr. Miyagi brings out his hand drum and beats it, which allows Daniel to understand how to win, and he ultimately beats Chozen. Similar to what Mr. Miyagi did to Kreese after the tournament, Daniel makes Chozen unconscious by tweaking his nose.
The Karate Kid Part III
After returning from Okinawa, Mr. Miyagi is left unemployed while Daniel is left homeless due to the South Seas Apartment being sold and the new owner deciding to tear it down and turn it into condominiums with a spa. However, Mr. Miyagi allows Daniel to stay at his house. Daniel decides to start a Bonsai tree store after seeing Mr. Miyagi upset about having to give up his prized Bonsai Trees. While Mr. Miyagi advises him not to do that as he knows Daniel's college education is more important, Daniel uses his tuition money to purchase a Bonsai store. The two then work together at the Bonsai store.
At first, Daniel wants to re-enter the All Valley Tournament so that he can defend his title. However, Mr. Miyagi tells him not to which Daniel eventually agrees. However, unbeknownst to Mr. Miyagi, Daniel is soon forced to enter the tournament by Mike Barnes, who unbeknownst to Daniel for a long time has been hired by Terry Silver to beat and hurt Daniel in the tournament as revenge for causing his war buddy Kreese's students to quit Cobra Kai following the previous tournament, which ruined Kreese's life.
One day while Mr. Miyagi is teaching Daniel at his house, Silver shows up and gives both Mr. Miyagi and Daniel a fake apology over Kreese's behavior after the All Valley tournament, as well as lies to them about Kreese dying as a result of losing his students to gain their sympathy. Unaware that Silver is lying, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel accept his apology and apologize for what happened to Kreese.
When Daniel decides not to participate in the tournament, he goes to Cobra Kai to tell Silver he does not want to compete, only for Silver to reveal his true motives. Barnes and then Kreese appear where the former attacks and beats up Daniel. However, Mr. Miyagi, who had followed Daniel to the dojo unbeknownst to Daniel, Silver, Kreese, and Barnes, shows up and beats up Barnes, Kreese, and Silver. Following this, Mr. Miyagi trains Daniel for the tournament.
While Mr. Miyagi's teachings seem to be futile in the finals as Barnes repeatedly gets the better of Daniel and even terrifies him, causing Daniel to lose hope, Mr. Miyagi can pull him together, and Daniel is ultimately able to win the tournament in the sudden death round by using the Kata move on Mike. After Daniel wins the tournament, he runs and hugs Mr. Miyagi. Additionally, Cobra Kai is shut down for good and banned from competing in All-Valley tournaments after 1985.
The Next Karate Kid
In the spring of 1994, Mr. Miyagi goes to Boston to attend the fiftieth anniversary of the 442nd Infantry Regiment and reunite with his war buddy's widowed wife, Louisa Pierce. In Boston, he meets her granddaughter Julie Pierce, who is angry over her parents' recent sudden passing. He stays in Boston to take care of Julie. While she is cold to Mr. Miyagi at first, as time goes by, the two bond, and Mr. Miyagi teaches her karate the same way he taught Daniel.
His lessons allow her to beat up a bully and Alpha Elite student named Ned Randall. After defeating Ned, Mr. Miyagi successfully defeats and humiliates Alpha Elite sensei Colonel Paul Dugan, who has been corrupting his students into behaving violently and unethically. Mr. Miyagi and Julie leave after defeating Dugan. The rest of Dugan's team left too and shutting down Dugan's team for good.
Later Life and Final Years
Even after Daniel's victory in the 1985 All-Valley Tournament, Mr. Miyagi and Daniel continued to keep in touch. The Bonsai store that they opened in 1985 ultimately didn’t succeed. While it hasn't been confirmed whether or not Daniel trained with Mr. Miyagi after the All-Valley Tournament in 1985, it can be implied that he has, as several years later, an adult Daniel remembers his lessons and is much more skilled than he was as a teenager. Mr. Miyagi also developed an extremely close relationship with not only Daniel's wife, Amanda, but also their two children, Samantha and Anthony. Mr. Miyagi also kept a very tight relationship with Julie after the events of The Next Karate Kid. Unfortunately, Mr. Miyagi passed away on November 15, 2011, which deeply saddened Daniel, Amanda, Samantha, Anthony, and Julie. Before his passing, he instructed the Toguchi clan in Okinawa to hide the sacred scrolls of his Karate and pressure point techniques which Daniel had not been aware of.
Mr. Miyagi left his house to Daniel, as Daniel now owns the property. The memory of Mr. Miyagi continues to play a role in Daniel's life as he seeks to regain balance by practicing karate once again and by becoming a mentor to Robby Keene. He is mentioned several times by Daniel and seen in a few flashbacks.
Mr. Miyagi is referenced by name several times when Daniel is teaching Miyagi-Do Karate to his students. When Daniel is going over the lessons Mr. Miyagi taught him with Robby, Mr. Miyagi appears in a flashback teaching Daniel. When Daniel reunites with Kreese, the latter taunts Daniel on Mr. Miyagi's passing, which Daniel counters by reminding Kreese of his disastrous fight against Mr. Miyagi. As some Cobra Kai students destroy Daniel's dojo, Cobra Kai student Hawk steals Mr. Miyagi's Medal of Honor, which incenses Daniel and intensifies the rivalry between the two dojos. The medal is eventually returned by Cobra Kai student Miguel Diaz to Robby, who was staying at the LaRusso home. One day Kreese shows up at Daniel's house where he threatens Daniel with a war between both the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do Dojos, as well as insults Mr. Miyagi's passing a second time by saying regards to Mr. Miyagi, which angers Daniel. After Daniel is forced to stop Miyagi-Do Karate by Amanda because of a school karate war between the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do which results in Sam getting hurt and Miguel getting severely injured, Daniel goes home where he takes down a photo of Mr. Miyagi and apologizes for failing his master's teachings.
During Daniel's confrontation with Kreese at Cobra Kai, the latter mocks a deceased Mr. Miyagi, to which Daniel reminds him that he has been beaten by Mr. Miyagi more than once.
Daniel travels to Okinawa in an attempt to save his business. During Daniel's time in Okinawa, Mr. Miyagi appears in several flashbacks. Daniel meets Chozen Toguchi, now reformed following his defeat by Daniel who reveals that he now teaches Miyagi-Do in Okinawa. Chozen is surprised by how much Mr. Miyagi revealed to Daniel as Daniel is a foreigner, but Daniel insists that Mr. Miyagi treated him as a son and kept no secrets from him. Daniel and Chozen discover that Mr. Miyagi didn't teach Daniel about a deadlier aspect of Miyagi-Do involving pressure points to incapacitate an opponent in preparation to kill the opponents. Chozen suggests that Mr. Miyagi thought that Daniel wasn't ready or able to handle such techniques, while Daniel suggests that Mr. Miyagi was trying to protect him. After training with Daniel in a sparring match, Chozen teaches him these techniques and Daniel admits that he understands why Mr. Miyagi hid it from him. Chozen calls Mr. Miyagi a man of great honor that he can only hope to emulate.
During the fight in Sam's house, Tory smashes the picture of Mr. Miyagi hanging on the wall. Looking at the picture of Mr. Miyagi, Sam finds her courage to stand up to Tory. During Daniel's fight with Kreese, Kreese threatens to stab him with glass and reunite him with Mr. Miyagi but is defeated by Daniel after Daniel uses the pressure point techniques against Kreese. When Daniel and Johnny fully reconcile, especially with their shared enmity to Kreese, they unite their schools using Mr. Miyagi's residence as their shared dojo.
During the finals, Daniel once again makes amends with Johnny, recalling the time Mr. Miyagi had told Daniel to choose his way with karate someday, rather than always following Mr. Miyagi's way.
After losing at the tournament, Daniel visits Mr. Miyagi's grave and tells his mentor that he did everything that he thought was right, following all of the Miyagi-Do teachings and putting aside his rivalry with Johnny and teaming up, though none of it worked. While Daniel is supposed to give up his dojo and step down as a sensei, he knows that morally, he cannot honor an agreement made with two men who have no honor whatsoever and allow Cobra Kai to damage the Valley and inflict volatile situations, and vows to continue teaching Miyagi-Do and being a sensei until Cobra Kai is gone forever. Daniel promises to do everything possible to shut down Cobra Kai - even if it means that he has to go on the offense. Daniel asks Chozen Toguchi, who is standing nearby, to help eliminate Cobra Kai and he agrees. Together, the two men bow in respect to Mr. Miyagi's grave.
- "You are about to meet the greatest guy. This guy, he's funny, he's smart. I mean, you got a problem, he's got the answer. He's like no one you'll ever meet. And on top of that, he just happens to be my best friend."
- ―Daniel LaRusso to Jessica Andrews[src]
Mr. Miyagi has a deep philosophical knowledge of life and extraordinary martial arts skill. Mr. Miyagi is a genuinely caring, sweet, warm-hearted, and friendly person. He possesses deep and abiding wisdom but also a sly, sarcastic sense of humor. He is a great mentor to both Daniel and Julie and becomes a father figure to both of them. Despite being a highly-skilled fighter he is never aggressive and will only fight to defend himself, showing that he does not allow his abilities to corrupt his mind. Even after his passing in November 2011, his memory lives with Daniel who uses his teachings to mentor Robby and strives to be as good of a teacher as him. In general, he is someone shown to be greatly respected by even those who were once his enemies with very few exceptions such as John Kreese. Even Chozen Toguchi displayed tremendous respect for Mr. Miyagi after his change of heart for the better.
Mr. Miyagi was not without his regrets, however. The loss of his wife and child, while he was in the European theater of World War II, haunted him for decades. He never remarried, living a solitary life afterward. When he met Daniel, it filled a void in his life left by the loss of his child.
- "Nobody was more badass than Mr. Miyagi."
- ―Daniel to Johnny[src]
A true martial arts master, Mr. Miyagi possesses extraordinary skills. Primarily a counter-fighter, his ability to read an opponent's intentions is exceptional. He often waits for his opponent to attack, then dodges with one quick, economical motion that positions him perfectly for a decisive counter. Mr. Miyagi never wastes movement; whether on offense or defense, his techniques achieve maximum results with minimum effort. Aside from the standard strikes his Miyagi-Do Karate also incorporates an arsenal of throws and joint manipulation techniques. Mr. Miyagi's karate training has also allowed him to achieve practically superhuman feats, such as splitting a giant wooden beam in half and catching an incoming arrow from an archery master with his bare hand.
Due to his age and small size, Mr. Miyagi's opponents constantly underestimate him, and he uses this to his advantage. Mr. Miyagi often uses his opponents' body weight and offense against them, and the core of his karate is defensive-minded. It takes a lot of balance and technique to do this properly, but in Mr. Miyagi's hands, this style is much more effective than any aggressive one. Daniel also seems to be at his best when he follows his mentor's example; he defeats the abusive and physically dominant Mike Barnes with a powerful counterattack after switching to a superior guard position taken from Mr. Miyagi's kata.
As opposed to Cobra Kai, that's all about striking first and offense, Mr. Miyagi spends most of his fights defending himself, and only displaying offense when it's necessary.
In the second film, Mr. Miyagi explains that he is descended from Shimpo Miyagi, who was very fond of both fishing and sake. One day in 1625 while fishing and very drunk, he passed out on his fishing boat off the coast of Okinawa and ended up on the coast of China. Ten years later, Shimpo returned to Okinawa with a wife, two children, and the secret of the Miyagi family karate.
With the exception of Chozen (who hit Mr. Miyagi while his back was turned), no opponent in the entire Karate Kid series has ever successfully landed a strike on Mr. Miyagi. Daniel later reveals to his son that the only time he saw someone land a hit on Mr. Miyagi was when Anthony kicked him in the face as a baby, something that had greatly amused the man.
During the storm in The Karate Kid Part II, Mr. Miyagi uses a shutō uchi technique to snap a wooden beam similarly thick but much longer and heavier than the plank Sato was unable to dent with multiple strikes, heavily implying that Mr. Miyagi would have won were they were to fight.
In The Karate Kid Part III, Mr. Miyagi defeated Mike Barnes in 3 seconds, John Kreese in 12 seconds, and Terry Silver in 32 seconds.
As revealed by Chozen in Cobra Kai, Mr. Miyagi also knew a deadlier aspect of karate involving disabling an opponent using pressure points in preparation to potentially kill them as a form of self-defense. Mr. Miyagi never displayed this aspect nor did he teach it to Daniel who was unaware of it before Chozen demonstrated and taught it to Daniel as Mr. Miyagi felt that Daniel did not need to be taught that aspect.
Mr. Miyagi's relationship with Daniel was very much father-son and extremely close and powerful. Daniel lost his father at a young age and Mr. Miyagi lost his wife and only child during World War II, leaving gaps in both of their lives. When the two met they quickly bonded as mentor and student, then as a family.
As Daniel owns Mr. Miyagi's house in Cobra Kai it is clear that Mr. Miyagi willed it, as well as his car collection and personal effects, to Daniel upon his passing (as well as this, in The Karate Kid Part II, Mr. Miyagi directly stated in his last will and testament, Daniel would get his house in America). Mr. Miyagi and his lessons are still remembered by Daniel in the years following his death. After reopening Miyagi-Do, Daniel is focused on being as good of a teacher as Mr. Miyagi. However, after Daniel is forced to stop Miyagi-Do following the school karate war, Daniel goes home where he apologies to Mr. Miyagi for being unable to do the right thing.
In Season 3 of Cobra Kai, Daniel returns to Okinawa while trying to save his business and learns from Chozen about a deadlier aspect of Miyagi-Do that Mr. Miyagi had hidden from him. Daniel believes that Mr. Miyagi was trying to protect him and learns from letters that Mr. Miyagi had sent to Yukie expressing his admiration and care for Daniel. Daniel tells Chozen that Mr. Miyagi saw Daniel as a son and he imparts Mr. Miyagi's lesson about fear to his daughter due to her own fears after her fight with Tory Nichols. It's also revealed that Mr. Miyagi's gift of Daniel's first car was what had first inspired him to go into the auto business.
In Season 4, Daniel finally starts to break away from Mr. Miyagi's teachings, something that scares him before he remembers Mr. Miyagi telling him that Daniel must someday find his own way rather than always following Mr. Miyagi's way. After losing, Daniel visits Mr. Miyagi's grave to explain himself to his mentor and seek Chozen's help.
Sato was Mr. Miyagi's best friend and karate classmate during childhood. However, after Mr. Miyagi made a public speech about his desire to break with tradition and marry Yukie (despite her being arranged to marry Sato), an angry Sato, feeling dishonored, challenges Mr. Miyagi to a fight, causing Mr. Miyagi to leave Okinawa. When Mr. Miyagi returns to Okinawa forty-five years later, Sato still wants to get revenge on Mr. Miyagi. While Mr. Miyagi tells Sato he wants peace between them, Sato still wants to fight him. Despite Sato's thirst for revenge, he has been willing to set his rivalry to the side momentarily on a few occasions out of honor, most notably giving Mr. Miyagi time to mourn for the death of his father as a way of honoring their teacher. Ultimately, their friendship is restored when Mr. Miyagi saves Sato during a terrible storm. Following their reconciliation, they continued to remain friends until they both passed away.
Yukie was Mr. Miyagi's love interest before he left Okinawa. In the early 1940s, Mr. Miyagi fell in love with Yukie, who was arranged to marry Sato. Mr. Miyagi made a big speech about wanting to abandon this tradition so he could marry Yukie. Sato felt dishonored by this, and challenged Mr. Miyagi to a fight to the death. To avoid the fight, Mr. Miyagi left Okinawa during the night and emigrated to the United States. When Mr. Miyagi returned to Okinawa forty-five years later, Mr. Miyagi and Yukie seemingly began to rekindle their past feelings for each other. Kumiko later shared with Daniel love letters that Mr. Miyagi had sent to Yukie in which he discussed how much Mr. Miyagi had cared for Daniel, suggesting that they had continued some form of a relationship before both of their respective passings.
When Daniel revisits Okinawa, Kumiko tells him that Mr. Miyagi wrote love letters to Yukie for years and read some of them, most notably his last letter before he passed away.
Chozen initially showed his respect towards Mr. Miyagi upon his return in Okinawa. However, seeing him as one of the tormentors to Daniel, Mr. Miyagi fought against Chozen, who had hit him once. He also convinced Chozen to turn from his error ways in which Chozen declined. After Daniel's victory against Chozen in a death match, it is implied that Chozen and Mr. Miyagi had reconciled. Prior to Mr. Miyagi's death, he tasked Sato to give Chozen his sacred scrolls of his techniques in Okinawa. In honor of Mr. Miyagi, Chozen later taught the pressure point techniques to Daniel, as well as becoming a sensei of Miyagi-Do in Okinawa. While talking with Daniel, Chozen spoke of Mr. Miyagi with great respect, stating that he was a man of great honor that Chozen could only hope to emulate. Chozen initially expressed surprise at how much Mr. Miyagi had taught Daniel about karate as he was a foreigner, but Daniel defended this as being because Mr. Miyagi saw him as a son. However, as Chozen was only pretending at the time with Daniel, it's possible that his surprise was faked as well. Later, after agreeing to help Daniel against Cobra Kai, Chozen bows with respect to Mr. Miyagi's grave.
Kreese is Mr. Miyagi's biggest rival. They first meet in The Karate Kid, where Miyagi attempts to convince Kreese to have his students leave Daniel alone, but a stubborn Kreese wants to settle things between them, which cultivates in them agreeing that Daniel will compete against them in the All Valley Tournament.
In The Karate Kid Part II, Mr. Miyagi notices Kreese harassing and choking Johnny for losing to Daniel in the tournament. Mr. Miyagi tells him to let him go, but when Kreese refuses and uses a racial slur against him, Mr. Miyagi pushes him off. A furious Kreese then attacks Mr. Miyagi, only to be severely wounded and immobilized by the latter. Mr. Miyagi shows mercy to Kreese instead of giving him a heavy blow, as he feels that living is a worse punishment than death.
In The Karate Kid Part III, Mr. Miyagi learns from Terry that Kreese has died, but is unaware that Terry is Kreese's friend and is lying about his death in order to get revenge on him and Daniel for ruining Kreese's life following the 1984 All Valley Tournament. Later, when Terry, Kreese and Mike are harassing Daniel, Mr. Miyagi shows up and defeats all three of them easily. Ultimately, Kreese's desire for revenge doesn't come to fruition as Mr. Miyagi helps Daniel defeat Mike in the sudden death round of the All Valley, to win the title for the second straight year.
Mr. Miyagi and Kreese don't interact in Cobra Kai due to Mr. Miyagi's passing, but Mr. Miyagi is reference by Kreese in seasons 2 and 3. There are two occasions in season 2 when Kreese mocks Mr. Miyagi's death to Daniel's face. During Daniel's confrontation with Kreese in the beginning of season 3, Kreese mocks him, only for Daniel to remind him that Mr. Miyagi has defeated him more than once. During Kreese's fight with Daniel near the end of season 3, he threatens to send him to Mr. Miyagi and tries to stab him with glass, only to be defeated by the latter.
Terry was the second biggest rival of Mr. Miyagi. They first meet in The Karate Kid Part III where Terry apologizes to Mr. Miyagi for Kreese's actions in the aftermath of the 1984 All Valley Tournament, as well as tells him that Kreese has died, though Mr. Miyagi is unaware that Terry is lying and that this lie is part of his plot to get revenge on Daniel and Mr. Miyagi for running Kreese's life following the 1984 All Valley. Later, when Terry, Kreese and Mike are harassing Daniel, Mr. Miyagi shows up. He first defeats Mike and then Kreese. After beating Kreese, Terry mocks his karate and attacks him, only to be easily defeated. After defeating him, Mr. Miyagi mocks him. Furious over the mockery, Terry angrily tells him this isn't over and that he will be opening a chain of Cobra Kai dojos in other places in the neighborhood. However, Terry's plot fails as Mr. Miyagi helps Daniel defeat Mike in the sudden death round of the All Valley, to win the title for the second consecutive year.
Julie is the granddaughter of Mr. Miyagi's deceased friend Jack. Their relationship goes on to be like a father-daughter relationship. When Mr. Miyagi first meets Julie, she is cold and rude to him. However, when Mr. Miyagi takes Julie to a Buddhist monastery to teach her the true ways of karate and how to handle her anger issues, Julie learns to calm down, and develop a close relationship with Mr. Miyagi. Their bonding continues after returning from the monastery, as Mr. Miyagi assists Julie in releasing Angel, the pigeon she was taking care of, to fly freely above water, teaches her to dance and buys her a prom for her school prom. Later when Julie is fighting Ned, Mr. Miyagi tells her to concentrate, which helps her defeat him. After Mr. Miyagi defeats Paul, the two walk off together.
In the years following Julie defeating Eric and Miyagi defeating Paul, Julie and Mr. Miyagi continued to keep in touch, and Julie continued to apply Mr. Miyagi's karate and life lessons. It is implied that she attended Mr. Miyagi's funeral.
- Lucille LaRusso (Friend)
- Paul Dugan (Enemy)
- Jack Pierce (Close Friend/Soldiers)
- Louisa Pierce (Friend)
- Chozen Toguchi (Former Enemy)
- Johnny Lawrence (Indirect Enemy, Former)
- Bobby Brown (Indirect Enemy, Former)
- Tommy (Indirect Enemy, Former)
- Jimmy (Indirect Enemy, Former)
- Dutch (Indirect Enemy, Former)
- Sato Toguchi (Temporary Enemy)
- Numerous unnamed Monks (Friends)
- Eric McGowen (Friend)
- Jack Pierce (Friend)
- Louisa Pierce (Friend)
- Amanda LaRusso (Surrogate Family)
There is some debate as to what exactly Mr. Miyagi's first name is, since it varies depending on the source consulted. His name is never mentioned once in the first three Karate Kid films, as he is only referred to as "Mr. Miyagi". It has been implied that "Miyagi" may be his first name. This would seem to fit since Mr. Miyagi frequently refers to himself in the third person as simply "Miyagi". Also, in the 1989 animated television series, he is referred to as "Miyagi Yakuga", however this is not considered canon.
In The Karate Kid Part II, his name is briefly shown in the background, written in Japanese as Miyagi Nariyoshi, or 宮城成義. However, in The Next Karate Kid, he is called Keisuke Miyagi at his military reunion. As such, Kesuke or Keisuke is the most commonly used first name for Mr. Miyagi. Nariyoshi is listed as Mr. Miyagi's first name on his headstone in the Cobra Kai Netflix series.
On December 27, 2020, Cobra Kai series co-creator Jon Hurwitz was asked about Mr. Miyagi's real name on the Sarah O'Connell Show. He remarked that there were inconsistencies in the original timeline, but they ultimately decided to just go with the translation from The Karate Kid Part II. However, as The Next Karate Kid is considered canon in Cobra Kai, he stated that Kesuke could be a relevant name "in one way or another", possibly as a middle name: Nariyoshi Kesuke Miyagi.
In "The Rise," Mr. Miyagi's grave gives his name as Nariyoshi Miyagi.
- In 2015, Mr. Miyagi was inducted into the Fictitious Athlete Hall of Fame in the Contributor Category.
- The day Mr. Miyagi passed away, November 24, 2011, is six years after the death of his actor Pat Morita, who passed away on November 24, 2005.
- Pat Morita earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in The Karate Kid.
- The Karate Kid screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen stated that Mr. Miyagi was named after Chōjun Miyagi, the founder of the Goju-ryu karate style.
- Mr. Miyagi trains the player and is a hidden unlockable fighter in the game Reality Fighters for the PlayStation Vita. He wears his trademark outfit, uses a fishing pole as a weapon, repeatedly mentions his bonsai-growing, and makes subtle references to the Karate Kid, including the fly-and-chopsticks exercise.
- In this case, "surrogate" means filling the role of a person whom is not otherwise present in the individuals life. Daniel has repeatedly referred to Mr. Miyagi as his paternal role model, with Miyagi referring to Sam as his granddaughter. These roles should not be removed as they are canonically accurate.