90 years ago Kenpo was so well known as an effective fighting art in Japan that many Japanese styles that had no connection with Kenpo claimed their art was derived from Kenpo. Some even went so far as to claim their masters had training directly under Chinese Kenpo masters. Similar claims have continued to this day, even though there has never been a Chinese Kenpo master; nor has there been a master of the Chinese style that gave rise to Kenpo in centuries. What's even more ridiculous are the Korean schools that claim to teach Kenpo as part of Tai Kwon Do. This Chinese Kenpo is not to be confused with the styles developed by Kenpo students who went on to train with Bruce Lee and created their own systems of Chinese Kenpo.
Kenpo was brought to Hawaii shortly after the turn of the century by Great Grand Master Kiyoka Komatsu. In 1920 her 3 year old son, James Mitose, was sent to Japan where he was raised by his maternal grandfather, Great Grand Master Sakuhi Yoshida. There he studied Kenpo and became the first Mitose to Master the Komatsu/Yoshida art of Kenpo. His father, Otokichi Mitose, never trained in Kenpo, or any martial art for that matter, and since his son was sent to Japan when he was only 3 years old, Otokichi Mitose had no influence on his training. James Mitose returned to Hawaii after his father's death in 1936, then after the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, James Mitose began openly teaching what he called Kempo Ju-Jitsu, though the spelling was later changed to Kenpo Jiu Jitsu.
Great Grand Master James Mitose, was the ranking Kenpo master in Hawaii in 1942, and with the exception of his sisters, Great Grand Master Fusae, and Shizue, the other eight Kenpo Grand Masters, and four Masters, did not teach openly. However, Grand Master Sadake Takamori and Grand Master Matsuichi Yamashito did teach exclusively to close members of the Hawaiian Japanese community. Mitose retired in 1953, and his Head Instructor (and first Shodan), Thomas Young, took over his club. This left Shizue and Fusae as the ranking Great Grand Masters of Kenpo, but neither taught openly as their brother had. In 1959, Fusae took on a single non Japanese student, and awarded him the rank of Shodan/Instructor and then Sandan in 1961.