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
The flag was flown on the occasioin 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
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.