Namikoshi Shiatsu Therapy

Reasons for Offering the Shiatsu Course in Australia

One of the primary reasons for offering the Shiatsu course in Australia is to pass on the fundamental principles and philosophy from the Japanese Masters Michiyo and Hiroko Urakawa. The course emphasises the high level of awareness, commitment and seriousness required to acquire not only the technical knowledge of the Shiatsu healing art through the correct application of hand techniques but also an attitude of responsibility and professional integrity.

Historical Background of Masters Michyo and Hiroko Urakawa

Michiyo and Hiroko Urakawa

In 1974 Australia was truly the lucky country when sisters Michiyo and Hiroko Urakawa accepted an invitation to introduce new techniques to this country.

Their story is very similar to that of the Grand Shiatsu Master Tokujiro Namikoshi, where their mother had also suffered in pain and had been so impressed with shiatsu treatments that she encouraged her daughters to learn this art or healing. The sisters agreed to go to college not only to realise their mother's dream but also their own dream of working to help others.

Upon completion of their formal college education the sisters began an apprenticeship with the Grand Shiatsu Master Tokujiro Namikoshi, followed by 2 years (six days a week) at the Japanese Shiatsu College and then the successful completion of the National examination conducted by the Government.

Today, they are the only two Namikoshi Shiatsu Masters (holding licences with the Japanese Government) teaching this art of healing outside of Japan , and we are extremely privileged to have these Masters in Melbourne , Australia.

When they first started their practice in Melbourne no one in Australia had heard of Shiatsu and there were misunderstandings about the sort of service they provided. People wanted immediate cures and didn't understand their method of treatment. They went through periods of disheartenment and disillusion but always remembered their dream.

They have perfected their techniques and have become intimately familiar with the body's 660 pressure points, which can be used to treat the root cause of a problem rather than just the symptoms.

From left to right: Hiroko Urakawa, Tokujiro Namikoshi, Michiya Urakawa

Their business has survived on word of mouth alone and they believe personal recommendations are the best form of advertising.

In an effort to remedy what the sisters saw as a deficiency in the training and understanding of Namikoshi Shiatsu, the sisters established a training academy in 1998. While their courses may not match the rigid training regime that they went through, the courses are equally intensive and rigorous. The pass rate currently stands at 50%. The sisters' stress upon their students the importance of practice, practice, practice, the hands must learn to read the body and the students are required to adopt appropriate positions as they work to ensure they avoid injury and health problems themselves.

Michiyo and Hiroko want people to truly understand what Namikoshi Shiatsu is and how it can benefit people. Many people confuse Namikoshi Shiatsu, which is based on physiology and anatomy (purely clinical) with other types of Shiatsu which have their origins in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine). It is very important for people to understand this difference, especially now that Namikoshi Shiatsu has been given Remedial status with the Massage Association of Australia Inc.

So still today, over 30 years since they began their apprenticeship, their dream is still alive, wanting to help people and to teach students the same school of thought and those important techniques and method of healing known as Namikoshi Shiatsu.


Graduates from Masters M & H Urakawa Shiatsu Academy


Graduated Journalism Department of Nippon University (Michiyo)


Graduated Japanese Literature Department KYOURITSU Women's College (Hiroko)


Apprenticeship Namikoshi Shiatsu Centre


Entrance to Japan Shiatsu College


Graduated from Japan Shiatsu College . Passed Nation (Japanese Government) examination.

Michiyo and Hiroko Urakawa came to Australia .

Michiyo and Hiroko Urakawa were awarded N.S.A. (Nippon Shiatsu Association) Membership.


Michiyo and Hiroko were awarded honorary life membership of S.T.A.A. (Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia) in honour of their pioneering achievement in Australia .


Awarded Master of Shiatsu of N.S.A. ( Nippon Shiatsu Association) by Grand Shiatsu Master Tokujiro Namikoshi.


Awarded Honorary Membership and Accreditation Certification by M.A.A. (Massage Association of Australia Inc.)

Shiatsu Masters M & H Urakawa appeared on SBS TV programme 'Second Opinion'.


They featured on the Japanese National TV programme 'Successful story from overseas'.


Namikoshi Shiatsu received remedial accreditation status with the M.A.A. (Massage Association of Australia Inc.).

S.T.A.A. (Shiatsu Therapeutic Association of America awarded Honorary Membership to Michiyo and Hiroko Urakawa in recognition of leadership through education and establishment of Professional Standards in Shiatsu Therapy.


Commemorating Tokujiro Namikoshi'd 100th Birthday

A banquest was held on November 3, 2005 to commemorate 100 years since the birth of Tokujiro Namikoshi, followed by the Japan Shiatsu College. Over 100 overseas guests participated from 11 countries, such as Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Prtugal, the US, Canada, Argentina, Koria, Taiwan and Australia.


Exhibition at Immigration Museum

April 5 to July 9, 2006, the "From Kimono to Sushi" exhibition opend at the Immigration Museum. Namikoshi Shiatsu introduced at the exhibition, and Master Hiroko Urakawa had the shiatsu lecture for Australian on June 4, 2006.



Hiroko Urakawa's profil and article was reported in "Pointers Spring 2007", newsjournal of the Shiatsu Therapy Association of Australia.


The 8th of April is "Shiatsu Memorial Day"

Japan Anniversary Association enacted that the 8th of April is "Shiatsu Memorial Day". So Japan Shiatsu College have an event in Tokyo Japan on April 8, 2008.

Mr. Stefano Sposetti (a Swiss Astronomer, Born on 1958 December 22) named the planet No. 61385 "NAMIKOSHI". Namikoshi Shiatsu is expanding to the univers now.


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