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The Mr. Miyagi Mystery That's Solved In Cobra Kai

The 1980s were a decade that spawned countless classic movies and franchises that stand firm atop the pop culture heap to this day. The Karate Kid, released in 1984, was one such product of that iconic period, launching a whole host of legendary catchphrases and characters that continue to hold a special place in the hearts of fans. Looking at the series as a whole, there are few bigger names on the cast list than Noriyuki "Pat" Morita — better known as Daniel LaRusso's (Ralph Macchio) wise mentor, Mr. Miyagi.

The Miyagi character was instrumental in making The Karate Kid such a success, providing Daniel with the training and discipline necessary to defeat Cobra Kai at the All-Valley Karate Championship Tournament. At the same time, he also provided his pupil with a fair amount of life lessons regarding honor, harmony with one's self, and effectively balancing all life has to throw at you. Despite his being a fictional character, Miyagi's words are incredibly inspirational, and without him, the franchise wouldn't be the same.

Still, for as important as he was to Daniel's story and character progression, there's one major detail about the martial arts expert that has baffled fans for decades: his first name. Conflicting reports over the years fueled speculation, leaving fans to wonder what his true name is in Karate Kid canon. Thankfully, the follow-up series Cobra Kai finally settled the question once and for all.

Mr. Miyagi's true first name is Nariyoshi

Throughout the entirety of The Karate Kid, no one ever thinks to bring up Mr. Miyagi's first name or ask him what it is. The sequel, however, shed some light on this mysterious sage, naming him Nariyoshi and thus beginning decades of confusion. In 1989, a Karate Kid animated series retconned Mr. Miyagi's name to Yakuga, but this didn't last very long. The Next Karate Kid, released in 1994, gave him the name Keisuke, leaving fans to throw their hands in the air and collectively ask "why?"

At last, over 30 years after the original film hit theaters, the creative minds behind Cobra Kai wrote what should be the final word on Mr. Miyagi's first name. In the show's first season, Daniel visits his former sensei's grave, and on the headstone, the name "Nariyoshi Miyagi" is engraved, seemingly putting an end to this saga. Not only was the scene a perfect way to honor one of Hollywood's most legendary characters, but it also laid to rest a headache-inducing debate that plagued Karate Kid die-hards for far too long.