A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History

A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History Paperback – May 15, 2015

by Andreas Quast (Author)

Paperback edition: available at Amazon US ($19.99), Amazon UK (£12.79), Amazon Germany (EUR 19,25 ), CreateSpace eStore ($19.99), and at online and offline bookstores and retailers, as well as via public libraries and libraries at other academic institutions.

Kindle edition also availableUSUKDEFRESITNLJPBRCAMXAUIN

Based on his acclaimed previous studies, the author here presents a synopsis of the development of Ryukyu martial arts. The events described herein are all real, that is, they are all historical. Strolling along the chronology of martial arts of Ryukyu provenance, a large number of verified events are not only detailed, but also decorated with dozens of precious illustrations. As such “A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History” is for martial arts practitioners as much as it is for aficionados of history and Asia. It simply provides a pristine ground to stand on for the practitioner who wishes to understand the primordial origins of Ryukyu martial arts.

  • For those who read “Karate 1.0”: this new book here is a synopsis of Karate 1.0 plus the “chronology (Part VII)” without significant changes. It is an easier read without all the reasoning and footnotes, but instead with nearly 80 illustrations to make it more suitable for the general public, and not only academic people.

Among the unique information that cannot be found anywhere else are also some of the illustrations. For instance, there is only one picture scroll that shows the Chinese investiture envoys (sapposhi) and their military retinue. Here, for the first time you might see how famous Kusanku actually might have looked like.

About the Author

The author began Karate in 1994, went to Japan first in 1999 and continuously studied Ryūkyū Kobudō since 2000. Besides, he has seven years straight experience in Jiu-jitsu. He trained with a large number of internationally acclaimed budōka. For close to two years in total he lived and trained on Okinawa, Japan, honing his skills in the dōjō of various prominent masters.

In 2011 he performed Kobudō at the German Okinawan Festival held in Okinawa, which was well received by the German ambassador to Japan as well as the German Honorary Consul to Okinawa.

His unquenchable passion for various martial arts of Ryūkyūan provenance results in regular print and online publications frequently reaching an international audience. With two decades of practical experience, extensive travel, and published research he still considers himself being merely on the verge of understanding Ryūkyū martial arts.

The author is a certified engineer, technical writer, and antiquarian bookseller living in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he continues his training and research.

Product Details (Paperback edition)

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (May 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1512229423
  • ISBN-13: 978-1512229424
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9.7 inches
Cover

Cover

Available at Amazon US ($19.99), Amazon UK (£12.79), Amazon Germany (EUR 19,25 ), CreateSpace eStore ($19.99)

Veröffentlicht unter Books | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für A Stroll Along Ryukyu Martial Arts History

Karate 1.0: Parameter of an Ancient Martial Art

The most comprehensive study on the parameters of primordial Karate, this work intrigues readers with rich detail and insights into these ancient combat traditions, the pride of Okinawa.

KARATE 1.0: Parameter of an Ancient Martial Art. Düsseldorf 2013, by Andreas Quast.

cover (4)

Karate 1.0 front cover

  • Pages: xxvii, 502 pp.
  • Language: English.
  • Hardcover binding in green linen material with gold foil stamping, size 8.25″ x 10.75″ (20.95cm x 27.31cm).
  • Full-color dust jacket in matte finish.
  • Inside: black and white printing on cream archival paper (60# weight). White exterior paper (80# weight).
  • Forewords by Patrick McCarthy, Miguel Da Luz, Cezar Borkowski, Jesse Enkamp, Dr. Julian Braun, Soke Leif Hermansson, and Dr. phil. Heiko Bittmann.
  • All copies ship from the United States.
  • Price: $75.00.

Only the highest quality both in content and production: get it now from Lulu.com!

Read the review by the experts:

Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Books, Unknown Ryukyu | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für Karate 1.0: Parameter of an Ancient Martial Art

The ultimate goal of budō

Remember that the ultimate goal of budō lies not in technique, but in the educative aim to produce useful people for the community, who ultimately contribute something to the world. It is only on the individual level that this is achieved by “perfecting oneself” in the study of budō. But budō adresses the community.

It is neither a cool computer game nor a random kakutōgi (martial Arts) only about armbars, chokes, and atemi, wearing some Asian clothes. It is not something you simply define yourself.

Unbenannt

“The most efficient use of energy” was formulated Kanō, the founder of jūdō. “Energy” refers to both mental and physical power. “The most efficient use” implies two injunctions:

  1. To use mental and physical power most reasonably and to avoid waste.
  2. To use it to promote “goodness,” that is something that promotes the continuing development of collective and social lives. (Cf. Inoue 1998)

The positive budō approach can also be seen in precepts of the International Budō University, Japan. They are roughly as follows:

  • by budō, the youth masters an immovable philosophy of life[1]
  • by budō, the youth understands the world view of peace
  • by budō, the youth cultivates their physique
  • by budō, the youth learns the way of patience and courtesy
  • The youth under the spirit of the physical education of budō: Let’s build a road[2] for international friendship

[1] jinseikan 人生観, term coinded by Japanese philosopher Inoue Tetsujirō (1855–1944).

[2] taidō 大道, meaning road in sense of the “path of righteousness”, or of “fundamental moral principles”

So next time you get stuck and worn out too much by following the path of “ancient martial arts”, dealing with techniques that destroy life, with being a “warrior” 24/7, that is, with “the art of war”, which ultimativley hurts your soul when its otherwise meaningsless, you probably want to remind yourself that budō first of all and in fact is a positive thing which has humanity as its foundation.

dojo

Veröffentlicht unter Books, Misc | Verschlagwortet mit | Kommentare deaktiviert für The ultimate goal of budō

The Chuzan Mon on Ayajo Boulevard

Within the construction of the Shuri castle walls there were numerous gates. In olden times there was a gate called Chūzan-mon, which was of the same type as the Shureimon. Unfortunately, the Chūzan-mon was demolished in 1908 due to obsolescence. We know how it looked from one single old photograph only.

The road leading down westwards from the Shureimon is called Ayajō Ufumichi, or Ayajō Boulevard. As it is situated on top, Shureimon is also referred to as Ue no Ayajō, or ‘on top of Ayajō.’

The Chūzan Mon on the other hand was about 500m away down the road, and therefore also referred to as Shita no Ayajō, ‘lower Ayajō’.

Chūzan Mon and Shureimon on Ayajō Boulevard, leading to the Kankaimon, the first gate in the actual Shuri castle walls.

Chūzan Mon and Shureimon on Ayajō Boulevard, leading to the Kankaimon, the first gate in the actual Shuri castle walls.

Ayajō Ufumichi was the primary road of the Ryukyu Kingdom, with royal townhouses and the like lined up along this street. In addition, it was also the place where large celebrations took place, like the tug-of-war called Ayajō Unna.

Such a tug-of-war on the Ayajō Boulevard to place in 1898. From the reports we can see that before karate was introduced into school education, it seems to have been performed at local events. From the 13th to the 17th of August tug-of-war took place in Akabira, in Ōnaka and Tōbaru, in Yamagawa, and at the Kunigami residence in Gibo, with dozens of old people, persons in their prime, and youngsters drinking sake together. As entertainments a sword dance to a mournful melody and heroic ‘Chinese style martial arts’ were performed. Inside the gates on Ayajō Boulevard the characteristic flagpoles (hatagashira) of Gibo in form of a ancient military leader’s fan were erected.

Chūzan Mon, about 500m away down the Ayajo Boulevard, and therefore also referred to as Shita no Ayajō, ‘lower Ayajō’.

Chūzan Mon, about 500m away down the Ayajo Boulevard, and therefore also referred to as Shita no Ayajō, ‘lower Ayajō’.

Biblio:

  • Ryūkyū Shinpō-sha (Meiji 31)
  • Shuri-gusuku Shashin de miru. Naha 2005. 4th edition.
  • Shuri-gusuku: Yomigaeru Ryūkyū Ōkoku. Naha 2006. 6th edition.
  • Karate 1.0, 2013 (Chapter: The First written Notes on Tōdī, and Karate).
Veröffentlicht unter Unknown Ryukyu | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für The Chuzan Mon on Ayajo Boulevard

A different karate man

Today’s Kojō-ryū came into existence when sometime after 1945 Kojō Kafu opened a dōjō in Naha City Tsuboya, together with his oldest son and 7th generation Kojō Shigeru (1934-?). Shigeru himself, together with Matayoshi Seiki (1933-1975), practiced for about five years with Miyagi Chōjun, whose oldest daughter’s husband also bore the Kojō family name.

Matayoshi Seiki was born in Naha Tsuboya as the second son among three brother and three sisters. Because he lost his eldest brother in the war, Matayoshi took over his role. His parents’ household was so poor he could not even go to school. Since he was 7 or 8 years old he attended the dōjō of Miyagi Chōjun, founder of Gōjū-ryū Karate-dō. By the time he was 18-19 years old he repeatedly got into street fights against American soldiers. While making a living as a bouncer he didn’t gang up but independently practiced karate all the time.

Yakuza in Okinawa are a post-war phenomenon. After first signs of a post-war revival began to appear, like minded persons started to band together since around 1952. Matayoshi, gradually noted by his surroundings, formed the Naha-ha by gathering his karate fellows and others based in Naha City. Even after he had become the boss of the Naha-ha he continued to work hard in practicing karate. Around the same time the Koza-ha based in Okinawa City was formed by Kishaba Chōshin.

During the so-called 1st Okinawa Dispute (1961) Matayoshi was nearly killed twice by Shinjō Yoshifumi (nickname Mintamī), the successor of the Koza-ha. The first time he was taken to Nishihara airfield remains of the old Japanese Imperial Army. After having been beaten with a brand new hoe handle, which broke from the beatings, he was pulled around tied to the back of a car with a chain. The second time he was shot from behind when he left his home. However, as he survived both attacks, he came to be called the “immortal man”, the “man not afraid to die”, and “star”.

Taba Seiko, one of the leaders of the Naha-ha, formed the Futenma-ha. Around this time yakuza from the mainland began to intervene in the conflict.

After the Koza-ha split into the Yanbaru-ha and the Awase-ha, the Naha-ha, Futenma-ha, and Yonbaru-ha united and they entered into conflict with the Awase-ha. This is the so-called 2nd Okinawa Dispute (1964), in which the Awase-ha was destroyed by relentless attacks from the Yonbaru-ha.

The 3rd Okinawa Dispute (1966) broke out when the Naha-ha and the Yonbaru-ha united and entered into conflict with the Futenma-ha. The Futenma-ha ended after Taba was shot to death.

In the later 1960s Gibo Toshio launched the Okinawa Branch of the Tōseikai (the later Tōakai or “East Asia Friendship Enterprises Association”, a largely ethnic-Korean yakuza group based in Tōkyō)

Lower right: Matayoshi Seiki (1933-1975).

Lower right: Matayoshi Seiki (1933-1975).

In 1970, at the eve of Okinawa’s political return to mainland Japan and with the intention to prevent the advance of the mainland yakuza syndicate known as Yamaguchi-gumi, the Naha-ha and the Yonbaru-ha formed the Okinawa Rengō Kyokuryūkai. Nakamoto Zenchū became president. Matayoshi Seiki and Shinjō Yoshifumi, whom Matayoshi tried to kill after the two assassination attempts, both became board chairmen.

Matayoshi himself said ”Now in this situation Okinawa people cannot be at each other’s throats. If me and Mintami (i.e. Shinjō Yoshifumi) do not join hands, Okinawa will be under the mainland yakuza, which are the real enemy”.

Not long afterwards, Uehara Yūkichi of the original Yonbaru-ha established the Uehara-gumi and made himself independent from the Okinawa Rengō Kyokuryūkai. This led to the 4th Okinawa Dispute. In the early morning of Thursday, October 16, 1975, Matayoshi Seiki left 6 a.m. for a walk with his Tosa dog. He was followed by a bodyguard car of 3 henchmen. About 1.5 kilometers from home, at the entrance of the Shikina cemetery, Matayoshi riding his motorcycle and holding the dog leash in his left hand, a white car overtook the bodyguard car and Matayoshi was shot from behind by two assassins belonging to the Uehara-gumi. Four of the five Colt 45 caliber bullets struck Matayoshi in the chest and abdomen. He died instantly. Shinjō Yoshifumi was also shot to death by members of the Uehara-gumi.

In the later 1970s, the Uehara-gumi and the Ryūshinkai, a branch of the “East Asia Friendship Enterprises Association”, entered in affiliation with the Yamaguchi-gumi.

In the earlier 1970s, Tawada Shinzan had become the 2nd president of the Okinawa Rengō Kyokuryūkai. In the 1980s he made brothers with the leadership of the Yamaguchi-gumi, thus ended the 4th Okinawa Dispute. Tawada was shot to death in 1982 by members of the Okinawa Rengō Kyokuryūkai. His successor as third president in 1983 became Onaga Yoshihiro, under who membership reached 1,000.

In 1990 the Okinawa Rengō Kyokuryūkai split up into the Kyokuryūkai and the Okinawa Kyokuryūkai. In 2011 they merged again and relaunched as Kyokuryūkai. It is today the only group that is designated as Yakuza (bōryakudan) in Okinawa prefecture.

Veröffentlicht unter Unknown Ryukyu | Kommentare deaktiviert für A different karate man

Random thoughts on the term “Enbu”

Investiture envoy Wang Ji for 1683 noted on a place for drill in arms and for the practice of martial arts in Naha, used by the officers and men of the Tenshikan (the lodgings of the Investiture envoys and their followers, as well as guardsmen from Kume village only). He used the Chinese expression yanwu-chang 演武塲, which corresponds to enbu-ba in Japanese reading. Accordingly, the first time the term enbu was used in Ryūkyū history was in a Chinese source. At that time it referred to military exercises.

In Japan, the term enbu 演武 appeared frequently since 1895, when the Dai Nippon Butokukai held its first Butokusai Dai Enbu Taikai, which was henceforth continued annually. At that time it also referred to military exercises, though it made use of traditional martial arts, which still were considered valuable military tactics and also used to instill a “Japanese martial soul” in large parts of the population.

The Dai Nippon Butokukai also organized the Youth Martial Demonstrations Meeting (Dai-jū-kai Seinen Dai Enbu Taikai). In 1908, six students of the Shuri Middle School participated in the 10th edition of this demonstration and performed karate in front of Jigorō Kanō and other visitors.

Enbu at shrines in Japan are a great opportunity to observe various classical styles.

Enbu at shrines in Japan are a great opportunity to observe various classical styles.

Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Unknown Ryukyu | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für Random thoughts on the term “Enbu”

A word in your ear

The expression “Disposition of Ryūkyū” (Ryūkyū Shobun) designates the stepwise incorporation of the Ryūkyū Kingdom into the Japanese Empire. First, it was designated the Ryūkyū fief in 1872. Seven years later, in 1879, it integrated into the Japanese Empire as the Okinawa Prefecture.

Various royalist Okinawans opposed this forced annexation. They were usually referred to as the “stubborn faction” (gankotō). The term ganko denotes stubbornness, backwardness, a pigheaded fellow.

The other clique was the pro-Japanese “enlightenment faction”, referred to as kaikatō. The term kaika implies enlightenment, civilization, cultural progress; the process of becoming civilized, or to have laws and culture. Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Books, Unknown Ryukyu | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für A word in your ear

Example of a Bō-odori from former Satsuma Province

Satsuma bō-odori, or ‘dance of the fighting gudgel‘ from the former Satsuma fief is historically related to Ryūkyū kingdom era bōjutsu. You probably heard that bō-odori in Satsuma had been devised by the Jigen-ryū style of swordmanship to be used as a covert line of defense, yet there were various bō-odori in various regions.

Demonstration of the “Shinchi Baba Bō-odori” by members of the Baba Bō-odori Hozonkai during the 5th Kobayashi City Local Arts Festival on November 30, 2014

Demonstration of the “Shinchi Baba Bō-odori” by members of the Baba Bō-odori Hozonkai during the 5th Kobayashi City Local Arts Festival on November 30, 2014

Today I’d like to introduce the Shinchi Baba Bō-odori, which should be viewed and understood as a performing art, though without forgetting its history: About four hundred and ten years ago, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi dispatched troops to Korea, the Satsuma clan also participated in the campaign. But following the sudden death of Hideyoshi all troops were withdrawn. Shimazu Yoshihiro (1535 – 1619) of the Satsuma clan, whose troops were called the “Shimazu demons”, also returned. On this occasion, various dances were performed in the various regions of his territory as a celebration of Shimazu’s achievements in the war. One such dance has been handed down as a bō-odori. Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Unknown Ryukyu | Verschlagwortet mit , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für Example of a Bō-odori from former Satsuma Province

The Department of Justice (Hirajo) of the Ryukyu Royal Government

The general as well as judicial administrations of the Ryūkyū kingdom were conducted on the basis of local autonomy by local government agencies. The central government level only took up responsibility when all else failed. This constitutes the framework for further inquiries into security-related functions and duties within the royal government, which you find described completely in my Karate 1.0 only.

Division of judicial affairs.

Division of judicial affairs.

Within the royal government organization there was the Board of General Affairs (mōshiguchi-hō), which was created following the 1609 Satsuma hostile takeover. The four departments and their sub-agencies arranged under this board, however, were already in existence previously. Their functions in many respects corresponded to the function of law, police and security.

The most important department in connection with law enforcement and inner stability on the central government level was the Department of Justice. Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Unknown Ryukyu | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für The Department of Justice (Hirajo) of the Ryukyu Royal Government

Sakugawa no Kon Shō (Bojutsu Kata Series)

Pronounced Sakuga’a nu Kun Sū/Shī in Okinawan dialect.

Sakugawa no Kon is said to have been devised and handed down by Sakugawa “Tōdī” Kanga. Kanga went to China for study and later became a teacher at the “National Academy” (kokugaku) of Ryūkyū (established 1798). As a reward for distinguished services he was granted the place name “Sakugawa” of Nakagusuku district. Accordingly he changed his surname from Teruya to Sakugawa. In his case the place name was given to him in name only, i.e. he was not the actual fief holder. Sakugawa is revered as one of the founders of Okinawa karate.

Excerpt from a lineage found in an Okinawan treatise on the history of karate & kobudo showing Sakugawa (Western adaption by this blogger).

Excerpt from a lineage found in an Okinawan treatise on the history of karate & kobudo showing Sakugawa (Western adaption by this blogger).

There are many kinds of Sakugawa no Kon. Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Bojutsu Kata Series | Verschlagwortet mit , , , , , , , , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für Sakugawa no Kon Shō (Bojutsu Kata Series)

Chatan Yara no Kon (Bojutsu Kata Series)

A certain Chatan Yara Pēchin, who is said to have left behind Chatan Yara no Sai, is also said to have left behind the outstanding and unique bōjutsu kata called Chatan Yara no Kon.

Techniques

With around ninety individual techniques (ok, this depends largely on how one counts) it is not the longest bōjutsu kata but is difficult and largely asymmetrical in its order of techniques. The enbusen follows a simple straight line, but with various 180° turns and two 360° turns, plus strikes to the left and right sides on four occasions. And it is basically unknown. Weiterlesen

Veröffentlicht unter Bojutsu Kata Series | Verschlagwortet mit , , , | Kommentare deaktiviert für Chatan Yara no Kon (Bojutsu Kata Series)