Author Archives: Andreas Quast

Okinawan Samurai — The Painting of Guan Yu, God of the Martial Arts

While working on “Okinawan Samurai,” Motobu sensei and me discovered a painting with a specific significance to martial arts. The painting was originally in the possession of Aka/Ōta Pēchin and is described in his ‘Instructions’ to his only son and … Continue reading

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Okinawan Samurai — The Instructions of a Royal Official to his Only Son

By Aka/Ōta Pēchin Chokushiki (auth.), Andreas Quast (ed./transl.), Motobu Naoki (transl.). Print edition: US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP !!!Translated from Japanese for the first time!!! “I think it is epoch-making that Quast sensei decided to translate the ‘Testament of Aka Pēchin Chokushiki,’ and not one of the famous … Continue reading

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Shirotaru no Kon (5) – Name, Lineages, Variants

Name The name of the kata is usually written in kana as 白樽の棍. In standard Japanese this is pronounced “Shirotaru no Kon.” In Okinawan dialect it is pronounced “Shiratarū nu Kun” シラタルーヌクン. Otherwise the name is also sometimes written in … Continue reading

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Shirotaru no Kon (4) – Techniques of Shirotaru Deciphered

As I noted before, Miki Jisaburō learned Shirotaru no Kon from Ōshiro Chōjo (1887–1935), who lived in Shuri Ōnaka 1-54 at the time. At that time Ōshiro served as a regular teacher as well as the head of the karate … Continue reading

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Shirotaru no Kon (3) – The Pole Fencing Techniques of Shirotaru

Below follows my descriptive translation of Shirotaru no Kon as given by Miki in 1930. Let me note a few things: First of all, in the original text, some descriptions were shortened by making a reference to a technique from … Continue reading

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Shirotaru no Kon (2) – Kudaka Island and Native Beliefs

In the legend of Shirotaru, it is said that the fruitful harvest from Kudaka Island was dedicated to the people of Tamagusuku district, who began to brew sacred wine from the crop and offered it to the lord Tamagusuku Aji, … Continue reading

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Shirotaru no Kon (1) – Introduction and Legend of Origin

There is an interesting bōjutsu kata called Shirotaru no Kon. Today there are quite a number and variety of different versions of this kata in existence. Most of them have more in common than not and they all share specific … Continue reading

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The Genealogy of Hanashiro Chōmo 花城長茂 (1869–1945)

One of the few karate people that can be found in the official genealogies of the Ryūkyū Kingdom era is Hanashiro Chōmo 花城長茂 (1869–1945). He belonged to the House Kameya 亀谷家, which was a branch family of the Min-clan 明氏. … Continue reading

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The Invention of Karate

The last and probably most important book by Kinjō Hiroshi (2011) has the clear tenor of an “Invention of Karate”. Yes, I just said that. It is about as follows: In 1904, Itosu Ankō (1831–1915), commissioned by and under the … Continue reading

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Shimazu Iehisa presented military weaponry to Ryukyuan leader

For more than a century a prohibition of firearms and cut and thrust weapons by the Shimazu House has been considered one major trigger for the development of empty handed martial arts in Okinawa. While this theory has been refuted … Continue reading

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