Category Archives: Book Reviews

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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Quicky on Shiko

In Karate there is a stance called Shiko-dachi 四股立ち. Shiko-dachi is a modern Japanese term from the sphere of “developing a standardized Karate terminology”, i.e. earliest from about the latter part of the 1st  half of the 20th century, more likely from about … Continue reading

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Online Exhibition: Order of the Rising Sun

Photo: Certificate and “Two-colored Order of the Rising Sun”, Knight 1st Class (Kyokujitsu sōkōshō 旭日双光章) Awarded: in the name of the Japanese Emperor Recipient: Nagamine Shōshin Date: April 29, 1982. Photo: Andreas Quast Photo Date: May 23, 2009. Location: Kōdōkan Nagamine Dōjō, headquarter … Continue reading

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The gloriously sparkling Tenmoku-style teabowl

Japanese ceramic artist Hayashi Kyōsuke 林恭助 is one of the few people worldwide who succeeded in recreating what is called a Yōhen Tenmoku teabowl (Yōhen Tenmoku Chawan 曜變変天目茶碗) in Japan, or Jian teabowl (Jian zhan 建盞) in China. This refers … Continue reading

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The 36 Clans of the Min-People

Shortly after the establishment of tributary trade relations with China, a group of Chinese from Fujian were granted to Ryūkyū by the Chinese Emperor and started to immigrate to Okinawa in 1392. They came to be known as the people … Continue reading

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Kyūyō Vol. XIX, No. 1540: In the 4th month of this year [1803], in the Kikoe-Ōgimi Udun 聞得大君御殿, the bell tower together with the western guard house (O-Banjo 御番所) were allowed to be re-erected.

In former times, a bell tower and a western guard house once existed in the Kikoe-Ōgimi Udun. In recent years [in 1780] they were abolished. In this year now, by order of Sashiki Aji Ganashi 佐敷按司加那志 (title of the queen … Continue reading

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Southern Islands Discourse Meeting, 1927

Members of Yanagita Kunio’s “Southern Islands Discourse Meeting” in 1927. The photo shows three “fathers of…,” namely the father of Japanese native folkloristics, the father of Okinawaology, and the father of modern karate. Moreover, it also shows someone who might be termed the … Continue reading

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Sueyoshi no Kon II – Taira Shinken’s own description (Bojutsu Kata Series)

I wrote about Sueyoshi no Kon previously. Here I present Taira Shinken’s own description of the kata, in photo and text (my translation). You can also view how it is performed here, while I tried to leave out the typical performing habits … Continue reading

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A Paraphrasis of Article 1 from “Itosu’s Ten Maxims”

There was a discussion recently in an online forum, which touched the topic of karate as a 1) civilian self-defence system for use against 2) untrained attackers. We hear these two arguments all the time. The disourse circles around a perceived … Continue reading

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