Category Archives: Misc

Photo in the “Encyclopedia of Japan,” keyword “Karate”

It is not surprising that the “Encyclopedia of Japan” has an entry for the word “Karate.” It provides a good basic overview of Karate, with photos of Rika Usami, Motobu Choki, the Japanese national Kata team, Kyan Chotoku and many … Continue reading

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Timeline of Bōgu-tsuki Karate

Bōgu-tsuki Karate 防具付き空手 is one of various competition modi of Karate. It literally means “karate with protective equipment attached.” It refers to full-contact karate fights in which protective equipment is worn by the participants. Termonilogy As regards the term bōgu, … Continue reading

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May I introduce myself? My name is Kanō Jigorō.

Out of personal interest I regularly surf the internet and also read, participate in and contribute in discussions in social media groups. One of the stereotypes found almost everywhere is what I would paraphrase as follows: Gichin Funakoshi introduced and popularized karate … Continue reading

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The First Uniform and Black Belt in Karate

In the board-game of Go, Hon’inbō Dōsaku 本因坊道策 (1645-1702) created the first rank system. It had three ranks only: Meijin (9th dan), Jun-meijin (8th dan), and Jōzu (7th dan). Later this classification was enhanced to include nine dan 段 ranks. … Continue reading

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The Charter of Karate-dō (inofficial translation)

The Charter of Karate-dō Karate-dō developed in Okinawa as an original empty-handed martial art of Japan. Within the process of its dissemination inside Japan, and while it inherited the original spirit of the ancient Japanese martial ways (budō), it developed … Continue reading

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Article on the website of the “Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau”

An article of mine is featured on the prestigious “Okinawa Traditional Karate Liaison Bureau” website. It is about a photo which probably shows the important karate teacher Hanashiro Chōmo at a relatively young age, in the year 1904. Check it out and read the … Continue reading

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Terminology as regards Cultural Properties in Japan

There are various levels and designations of cultural properties of Japan. They may be designated by institutions on municipal, prefectural, and national level, and in a multitude of fields: there are “Tangible Cultural Properties”, “Intangible Cultural Property”, “Folk Cultural Properties”, … Continue reading

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Know a thousand, but master one thoroughly

What is the most important point in studying kata? Wrong question. Because there are at least two. As for one, in karate [I always include kobudō when using this word] as well as in other Japanese bujutsu, since olden times … Continue reading

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The impression Ryūkyūans got from Western visitors, 19th century

Chapter 14 of the “Jixiao Xinshu” (1560-61) described a kata made of 32 “gestures”, all of which had their applications. The work was translated and reprinted in the following centuries, including in Korea and Japan. In the introduction, the author … Continue reading

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Is Taihojutsu modern Torite?

Following his assignment at Kadena Police Station (December 1931 through August 1936), Nagamine Shōshin was sent to the Tōkyō Metropolitan Police Department, i.e. the national police HQ of Japan. Not much is known about the training he received there over the course of … Continue reading

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