Tag Archives: Matsumura Sokon

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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Kata Taught by Matsumura Sōkon (1)

Since I read about Matsumura Sōkon in social networks recently and about the kata he presumably taught, I thought it might be a good idea to remind Karate circles of an eyewitness account about the eminent master. In his 1941 autobiography, … Continue reading

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On the Persistence of Historical Distortions

Back in 2004 or so an old picture found its way onto the cover of a newly published Karate book. The seemingly irresistible narrative spun around it claimed that it showed Matsumura Sōkon and Itosu Ankō, as body guards of the … Continue reading

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How tradition really works

In my last post I raised a hypothetical question which placed Shuri-te in a somewhat unfavorable light. Of course, Shuri-te was meant in sense of Itosu Ankō’s school Karate syllabus. Today I would like to relativize and rectify this biased … Continue reading

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King Wu Once Buckled On His Armor: The Seven Virtues of Martial Arts

by Andreas Quast THIS is the true story of the seven virtues of martial arts as described by Matsumura Sokon. Considered the primary source-text of old-style Okinawan martial arts, the “Seven Virtues” are admired for their straightforward advice. Handwritten in the late 19th … Continue reading

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On the Matsumura scroll

One of Matsumura’s disciples was the late Kuwae Ryōsei (1856–1926).[1] When after the war his eldest son Kuwae Ryōkei (1886–1966)[2] returned from Taiwan, Nagamine heard that he was in possession of a handwritten manuscript scroll (makimono) prepared by Matsumura himself. And … Continue reading

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Kyan Chotoku’s wife, Kama

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On the distinction between Shuri-te and Tomari-te

Translator’s note: The Japanese language version of this article published on the Motobu-ryū website has sparked a lot of interest among the international karate and Ryūkyū bugei community. In addition, there was a request for a translation. For this reason I translated it here with … Continue reading

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Nagamine Shoshin and the apparently two first postwar articles written on Karate/Kobudo

In the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shinpō, in 1950 an article appeared on Funakoshi, titled: “Karate – Funakoshi Gichin Okina – Defeating a cow: secret training under cover of night.” In the post-war era in Okinawa itself it also took a … Continue reading

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Arakaki Ankichi (1899-1929) – budoka, businessman, artist

his article describes the life and impact of Arakaki Ankichi (1899-1929). Ultimately it aims at determining the meaning of a hanging scroll bearing a poem and a depiction he created in 1928. It took me nearly seven years – more … Continue reading

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