Author Archives: Andreas Quast

Traditional Ryūkyū kumi-odori, karate … 165 prewar Okinawan photographs discovered (2)

Okinawa Karate, not to be defeated by discrimination A strong-muscled man receives a thrust from a big man wearing a haramaki (bellyband). The photo is considered to have been taken around 1933 at the Ōsaka City Sports Ground (the current … Continue reading

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Traditional Ryūkyū kumi-odori, karate … 165 prewar Okinawan photographs discovered (1)

165 photographs of people and landscapes of Okinawa before the war were discovered at the headquarter of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper in Ōsaka City. Previously, a negative of Okinawa in 1935 was found also at the Asahi Shimbun and introduced … Continue reading

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ON THE COMBINATION OF NAGASHI-UKE AND GYAKU-UCHI

In colloquial Japanese, “gyaku-uchi” 逆打ち refers to “to pilger along the 88 stations of the Shikoku Pilgrimage in opposite direction, i.e. from point 88 to point 1” (from Ōkuboji in Sanuki, Kagawa Prefecture to the Ryōzenji in Naruto, Tokushima Prefecture). … Continue reading

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The Issue of Varying Combinations in Taira-lineage Saijutsu

In the Saijutsu kata of Taira-lineage are often found longer combinations which are almost the same, but which almost always slightly vary. This is a real issue for practitioners, particularly during the first years. I have been asked how to … Continue reading

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Kyan Chōtoku and Chan-no-Bōjutsu

(By Kyuna Chōkō 喜友名朝孝, in “Okinawa Karate Kobudo Jiten,” 2008, translation Andreas Quast) When I was a child, I used to go to the house of Kyan Chōtoku (Chan nu Tanmē, meaning senior-citizen Kyan from the samure class) together with … Continue reading

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On Sēpai (1986)

Not too long ago communication between Okinawa and the world as well as between sensei and students was slow. Things would sometimes take months if not years to reach anybody, if ever. My colleague Filip Konjokrad just provided his translation … Continue reading

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Inutabu Riot (Inutabu Sōdō 犬田布騒動)

The Inutabu Riot occurred on April 23, 1864 (old lunar calendar: March 18, Bunkyū 4) in Inutabu Village, Tokunoshima. From the peasant’s point of view it is also called Inutabu Crusade (Inutabu gisen 犬田布義戦), emphasizing the righfulness of the action. … Continue reading

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Yaka no Sai

As Nagamine Shōshin has pointed out, it is important to study the history of Ryūkyū to understand Okinawan martial arts. During Ryukyu kingdom times existed private tutors called “Yaka.” It was not an official government position and therefore there are … Continue reading

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The Twilight of Lord Kogusuku

Traditional Okinawa kobudō uses a shield with one hand in combination with a weapon in the other. There are basically two variants. One is the shield known best from Matayoshi lineage kobudō, which uses loop and handle, and which is … Continue reading

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The Ueku was the Sword of the Fisherman

Earlier today I wrote a piece about a current design of an ueku (oar), which you can read here. I would like to add a short note about the various designs of the ueku and what the design means for … Continue reading

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