Category Archives: Postwar Okinawa Karate

The History and Contents of Matayoshi Kobudo as of 1999

Grandfather Shinkō was born on May 18, 1888, in Kakinohana Town, Naha City as the third son of great-grandfather, Shinchin. Raised in Senbaru, Chatan Village, he learned kenpō (empty-handed martial arts) and bukijutsu (martial arts with weaponry) handed down as … Continue reading

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The History and Contents of Matayoshi Kobudo as of 1977

Chairman: Matayoshi Shinpō (hanshi) Registered domicile: 2-16-6 Kumoji, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture Present address: 323 Yogi, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture Date of birth: January 16, 1922 Occupation: commerce Martial Record 1930: Studied under Kyan Chōtoku (karate training) (8 years old) … Continue reading

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How “Tsuken Hanta-gwā no Kon” became “Urasoe no Kon”

Urasoe no Kon is a kata name that first appeared in the postwar era. That is, none of the kata lists presented by Miki (1930) and Taira (1938) included the name Urasoe no Kon, nor does it appear elsewhere. While … Continue reading

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Taira Shinken 1964 also copied designs from Yun Heui-byeong 1948

In the last article, I notified that Taira Shinken copied important parts of text from Yun’s research published in 1948. Besides text, Taira also copied designs from Yun. Here I would like to particularly point out the makiwara design. The … Continue reading

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Taira Shinken 1964 copied from Yun Heui-byeong 1948

Taira Shinken’s Ryūkyū Kobudō Taikan (1964) is considered the first monography on Okinawan weapon’s arts. In it, he included a chapter called “The History of Ryūkyū Kobudō” with descriptions of various masters from the past. However, more than fifteen years … Continue reading

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The recontextualization of “Eisa”

Once limited to the Festival of the Dead within villages, by villagers, and in a religious context, in postwar Okinawa Eisa has been transformed to an all year festival entertainment performed everywhere and without any religious context. In short: Today’s … Continue reading

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Minowa Katsuhiko on the teaching contents of Taira Shinken

Minowa Katsuhiko was a karate and kobudo practitioner and one of Taira Shinken’s original students. Minowa began training with Taira around 1960. At that time, Taira had no dojo of his own and training was conducted out of one of … Continue reading

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Maintaining the Unaltered Technique

In today’s Okinawa Times is an article on Mr. Nakazato Takeshi, 2nd generation Sōke of Shōrinji-ryū and Chairman of Zen Okinawa Shōrinji-ryū Karatedo Kyōkai. I would like to shortly share some parts of it. As for the context, the founder … Continue reading

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Karate as an Intangible Cultural Property

Below is a translation of “Mukei bunkazai to shite no karate“, published in “Okinawa Karate Kobudō Jiten,” 2008. A quarter century after the first designation, Okinawa Prefecture works on having karate designated an intangible cultural heritage with the UNESCO. Yes, … Continue reading

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Control the opponent without causing injury. Kyan Shinei (1912-97). Sai. Bringing attention to Okinawa’s platonic ideal of peace.

Sai, which are used as weapons in ancient martial arts (kobudō), has been studied by warriors (bujin) since the Ryukyu Kingdom era. Originally used by the Buddhist monks of the Shaolin Temple in China, it is said that the tip … Continue reading

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