Category Archives: Prewar Okinawa Karate

Taihojutsu, then and then

In the fall of 1931, Nagamine Shōshin took the police entry examination. Nearly one hundred people had applied, but there were only twenty positions open. Only eighteen persons passed, among them Shōshin. Two years since he had returned from military … Continue reading

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Torite (continued)

As has been noted previously, it was no less than Itosu Ankō who “said that karate was introduced by Chin Genpin.” As regards the art taught in Japan by Chin Genpin, it has been described as the “art of torite” … Continue reading

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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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The Significance of Wankan

Like most karate people, I have studied a number of kata directly from various secondary and tertiary sources (people) as well as from media (books, videos) but continued to seek out primary teachers. There are many qualified teachers out there … Continue reading

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Spiking the jujube date

One of the very few technical terms of old-style karate still currently handed down in Okinawa is kōsā. The original designation koza changed over time and was mostly forgotten or simply replaced by modern Japanese terminology, namely by the terms … Continue reading

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The Karate and Kobudō Performers and Performances of 1939

Recently I revealed that Nagamine Shōshin (1907-1997) evidently performed Chatan Yara no Kūsankū in 1939. This is the earliest instance the name of this kata appeared like this in writing. This information is based on an unpublished program of the … Continue reading

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The 2nd Okinawa Karate Academy — An unknown group of early modern Karate persons (3) — Yonamine Isshun

Usually kobujutsu is spared from being accused of going through the process of technical sanitation that is typically believed to have been the case for karate in school education. As a result, kobujutsu is also believed to have been less charged with nationalistic and militaristic ideology. However, the following research results necessitate to reconsider the notion that modern Okinawan kobujutsu was an original warrior martial arts from the kingdom times. Instead, modern Okinawan kobujutsu was probably spawned by the same momenta as karate. Continue reading

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The 2nd Okinawa Karate Academy — An unknown group of early modern Karate persons (2) — Matsuda Seiei

On Monday, November 25, from 2-4 pm, the “2nd Okinawa Karate Academy” was held at the Auditorium on the 4th floor of the Okinawa Prefectural Office. The topic was new findings regarding “An unknown group of early modern Karate persons.” … Continue reading

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The 2nd Okinawa Karate Academy — An unknown group of early modern Karate persons (1) — Haraguni Seishō

“This prefecture’s usage of fists is what the martial arts of fencing (gekken) and the spear (sōjutsu) are for the other prefectures. It is also called karate and its techniques have names like “Passai,” “Kūsankun,” “Naihanchin,” and the like. Certain educated Ryūkyūans formerly all trained this method, by means of which one can prepare for emergencies.”

From: The Odd Accident of this Party’s Member, Harakuni Seishō. Ryūkyū Kyōiku, issue 4, 1896. Continue reading

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