Category Archives: Okinawa Peace Theory

The “Weaponless Kingdom”

[This article was first published in: Quast, Andreas: Karate 1.0. 2013] One-hundred and fifty years after the visit of William Adams and his troupe to Okinawa in 1614-15, the Hungarian baron Benyowsky managed to escape his exile in Siberia. Benyowsky … Continue reading

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The First Western Eyewitness Account of Okinawa

[This article was first published in: Quast, Andreas: Karate 1.0. 2013] The first Western eyewitness accounts of Okinawa originate from Richard Wickham and William Adams (1564–1620).[1] The latter was later provided an estate and samurai status by shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu, … Continue reading

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Offices and Craftsmen for Ryukyuan Weaponry

Recently, I have written about the Ming Dynasty’s need for sulfur and horses to produce gunpowder and to pull cannons to the battlefield. Ryūkyū was able to supply both (Takara 1996: 46). According to the Minshu (Book of Fujian), the … Continue reading

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Fly the Flag – Did Ryukyu Adopt the Banner of Sea Adventurers and Pirates?

The military equipment during the 1st Dynasty of Ryūkyū included armor, helmets, bows and arrows, spears, shields, and there were also many short, regular, and long swords decorated with gold and silver, which were imported from Japan. There were also … Continue reading

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Warfare and Deception – How Shō Hashi Established the 1st Ryukyu Dynasty

King Shō Hashi, described as the “Hometown Hero” for Okinawans, is the main character of the musical named after him. “For Okinawans, King Sho Hashi was the first historical figure to have a truly positive impact on the country. I want … Continue reading

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Sulphur and Horses – The Military Origin of Okinawa’s Tribute Trade with China

Last year, under participation of ten grand masters of Okinawa karate and kobudō, a museum and memorial monument related to Ryūkyū horses have been erected in Naha City. The topic is embedded within the peace theory of Okinawa and the … 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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Jiganemaru @50th anniversary of the return of Okinawa

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the return of Okinawa, the special exhibition “Ryukyu”, which reveals the history and culture of Ryukyu with more than 700 exhibit items, has opened at the Tokyo National Museum. The exhibition runs from May … Continue reading

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Moon Goddess and Shrine Maidens: Women in Ancient Ryūkyūan Warfare

Note: The following article is composed from three individual parts that first appeared in my out-of-print “Karate 1.0” (2013).  As an example [of arms and armor found in Shuri castle], an unearthed helmet of Japanese style exhibits ornamental adornments of … Continue reading

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3 – The Theory of Tī

The Lexical Meaning of Tī The lexical meaning of the character for the word Tī, written in Japanese Kanji as 手, comprises of various meanings and uses. First of all, it denotes the human arm as well as the hand … Continue reading

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