Category Archives: Book Reviews

Tomari-te — Early mentions and historical snapshot

The category of Tomari-te is famous in karate circles. For example, there is Tomari Passai in the JKF/WKF syllabus of kata, there is Tomari no Chinto and others in Matsubayashi, there is Tomari no Shirotaru in Yamanni-ryu bojutsu and so … Continue reading

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A transformation of Jōdan-ura-uchi

Most people are not aware that Akamine Eisuke created handwritten descriptions of every kata (1982/83, personal archive of this author). There was a collection that was given to dojo directors, which included all kata up to 5th dan, but the … Continue reading

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Karate taught in Germany ~ 1931 – 1934

According to data published by Nakamura Akira of the Karate Section of the Okinawa Tourism Bureau, a certain HIRAYAMA Kazuo from Tokyo Imperial University taught karate in Germany 1931 – 1933. HIRAYAMA Kazuo (1908–1990) is listed at the “Deutsche Institut … Continue reading

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The first posture of “Tsuken Sunakake no Ueku”

Among the 1935 Okinawan photos presented by the Ashi Shinbun Digital website are a few that show the use of the Ueku (paddle) as a means of transport fish and utensils. The posture is almost the same as the first … 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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Photo of Karate Practitioners

Larry Kientz just posted a photo on Facebook of what looks like karate practitioners. The photo is from the digital archives of the Naha City Museum of History. It is simply titled “Men,” dated “pre-war days” and categorized under “Manners … Continue reading

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Tomari Elementary School

It is unclear when exactly Nagamine Shōshin entered Tomari Common Elementary School. He was born July 15, 1907, and the school year at that time started in April. The regular school enrollment for first graders was the age of 6 … Continue reading

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Map of school distribution and diffusion of karate (outside the capital of Naha)

1900-10-25: At the inauguration ceremony of the Aguni Elementary School, residents performed “staff dance” (bō-odori) (Ryūkyū Shinpō, November 9, 1900). 1905-01-04: A victory celebration party for the surrender of Port Arthur was held at Heianza Higher Elementary School, and karate … Continue reading

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