Category Archives: Unknown Ryukyu

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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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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Fifteenth Century: Chatan Nakiri

The Chatan Nakiri is one of the three treasured swords handed down within the royal family of Ryūkyū. It has an unsigned blade and its sword mountings include mother-of-pearl inlays, dust-coated sheat, pure gold fittings and hilt. Being an unsigned … Continue reading

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Sai, Tinbe and the “Expedition to the Southern Islands” 1893

As previously mentioned, in 2021, a list of “100 Footprints of Modern Karate” was published in the Okinawa Times. I have already written about Footprint No. 1 and Footprint No. 2 and today will turn to Footprint No. 3. Footprint … Continue reading

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Tode, Karate in the Tafaku 1867

Yesterday I wrote about the written notation of tōde 唐手 as found in the play Nizan Waboku (The Reconciliation of Nanzan and Hokuzan) in 1867 and 1891. While it used the same original notation as karate / tōde, it turned … Continue reading

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Karate, Tōde, and “The Reconciliation of Nanzan and Hokuzan”

As mentioned previously, in 2021, a list of “100 Footprints of Modern Karate” were published in the Okinawa Times. Of course, “Modern Karate” here refers to the period since the establishment of Okinawa Prefecture in 1879. In this list, footprint … Continue reading

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Kinjō Ufuchiku, whose name is left behind in Sai

This short article is a translation of: Nakamura A.: Sai de mei nokosu Kinjō Ufuchiku. Tikubushi no keifu, Dai Nanakai. Kindai karate-shi o tadoru. Bugi no denshō keiro ②. Okinawa Times, June 21, 2020. Last time, after confirming the modern … Continue reading

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Okinawa Kenpo – Viewed from a different angle

Jūjutsu and jūjutsu-like systems were known since feudal times in Japan under a multitude of names. The two most common of which were yawara and jūjutsu. Others were: kenpō, hakuda, hade, shubaku torite, taijutsu, kumiuchi, kogusoku, koshi no mawari, wajutsu, aikijūjutsu, aiki no jutsu, aikijutsu … 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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