Ryūkyū no Fūbutsu (Scenes and Cus­toms of Ryūkyū) (1940)

The 1940 movie Ryūkyū no Fūbutsu (Scenes and Cus­toms of Ryūkyū) was planned by the Japan Folk Art Association (Nihon Mingei Kyōkai) and headed by Ya­nagi Muneyoshi (1889–1961), who acted as editorial supervisor.

Yanagi was born on March 21, 1889, in Ichibei Town, Tokyo, as the third son of Yanagi Narayoshi, a rear admiral of the Im­pe­rial Japanese Navy, scholar of Japanese mathematics, mathematician, land surveyer, and politician. In 1891, when Muneyoshi was two years old, his father died of influenza and he was raised by his mother, Katsuko.

Katsuko is the older sister of Kanō Jigorō (1860–1938), the founder of the Kōdōkan and Japan’s first member of the IOC. Kanō was also one of the people who took an interest in karate through the Dai Nippon Butokukai. His exchange with Funakoshi Gichin (1868–1957), who came to Tōkyō in 1922, is well known. Also, when Kanō came to Okinawa in 1927, he met Miyagi Chōjun with whom he had a lively discussion on karate.


Sakihara Kyōko: About the Movie “Ryūkyū no Fūbutsu” (Scenes and Customs of Ryūkyū) – Focussing on its Relation to Karate. Bulletin of the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, № 14, pp. 63–79. 2021.

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