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 including the fingers. It also connotes a wide range of meanings related to methods from the fields of arts, crafts, and technology, like that of calligraphy, or playing musical instruments, including the style and method of their practice and presentation. As a further example, it also relates to a determined way of dancing in Japanese Nō play, Buyō (dance) and the like, and to fixed types of dance.[1]

Apart from the above, according to the Nihon Kokugo Daijiten, the comprehensive encyclopedia of Japanese language, the character for Tī further denotes various things related to[2]:

  1. the skills or techniques (waza 技) of martial arts like Jūdō, Sumō, etc., namely a) specific techniques, throws, grips and levers, or b) generally the skills, techniques, abilities, or artifices related to martial arts.
  2. performing methods, arts, crafts, techniques or skills (gijutsu 技術).
  3. an art, technique, means, method, way, procedure, sorcery or magic in general terms (jutsu 術).
  4. skills or techniques (waza 技) of a standardized, constant, or defined form.
  5. persons who possess an excellent skill in craftsmanship or art and the like, and the level of it. a) skill, skillful, mastery, expertise, dexterity. b) a person who is experienced, practiced, a specialist, or an expert. An excellently skilled practitioner of Sumō wrestling.

Additionally to the above, according to the Okinawa-go Jiten, the Dictionary of the Okinawan language, the character for Tī denotes[3]:

  1. Karate (Tōdī). The methods of Kenpō.

And apart from the above, according to the Shuri Naha Dialect Dictionary,[4] Tī denotes:

  1. another word for Karate (Tōdī).
  2. the methods and techniques (jutsu 術) of Kenpō.

Phrases used in connection with Ti include:

  • Tīmōi[5] → Hand dance, that is, Karate converted to a dance.
  • Tī-shicchōn[6] → to learn Karate.
  • Tī-jikun[7] → to strike with the fist.
  • Ti-shicchōn[8] → to know Tī.
  • Tī chikayun[9] → to use Karate, to make use of ~; to perform or demonstrate the techniques of ~.
  • Tī-narayun[10] → to take lessons in Tī.[11]

The Martial Meaning of Tī

Notwithstanding its many meanings, it is quite obvious that the character Tī as found in the Okinawan language is considered to be in specific relationship with the historical predecessors of Karate, namely Tī, Tōdī, and Chinese Kenpō. At the same time it is perceived to include specific and general techniques or skills (waza 技) of all sorts of martial arts. Furthermore, it implies standardized forms, the performance of technical or artistic skills in sense of gijutsu 技術, as well as the methods and procedures of these skills in sense of a sophisticated method or art (jutsu 術). And finally it relates to expert practitioners.

Tī designating a technique or a method

In accordance with the lexical meaning, there are a few historical examples of Tī used for designating a technique or a method. First of all, in Chinese Kenpō, individual techniques or combinations occasionally contain the suffix Shou 手, which is the same character as used for Tī. For example, there is Chaoyang-shou 朝陽手, the 26th technique of a style known as Long Boxing allegedly dating back to the time of Emperor Song Taizu (rg 960-976).[12] This specific designation is already found in the Chinese military classics Jixiao Xinshu (1560) and the Wubeizhi (1621).

Next, as described in the popular Encyclopedia of Japanese martial arts schools and factions, the Bugei Ryūha Daijiten, when Iso Mataemon Masanobu[13] (b. 1786) created the Japanese Jūjutsu style of Tenshin Shinyō-ryū he based his system on one hundred and twenty-four techniques, each of which was simply designated as Te 手.[14]

The third example refers to the long-time secret martial arts book referred to as the Okinawan Bubishi and its written descriptions for each of the forty-eight illustrated combat scenarios.[15] Each of these forty-eight illustrations depicts two persons, one in a gesture representative for the victorious technique, and one gesture representative for the losing technique. Most of the descriptive names given for victorious technique are followed by the expression Shousheng 手勝, that is, winning technique. The losing technique, on the other hand, is followed by the expression Shoubai 手敗. Here again we find the term Te 手 attached to describe a technique, or rather a more complex combination.

And fourth, in the Zhongshan Chuanxin-lu written by investiture envoy Xu Baoguang, we find the term Jiaoshou 交手 relating to a martial arts performance in 1719.[16] The same term was used in the martial arts performances for the investiture envoys in 1867.[17] Here we also and for the first time in historical sources find the term Tōdī 唐手, i.e. Chinese martial skill. Two Karate Kata are also listed, namely Shisan-bu 十三歩 or Thirteen Steps and Yibailingba-bu 壱百零八歩 or One Hundred and Eight Steps. Analog to the case of Tī, the suffix ~bu 歩 used in these names can also be interpreted in sense of certain stages or situations within a process, rather than simply referring to “steps” in sense of walking. These two Kata are known today in their corrupted pronunciations as Sēsan and Sūpārinpē.[18] Interestingly, in their written form the original suffix 歩 came to be replaced by the term Tī 手.[19]

Finally it is found in various combined words designating specific methods, such as Uēku-dī (techniques of the oar), Kama nu Dī (techniques of the sickle), and Bō no Tī (techniques of the cudgel).


Tī designating a style

In accordance with its lexical meaning, there are a few historical examples of Tī used for designating a method or style.

First of all, when considering Tī as an indigenous martial art of Ryūkyū, than it is implicit that it is considered not just some sort of brawling, but rather a more or less complex and sophisticated method. The same is even more true for the conception of Tōdī 唐手. While the character Tō literally refers to the Chinese Tang dynasty (618-907), it would be wrong to simply interpret literally as “Chinese Hand.” Corresponding to the huge scope of the lexical meanings of Tī, it would both be appropriate to interpret it as “Chinese martial arts methods.”

In Okinawa there were more such martial arts methods following the same principle of nomenclature as found in Tōdī, i.e. first the region of origin, and suffixed to it the designation as a martial art method, i.e. Tī. Hence, martial arts became variously known as Uchinādī, Nafadī, Suidī, and Tumaidī,[20] that is the fighting methods of Okinawa, Naha, Shuri, and Tomari, respectively. As a further example, there is the Motobu Udundī, with ~dī (=Tī) designating the martial art of the Motobu family itself.


Tī designating a superordinate martial art (Bugei)

  • As we have seen, Tī can be used designating either techniques, Kata or more complex methods, and even styles. Well, according to varying nomenclature, Chinese boxing styles were often marked by the suffix Quan 拳.[21] In mainland Japan, styles were designated as Ryū 流.[22] And in Ryūkyū, ostensibly, the indigenous naming convention for a martial arts style was so-and-so Tī.
  • However, in the terminology used within the martial conceptions of China as well as Japan, there were generic terms used to describe the entirety of the various martial arts styles in existence.
  • For instance, the Chinese term Bingfa 兵法 relates to the art of war, or military tactics. It is found in Chinese literature described as a sophisticated and holistic method since about 500 BC. In compound words the character Bing 兵 is used to refer to a multitude of things related to the military sphere. In Japanese the same characters as in Bingfa are pronounced Heihō, which has a otherwise very similar meaning.
  • Another specific character is Wu 武, in itself meaning martial or military. An early reference to the unity of civil and military sciences[23] is found in the biography of Confucius, where it is stated, “I have heard, that a man concerned with the literary arts also always makes military preparations; and if he deals with military affairs, he is also involved in literature,”[24] emphasizing the causal oneness of these two matters on a grand scale.
  • There are numerous compound words like Wuyi 武藝 meaning martial art, or Wushu 武術, which in former times related to military skill or technique. They are found in expressions like Wuyi Gaoqiang 武藝高強, that is, being highly skilled in martial arts. Pronounced Bu in Japanese, the same composite words are found as Bugei 武藝 and Bujutsu 武術. The term Bugei is found in such conceptions as “be experienced in all eighteen martial arts.”[25] According to the monolingual dictionary Kōjien,[26] the Bugei are defined as “skills related to bow and arrow, horse riding, swordsmanship, lances, and other Budō. Alternatively called Bugi or Bujutsu.”[27] The totality of what is included under Bugei is described with expressions like “all kinds of the art of war”[28] and “the eighteen kinds of the art of war (in old China).”[29]
  • Despite five-hundred years of Sino-Ryūkyū relations, as well as two hundred seventy years of Satsuma-Ryūkyū relations, it would not even be strange if these words did not exist in Ryūkyū. Although emulating the Ming and Qing as well as the Satsuma fief, or Japan, respectively, Ryūkyū kept a large part of its own characteristic terminology.
  • Yet, in official historical sources of the Ryūkyū kingdom we discover numerous related terms throughout history. The Kyūyō uses the term Bugei[30] for the year 1713. The investiture envoy of 1800, Li Dingyuan, explained the reason for the combination of high civil ranks and military garments awarded to the investiture envoys as “to demonstrate military power, and to reveal the civil as well as the military character of this matter.”[31] Furthermore, the Chūzan Seifu notes numerous “civil and military officials” for the year 1855.[32] The Rekidai Hōan has dozens of entries showing the existence of civil and military officials,[33] and the term Bugei also appeared.[34] Therefore, these generic conceptions were far from having been unknown in Ryūkyū.
  • In addition, Okinawan Karate man and scholar Shinzato Katsuhiko, explained that in local Okinawan dialect the terms Bugei and Bujutsu are pronounced as Buji[35] or Bū,[36] respectively, and that both are considered to comprise Tī, i.e. primordial Karate.[37]
  • In Okinawa’s oral Karate tradition[38] there are also various concepts relating the practice of Tī among the “warrior class.” For example, a discreet but smart master is called a secret warrior,[39] a person who toughens and trains his or her fists well is called a warrior of the fist,[40] and an incompetent braggart is labeled a warrior of the mouth.[41]


The Historical Proof of Tī

  • In accordance to its martial meaning as described above, Tī is perceived as having been intrinsically related to concepts like techniques (Waza), standardized forms (Kata) or more complex methods, styles (Ryū), and finally a superordinate martial art (Bugei or Bujutsu). It might be said that all of the above given conceptions, while following a basic evolution from simple to more complex at variable times and in differing intensity, in one way or the other may have galvanized the primordial Tī.
  • While the above merely represents the possible technical content or scope, there are two specific theories that attempt to place Tī as a primordial indigenous martial art of inherently Ryūkyūan design, different from the techniques, methods, styles, and superordinate martial art conceptions of the Chinese Wuyi or Japanese Bugei, respectively. These two theories are constituted by 1) the Mēkata and 2) the term Tīshimi. They are described below.


The elementary school teacher, Karate man and author Funakoshi Gichin noted on rural dances called Mēkata 舞方, which he considered a not yet developed precursor of Karate.[42] Currently these Mēkata are again variously perceived as archetypes of an indigenous Tī or a primordial form of Karate, transformed into martial arts dances by a systematic culmination of several primitive martial arts, and handed down within the royal government and in rural “warrior class” villages (Yadori 屋取).[43]

In his essay on the origin of Karate, Iha Fuyū noted that the mutual dances of two or more persons he called Aimai, in which the opponents seek to overturn or to defeat each other, originated in the Mēkata. This sort of martial dances were still carried out in various rural areas in the time prior to the War in the Pacific, and were called Sāsā-dī サーサー手, common mostly in central and southern Okinawa.

These Mēkata were closely related to the so-called Ashibī アシビー, a form of entertainment originally performed in gratitude to the gods related to harvests and the like, which developed into various kinds of festivals. Ashibī generally refers to enjoying singing and dancing to music, or the skillful performance of songs, shamisen, and theater plays. There are many terms relating to this, including Mura-shibai 村芝居, i.e. village or amateur theater. The story of the senior Anji[44] Amawari of Katsuren castle was one such play which became popular and was performed in the form of village dances.[45] Furthermore, the Mēkata were part of so-called Mō-Ashibī モーアシビー, which refers to young men and women enjoying time in the fields during night time in rural areas.

According to this explanation, the Mēkata were of a characteristical Ryūkyūan provenience.


The second historical theory attempting to prove Tī in sense of a primordial unarmed Ryūkyūan martial art, relates to the term Tīshimi. Karate man Nagamine Shōshin cited two historical sources for this term, namely 1) a short poem composed by Nago Uēkata Chūbun[46] (1663-1734), and 2) a traditional island song written by Yakabi Chōki[47] (1716-1775) called Jūban Kuduchi.[48]

Nago’s poem contains a line interpreted as follows:[49]

As much as you may distinguish yourself in the arts of Tī and scholarship, nothing is more important than the heart as the seat of the mind as demonstrated in everyday behavior.

Yakabi’s verse goes:

The most important task of the Samurai is the study of both Tī and the sciences, to show filial piety towards their parents, and to be of use for the royal family.[50]

Both poems contain the expression pronounced as Tīshimi 手墨, considered to constitute the two individual expressions of Tī being the martial arts, and Shimi being the sciences.[51] In this way the expression Tīshimi is explained as representing a concept similar to that of Bunbu-ryōdō,[52] that is, the combined concept of classical literature and the arts of war.[53]

Critique of the Theory of Tī

  • Integrating the lexical and martial meaning of Tī with the above given historical sources, Tī is thus perceived as having been intrinsically related to concepts like techniques (Waza), standardized forms (Kata) or more complex methods, styles (Ryū), and finally a superordinate martial art (Bugei or Bujutsu) of Ryūkyūan design, in existence in a sophisticated form and on a par with the classical literature and sciences–i.e. as Tīshimi within the aristocratic circles by at least the mid-18th century–and as a characteristical theatrical art form of Ryūkyūan provenience–i.e. as Mēkata within the circles of commoners since immemorial times.
  • The above deduction tries to place the specific Tī as an indigenous primordial martial art of Ryūkyūan design into the framework of general martial arts. But there are some huge problems with this.
  • First, as regards the Mēkata, although performances by old experts are reported until the 1970s, these sorts of performances have died out afterwards and they are now considered a so-called “lost transmission of traditional arts & culture.”[54] More recently, contemporary Okinawan Karate authorities, acting on the suggestions made by Funakoshi and Iha in the early twentieth century as described earlier, explained that both Karate and Mēkata have a descriptive technical expression in common, called Tī chikayun.[55] This simply translates as “to use the hands,” which is an integral part of dancing, isn’t it? Using the simile of the character for hand in the meaning of the martial art called Tī, however, in martial arts circles it had been interpreted as “the skillful use of the martial arts called Tī.”[56] Based on this symptomatic premise the theory was created that the Mēkata were traditions of ancient martial techniques and an original form of a likewise ancient and bare handed martial art of Tī.[57] In this way, the Mēkata became considered martial arts dances,[58] habitually performed accompanied by the three-stringed Sanshin on such occasions as the Mō-asibi,[59] Eisā,[60] tug-of-war, bullfighting tournaments etc., in short, at all sorts of festivals and celebrations. It is said that dancers “competed in battle,” that it contained “actual combat,”[61] or that “challengers danced as fiercely as if clashing and blocking swords.”[62] It is said that occasionally excitement would involuntarily become emotional, and if not mediated, real fights would also occur. In this way this theory describes the Mēkata both as a historical form of actual fighting as well as an art form, which through the centuries coalesced into martial arts dances.
  • It should be noted that, as a peculiarity, the Mēkata did not have fixed forms but were basically improvised dances expressing individual skills and feelings. This is in contrast to the more recently developed dances called Bu no Mai 武の舞, a term only borrowed from actual history and which must not be confused with the Mēkata. The current Bu no Mai are choreographies created by teachers of the Ryūkyū dance or by martial artists, and performed on stage following fixed forms, often using the modern twentieth century Kata of Karate and Kobudō embedded in historical stage settings.[63] These Bu no Mai are therefore modern creations, motivated by the idea of merging the extinct Mēkata and other theatrical performances with the modern face of Karate and Kobudō.
  • Second, as regards Tīshimi, the Okinawa-specific use of Tī as given in the above examples are found in twentieth century sources only, with the two ambiguous historical references to Tīshimi being the sole exceptions to the rule. In other words, the two notes on Tīshimi constitute the sole historical argument upon which the whole theory of the existence of an indigenous primordial unarmed Ryūkyūan martial arts called Tī is based upon. Besides these two, at present there are no unambiguous pre-modern historical sources confirming the existence of the use of a generic term Tī in such a sense.[64]
  • And even the above given explanation of Tīshimi itself is dubious.[65] The interpretation of the first character Tī as a martial art, and the second character Shimi as representing the sciences, actually came and still comes from Karate circles only.[66] In its most simple interpretation, however, Tīshimi means “hand and ink” and refers to handwriting. In ancient works of China it was used as a compound word to describe hand-written documents.[67] And while in the ancient Japanese language the term Tīshimi did not exist as a compound word, in educated circles it had been likened to the expression Shuseki gakumon 手跡学問, i.e. the science of handwriting. This corresponding to the original Chinese interpretation.[68] So how did Tīshimi become interpreted as constituting a combined concept of “Tī (martial arts) and scholarship”?

As Shinzato had pointed out, “unfortunately it seems that the conventional theories of Karate do not support the idea of [Tīshimi as] a compound word.[69] In other words, in Karate circles the explanation as a compound term in sense of handwriting was rejected. Instead, the two characters for hand 手 and ink 墨 were considered two lexemes carrying individual conceptual meanings. In this way Karate people purposively interpretated Tī as a martial art. Therefore, the interpretation of Tī as a native martial art appears to be the result of an artificial and retrospective projection of extralinguistic significance.

In addition, the above points are particularly confirmed by the fact that there is no evidence for the existence of standardized Kata independent from imported Chinese Kenpō skills. Following this logic, the late Karate authority Kinjō Hiroshi affirmed that there actually was no such thing as a indigenous martial art of Tī which came to serve as the earliest primordial ooze of Karate.[70]

The above insinuates that the concept of Tī is the attempt of twentieth century Karate men to establish a theory of systematic transmission of indigenous, fragmentary, and unarmed fighting techniques without original context, and their systematization into a primordial unarmed and indigenous Ryūkyūan martial art, which existed already prior to the traceable import of unarmed Chinese martial arts since the late eighteenth century. And consequently, the theory of the existence of an early indigenous concept of Bunbu-ryōdō called Tīshimi must also be rejected. By the way, this approach is a comprehensible one. It is analogous to the concept of Confucian bias found in Ryūkyūan historiography, emphasizing the divinely ordained legitimacy of each new dynastic succession, thus justifying the predating of a current dynasty backwards until the time of the mythical creation of the country itself. In reality, however, there was no such legitimate succession.[71]

But, of course, this doesn’t mean that there were no martial techniques, complex methods, or even superordinate arts (Bugei) during the Ryūkyū kingdom era. As was shown earlier, the concept of Bugei as well as Bunbu-ryōdō were very well known in Ryūkyū. It also doesn’t mean that there was no martial art called Tī. That’s not the point. The point is that there is no historical proof for the existence of an indigenous primordial martial art called Tī prior to the import of Chinese martial arts.

The Bare-handed Approach

One further thing to note is the tendency of considering historical Karate as having been a bare-handed martial art. Chosing this determining factor any research or contemplation is automatically biased according to modern perception. Therefore, the concept of Tī as a working theory of historical martial arts of Ryūkyū is tenable only in sense of a “category of hand-to-hand combat including both unarmed and armed combat.”[72]

Notwithstanding, and unlike in the superordinate Chinese Wuyi and Japanese Bugei, in the theory of Tī hints to armed martial arts are usually blinded out or attributed being not crucial. Therefore, by reaching the level of Tī as a superordinate integrated martial art (Bugei), a major issue arises. Namely, the issue of primordial Tī perceived and portrayed as a bare handed martial art. The same notion is true for Tōdī, which is solely considered a unarmed Chinese Kenpō. In other words, the technical content of an assumed primordial Tī and the Chinese martial arts that influenced it are largely restricted to bare-handed “boxing” styles.

Therefore, in historical Karate research a unilateral perspective had been applied, with the question “Where is the unarmed historical Karate?” rather than “Where are the martial arts?” This was done by scholars and Karate authors ever since and is still widespread conception to this day. This observation is not only corroborated by the sources already mentioned, but also by numerous works either supporting or questioning this theory.[73]

To give a few examples, in 1922, historian Higaonna Kanjun designated Karate with the expression “empty-handed martial arts.”[74] In the same year the Tōkyō Nichinichi Shinbun published the article Ryūkyū no Karate, describing it as an exquisite bare-handed skill to defend against enemies.[75] In 1933, Iha Fuyū used the term Ryūkyū Kenpō to describe Karate,[76] and both Iha and Nakahara Zenchū perceived and presented Karate as a distinctive unarmed Ryūkyūan martial art independent from armed martial arts.[77] Iha at different points in his text clearly used the terms Chinese Kenpō and Karate in an interchangeable manner. For instance, from the Kenpō shown in the military treatise Wubeizhi (1621) “we can take a glimpse on Karate in his homeland.”[78] So for him Kenpō was Chinese Karate just as much as Karate was Ryūkyū Kenpō. Furthermore, noting the description of Kenpō in the Jixiao Xinshu (1560) as the fundament of all (military) martial arts, he predicted the international proliferation of Karate because “persons who study Kenjutsu, Sōjutsu, Kyūjutsu and all other sorts of martial arts in particular should first need to train their spirit and body through Karate.”[79] And in 1936, Hanashiro Chōmo explained that Tōdī meant “fighting with hands and fists.”[80] There are countless other examples. In short, in the perception of the first half of the 20th century Tī constituted an unarmed and indigenous martial art, as opposed to a ryūkyūanized Bugei of an integrated design under influence of imported martial arts.[81]

The above described theoretical premise of Karate as a historical bare-handed martial arts is based on the idea of the two specific military prohibition policies 禁武政策 in Ryūkyūan history. Namely 1) during the period of centralization under King Shō Shin’s (1465-1526) and 2) following the Ryūkyū invasion by Satsuma (1609). In the discussion on Karate’s historical development both these events have become axiomatic. This can be seen in Funakoshi Gichin’s general view as given in his Karate-dō Kyōhan:[82]

Because of these two military prohibition policies, Kenpō as an empty-handed martial art of self-defense, that is, Uchinādī 沖縄手, has undergone an unusual development and became the mysterious unique Ryūkyū martial arts of Karate seen today.”[83]


[1] Cf. Kadekaru 2012: 176.

[2] Cf. Kadekaru 2012: 176. From Nihon Kokugo Daijiten. 2nd Edition. Tōkyō, Shōgakkan 2000-2002. 日本国語大辞典。第二版。東京、小学館。

[3] Cf. Kadekaru 2012: 176. Okinawa-go Jiten. Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyūjo-hen I. Ōkurashō Insatsukyoku, Tōkyō 1975. 沖繩語辞典。國立國語研究所編I。大藏省印刷局、東京1975.

[4] Cf. http://ryukyu-lang.lib.u-ryukyu.ac.jp/srnh/index.html.

[5] 「手舞(ティーモーイ)」

[6] 「手知っちょん(ティーシッチョーン)」

[7] 「手突くん(ティージクン)」

[8] ティシッチョウン(手を知っている)

[9] 「手を使ゆん(ティーチカユン)」

[10] ティナラユン(手を習う)

[11] Cf. Kadekaru 2012: 176.

[12] Song Taizu Sanshi’er-shi Changquan 宋太祖三十二勢長拳. Cf. Qi 1988: 321. Ōtsuka 1998: 39.

[13] 磯又右衛門正足.

[14] Bugei Ryūha Daijiten 1978: 601-602.

[15] Cf. Ōtsuka 1998: 39. For western research on the Bubishi, see McCarthy 1995 (The Bible of Karate: Bubishi). Habersetzer 1997 (Bubishi. À la source des Karaté-Do). Habersetzer 2004 (Bubishi – An der Quelle des Karatedo).

[16] Xu Baoguang: Zhongshan Chuanxin-lu (Chūzan Denshin Roku). 6 Volumes. Meiji 3 (1870), reprint of the 1719 original edition. In: Okinawa no Rekishi Jōhō (Informations on the History of Okinawa). Vol. 8, Nr. 4. 徐葆光:中山伝信録。巻1~6。明治3年重刻。In: 沖縄の歴史情報、第8巻、(4)。

[17] Cf. Wittwer, Henning:  The 1867 “Program of the Three-Six-Nine and of All Arts”: A New Translation and Explanation of its Martial Arts Sections. Classical Fighting Arts 22 (2012), p. 43-47.

[18] Descriptions of these Kata can be found in Miyazato 1978, Nakamoto 2003.

[19] Cf. Nakamoto 2003. There are two more Kata in the modern Gōjū-ryū curriculum following the same principle, namely Sēpai 十八手 and Sansērū 三十六手.

[20] 沖縄手、那覇手、首里手、泊手.

[21] Cf. Qi 1988: 308.

[22] CF. Bugei Ryūha Daijiten, 1978.

[23] Wenwu/Bunbu 文武.

[24] In the “Records of the Grand Historian” (Shiji, Ch.47 §17) of Sima Qian (145-86 BC): 臣聞有文事者必有武備,有武事者必有文備. Cf. bunbu.de

[25] Bugei Jūhappan ni tsūjiro 武藝十八般に通じる.

[26] 広辞苑, one of the larger single-volume and monolingual dictionaries, published by Shinmura Izura at Iwanami Shoten.

[27] 「弓、馬、剣、槍などの武道に関する技芸。武技。武術。」

[28] Bugei Hyappan 武藝百般.

[29] Cf. Shinzato 1996: 244-45. The eighteen kinds of martial arts, or Bugei Jūhappan 武藝十八般, changed according to the eras. As an example, they were given as Kyūjutsu 弓術, Bajutsu 馬術, Sōjutsu 槍術, Kenjutsu 剣術, Eihō 泳法, Battōjutsu 抜刀術, Tantōjutsu 短刀術, Jūttejutsu 十手術, Shurikenjutsu 手裏剣術, Fukumibarijutsu 含針術, Naginata 薙刀, Hōjutsu 砲術, Taihojutsu 逮捕術, Jūjutsu 柔術, Bōjutsu 棒術, Kusarigama 鎖鎌, Mojiri もじり, Kakushijutsu 隠術.

According to Shinzato, the conception of the eighteen kinds of martial arts originated from the Chinese martial arts and seem to have been first used in the classical novel called Shuihuzhuan 水滸傳 (literally, The Water Shore Story, allegedly written by Shi Naian 施耐庵 (1296-1371). One of the four classical novels of Chinese literature. In Japanese known as Suikoden 水滸伝. In English as “Outlaws of the Marsh” and “The Water Margin.”

[30] 武藝善棒拳. Kyūyō, article 681. In: Okinawa no Rekishi Jōhō. Vol 7, Nr. 4.

[31] 鼎元曰:『册使既遣文臣而服麟蟒,何也』先生曰:『示武也;亦文武兼資之意也』。Cf. Li Dingyuan 1802.

[32] 文武百官. Cf. Sai Taku, Sai On: Chūzan Seifu. 1725. In: Okinawa no Rekishi Jōhō. Vol. 5.蔡鐸、蔡温:中山世谱。In: 沖縄の歴史情報、第5巻。

[33] Wenwu/Bunbu 文武. 歴代寳案, Volume 1-32 (1).

[34] 歴代寳案, Volume 16-11 (2).

[35] ブジィ, i.e. Bugei 武藝

[36] ブー, i.e. Bujutsu 武術.

[37] Cf. Shinzato 1996: 245.

[38] The three most common genres of which are legends, folk tales, and proverbs. Cf. Jim Silvan: Die Erzähltraditionen im Karate von Okinawa. In: Cultura Martialis, Heft 1, Oktober 2004, p.53-71.

[39] Kakure bushi カクレブシ(隠れ武士)

[40] Tîjukun bushi ティジュクンブシ(拳骨武士)

[41] Guchi bushi クチブシ(口武士). Cf. Shinzato 1996: 245.

[42] Cf. Shōtō (Funakoshi Gichin): Okinawa no Bugi (I). In: Ryūkyū Shinpō, January 17, 1914: 唐手の起原に就いては巷説紛々で自分も屡々質問を受けることなるが(、)想うにこれは沖縄固有の武藝にして田舎の舞方なるものが所謂唐手の未だ発達せざる時代のそのままであろう(。)

[43] Oki. Yādui ヤートゥイ. Cf. OKKJ 2008: 56. Tsuha Sei, in OKKJ 2008: 60.

[44] Chōja nu Ufushu 長者の大主, with Ufunushi being an alternative name for Anji. This play is still in existence.

[45] Taira 1997: 184

[46] 名護親方寵文, aka Tei Junsoku 程順則

[47] 屋嘉比朝寄.

[48] 十番口説. The “ ten oral teachings“ or “ten urgent entreaties.“

[49] Nagamine 1975. 50. Shinzato 1996: 250. OKKJ 2008: 664. 「手墨(テスミ)勝(スグ)れてん智のざ勝れてん肝(チム)ど肝さだめ世界(シキン)の習や」

[50] Niban samurē nu dē’ichi ya, Tīshimi gakumun yuku narati, Ufuya ni kōkō medei shushi

「二番士(サムレー)の第一や 手墨学問よく習て 親の孝行めでいすし」.

[51] Shinzato 1996: 250.

[52] 文武両道.

[53] Nagamine 1975. 50. OKKJ 2008: 664.

[54] Cf. Iha 1938: 314. OKKJ 2008: 56.

[55] ティーチカユン(手を使ゆん). Also given as Tekkayun てっかゆん, that is, 手使ゆん, and from there Te o tsukau 手を使う.

[56] Cf. OKKJ 2008: 56. In comparing various sources it gets apparent here that Tōdi as given by Funakoshi in 1914 was equated with Tī as used in the OKKJ (2008).

[57] Cf. Tsuha Sei, in OKKJ 2008: 60. Takamiyagi Shigeru, in OKKJ 2008: 87-90.

[58] Bugei-odori 武藝踊り, or in Okinawan dialect Bujīmōi ぶじーも.

[59] 毛遊び. Formerly conducted as a custom in Okinawa. Generally an outdoors meeting of young men and women during the middle of the night, enyoing eating, drinking, and song and dance.

[60] エイサー. Traditional entertainment danced at the time of the Bon festival (Buddhist remembrance of the dead) in Okinawa. After finishing the Ūkui ウークイ (escort of the spirit of a deceased person to the burial place), and after offering a dance in a circle of persons, they would go round from door to door.

[61] Jissen 実戦.

[62] Takamiyagi Shigeru, in Cf. OKKJ 2008: 87.

[63] Cf. Tsuha Sei, in OKKJ 2008: 60. Takamiyagi Shigeru, in OKKJ 2008: 87-90.

[64] Cf. Kinjō 2012: 18. Shinzato 1996: 250, 257. Kadekaru 2012: 176, 177. OKKJ 2008: 662.

[65] Cf. Shinzato 1996: 257.

[66] Shinzato 1996: 250.

[67] Shoumo (= Tīshimi) is found in the following works.

“Biography of Fan Ye” (範曄傳. In: “The History of Southern Song Dynasties” [Songshu 宋書]).

“Biography of Li Yan Fang” (李彦芳. In: “History of the Later Tang Dynasty“ (Xin Tangshu [新唐書], Vol. 93, Biographies 18).

Wang Duanlu: Chongzhong Lunwen Zhaibilu (王端履: 重論文齋筆録, Vol. 1).

[68] Cf. Shinzato 1996: 257.

[69] Cf. Shinzato 1996: 257.

[70] Kinjō 2012: 19.

[71] In Ryūkyūan historiography, each of the early dynastic successions was retrospectively legitimized as belonging to one and the same dynastic line. Tenson dynasty, the Shunten dynasty, the Eiso dynasty, the Chūzan dynasty under Satto, and the 1st and 2nd dynasty of the royal Shō dynasty. However, there was no such relation. Rather, it was retrospectively and artificially constructed as a result of a Confucian bias emphasizing the legitimacy of the present dynastic succession.

[72] Draeger 1974: 125.

[73] See for example, Funakoshi 1922: 15, et passim. Miki 1930: 141. Iha Fuyū 1933. Nakahara 1977. Shinzato 1996. Kinjō 2012: 15, et passim. OKKJ 2008: 102, 110, et passim. Kadekaru 2012: 177. While the first monography on Karate was written in 1922 by Funakoshi, the first monography on Ryūkyū Kobudō was written only in 1964. The field of Kobudō, which clearly constitutes a major part of the modern Okinawan martial traditions, remained the poor cousin of Karate ever since. Only a comparatively very few authors take Kobudō into account, for instance Hokama Tetsuhiro and Nakamoto Masahiro.

[74] Toshu Kūken no Bujutsu 徒手空拳の武術. Cf. Funakoshi 1922/1994: 15. 所謂徒手空拳の武術が沖縄に本来存在して居たか否かと云ふ事は今俄に速斷は出来ない。

[75] 琉球の「唐手」。だん生が憤欝神秘的な武術。空拳で敵を防ぐ妙技、講道館でも研究する。東京日日新聞。大正十六月三日。

[76] Iha 1933, as evinced in the “琉球に於ける武備の撤廃と拳法の発達.”

[77] Iha 1933, 1938, Nakahara 1977.

[78] Iha 1938: 315.

[79] Iha 1938: 315.

[80] Honsha Shusai Karate Zadankai (2). Ryūkyū Shinpō, 1936/10/28. 本社主催・空手座談会(二)。琉球新報、1936/10/28. See also OKKJ 2008: 7, 677-78.

[81] Cf. Shinzato 1996: 257.

[82] 船越義珍著、空手道教範日月社、1958. First published 1935.

[83] Takamiyagi Shigeru, in OKKJ 2008: 102.

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