Japan TransOean Airlines (JTA) unveiled a Boeing 737-800 type (165 seats) designed with the catch copy “Okinawa The Birthplace of karate” both in Japanese and English.
The unveiling ceremony was held at the JTA maintenance center in Naha airport on February 7. In addition to JTA officials, Okinawa prefecture officials, Cultural asset holders for Okinawa karate and kobudo Uehara Takenobu, Higaonna Morio and Nakamoto Masahiro, and the vice chairman of the prefectural sports association Sakumoto Tsuguo attended the ceremony among others. Okinawa Ryūei-ryū Karate Kobudō Ryūhō-kai's Kiyūna Ryō and Shimomura Seren performed on the occasion.
The purpose of this project, which is part of an Okinawa Prefecture project to promote Okinawa traditional karate, is to pass the message that “karate equals Okinawa”. Furthermore, another aim is to promote the 1st Okinawa karate international tournament to be held in August.
Two "Karate Jet" planes will be operated on multiple routes inside and outside the prefecture for half a year starting from February.
Video of the event (in Japanese)
As a mean to identify standard kata and to study about kata tolerance for the First international tournament of 2018, the executive committee has recorded a total of 133 video of karate kata, 28 bōjutsu kata and 17 of saijutsu kata.
They illustrate the list of kata officially chosen for this August competition.
While there are of course many more kata and versions practiced in Okinawa, it is a great way to study Okinawa karate and for first time visitors to Okinawa, to research which system appeals to one best.
Kata of Shuri – Tomarite and the various forms
- Pin-an Shōdan
- Pin-an Nidan
- Pin-an Sandan
- Pin-an Yondan
- Pin-an Godan
- Naihanchi Shōdan
- Naihanchi Nidan
- Naihanchi Sandan
- Wansū (Wanshū)
- Passai Dai (Matsumura no Passai)
- Passai Shō (Itosu no Passai)
- Jittī (Jitte)
- Gōjūshihō (ūsēshī)
- Kūsankū Dai
- Kūsankū Shō
Kata of Nahate and the various forms
- Gekisai Ichi (Ⅰ)
- Gekisai Ni (Ⅱ)
- Seyunchin (Seenchin)
- Sūpārinpē (pecchūrin)
Uechi-ryū (Coming soon)
Kanshiwa, Kanshū, Sēchin, Sēsan, Sēryū, Kanchin, Sansēryu
Kobudō (Bō) kata and the various forms
- Ufugushiku nu Kun
- Choun nu Kun
- Shūshi nu Kun
- Shūshi nu Kun Shō
- Shūshi nu Kun Dai
- Sakugawa nu Kun
- Sakugawa nu Kun Shō
- Sakugawa nu Kun Dai
- Tokumine nu Kun
- Chikin nu Kun
- Shīshi nu Kun
- Yonegawa nu Kun
- Chinen Shikiyanaka nu Kun
- Shirotaru nu Kun
- Shiromatsu nu Kun
- Shirotaro nu Kun
- Ufutun Bō
- Kasshin Bō
The kata “Kubo nu Kun”, “Kātin nu Kun” and “Uehara nu Kun” are also listed on the official rule book.
Kobudō (Sai) kata and the various forms
- Chikin Shitahaku Nu Sai
- Chatan Yara nu Sai
- Hamahiga nu Sai
- Tawata nu Sai
- Kugushiku nu Sai
- Yakā nu Sai
- Sai I
- Sai II
- Sai III
- Ishikawagwa nu Sai
- Nichō Sai
- Sanchō Sai
- Shinbaru nu Sai
- The names of kata, particularly for kobudō, have been written according to a tournament rule book handed during a referee meeting held on February 4th, 2018.
- Tanren-gata like Naihanchi and Sanchin are not eligible for the tournament thus not listed.
Practitioners of Okinawa karate use various daily utensils in their training regimen to condition their body. Among them are what is called Nigiri-gāmi or Sanchin-gāmi. These jug of various shapes and weight are found in many Okinawa karate dōjō, particularly in Gōjū-ryū and Uechi-ryū. Traditionally, practitioners add a little more water or sand every day to weigh down the jugs, thus developing gripping power, among other skills.
Ideally, the mouth of the jugs would be mold to fit the hands of the person to use it. While this tradition tends to disappear, the outside design of the jug is something people care for, as the jugs are part of a dōjō, serving both a practical and an esthetic purposes.
Gushiken Zenshin (photo below) is a ceramics master from Katsuren, Uruma City. In Okinawan language, Katsuren is said Kacchin, thus the name of his kiln Kacchin-gama or Katsuren Kiln. After making earthenware pots, jugs and other common pottery artifacts all his life, Mr. Gushiken had the brilliant idea to combine his skills with the needs of karate.
He designed and created gripping jars with various beautiful designs of Daruma – Bodhidharma, founder of China Zen sect and the Buddha who became bones and skin after severe yoga practice. As explains Gushiken Zenshin, “Both are symbols of fearless asceticism”.
Next to beauty, another characteristic makes his jars special: each of the jug is inserted with a rope to prevent the beautiful but delicate jug from falling when being gripped.
For the 5th time, Gushiken Zenshin will be exhibiting his artwork at the Seisa Gallery, 3-17-5 1F Kumoji, Naha City February 6th~18th.
Furthermore, the special feature of these karate jars having been registered, these corded grip jars should soon be available at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan’s shop.
We have updates the list of events scheduled in Okinawa for February and March 2018.
Following the organization of a program for 20 students from Cambodia November 16th - 20th, the Okinawa Karate Information Center was requested to plan and implement a three day karate program in Okinawa for 15 American college students.
Participants were students of 15 universities and educational institutions in the United States, from places such as Washington, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, etc. They also are students of various karate styles like Shōtōkan, Shitō-ryū, Wadō-ryū, Kenpō, Gōjū-ryū, Ryūei-ryū, Shaolin Kenpō and Shōrin-ryū. Among them were high level athletes like Brian Irr and Cesar Colunga from the US national team.
Of a 22 years old age average, the group visited the Okinawa Karate Kaikan on January 18th. After listening to a lecture by OKIC Uehara Kunio, the trainees watched a demonstration that occurred on the same day at the Kaikan.
Discovering the essence of Okinawa traditional karate being one of the purposes of their visit, the party trained on the morning of 19th with Muramatsu Masataka, Takara Seigō and Hirata Seiei, instructors at the Okinawa Gōjū-ryū Karatedō Association. They experienced the unique training method of Nahate and the kata Fukyū gata II, etc.
After lunch and the visit of the Kaikan’s Archives, the US students joined a seminar on Shurite taught by Uema Takeshi of the Shubukan Uema Karate Dōjō. After being explained the difference between Nahate and Shurite, they learned the kata Naihanchi, and Fukyū gata I, practicing various exercises.
Fukyū gata I and II were devised in 1941 by Masters Nagamine Shōshin and Miyagi Chōjun, who were appointed by Hayakawa Hajime, Governor of Okinawa at that time. The kata were meant to spread and develop Karate, thus the name fukyū or diffusion. The first one includes the basic technique of Shurite while the second one is a combination of basic Nahate and Gōjū-ryū techniques.
During the 3 day schedule, an exchange with local college karate students was also planned. On the third day, January 20th, the group visited the campus of Okinawa University for a practice session with the members of the said university karate club joined by Okinawa International University karateka. Over 2 hours, under the guidance of Ikemiyagi Taku and Shimoji Eisaku, everyone enjoyed sweating together while deepening friendship.
After experiencing a night in private houses in the southern part of the main island of Okinawa, the US team returned to Tōkyō on the 22nd, visited the All Japan Karatedō Federation for a lecture and returned home.