Transmitting karate’s kata to the future
Last fiscal year, the Okinawa Prefecture Government implemented an Okinawa karate public relations project. One part of the project was the “Karate Jet” launch. Another part was the creation of a promotional video of Okinawa traditional karate utilizing 3DCG (3 dimensional computer graphics) motion capture Virtual Reality.
On April 6, a press conference was held at Okinawa Cellular Building in Naha following the completion of the project.
Explanations were given by Yamakawa Tetsuo, manager of Okinawa Prefectural Culture, Tourism and Sports Department Karate Promotion Division, Shinjō Kiyohide sensei of Uechi-ryū who cooperated in the project demonstrating the kata “Sanseiryu”, Okinawa Cellular Telephone Corporation Kaida Hirofumi, as well as Horino Makoto and Tomita Nobuyasu, both producers at IMAGICA West Co., Ltd. Located in Osaka, this company is in the business of developing advanced video production.
The production was done at a special photography studio located in Kyōto prefecture, “CGCG Studio” in Okinawa City and at the Special dōjō of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan. There, the kata performed by Shinjō sensei was captured using high definition technique to give two VR movies; one is the actual kata of 1 minute 29 seconds while the 2nd movie aims at being used as a teaching material.
When experiencing the movie using a dedicated google device, one can see the performance from all angles at a never seen close distance, truly rendering the power and beauty of traditional karate. In addition, skills and technique can also be analyzed in details.
About this project, Mr. Yamakawa explained that he wanted people to be able to experience the true martial nature of Okinawa karate while also promoting the birthplace of karate that is Okinawa. In addition, emphasizing “the difference of quality between amusement and culture”, he explained that although a possibility, online distribution would not render the awesomeness of karate if seen on a normal screen. Therefore rather than distribution on the Internet, this 3DCG movie will be presented in various prefecture-sponsored events through hands-on experience corner using the dedicated google device.
Public release in the prefecture will be held on Monday, April 23, during the 100 days before the First Okinawa karate international tournament. The movie will also be introduced during the international tournament to which more than 1,900 people have registered.
(From the top left) The press conference, making in the studio, images of the actual kata performance