Okinawa karate on Yamatogokoro

 With the motto “Energize Japan through inbound tourism”, the Tōkyō based company Yamatogokoro Inc. has interviewed our staff Miguel Da Luz and posted an article on its website.

 Click here for the interview (in Japanese)

Karate feature in “Churashima”

 A feature on karate that our information center helped put together was published in the September 2020 issue of "Churashima". We are introducing it with the consent of the publisher Shimanoya (

 We would like to thank for their cooperation Oshiro Nobuko sensei of the Taishinkan association and KARATE JOURNAL.

 The article (in Japanese) in PDF format

Establishment of a Promotion council for UNESCO registration

 Today, Okinawa newspapers have widely reported on the establishment of the "Okinawa Karate UNESCO Registration Promotion Council". Related information is available on the ODKS website.

 The Okinawa Prefecture and ODKS have been working toward this registration since 2017. Following the establishment of a Registration review committee (2018) and a Registration promotion review committee (2019), this year sees the establishment of a Promotion council composed of 41 people of various fields, like the media, education field, etc.

 At the press conference, Mr. Sawada, head of the OPG Karate Promotion Division explained that the council will strive to compile a draft by the end of this fiscal year and to submit it to the Council for Cultural Affairs of Japan. After making adjustments, the council will aim for a proposal from the national government to UNESCO in 2022, which marks the 50th anniversary of Okinawa's return to mainland Japan.


Photo (from right to left): Sawada Hayato (head of the Karate promotion division), Toguchi Kazuhiro (head of the OPG Department of culture, Tourism and Sports), Arakaki Kunio (ODKS Rijichō) and Ikemiyagi Masaaki (ODKS Head of the secretariat)


Interview with the new director of the Kaikan

  When the Okinawa Karate Kaikan opened on March 4, 2017, the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau was designated as the managing body for three years. As of April 1st, 2020, a new consortium is acting as designated manager of the kaikan. Named “Okinawa Karate Promotion Vision Promotion Partners” (OKP), this consortium is a joint venture between Okinawa Tourist Co., Ltd. (OTS), Okinawa Building Management Co., Ltd., Nishihara Farm and Seika Sports Center Co., Ltd.

  Nakamura Yasushi, Executive Vice President of Okinawa Tourist, has become the new head of the management office of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan. From this year, it has been decided that the director will also be referred to as “Kanchō – director”.

  Born in Nago in 1960, Mr. Nakamura joined OTS in 1985. He has traveled to more than 30 countries as a tour operator and has also been involved in the rental car business for many years. This time, we interviewed him as the new Kanchō of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan.


Nakamura Kanchō in front of the Shuri Castle tapestry in the newly open Karate Cafe "AGARI"


  How did you become a designated administrator of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan?


  OTS aims at developing local resources with a tourism approach. Mr. Nakamura explains that OTS wishes to improve the local culture and make it worth the experience for the people who visit and experience this culture. Under such initiatives, OTS has developed tours relating to traditional events such as the harvest festivals etc. As a result, Mr. Nakamura explains that these events have become more active, and the organizers and youth associations have become more energetic.

  Karate is an Okinawan culture that cannot be described separately from performing arts, dance, and awamori among others. However, karate is a keyword in a sense, and is a "killer content" for Okinawa and its tourism industries.

  Nakamura Kanchō hopes that the Okinawa Karate Kaikan will be used as a transmission base for “Okinawa, the birthplace of karate” and also for the transmission of Okinawan culture in general, thus attracting many tourists and creating a new sightseeing path.


  Management concepts and important points


  Based on the combination of cultural values and inheritance of “the birthplace of karate, Okinawa” and the needs of the times, Mr. Nakamura emphasizes that he wants to promote the related businesses of the Karate Kaikan according to four themes: “Creation”, “Fostering”, “Exchange” and “Life”.

  In addition, he believes that proper guidance within the Kaikan is important as it is a large facility.

  "The many visitors to the Kaikan are looking for a wide range of services. Some want to see the exhibition room, some want to use the training halls, and other are looking for information on karate. We need to clarify the role of each entity and respond to the various requests and needs in a smooth way. In that matter, the Okinawa Dentō Karatedō Shinkōkai and the Okinawa Karate Information Center have an important role to play."


  Thoughts on the future management


  Mr. Nakamura points out that "Three of the four companies of the consortium will be primarily involved with the Kaikan’s supervision, but OTS will also work on ‘attracting visitors’. Although the role of a designated manager and a travel agency is different, only supervising would be difficult. Managing the Kaikan is the most important part."
Mr. Nakamura wishes to operate the Karate Kaikan with the aim of improving "occupancy rates" and installing a "sound management."

  The Karate Kaikan is the base and center of karate as well as the symbol of “Okinawa, the birthplace of karate”. “We will not let the axis shake, but wish to widen the scope. It's important for the Okinawan people and tourists to visit the Kaikan.”

  Mr. Nakamura believes that “the Karate Kaikan will spread and develop by being close to the lives of the people of the prefecture and by becoming an important destination for tourists”.

  He plans of establishing the Kaikan as the home of karate both physically and virtually both nationally and internationally, while also creating various menus for residents and tourists.

  "Soon we will start a series of tours around the kaikan. At the same time, we are planning to become a destination for schools’ excursions for Okinawan elementary, junior and senior high school students. In addition, we are preparing health seminars with Ikehara Hideki sensei Okinawa Traditional Karate Gōjū-ryū Ikehara Juku. Later on, we will offer programs for tourists" explains Mr. Nakamura.

  As the words of Louis Pasteur hung at the Kaikan say, “Chance favors only the prepared minds.”


Nakamura Kanchō working on the management of the Kaikan in the management office


Postscript: Nakamura Yasushi is the grandson of the founder of Okinawa Kempō, Nakamura Shigeru sensei (1891-1969). Born in 1934, his father Nakamura Taketo sensei still watches the Nakamura Dōjō in Ōnaka, Nago City.

Serial publication “The present of Okinawa traditional karate”

  Since 2018, journalist Yanagihara Shigeo has written on Okinawa karate from various angles. The full articles of the series entitled “The present of Okinawa traditional karate - The Origin of karate that spread around the world” are available on the website of Daisan Bunmeisha. Although in Japanese, using an online translating software might be a good way to read through this interesting series.


  Note: The views and opinions expressed in the series are those of the author and featured characters, not necessarily those of the information center. Also, the titles’ translation was done by our center in order to give further details to English readers. Any mistake is solely our responsibility.


  1. The essence of Okinawa karate
  2. An organization spreading to the world [with Mr. Kiyuna Chōkō]
  3. Karate master: Shinzato Katsuhiko
  4. Karate master: Hokama Tetsuhiro
  5. Karate popularization meritorious person: Itosu Ankō
  6. Karate popularization meritorious person: Funakoshi Gichin
  7. The way to the establishment of the “Karate Day”
  8. Types of Karate: Sport · Martial Art · Health
  9. Origin and styles of karate
  10. Leading figures who supported the Okinawa karate world after WWII
  11. Okinawa's original style, Uechi-ryū (Part I) [with Mr. Tomoyose Ryūkō]
  12. Okinawa's original style, Uechi-ryū (Part II) [with Mr. Takara Shintoku and Mr. Shinjō Kiyohide]
  13. Okinawa's original style, Uechi-ryū (Part III) [with Mr. Uehara Takenobu]
  14. Gōjū-ryū, the first style in Japan (Part I)
  15. Gōjū-ryū, the first style in Japan (Part II) [with Mr. Higaonna Morio, Mr. Yagi Meitatsu and Mr. Kuba Yoshio]
  16. The first Okinawa Karate International Tournament report
  17. Shōrin-ryū 1, the traditional martial art of Shuri “Shurite”
  18. Shōrin-ryū 2, Shōrin-ryū (Kobayashi) founded by Chibana Chōshin (Part I) [with Mr. Miyagi Takeshi]
  19. Shōrin-ryū 3, Shōrin-ryū (Kobayashi) founded by Chibana Chōshin (Part II) [with Mr. Oshiro Isao and Mr. Matsuda Yoshimasa]
  20. Shōrin-ryū 4, the lineage of Kyan Chotoku Shōrin-ryū (Sukunai-hayashi) [with Mr. Shimabukuro Zenpō and Mr. Sakugawa Masanobu]
  21. Shōrin-ryū 5, Shurite and Tomarite Matsubayashi-ryū
  22. Outstanding in the field of competition Ryūei-ryū [with Mr. Sakumoto Tsuguo]
  23. Interview with Okinawa Prefecture Karate Promotion Division’s manager (Part I) [with Mr. Yamakawa Tetsuo]
  24. Interview with Okinawa Prefecture Karate Promotion Division’s manager (Part II) [with Mr. Yamakawa Tetsuo]
  25. Okinawa Shogaku's attempt [With Mr. Nashiro Masaichiro]
  26. People attracted to Okinawa karate from Kyokushin (Part I): Mr. Kinjō Kenichi
  27. People attracted to Okinawa karate from Kyokushin (Part II): Mr. Takaku Masayoshi
  28. People attracted to Okinawa karate from Kyokushin (Part III): Mr. Ishimoto Makoto
  29. Kobudō (Part I) Native weaponry cultivated in Okinawa [with Mr. Nakamoto Masahiro]
  30. Kobudō (Part II) Native weaponry cultivated in Okinawa [with Mr. Kinjō Masakazu]
  31. (Special edition) Zaha Shindō-ryū: Chibana karate preserved in mainland of Japan [with Mr. Zaha Jinkichi and Mr. Yamada Junya]
  32. (Special edition) Shinjinbukan: In search of Te, the source of karate [with Mr. Onaga Yoshimitsu]
  33. The next generation of Okinawan karateka (Part I) [with Mr. Nakamoto Yūichi, Mr. Uema Takeshi and Mr. Nagamine Tomoichirō]
  34. The next generation of Okinawan karateka (Part II) [with Mr. Shimabukuro Zenshun, Mr. Yogi Katsuya and Mr. Makishi Tetsuo]
  35. The next generation of Okinawan karateka (Part III) [with Mr. Uechi Sadanao, Mr. Iha Mitsutada and Mr. Shinjō Takahiro]
  36. Okinawa Dentō Karatedō Shinkōkai: interview of the new director of the board Mr. Arakaki Kunio
  37. Did Okinawan martial arts “Te” exist? (Part I)
  38. Did Okinawan martial arts “Te” exist? (Part II) [with Mr. Katsuren Seihō]
  39. Did Okinawan martial arts “Te” exist? (Part II) [with Mr. Nohara Kōei]
  40. Interview with Iwasaki Tatsuya, an professor of Okinawa ancient martial art karate
  41. (Final episode) Extra edition: Why were karate styles born?
  42. Special Edition-1: “Karate is a martial art unique to Okinawa that was formed in the early modern era” (From an Okinawa Karate Academy lecture given by Mr. Dana Masayuki)
  43. Special Edition-2: Exploring the origin of Shurite [with Mr. Oshiro Toshihiro]
  44. Special Edition-: Miguel Da Luz from the Okinawa Karate Information Center