Okinawa karate highlighted in a JNTO movie


  The Japanese Government Tourism Board (JNTO) has released a promotional video targeting Europe. Inside, Okinawa as the birthplace of karate and the Okinawa Karate Kaikan are highlighted.

  It is a very nicely produced movie, so please have a look. In addition, on the website, viewers can acquire information on the various sites introduced in the movie.



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

Birth of the “Karate Jet”


  Japan TransOcean 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.


“The World of Okinawa Karate” demonstration

  “The World of Okinawa Karate” sample demonstration that promotes Okinawa as the birthplace of karate was held on Thursday, January 18th. On that day, more than 70 people from 25 tourism related companies gathered at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan. The event was organized by the Okinawa Prefectural Karate Promotion Division, ODKS which is responsible for the operation of our center and OCVB.
   Planned for general tourists and school trip excursion students, this stage conveys the technique and essence of Okinawa karate for about 20 minutes.
   For inquiries, please contact our center.

More information will be posted at a later date.