Okinawa Prefecture Karate Promotion Division (Okinawa ken karate shinkōka)

On February 12, 2016, the Okinawa Governor at  that time Onaga Takeshi announced the creation of the Karate promotion division within the Culture, Tourism and Sport Department of the Okinawa Prefecture Government. This creation was petitioned by the Okinawa Prefecture designated intangible cultural asset holders. For more, read the Ryūkyū Shinpō newspaper’s article.

The division opened its office on April 1st of the same year. It is in charge of planning, coordination and promotion in regards to Okinawa karate and kobudō working together with local karate organizations. It is also in charge of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan.

The Karate promotion division has its office on the 12th floor of the Okinawa Prefecture Government Building.

Yamakawa Tetsuo kachō (division head) was the first to lead this division. In April 2020, he was replaced by Sawada Hayato.

Official website (In Japanese)

Email address: aa082500[@] (Please remove the [ ] before and after @)


Okinawa Prefecture designated intangible cultural asset “Okinawa Karate and Kobujutsu” preservation society (Okinawa ken shitei mukei bunkazai “Okinawa no karate kobujutsu” hozonkai)

Founded in 2016, June 2nd

1st President: Tomoyose Ryukō

Actual President: Nakahodo Tsutomu

In 1997, “Karate and kobujustu” was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Asset by the Okinawa Prefecture. The same year on August 8th, the following masters were recognized as holders in this field: Nagamine Shōshin (1907-1997, Matsubayashi-ryū), Yagi Meitoku (1912-2003, Gōjū-ryū) and Itokazu Seiki (1915-2006, Uechi-ryū).

On September 12th 2000, 6 other masters were recognized as asset holders: Iha Kōshin (1925-2012, Gōjū-ryū), Tomoyose Ryukō (1928-2019, Uechi-ryū), Nakazato Shūgorō (1920-2016, Shōrin-ryū), Nakazato Jōen (1922- 2010, Shōrinji-ryū), Miyahira Katsuya (1918-2010, Shōrin-ryū) and Wakugawa Kōsei (1926-2021, Gōjū-ryū).

On May 7th 2013, 5 masters were also recognized by the prefecture. They are Ishikawa Seitoku sensei (1925-2013, Shōrin-ryū), Uehara Takenobu sensei (1930-2021, Uechi-ryū), Hichiya Yoshio sensei (1930-2017, Gōjū-ryū), Nakamoto Masahiro sensei (82 years old, Kobudō)and Higaonna Morio sensei (82 years old, Gōjū-ryū).

On May 19th, 2020, 6 new masters were recognized as asset holders. They are Takara Shintoku (90 years old, Uechi-ryū), Iha Seikichi (87 years old, Shōrin-ryū), Nakahodo Tsutomu (86 years old, Uechi-ryū), Iha Kōtarō (81 years old, Kobujutsu), Maeshiro Morinobu (75 years old, Shōrin-ryū) and Kikugawa Masanari (74, Gōjū-ryū).


Okinawa Dentō Karatedō Shinkōkai (Society for the Advancement of the Traditional Okinawa Karate)

Founded on February 14, 2008

This organization was established with the purposes of planning the preservation, transmission and worldwide popularization of Okinawa traditional karatedō and kobudō. It aims at the establishment of Okinawa as not only the birthplace of karatedō and kobudō but also the Mecca for world karate. (Source: founding general meeting records)

President: the Okinawa Governor, Tamaki Denny

Vice-presidents: Ikemiyagi Masaaki, Taira Yoshitaka, Yagi Meitatsu and Nakazato Minoru

Board chairman (Rijichō): Arakaki Kunio

Secretary: Uehara Kunio

Official website


Zen Okinawa Karatedō Renmei

(All Okinawa Karatedō Federation)

Founded in 1967

This organization was established in 1956 at a time when there was no organizational activity in the Okinawa karate world. The purposes were to properly inherit and transmit karate and to support its international diffusion and development. The 4 major styles Uechi-ryū, Gōjū-ryū, Shōrin-ryū and Matsubayashi-ryū united into one body known as the “Okinawa Karatedō Federation”. In 1967, this entity was remodeled to become the “Zen (all) Okinawa Karatedō Renmei (federation)” with Nagamine Shōshin of Matsubayashi-ryū being the president.

1st President: Nagamine Shōshin

Actual President: Ikemiyagi Masaaki

Board chairman (Rijichō): Taira Sadayuki


Okinawa Ken Karatedō Renmei

(Okinawa Prefecture Karatedō Federation)

Founded in 1981

While taking the initiative in the organization of and participation to the National Sports Festival and other sport competitions, this organization strives for the preservation and inheritance of Okinawa traditional karate passed down by our ancestors. As an organization with the nurturing of healthy youth through karate as a foundation principle, it endeavors to raise world level athletes under the jurisdiction of the Japan Karatedō Federation.

1st President: Nagamine Shōshin

Actual President: Taira Yoshitaka

Board chairman (Rijichō): Takara Seigō

Official Website


Okinawa Karate Kobudo Renmei

(Okinawa Karate Kobudō Federation)

Founded in 1982

This organization was established around late masters Higa Yūchoku and Akamine Eisuke who both felt that Okinawa karate was undergoing a crisis. Its goals were to inherit and develop Okinawan karate and kobudō as an important traditional culture.

1st President: Higa Yūchoku

Actual President: Yagi Meitatsu

Board chairman (Rijichō): Yagi Akihito


Okinawa Ken Karatedō Rengōkai

(Okinawa Prefecture Karatedō Association)

Founded in 1993

In 1990 was formed the “Okinawa Karatedō Konwakai”, group that was reorganized in 1993 as “Okinawa Ken Karatedō Rengōkai”. Consistently aiming at karatedō’s unity, it is promoting internationally Okinawa as the birthplace of karate.

1st President: Nakazato Shūgorō

Actual President: Nakazato Minoru

Board chairman (Rijichō): Uezato Kazuo

Official website


Okinawa Ken Kobudō Renmei

(Okinawa Prefecture Kobudō Federation)

Founded in1993

The organization was established in order to plan the future of Okinawa traditional kobudō, aiming at its inheritance and development. Members represent the Ryūkyū kobudō system of Taira Shinken sensei, the Matayoshi family kobudō system and Motobu Udundī related system.

1st President: Nakamoto Masahiro

Actual President: Shimabukuro Tsuneo

Board chairman (Rijichō): Nakamori Takashi

Official website


Related facilities


Okinawa Karate Kaikan

Opened: AM 9:00 to PM 9:00 (The Archives are open from AM 9:00 to PM 6:00)

Closed: Every Wednesday

Holidays: December 30 to January 3

Location: 854-1 Tomigusuku, Tomigusuku City, Okinawa Prefecture

Contact : 098-851-1025

Official website


Okinawa Prefectural Budōkan (Hall of Martial Arts)

Opened: AM 9:00 to PM 9:00

Closed: Every Tuesday

Holidays: December 28 to January 4

Location: 52 Onoyama-cho, Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture

Contact: 098-858-2700

Official homepage (In Japanese)


Okinawa Prefecture Karate Museum

Entrance fee: 300 yen

Holidays: None (call in advance to schedule a visit)

Location: 2-17-6 Uebaru, Nishihara Town, Okinawa Prefecture

Contact: 098-945-6148


Other links

Okinawa Prefecture Government (OPG)

Culture, Tourism and Sport Department (OPG) Karate Promotion Division (in Japanese)

Okinawa Karate UNESCO Registration Promotion Council

Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB)

Enjoy Karate Tourism in Okinawa! (Supervised by OCVB)