Japanese Culture Teaching Notes


Wednesday

Karate - A Brief Introduction

Karate is a martial art the comes from the southern island of Okinawa in Japan. Karate was formed by using techniques form Chinese kung-fu combined with local Okinawan self defence techniques. The term karate means "empty hand". Thus most of the techniques are hand to hand. Karate has become one of the most popular martial arts throughout the world.

The life of Supreme Master Gichin Funakoshi was the starting point of the art of karate. He changed the name of the art from "katrate-jutsu" to "karate-do", established the five dojo precepts, and through his magnificent philosophy of karata became the torchbearer of spiritual culture.

Funakoshi was born the son of a samurai in 1870 (3rd year of Meiji), in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. Because he was very physically weak he took up karate (at that time still the typically Ryukyuan art of self-defense) to strengthen his body. In 1913 (2nd year of Taisho) he became Chairman of the Okinawa Shobu Kai, and in 1922 (eleventh year of Taisho) he gave the first public performance of karate at a physical education exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education. This evoked great public interest, and as a result Funakoshi moved to Koishikawa, in Tokyo, where he set up his Meisei-Juku dojo. From 1924 (13th year of Taisho) he taught at various universities, including Keio, Tokyo, Takushoku, Hitotsubashi, Waseda, Hosei, Chuo, Senshu and Nippon Medical College.
In 1954 he was officially commended for his meritorious services to the Karate world at the Japan National Martial Arts Championships. In April,1957 he passed away at the age of 88.

Posted by ・Andrea :: 5:34 PM :: 3 Comments:

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