Recent news

Donation collection for the statue of Uechi Kanbun sensei


kanbunsensei Sakura

A project of raising a statue of the founder of Uechi-ryu Uechi Kanbun sensei is under way. The executive committee led by 4th Sōke Uechi Sadanao sensei is collecting donations in order to support the project.

Outline of the projet

Construction site: Yaedake Sakura no Mori – Cherry Blossom Park, in Motobu Town. This is the birthplace of Uechi Kanbun sensei.

Cost: 9,000,000 yen (statue and pedestal)

Size of the statue: Approximately 1.8 meters (with the pedestal, almost 3 meters high)

Unveiling ceremony: October 29, 2017 (Sunday)

Supports: Motobu Town, etc.

If you are a member dojo of an Okinawan organization, contact your headquarters directly.

For individuals, donations are accepted from 100,000 yen. For this, an inscription will be inscribed on the monument.

Payment: The Bank of the Ryukyus – SWIFT code: RYUBJPJZ – Bank code: 0187 – Futenma branch – Account number: 655272 – Account holder: Uechi Sadanao

Deadline: April 30, 2017




(Motobu Park photo credit: Daniel López)


Website of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan


The official website of the Okinawa Karate Kaikan has been launched.

Passing of Nakamura Yoshio sensei


Hanshi 10th dan Nakamura Yoshio sensei passed away on February 10th. Born in 1916, he was one of the eldest karate masters on Okinawa who studied under masters Gusukuma (Shiroma) Shinpan and Higa Yūchoku. He opened his dojo Enbukan in 1975 and chaired the Zen Okinawa Karatedō Federation from 2003-2005. May he rest in peace.

Karate events in Okinawa for February 2017


Here are the major karate related events planned in Okinawa for February 2017.


6th School Karatedo Demonstration

Dates: February 3

Venue: Tomigusuku City Gymnasium

Organizer: Okinawa Shogaku


Senior High School Spring Tournament

Date: Feb. 4-5

Venue: Urasoe City

Organizer: Okinawa Pref. SHS Federation


8th Tomigusuku City Tournament

Date: Feb. 5

Venue: Tomigusuku City Gymnasium, Tomigusuku City

Organizer: Tomigusuku City Athletics Association


All Okinawa Karate Kobudo Tournament

Date: February 12

Venue: Okinawa International University, Ginowan City

Organizer: Okinawa Karate Kobudo Federation


Okinawa City Cultural Festival and Karate Kobudo Demonstration

Date: February 12

Venue: Municipal Small Theater Ashibina, Okinawa City

Organizer: Okinawa City Cultural Association


1st Senior High School Karatedo Demonstration

Dates: February 17

Venue: Okinawa Pref. Budokan, Naha City

Organizer: Okinawa Shogaku


4th Okinawa Pref. Uechi-ryu Youth Tournament

Date: Feb. 25

Venue: Kadena Junior High School, Kadena Town

Organizer: Executive committee



Note that the karate bureau doesn’t endorse these events.

They are announced as a source of information only.

According to the event, there might be or not an entrance fee.

For more details, please contact directly the organizers.

If you wish to add an event, please let us know.

(Source: Okinawa Karate News)

1st Okinawa karate international tournament in 2018


On January 16th, 2017, a general meeting between the Okinawa Prefecture Government and karate authorities on Okinawa was held in Naha City. It was announced that the “1st Okinawa karate international tournament” will be held August 1-8, 2018 in Okinawa. Competitions will be Okinawa traditional karate kata and kobudo kata. Other related events will be planned.

An official website should be launched soon.

At the moment, our karate bureau is not directly involved with the organization of this event. For more info, please contact directly the Okinawa Prefecture through this page mentioning the word karate in the subject line. Doing so, your mail will be transfer to the Karate promotion division.

We hope to see you in Okinawa in the summer of 2018!

New year greetings for 2017, year of the rooster


The year of the rooster – Tori-doshi in Japanese – promises to be a great one for Okinawa with especially the Okinawa Karate Kaikan opening March 4th.

In the past, this zodiac year brought some auspicious and less lucky events… In this way, the unification of Ryukyu by King Sho Hashi and the relative peace that followed, and the invasion of the kingdom by the Satsuma clan occurred respectively in 1429 and 1609, two years of the rooster.

While the years of the cock 1897 and 1917 gave respectively birth to kobudo master Taira Shinken 120 years ago and Goju-ryu master Toguchi Seikichi 100 years ago, 1945, another year of the rooster, took away many legendary figures of karate like Kyan Chotoku, Hanashiro Chomo, Shinzato Jinan, etc.

Looking at past Tori-doshi, it also seems that some Okinawan masters are more “cock” than others…

Uechi Kanbun sensei was born in Motobu in the north of Okinawa 140 years ago in 1877, not a year of the cock. However, 1897 when he traveled to China learning what would later become Uechi-ryu and 1909, the year he came back to Okinawa are both years of the cock! A monument in memory of the master is in preparation and should be raised this year in Motobu Town.

Chibana Choshin sensei was born in 1885 and passed away in 1969, two years of the cock! He named his style “Shorin-ryu” in 1933, also a year of the rooster.

Nagamine Shoshin sensei wasn’t born under the rooster sign, however 2017 will definitely be a year during which the master should be remembered and commemorated. Indeed, he was born 110 years ago in 1907, named his style “Matsubayashi-ryu” 70 years in 1947 and passed away 20 years ago in 1997. Hopefully, we can expect a commemorative event in 2017 gathering his followers from around the globe.

As for the bureau last year, we helped and supported 220 people in regards to Okinawa karate and kobudo. With the numbers for previous years being 21 (2012), 78 (2013), 134 (2014), and 168 (2015), that’s a total of 621 people in 5 years of activities.

Looking closely at the Kaikan’s development, we will act accordingly to furthermore support Okinawa karate and its many worldwide enthusiasts.

World Tournament in the summer of 2018


After the 1995, 1997, 2003, and 2009 editions, the World Tournament for Okinawa traditional karate and kobudo will be held in the summer of 2018. An executive committee will be established mid-January 2017 and the official dates of the event should be announced. An official website should also be launched by the end of Japanese fiscal year, that is to say March 2017. One of the new features of this event is the “per style” karate kata tournament.

More details will come soon but you can plan your trip to Okinawa for either July or August 2018!


Source: Article published in issue 127 of Okinawa Karate News

Karate events in Okinawa for January 2017


Here are the major karate related events planned in Okinawa in January 2017.


International karatedo seminar

Date: January 6

Venue: Okinawa Prefectural Budokan, Naha City

Organizer: Kyudokan Higa-te Italy Dojo


Start of the Martial Year and Opening of the Budokan

Date: January 8

Venue: Okinawa Pref. Budokan, Naha City

Organizer: Okinawa Prefecture Budo Coordination Council


Karate seminar

Dates: January 19

Venue: Okinawa Prefectural Budokan, Naha City

Organizer: Kyokushin Kaikan, Okinawa Prefecture Branch


4th Kyokushin Rengo Cup – World Tournament

Dates: January 21-22

Venue: Okinawa Prefectural Budokan, Naha City

Organizer: Kyokushin Kaikan, Okinawa Prefecture Branch


21st Ryuei-ryu Karate and Kobudo Tournament

Dates: January 21-22

Venue: Ginoza Village Gymnasium, Ginoza Village

Organizer: Okinawa Ryuei-ryu Karate Kobudo Ryuho-kai


Fusion of Okinawa Karate and Okinawa Crafts Symposium

Dates: January 26

Venue: Okinawa Prefectural Museum, Naha City

Organizer: Okinawa prefecture industrial arts cooperation center



Note that the karate bureau doesn’t endorse these events.

They are announced as a source of information only.

According to the event, there might be or not an entrance fee.

For more details, please contact directly the organizers.

If you wish to add an event, please let us know.

(Source: Okinawa Karate News)

Naha, Town of Karate and Kobudo


Symposium: Visions of the future for Okinawa karate


The Karate promotion division organized a symposium on November 15th at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum. It was titled “Okinawa karate symposium – The charms of Okinawa traditional karate and kobudo and its cultural values”. Some 80 people came to listen to a lecture and a panel discussion.


During the first part, karate hanshi and former president of the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts Miyagi Tokumasa sensei gave a 50 minutes speech on the movement of the karate world in Okinawa prior to and after WWII. He supported his thoughts by displaying many newspaper articles and important documents that he has collected during a life dedicated to karate research. He reviewed many historical facts touching various topics like the organizations’ progresses, alliances and ruptures, the issue of titles and ranks, etc. One article published in the Ryukyu Shimpo June 25, 1965 and signed by late Miyazato Eiichi sensei was particularly interesting. Titled ‘Martial arts grades and titles’, the author wrote “Martial arts will rise with ranks and will be destroyed by ranks.” This was certainly a stimulus to many people in the audience. Ending his lecture, Miyagi sensei who also stands as advisor to the Okinawa Dento Karatedo Shinkokai (ODKS) declared that “the Shinkokai must promote uniting all Okinawa” sending a strong message so that non-members could participate in today’s movement.


(The 1965 article signed by late Miyazato Eiichi sensei)

During the second part of the event, 4 experts were asked to give their thoughts, with Yamakawa Testuo, head of the Karate promotion division serving as host of the panel discussion. Dana Masayuki, head of the Prefectural Museum started by reaffirming that in the past, “karate was practiced in towns and was not present in the countryside”. Regarding historical value, he continued declaring that many more documents dating of the 1700ies are still to be found in China and Satsuma (former clan in Kagoshima Prefecture) and thus further research is essential. The chairman of the boards of directors of the ODKS, Kiyuna Choko sensei followed introducing the goals of the organization, also mentioning the needs of putting in place ranks.


The third panelist was Shinjo Kiyohide sensei, chairman of the boards of directors of the Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Federation and head of the Uechi-ryu Karatedo Kenyukai. Asked by Mr. Yamakawa about the relation between traditional karate and sport karate, he started speaking about his young years in karate asserting that “I was able to continue karate because there was kumite”. Today, as a teacher of the youth, and also as the head of an international organization with more than 20 branches in the world, he stressed the importance to meet the needs of our time by answering with both Dento (tradition) and Kakushin (innovation).


At that moment, Mr. Yamakawa reflected on this year’s great results: the establishment of the Karate promotion division within the OPG*, the Guinness world record, the wins of Kiyuna Ryo and his teammates at the recent WKF world tournament. He continued proposing for an event in 2022 in which both traditional karate and sport karate could meet. He explained the choice of 2022 as the 50th commemoration of the return of Okinawa to Japan in 1972 and the 100th anniversary of the demonstration by Funakoshi Gichin sensei at the 1st Physical education exhibition organized by the Ministry of Education in 1922. To this, Shinjo sensei vigorously answered that rather than touching sport karate, many issues must be addressed: the reexamination of the standards of tradition, research on technique based on history, per styles analysis of points of agreement on a technical aspects, etc. There are a lot of issues. However, aiming at Genten Kaiki – return to the origin, and solving the previous homework assignments, the course of action of Okinawa traditional karate will become clear.

Finally, the four panelists were asked to give their opinions on how they envision karate in 30 years. Miyagi sensei warned the audience that Todi and karate are two different things. Also, quoting late Kinjo Hiroshi sensei’s remark “Karate started with its introduction into school education”, he once again emphasized the importance of Onko Chishin or learning from the past. Kiyuna sensei foresaw the introduction of karate in all schools from elementary to senior high schools. Shinjo sensei reiterated the need of returning to the roots in traditional karate adding the importance of the starting point that is Ippon in kumite.

The final words were from Mr. Dana. About karate, he recommended, “It is undeniable that the influence of China is big. However, China is a country that values reforms over tradition. Today, for Okinawa karate, it is important to research how the many overseas influences were digested in Okinawa. In that matter, it is necessary to look again at the history of the Meiji era** and its people.” “A changing tradition is a proof of an energetic society. But karate is Okinawa’s tradition” concluded the only non-karateka of the panel, ending a successful 1st symposium by the Karate promotion division.


* Okinawa Prefecture Government

** 1868-1912


Article courtesy of Okinawa Karate News

Photos source: Okinawa Prefecture Karate promotion division and Okinawa Karate News















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