Okinawa is the crossroad between China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. It is located in the subtropical zone, with a plenitude of fish, fruits, vegetables, meat, and awamori. Okinawa has a broad scale of traditions in many fields. As for today, Okinawa is a modern, developed country with tourists coming from all over the world. Archipelago (group of islands) RYU KYU consists of about 160 islands, of which 48 are inhabited. The population is roughly 1,3 million with 80% of those living on the biggest island – Okinawa. It has its own traditions and previously even had its own language and religion. As of today, Okinawans have the longest life expectancy in the world – 90-92 years. In fact, the Island is crime-free, there are no thefts on regular basis. The natives are humble, proud people with positive thinking even though they were occupied twice.
OKINAWA – also known as the crossroad of Pacific, the origin of karate
- 30 000 B.C. – First archaeological excavations were found confirming active inhabitants of Okinawa.
- 10 – 12 000 B.C. – Pyramids were found under the Ocean near Okinawa.
- 627 A.D. – First written mention about Okinawa, in Beijing.
- 714 – First known visit of China.
- 753 – Group of islands RYU KYU is under the influence of China.
- 1372 – • RYU KYU started to pay attribute for China Dynasty Ming.
- 1393 – Ruler of China sent 36 families from South China province FUKIEN, which settled in KUME – part of NAHA. These were sailors, who took care of public administration, trade, culture, safety, religion, and knowledge of CHUAN FA.
- 1429 – Earl SHO HANSI united 3 existing principalities into one Kingdom by force and on the contrary, prohibited weapons. Violation of these rules was strictly punished.
- 1609 – Roughly 3000 warriors of clan SASTSUMA, which lost a war for shogunate in Japan, disembarked in the kingdom of RYU KYU and conquered it. They tightened the ban on carrying and owning weapons even more. They left the kingdom and there was a period of intensive development of martial arts (TODE, KOBUDO) as a secret family knowledge. They learned secretly in a narrow circle, respectively sent their people to China. Written information was stopped.
- 1599 – Army ambassador from China, general KUSHANKU taught on Okinawa (trainee of CHATAN YARA – kata, karate, and Kobudo).
- 1683 – China’s ambassador WANSHU taught CHUAN FA in Okinawa.
- 1735 – KANGA SAKUGAMA was born and became famous Okinawan master of TODE.
- 1853 – • Admiral PERRY from the USA came to Okinawa and made a deal with the kingdom.
- 1868 – At the end of the EDO era in Japan, the Meiji revolution happened.
- 1879 – The group of islands was named after the biggest island Okinawa.
- 1945 – 26.3. – 23.6. a war for Okinawa took place, roughly 300 000 life casualties. After the war, the USA occupied Okinawa. They had their own IDs and money.
- 15. mája 1972 – Okinawa was given to Japan. However, there was still about 40% of the land occupied by the USA.
- 2000 – G8 summit took place with an attendance of president Bush and Putin.
History of karate in Okinawa
- 1873 – KANRYO HIGASHIONNA came to China, FUKIEN province at the age of 22.
- 1874 – KANRYO HIGASHIONNA started his training with RYU RYU KO master.
- 1879 – FUNAKOSHI GICHIN started to train under the guidance of master YASATSUME AZATA at the age of 11 and later on under the guidance of Anka Itosu. His contribution to the development and popularization of karate in the world is amazing and he deserves extraordinary admiration. In 1923 he established Shotokan Dojo.
- 1889 – KANRO HIGASHIONNA came back from China after 14 years of training.
- 1902 – CHOJUN MIYAGI started his training with Kanrya Higashionna at the age of 14 after a recommendation from Ryuko Aragakiho.
- 1902 – JUHATSU KYODA started his training at the age of 15 with Kanrya Higashionna, he became his Uchi-deshi and became the only one who knew every kata, which Kanryo Higashionna knew, including Sanzer 1. He later created TOON RYU. SEIKO HIGA learned the Sanzera 1 kata that remained in our Goju Ryu system from Juhatsu Kyodo.
- 1902 – KENWA MABUNI started his training at the age of 13. Under the guidance of ANKO ITOSU, he started learning SHURI-TE and in the year of 1902, he started teaching Kanryo Higashionna. In 1934 he opened the doors to his Osake Dojo and in 1934 he named his style SHITO RYU.
- 1904 – ITOSU ANKO showed karate (SHORIN) in a high school as a substitution for already existing gym class and gymnastics.
- 1904 – YABU KENTSU showed karate in a pedagogical school as a substitute for gym class.
- 1905 – KANRIO HIGASHIONNA started to teach at a high school in Naha.
- 1906 – The first-ever display of karate in Okinawa.
- 1912 – SEIKO HIGA started to learn under the guidance of Kanrya Higashionnu at the age of 12.
- 1915 – KANRYO HIGASHIONNA is dying, all funeral costs are paid by Chojun Miyagi.
- 1916 – MIYAGI CHOJUN leaves China with GO GENKI and EISHO KAKAMATO to places where Kanryo trained. They stayed there for 2 months.
- 1915(17) – FUNAHOSHI GISHIN made a display of karate in KYOTO, Japan.
- 1918 – RYU KYU TOU-TE KENKYU-KA association was created, which presented karate as an Okinawan fortune. Co-founders: HANASHIRO CHOMO, MOTUBU CHOYO, MABUNI KENWA, FUNAKORMI OICHIN.
- 10.3.1921 – CHOJUN MIYAGI showed karate to prince HIROHITO in Tokyo.
- 1922 – OTSUKA HIRONORI started his training with Funakoshi and eventually created his own club in 1934. In 1940, he declares his style to be WADO RYU.
- 1927 – MIYAGI CHOJUN named his style GOJU-RYU after BUBISHI.
- 1929 – YAGI MEITOKU started training at the age of 17 with Chojun Miyagi and stayed with him until his death in 1953. He inherited his karate-gi and obi. Later he established MEIBUKAN.
- 1929 – YAMAHUCHI GOGEN started his training with Chojun Miyagi. Before he was a student of judo and kendo. In 1922 he started learning Kempo. In 1927, he met Chojun Miyagi and began training with him two years later. In 1939 he introduced JIYU KUMITE in Japan.
- 1931 – SEIKO HIGA with an order from CHOJUN MIYAGI creates his own dojo.
- 1933 – Goju-Ryu was officially accepted in DAI NIPPON BUTOKUKA as a style and karate as RYU.
- 1935 – MIYAZATO EIICHI started training with Chojun Miyagi. He had a huge influence in spreading Okinawan karate. One of his students was Morio Higaonna. In 1954 he created JUNDOKAN. He was also a great judist.
- 1935 – Gogen Yamaguchi established the Goju Ryu association across Japan. In 1955 he created I.K.G.A. and in 1964 thanks to his initiative JKA was created in Japan. His students were his 3 sons, 2 daughters, URAKAWA, and KIGUCHI – masters of Takeji Ogawa.
- 25. 10. 1936 – Okinawan diary THE RYU KYU SHINPO organized a meeting with Okinawan masters of karate, who changed the name from TODE to KARATE. CHOJUN MIYAGI, CHOKI MOTUBU, CHOSHIN CHIBANA, CHOMO HAMASHIRO, SHINPAN SHIROMA, TSUYOSHI CHITOSE, KENWA NAKASONE, KYODA JUHATSU, KENTSU YABU, CHOTOKU KYAH.
- 1940 – CHOJUN MIYAGI created kata Gekisai Dai Ichi and later on Ni.
- 1947 – SEIKO HIGA restored the first dojo after the second World War.
- 1948 – MIYAGI ANICHI started his training with Chojun Miyagi. Later in 1979 established IOGKF, which is today led by Morio Higaonna.
- 1956 – MEITOKU YAGI, EICHI MIYAZATO and SEIKO HIGA founded ZEN OKINAWA KARATE-DO GOJU KAI (MEITOKU YAGI president, SEIKO HIGA vice president).
- 1960 – SEIKO HIGA founded SHODOKAN GOJU RYU KARATE-DO CLUB- later renamed to International Federation of Okinawan Goju Ryu karate and Kobudo, which we are part of.
Meitoku Yagi – founder of MEIBUKAN (Okinawa)
Gogen Yamaguchi – founder of JKF (Japan)
Seiko Higa– founder of SHODOKAN
Eiichi Miyazato – founder of JUNDOKAN (Okinawa)
Seikichi Toguchi – founder of SHOREIKAN