Masters of Karate

Ryukyu Shimpo, March 21, 1918

Collection of Okinawa Prefectural Library

Translation by Naoki Motobu and Peter M. Kobos

Yesterday’s Masters of Karate gathered for a Martial Arts Seminar at the Okinawa Teachers College.

The annual martial arts event was held at the Okinawa Teachers College hall yesterday at 9 o’clock in the morning. This seminar included a student demonstration of Sumo and the kata of Karate in front of guests, including renowned masters Mr. Choyū Motobu, old Kiyuna1, old Chinen2, alias Yama-no-mē no Usumē. These renowned masters provided practical feedback, correcting mistakes in students' techniques, thus bringing connection with their world of expertise. The audience included guests from other professions such as Mr. Yamakawa, the manager of Okinawa Bank and Mr. Ryōjin Kin3 of Ryukyuan classical musician.

At the appointed time, students third grade or higher from the regular course, performed Ryukyuan Sumo and a Karate match. This was proceeded by Karate Bunkai, more Kata, followed by warmup and an additional match. Later, Yabu teacher4 explained to audience about kata that were taught at the school.

Next, were demonstrations of Mr. Choyu Motobu’s Shochin kata5, old Mr. Kiyuna’s Passai, old Mr. Chinen’s bo (staff) and Yabu’s Gojūshiho kata. The seminar ended at about eleven thirty. At 12 o'clock, following a break, Yabu teacher held a meeting, commenting on training of the students at the school and martial arts themselves. 

As the event drew to a close, the masters conducted a question and answer session on topic of kata that were taught at the school. Finally, everyone relished Bujutsu Manjū (martial art cake) and had a pleasant discussions together with the masters. The event finished at 13 o’clock.  


1. Student of Sōkon Matsumura

2. Sanra Chinen (1842 - 1925). The founder of Yamanni-ryu.

3. Ryōjin Kin (1873 - 1936). See articles of "Interviews with Respected Elder Bushi, Choki Motobu Regarding Real Self-Defense - (Jissen) Episodes".

4. Kentsū Yabu (1866 - 1937).

5. Motobu-shi Sōchin (Mr. Motobu's Sōchin)