Women warriors


Almost always disposed of from mainstream learning of warriors in antiquated Japan, is the part ladies played as wives of the samurai or warriors in their own particular right. The essential part of ladies of the samurai class had been to support the family and their husbands. During the Kamakura Period (1185-1333), ladies were responsible for raising their youngsters with the best possible samurai upbringing. The ladies of this period were permitted rights to legacy and to pass on property. They controlled the household finances, and dealt with the staff. Ladies were also anticipated that would guard their homes in times of war. This period in Japanese history delivered some of the most famous ladies: Tomoe Gozen, wife of Minamoto Yoshinaka and a furious warrior extremely capable with sword and bow; and Hojo Masako (1157-1225), wife of Minamoto Yoritomo and known as the “cloister adherent shogun”. In keeping with customs of the time, Hojo Masako turned into a Buddhist pious devotee upon the demise of her husband in 1199. After Yoritomo’s passing, Hojo Masako alongside her dad and son, usurped the genuine decision power from her dead husband’s decision Minamoto family to her own Hojo tribe. Her efforts gave the Hojo group genuine control over the now ‘manikin administration’ Minamoto faction.

Masako’s tomb

But women weren’t always warriors. During the WWII, many women became sex slaves to the Japanese army. That is why the Asian Women’s Fund  was a fund set up by the Japanese government in 1994 to distribute compensation to comfort women in South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Indonesia. Each survivor was provided with a signed apology from the prime minister, stating “As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.”The fund was dissolved on March 31, 2007.

  • ¥565m ($4.7m) was raised in donations from the Japanese people, and given to 285 comfort women from Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, each of whom received about 2m yen ($16,700)
  • ¥770m ($6.5m) in taxpayers’ money was provided to pay for medical fees for these women, and for 79 other women from the Netherlands
  • ¥370 million ($3.1m) was spent building medical facilities and old peoples’ homes in Indonesia, rather than compensating individuals there, and the rest was used for the fund’s running costs and other smaller projects

AWF conference


Image by Wikipedia & Wikipedia

The Sports Shrine  


The quietness of the tranquil hallowed place is an unmistakable difference to the high vitality picture of games. Permit me to impart an extract from the hallowed place’s site (*note that underneath is the interpreter’s English elucidation):

As indicated by hallowed place legend, amid the fourth year of Emperor Tenji (665) when the eastern regions fell, Fujiwara no Kamatari (author of the Fujiwara faction) came here to beg. With one swing of a powerful sword, he committed a supplicate of wellbeing for his up and coming voyage for the sake of the Katori Okami god which came to settle in this part Japan. This is the starting point of this altar. Amid the concise “war in the Tengyo time (承平天慶の乱), Taira no Masakado was finding Fujiwara no Hidesato. To wish for his triumph, this sanctum was supplicated at. After the concealment of the clash, a bow and shaft were exhibited to the place of worship. It was named the ‘winning bolt.’ This is the starting point of the Festival of the Winning Arrow hung on May fifth. The god of Katori Shrine is adored as an authentic and martial arts divinity. In present day times, the place of worship’s notoriety for being the “Games Shrine” has picked up wide consideration.

Katori shrine

The sanctum doesn’t just expect to draw in customary admirers, it effectively advances itself as the home of the divinity that can guarantee triumph in any session and also the home of the games god. It is additionally asked at by those with a disease to addition “triumph” over their infection and recoup to a healthy state.

First and foremost exit at Kameito Station by means of the Sobu Line. From that point, the hallowed place is a ten moment leave. Close-by I was upbeat to find there is an old shopping locale loaded with things with great tastes. From the earliest starting point of the long approach, you’ll see the little Katori Shrine (香取神社) out there.

Image by Wikipedia


One of the Okinawan karate styles is the Isshin-Ryu which was created by Tatsuo Shimabuku. This style of karate is mostly a combination of Shorin-ryū karate, Gojū-ryū karate, and kobudō. Isshin-Ryu’s literal translation is “one heart way” which means to be “wholehearted” or “complete”. By 1989, 336 branches of Isshin-ryū exist all over the world and most of them are found in the United States.

The founder, Shimabuku Tatsuo was born September 19, 1908 in Gushikawa village, Okinawa. He first started training under Shinko Ganeko which was his uncle. Ganeko later sent Shimabuku to learn karate from Chotoku Kyan which became his most influential teacher. Shimabuku also learned from Choki Motobu during the early forties in Naha. After Kyan passed away, he continued to study karate in private with Chojun Miyagi in his home in Kyan village starting in 1947.

Shimabuku Tatsuo

Shimabuku Tatsuo

Shimabuku established his first dojo in Konbu village and he started to teach in late 1946 after being ousted from Kyushu. He taught in Tairagawa village and also in Koza City and eventually he decided to teach in his own home in 1948. On January 15, 1956, Shimabuku called for a meeting and proclaimed that the name of his new style of karate is Isshin-ryu. Eiko Kaneshi, his best student, was at the meeting and asked Shimabuku why the chosen name sounded funny. Tatsuo replied, “Because all things begin with one.”

By the age of 50, Shimabuku started to study kobudō, the art of old traditional Okinawan weapons. The kobudō weapons involved were the sai, bo, and tonfa, under Shinken Taira. He integrated the kobudō that he had learned from Kyan and Taira into the Isshin-ryu system. The system of Isshin-Ryu is summarized in its kata, or official practice methods. The precise techniques used to punch with the vertical fist and snapping kicks are executed from natural stances and body posture which causes the style to be exceptionally effective on the street and can be considered lethal. In several variations of the style’s forms there are sixteen katas which compose the Isshin-ryu which consists of eight empty-hand, three bo, two sai, a bo-bo kumite kata, a bo-sai kumite kata and one tuifa kata. All these katas comprise of original developments of Shimabuku and the katas he learned from the parent styles.

Image by isshinryu.union.rpi.edu




Japan has given birth to several martial arts, karate being one of them yet it also gave birth to different styles as well. One is, Genseiryū, a karate style which is partially rooted from Shuri-te, one of the three original karate styles of Okinawa. Genseiryū was established by Seiken Shukumine, the man who fused classic techniques with his own inventions thus creating the distinctive features of the style. Shukumine was known to learn from two teachers, Sadoyama and Kishimoto where he learned more than just fighting. As a matter of fact, he was also known to be a philosopher. During war time, Shukumine had discovered that to do something unforeseen or unimagined is the secret to winning, whether in a war between two nations or in a simple personal conflict. In short, his philosophy of Genseiryū chases this idea of doing the unexpected.

Shukumine had pondered on the application of this concept to Genseiryū Karate and its kata. He was then able to establish the rudimentary theory of “Sen, Un, Hen, Nen and Ten” which are the basic principles that establish Genseiryū as a three-dimensional karate style. Sen or whirlwind is the vertical circular motion of the body axis. Un or waves depicts the graceful up and down motion in the directions of front and rear. Hen or clouds is the falling motion in front and rear, right and left by one’s own resolve. Nen or whirlpool pertains to the twisted hand and arm techniques which are primarily executed on the spot. Last is Ten or luminous which is a technique in an unanticipated situation generated by front turn, back turn and side turn.

Ebi-geri move

Ebi-geri move

One of the widely regarded typical kata of  Genseiryū is “Sansai.” There are also other original techniques of the style are the kicks Ebi-geri , a rear kick with both hands planted on the ground and the face near to the ground and Manji-geri , a side kick or mawashi-geri, with the head near the ground while both hands planted on the ground. Both of these kicks belong to the supposed Shajo-geri, meaning leaning body, group. These are also included in the training in Taidō.

Image by www.genseiryu.jp

History of Goju-ryu

One of the major traditional karate styles of karate, Gōjū-ryū means the “hard-soft style” in Japanese. Making use of a mixture of both hard and soft techniques, the creation of the style dates back to Higaonna Kanryō who was born in Naha, Okinawa. Higaonna started to train in Shuri-te when he was still a kid and his first exposure to the martial arts scene was in 1867 when he started training in Luohan or “Arhat boxing” under Arakaki Seishō. Higaonna then trained under Kojo Taitei after Seisho left for Beijing. Taitei was able to help Higaonna to get to Fuzhou in Fujian, China, where he started to learn Chinese martial arts from several teachers.

By 1877, Higaonna started to train under Ryū Ryū Ko. Tokashiki Iken has recognized him as Xie Zhongxiang, creator of the Whooping Crane Kung Fu. Zhongxiang was the teacher of numerous Okinawan students that became legendary karate masters. After a few years, Higaonna finally came back to Okinawa in 1882 where he continued the family business of selling firewood. While doings so, he was also the teacher of a new school of martial arts which is notable for its combination of gō-no or hard and jū-no or soft kenpō into one system. This style was named Naha-te and his most famous student was Chōjun Miyagi who started training under Higaonna when he was just 14 years old. Miyagi had started training in martial arts under Arakaki at 11 years old and his first master was the one who introduced him to Higaonna. Miyagi and Higaonna was disciple and teacher for 15 years until Higaonna passed away in 1916.

The legendary Chōjun Miyagi

The legendary Chōjun Miyagi

In 1929, representatives from all over Japan congregated in Kyoto for the All Japan Martial Arts Demonstration. Although Miyagi was not able to go, he sent his best student, Jin’an Shinsato, in his stead. While he was there, Shinsato was asked of the name of the martial art he practiced. During this time, Miyagi had still no name for his style so to avoid embarrassment; Shinsato spontaneously named it hanko-ryu or “half-hard style”. Upon returning to Okinawa, he recounted what happened to Miyagi, who decided to use Gōjū-ryū or “hard soft style” as the name for his style.

Image by www.gojuryukarate.co.uk


Considered to be part of the four main karate styles of Japan, shito-ryu is relatively unpopular compared to the other main styles. The founder, Kenwa Mabuni was born in Shuri, Okinawa in 1889. It was said that he was a 17th generation descendant of the famous warrior Uni Ufugusuku Kenyu. When he was 13 he trained under the legendary master Ankō Itosu . He trained hard for many years and learned numerous kata from this great master. His master, Itosu was the inventor/developer of  the Pinan kata that were most likely derived from the “Kusanku” form.

The banner of Shito-ryu

The banner of Shito-ryu

Aside from his first master, Mabuni was surrounded by legendary martial artists and one of them was a close friend of his, Chōjun Miyagi who co-founded Gojū-ryū Karate. Miyagi introduced Mabuni to another great martial artist of that time, Kanryō Higaonna. Mabuni then learned Naha-te with Higaonna as his teacher. Although both Itosu and Higaonna taught a “hard-soft” style of Okinawan “Te”, their approaches and prominences differed. Even though Mabuni retained the lessons of his two great masters, he was also trained by several other teachers, including Seishō Arakaki, Tawada Shimboku, Sueyoshi Jino and Wu Xianhui who was a Chinese master known as Go-Kenki.

During the thirties, Mabuni migrated from Osaka to the mainland to teach a style that he initially called Hanko-ryū, or “half-hard style”. This was later changed to Shitō-ryū to give honor to the style’s primary influences. This new name used the first kanji character from the names of his two main teachers, Higa(shi)onna and I(to)su. Backed by Ryusho Sakagami, Mabuni was able to set up several Shitō-ryū dojo in the Osaka area which includes the dojo at Kansai University and the Japan Karatedō-kai dojo. Up till now, the majority of Shitō-ryū practitioners in Japan can be found in the Osaka area.

Mabuni then published several books on shito-ryu and he continuously sought to systematize the instruction ways. As he grew older, he was able to develop severalformal kata like Aoyagi. This was specially developed for women self-defense. Undoubtedly, Mabuni has planted himself to be one of the greats of last century, giving value to the traditions and history of Karate-dō while at the same time thinking of the future by realizing that it would eventually reach every corner of the world.

Image by www.seitoshitoryu.com