Some Okinawan History

jazkiljok

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Originally posted by RyuShiKan
The Okinawans are more closely related culturally, anyway to the Chinese.
They have had longer and deeper connections with them than the Japanese.
It would seem the bulk of their martial cultural comes from China and not Japan.
Te uses TaiChi/Bagua-esque like movements and concepts.
I dont mean to say Te came from those arts but I think whatever influenced those arts might have influenced Te somehow.

it seems that the Okinawans were forced to adopt many Japanese cultural attributes and yet, not in the Martial Arts?

Were the swords of the Okinawan Bushi different from those of the Japanese Samurai? Were the methods of sword fighting different (like Mongols to Saracens, etc?)

also I have read that Okinawans have their own version of Sumo- but Ive yet to find an explanation of how they differ. any insights?

thanks for all the info again.


peace.

Jaz K.

:asian:
 
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RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by jazkiljok
it seems that the Okinawans were forced to adopt many Japanese cultural attributes and yet, not in the Martial Arts?

Can you be more specific about which Japanese cultural attributes they adopted?

Originally posted by jazkiljok
Were the swords of the Okinawan Bushi different from those of the Japanese Samurai? Were the methods of sword fighting different (like Mongols to Saracens, etc?)

Okinawans used not only Japanese forged swords but also many different types of Chinese swords and weapons.


Originally posted by jazkiljok
also I have read that Okinawans have their own version of Sumo- but Ive yet to find an explanation of how they differ. any insights?

I think Nagamine Shoshin wrote about this in one of his bookshis last book actually.
Its my understanding that Okinawan sumo is more like Korean sumul (literally seed planting because it was practiced by farmers)
If you go to Patrick McCarthys website you might be able to find Nagamine's book since he and his wife translated it.
 
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chufeng

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Thanks for the feedback...
Koreans taught the Japanese to make swords?...that is a surprise.
I thought they learned from the Chinese...
Maybe they were exposed to the swords in Korea (on which invasion?) but where did the technology come from? Who taught the Koreans?
...and that is part of my point with my post in this thread...

There is such an overlap of MANY cultures in SouthEast Asia...either from cultural exchanges or military contact...too many people think that the Japanese "influenced" many cultures (and to a large extent, that is true...if you consider denuding the timberlands of Korea an influence)...The Japanese recognized that they were resource poor (natural resources) and sent out many emissaries to establish "trade" with those who did have resources...the Japanese were also practical and were not averse to bringing back other things that might prove to be an advantage...

So, although it is a bit of a surprise that the Japanese learned swordmaking from the Koreans...I can see where it is possible...I can also see where the denial of same is probable, given the prejudice each holds for another...

just rambling....


:asian:
chufeng
 
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RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by chufeng
Thanks for the feedback...
Koreans taught the Japanese to make swords?...that is a surprise.
I thought they learned from the Chinese...
Maybe they were exposed to the swords in Korea (on which invasion?) but where did the technology come from? Who taught the Koreans?
...and that is part of my point with my post in this thread...

I am not sure exactly how the Japanese learned Korean sword making techniques.
However, the folding of metal during the forging process was used by the Koreans and then adopted by the Japanese later.
I dont think it was during an invasion that they learned these techniques since they already had the swords at that time.
By the way, it has been proven that the Emperor of Japan is actually of Korean decent..of course you wont get a Japanese to admit it even under duressI should know I have tried it.

The Japanese also got their first exposure to Buddhism from the Koreans who got theirs from Chinese and Mongolians. This also was about the same time Japanese were exposed to Kanji (through Buddhist texts). Until this time they had no written language. The Katakana and Hiragana were developed from Kanji as a way of pronouncing them.
 
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sammy3170

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Originally posted by RyuShiKan
Located far from the centers of civilization, the unification of Okinawa began very lately like any other small islands on Pacific Ocean. Even if Japan proper had been unified between the 4th and the 5th century, the social unit of Okinawa archipelagos had hardly surpassed that of a small island or of a village and remained isolated from large political movement of Japan and China.

This long sleep of Okinawa ended around the 12th century when local seigniors, called "Aji", began to fight one against another by building "Gusuku", a kind of fortress in blocks of stone. Around the 14th century, it remains only 3 seigniors on Okinawa island (Sanzan jidai or period of 3 Kingdoms) and finally in 1429 Okinawa was unified by Sho dynasty which had controlled the central part of the island before.

This small kingdom of Okinawa had been a very prosperous country: not only the archipelagos was on the route of exchange between Japan or North China with the south eastern Asia but also exported a great quantity of sulfur that Chinese needed to make explosive.

But this Okinawa's prosperity didn't last long because from the 16th century, the westerners began to appear in the region on the great ships, full of products more interesting such as guns and canons.

Become harden with a long civil war and a Korean campaign, Okinawa was an easy prey for Japanese samurais. In fact, Okinawa was invaded in 1609 by the musketeers of seignior Shimazu coming from the south Kyushu and surrendered after only 3 days of combat.

But instead of breaking up Okinawa Kingdom, Shimaza preferred to keep it under its protectorate in order not to offend China, because officially Okinawa had been her vassal state. The period spanning from the 12th century to 1609 is called "Ko Ryukyu" i.e. "Ancient Okinawa".

Though this Shimazu's occupation had taken away a part of its freedom, it brought a better organization on social life and suppressed old-fashioned habits like sorcery and superstitions. The famous reformer of Okinawa, Haneji Choshu, recommended a sober life style while to cultivate the people via education in order to compete with the occupants of Shimazu.

During Tokugawa reign, Japan had been completely closed to foreign visitors, excepting for Dutch, Chinese and Koreans, i.e. "Sakoku" or "National seclusion policy". In order to modify this politics, Americans sent 4 warships to Japan under the commandment of Commodore Perry in 1853, because they were looking for a commercial outlet and a naval base for their whalers.

Before going to Japan, Perry called at Okinawa with a plan to annex, it if Japan should refuse his demand to open her harbors. But Japan gave up before a threat of canons pointed to Tokyo and accepted to open 4 harbors (Kanagawa's Treaty). She signed then a similar treaty with other world powers of that period, Great Britain, France and Russia.

This visible weakness of Tokugawa regime had destabilized whole of Japanese feudal system and after a civil war not only between pro and anti Tokugawa, but also pro and anti opening of Japan, the Tokugawa family gave up all the fiefdoms in 1868 ("Taisei hokan" or "Restoration of imperial regime").

But this movement didn't stop shortly. One after another all the Japanese seigniors gave up their fiefdoms and Okinawa Kingdom was suppressed in 1879, too ("Ryukyu shobun" or "Settlement of Okinawa"). The period which spans from Shimazu's invasion in 1609 until this date when Okinawa was half independent is called "Late Okinawa".

Since the local habits were quite different from those of Japan proper, the central government tried to preserve them (law called "Kyushuonzon" or "conservation of ancient custom), but this policy has put back the modernization of Okinawa, for it favored too much old leaders.

Since 1920, Okinawa had been governed exactly as in other Japanese prefectures but its inhabitants remained poor and many preferred immigrating elsewhere, especially to Mariana islands which Japan had inheritated from defeated Germany in 1917. But the real ordeal of Okinawa arrived only from the end of the World War II.

Being afraid that Okinawa should be soon a battle field, the Japanese general staff began to organize an evacuation of noncombatant civilian population from 1944. But this decision arrived too late, for the surrounded sea had been already infested with American submarines. In fact, on August 21, 1944, Tsushimamaru which was carrying 1700 passengers, among them 800 school children from Okinawa, was sunk by an American submarine, off Kyushu coast and made more than 1500 victims.

Contrary to all expectations (Japanese had imagined a landing to Taiwan), Americans landed on March 26, 1945, on the tiny islands of Kerama, situated near the main island of Okinawa, in order to create a logistic base. Scarcely guarded, the islanders surrendered quickly. A few days later, the first April, Americans landed on Kadena beach of Okinawa island, in order to isolate the southern part where the most of population and the army troop were concentrated.

Having no supply lines, in spite of a fierce fight with the famous suicidal pilots, "Kaimkaze", Japanese defenders retreated gradually to the southern limit of the island and the organized resistance ended on June 23 with the suicide of the chief commander, General Ushijima Mitsuru.

This battle of Okinawa was a real disaster for its inhabitants, for there were not only 90,000 dead among Japanese soldiers but also 150,000 civilian dead (one quarter of the total population), besides innumerable historic buildings and cultural centers reduced to ashes like Shuri Castle.

I'm not saying you don't know a lot but I could copy this stuff out of a book and pass it off as usable knowledge in a forum like this.
Also, who cares if someone questions your knowledge? As long as you're comfortable with what you know it should be all good. And lastly, you have far too much time on your hands.

Cheers
Sammy
 

jazkiljok

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Originally posted by sammy3170
I'm not saying you don't know a lot but I could copy this stuff out of a book and pass it off as usable knowledge in a forum like this.
Also, who cares if someone questions your knowledge? As long as you're comfortable with what you know it should be all good. And lastly, you have far too much time on your hands.

Cheers
Sammy

he was simply making a point about how lacking in BASIC understanding of Okinawan culture and history THE MAJORITY of us conversing about Okinawan KARATE/KENPO are. His quick summary history whether or not he wrote it, is still a quick guide for folks like myself who obviously till now haven't really taken the time to get a better persepctive on the development of the arts in Okinawa YET still want to issue KNOW IT ALL opinions -- when he finds himself discussing a topic with a few people who butcher the language; assign myth and legend to back up their statements- I can understand why he'd want to throw some essential history lessons on this forum. History that if you want to take him to task on- makes you go and do some homework-and that ain't a bad thing.

He takes the time to answer questions and I for one am obviously interested or I wouldn't be asking them. whether or not you are interested in this topic is of little concern to me.

As to too much time on hand- and exactly what were forums created for ?:shrug: --and thanks for joining in with your ample time as well-- but instead of worrying about Ryushikin's free time- find something that interests you and simply ignore what doesn't.

peace:asian:


Jaz K.
 
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RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by sammy3170
I'm not saying you don't know a lot but I could copy this stuff out of a book and pass it off as usable knowledge in a forum like this.
Also, who cares if someone questions your knowledge? As long as you're comfortable with what you know it should be all good. And lastly, you have far too much time on your hands.

Cheers
Sammy


This thread was started for two reasons.
The main reason is Okinawan History is often overlooked and not well known. Many people in the Okinawan arts enjoy learning a bit about where their art came from and some of the factors that increased its development.
The other reason is Budopunjabi claimed my knowledge didnt scratch the surface of his. I have yet to see him poke his nose in here to comment.

I always love it when people ***** about someone having too much free time on these forums. They obviously have just as much free time since they are here reading and responding to them.

Sammy3170,

I see in your profile you do Ryukyu Kempo. Just out of curiosity which version are you doing?
 
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GojuBujin

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I can always count on reading some of these threads for amusement or for just the fun observation. It is quite interesting to see how people respond to one another.

Including my own responses....

Looked like good information Ryushikan seems to coincide with things I've read, admittadly I didnt read it line for line, skimmed a lot of it.

I am reading a very interesting book Samurai Invasion By Stephen Turnbull It's about Japan's 1592-1598 War with Korea. It's interesting to see the two cultures clash.

Michael C. Byrd
www.inigmasoft.com/goyukai
 
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RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by GojuBujin
I am reading a very interesting book Samurai Invasion By Stephen Turnbull It's about Japan's 1592-1598 War with Korea. It's interesting to see the two cultures clash.

Michael C. Byrd
www.inigmasoft.com/goyukai


And they are still clashing.......North Korea just lobbed a Silk Worm missle into the Sea of Japan 2 days ago to see if anyone was paying attention.


SilkWorm Info:

MAKER: CHINA
TYPE: CRUISE MISSILE
LENGTH: 20 FEET 6 INCHES
SPAN: 9 FEET 2 INCHES
RANGE: 50 MILES
DIAMETER: 29.5 INCHES
WEIGHT: 5,500 POUNDS EMPTY
ENGINE: SOLID ROCKET BOOSTER - LIQUID ROCKET CRUISE
TOP SPEED: MACH .8
WEAPON LOAD: 852 POUNDS HIGH EXPLOSIVE/Chemical Weapons
 

D.Cobb

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Originally posted by RyuShiKan
This thread was started for two reasons.
The main reason is Okinawan History is often overlooked and not well known. Many people in the Okinawan arts enjoy learning a bit about where their art came from and some of the factors that increased its development.
The other reason is Budopunjabi claimed my knowledge didnt scratch the surface of his. I have yet to see him poke his nose in here to comment.

I always love it when people ***** about someone having too much free time on these forums. They obviously have just as much free time since they are here reading and responding to them.

Sammy3170,

I see in your profile you do Ryukyu Kempo. Just out of curiosity which version are you doing?


Hey Robert, Sammy trains at the same school I do. I think you'll find (I could be wrong here though) that the expression, "too much time on your hands", is used more for joke value than as a *****. It's an Aussie thing.

--Dave
 

D.Cobb

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Originally posted by sammy3170
I'm not saying you don't know a lot but I could copy this stuff out of a book and pass it off as usable knowledge in a forum like this.
Also, who cares if someone questions your knowledge? As long as you're comfortable with what you know it should be all good. And lastly, you have far too much time on your hands.

Cheers
Sammy

Sammy, you are a bloody trouble maker. I reckon you've got more than too much time on your hands!
Cheers yourself, ya bum.

--Dave

:D
 

D.Cobb

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Originally posted by arnisador
Ouch! I read that as "eat yak"!

No, no! That would be the Mongolians and Tibetans.....
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

--Dave
:D
 
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RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by D.Cobb
No, no! That would be the Mongolians and Tibetans.....
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

--Dave
:D


Yak tastes good on a stick.:D
 
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RyuShiKan

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Originally posted by D.Cobb
Hey Robert, Sammy trains at the same school I do. I think you'll find (I could be wrong here though) that the expression, "too much time on your hands", is used more for joke value than as a *****. It's an Aussie thing.

--Dave


Hes probably right.
I have had to much time on my hands and I have been wasting it on exposing Soke-dokes, bloated ranked frauds and cowards on martial arts BBs.
I should probably spend my time on more important things like studying for my Microsoft exams or getting a private pilots license.
 

D.Cobb

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Originally posted by RyuShiKan
Yak tastes good on a stick.:D

:D

I think I will just have to take your word for that!!

:barf:
--Dave
 

D.Cobb

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Hey come on Mods be fair.....
Why is it ok for others to question RyuShiKan at great length, even to insulting his teacher his teacher, and he cops it for simply pushing a point if he doesn't get an answer?

Personally I think if people don't like the way a thread is turning out, they can always go back to the main forum index and find another thread. If they don't like a certain poster, they can always use their ignore button.

There are times when censorship can be a good thing, but this is not one of those times.

--Dave:mad:
 

Rich Parsons

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Originally posted by D.Cobb
Hey come on Mods be fair.....
Why is it ok for others to question RyuShiKan at great length, even to insulting his teacher his teacher, and he cops it for simply pushing a point if he doesn't get an answer?

Personally I think if people don't like the way a thread is turning out, they can always go back to the main forum index and find another thread. If they don't like a certain poster, they can always use their ignore button.

There are times when censorship can be a good thing, but this is not one of those times.

--Dave:mad:


True, if you do not like someone just ignore them. I have someone on that list now. :)

I like the feature and can be used quite well.
 

arnisador

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Originally posted by D.Cobb
Hey come on Mods be fair.....

We're doing our best. Please see the previously cited thread for Admin. Announcements on this matter.

-Arnisador
-MT Admin-
 

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