Karate Day: Over 2,000 people including children perform in Naha
On October 25, in commemoration of Karate Day, which highlights that Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate, events were held at a square in front of Tenbus-kan Hall and in Kokusai Street.
The Okinawa Dento Karatedo Shinkokai, Okinawa Prefectural Government and Prefectural Assembly hosted the festival.
At the square in front of the Tenbus-kan Hall, Karate men and women from each school, including Kobudo, demonstrated their skills and technique. In Kokusai Street, Over 2,000 karate lovers of all generations, including seniors and preschool children, demonstrated a basic routine “Fukyugata I”.
The Japanese Olympic Committee recently announced it would include Karate as a sports event in the Tokyo Olympics in the year 2020.
Each organization performed their routines or “kata”, and showed off tools such as nunchaku and tonfa in four areas of Kokusai Street. Karate fans and tourists were drawn to the performances.
Choko Kyuna, the chairman of the Okinawa Dento Karatedo Shinkokai, said, “We would like to register Okinawa Karate on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. We want to let the people of the world know that Okinawa is the birth-place of Karate, by hosting the events of Karate Day.”
The name of Okinawan martial arts was unified as “Karate” (empty hand) at a roundtable discussion of Karate masters hosted by the Ryukyu Shimpo on October 25, 1936.
The Prefectural Assembly resolved in 2005 that October 25 is Karate Day.
Shigeo Kurihara, vice president of the Japan Karate Federation, said, “Okinawan people love Karate deeply. Karate will gain more popularity if it is included as a sports event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Six-year-old Kanta Kakinohana, who has learned Karate at a dojo for three months and showed off her kata technique at the event, said, “I will work hard to become a black belt.”
Eight-year-old Rion Nohara, who came to see her cousin in a demonstration, said, “It was sharp and looked good.”
(English translation by T&CT)
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