This semester, JSSL is holding Okinawa Cultural Workshop on every Tuesday and Friday where people can learn Okinawan culture such as the old martial arts of Ryukyu island; Kobudo, and Japanese string instrument; Sanshin.
Volunteer instructor, Mrs. Holman is coming to campus every week and WU students are gaining their cultural experience through exercise and Okinawan music, and getting into it!
Kobudo is old martial arts of Ryukyu island using weapons. The development of Kobudo in Okinawa is said to have started in the 11th and 12th centuries. Various weapons and martial arts were introduced into Japan from China. Original weapons in Okinawa were blended with these newly introduced weapons and adapted by the natural environment and historic background of the Ryukyus, resulting Okinawa’s unique weapon-based martial arts. Since both karate and Kobudo were practiced as hidden arts, never revealed to the uninitiated, there is a distinct lack of written records or literature. The tradition was either conveyed orally or through private teaching. After various historical changes in Okinawa, martial artists were prohibited from carrying weapons, and thus naturally started to use ordinary farm or fishing equipment as replacements. Due to efforts of preservation and popularization, the once obscure Kobudo has been firmly established as a living Okinawan cultural legacy.
This summer, Okinawa Traditional Karatedo World Tournament was held in Okinawa. About 6,000 martial artists participated from all over Japan and over 40 countries in the world.
Today, Kobudo has been passed down through generations as a means to cultivate both body and mind help polish a practitioners character, giving rise to stronger, emotionally healthier people for the betterment of society. Kobudo is now developing and reaching out to many more people across the world.
Go to Okinawa Traditional Karatedo World Tournament 2009 Official Website
We will report about Sanshin workshop sooner or later. Don’t miss it!!