The Relationship between Bushido and Karatedo.

Nakaya Takao Sensei gave me permission to use some of his writing, solely for the purpose of education for our Gima-Ha organisation. I therefore, with his permission, reproduce the following excerpt from KARATEDO – History and Philosophy.

I thank him sincerely.

“Now, I chose four Okinawan Karatedoka who went to the mainland of Japan, and taught Karatedo there. I try to understand the relationship between Bushido and Karatedo simply through these four Karatedoka’s footprints. The following four Okinawan Karatedoka graduated from Shihangakko (page 24): Juhatsu Kyoda (1887-1968), Kanken Toyama (1888-1966), Makoto Gima (1896-1989), and Hiroyasu Tamae (1906-1985). Funakoshi is not included because his group became very large with college Karatedo clubs, so he could not teach his way correctly to all his students as in a private school. Shihangakko was the highest level school in Okinawa at that time, so these Karatedoka should have learned Bushido. They did not try to create a big organisation, but they left wonderful students. I contacted students of all four Karatedoka. They were so nice and friendly. When their teachers learned Karatedo, it was not in the setting of democracy and freedom. but it seems these four teachers taught their students democracy and freedom with excellent ethics, and did not use their students for unworthy things. Of course, they were schoolteachers, but I believe that they learned Karatedo correctly as Budo, and I think that Okinawan Karatedoka might not have the experience of real Bushido in their history. Bushido taught us many excellent ethics, but Bushido make a demand of the follower to sacrifice for their over-lord’s private reasons. Bushido was concerned with always being prepared for war. Okinawan Karatedoka had more of an opportunity to discover oneself in society and to learn self-defence of of one’s own personal territory. In this connection I may add that Bushido was learned by Bushi’s family only in Japan, but Karatedo was learned by everybody Okinawa. Even famers or fisherman could learn it.”

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