News from Okinawa Karate Information Center.

OKIC Newstopics

News topics from Okinawa Karate Information Center.

Ryukyu Shimpo

Ryukyu Shimpo – Okinawa, a Japanese newspaper, local news.

Chris Willson Okinawa

Chris Willson is a British ex-pat photographer, videographer, and travel writer based in Okinawa. He specializes in documenting Japanese festivals, martial arts, and life on Okinawa both on land and underwater. His images often appear in newspapers, magazines, and guidebooks.

  • Pentax to Sony
    by travel67 on 1. July 2021 at 12:24

    For many years I shot exclusively with the Pentax 67ii medium format film camera system. When the Pentax 645D digital medium format camera arrived I switched to shooting digital, and I’ve shot stills with the 645D and 645Z until now. The 645Z remains one of the best cameras for portrait photography. 私は長年、中判フィルムカメラシステム「PENTAX 67ii」で撮影してきました。デジタル中判カメラのペンタックス645Dが登場してからは、デジタルでの撮影に切り替え、645Dと645Zでスチルを撮影してきました。645Zは今でもポートレート写真に最適なカメラの一つです。 As a backup system I also had the excellent Pentax K-1 camera system with a 28-70 f2.8 lens. Another fantastic system for photographers. バックアップシステムとして、優れたペンタックスK-1カメラと28-70 F2.8レンズも持っていました。これも写真家にとっては素晴らしいシステムです A few years ago I also began shooting video. I started with the Sony A7Sii and then as things progressed with the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate series I purchased a used Sony FS5 cinema camera. As the documentary series has continued I’ve had to purchase more Sony lenses, and in the near future will need to update both the Sony bodies to the latest models. 数年前、私はビデオ撮影も始めました。最初はソニーのA7Siiを使っていましたが、「SENSEI: MASTERS OF OKINAWAN KARATE」シリーズの制作が進むにつれ、中古のソニーFS5シネマカメラを購入しました。 ドキュメンタリーシリーズを続けていくうちに、ソニーのレンズをさらに購入しなければならなくなり、近い将来、ソニーのボディを両方とも最新モデルに更新する必要があります。 Having two completely separate systems for photography and video has created its own set of challenges in terms of storage, cost, and […]

  • Toshihiro Oshiro – Sensei: Masters of Okinawa Karate #11
    by travel67 on 3. April 2021 at 3:33

    Episode #11 of the Sensei: Masters of Okinawa Karate Series has just been uploaded to YouTube and will be also available on in the near future. Toshihiro Oshiro is 9th-dan in Shima-Ha Shorin Ryu karate, and 8th dan Yamanni Chinen Ryu Kobujutsu. He learned karate and kobudo in Okinawa, then for several decades taught in the USA. In 2018 he returned to Okinawa. In this interview he talks about his life of martial arts, and his analytical interest of body movement. A huge thank you to Oshiro Sensei and his students, both in Okinawa and overseas, especially Kenji Hirai for setting up the interviews and translating. A huge thank you to all those who have sponsored and supported this series. Without so much help from the international karate community, we would have struggled to film the interviews, and we definitely wouldn’t have been able to archive the bulk of the raw data. A few months ago one of the 24TB (yes TB not GB) drives failed and luckily I’d been able to purchase enough …

  • 2000GT Documentary
    by travel67 on 3. April 2021 at 3:05

    Sean Connery drove the Toyota 2000GT in the 1967 Bond movie “You Only Live Twice.” In Japan, a 13-year-old boy called Michio saw the iconic Toyota on the cinema screen, and it became his dream car. The 2000GT was Japan’s first supercar, extremely expensive and very rare. This mini documentary is the story of how Michio spent the next 40 years striving to achieve his goal. We filmed the interview and driving sequences in winter 2019 and spring 2020 just before COVID-19, and I spent lockdown editing when possible. Murata-san, his wife (a jazz singer whose tracks are used in the documentary), and his 2000GT are doing well. He’s even started restoration on an early VW Beetle convertible. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Murata-san’s various restored cars over the last decade. And although I haven’t driven any, there are a few pictures I’ve shot that make Yuki and I look like we’ve upgraded our vehicles recently! I hope others enjoy watching this documentary as much as we enjoyed making it. Murata-san has introduced us …

  • O.I.S.T. Photography
    by travel67 on 27. March 2021 at 4:52

    Our team have worked with the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology for several years. We’ve photographed and videoed several events including graduations and TEDx events. Recently we were one of the teams asked by OIST to produce some new commercial photography. The photographs will be used in a variety of media, and as they appear in public, we’ll be able to share them. This week a new banner promoting research appeared with two of the four images created by our team. I shot the first pic and underwater specialist Shawn Miller shot the third pic. Always a pleasure to work on interesting projects

  • Exploring the Yanbaru
    by travel67 on 27. February 2021 at 1:14

    A couple of weeks ago I spent the day exploring the northern part of Okinawa known as Yanbaru. Here are a few snaps from a fun day out. I joined a guided walk that meets up at the Yanbaru Visitors Center and “Road Station” that opened in February 2020. There’s a mini supermarket packed with local produce if you need to stock up with snacks before your hike, or to buy ingredients for dinner after your adventure. A guided walk teaches you far more about the local flora and fauna than if you just treated the hike as a way to burn off calories. The guide was able to spot numerous critters, and explain the names and special features of the many plants along the trail. There was a good viewpoint from the summit on the trail looking out towards the Okuma Peninsular, and then we descended back down through the forest. We stopped for lunch at Maruhira restaurant while heading north on the west coast. If you contact the restaurant in advance they can …

  • Zenshu Toyama, 10th-dan, Goju-ryu Karate
    by travel67 on 23. January 2021 at 4:41

    On December 19th, 2020, James and I visited the dojo of Zenshu Toyama, in Awase, Okinawa. Toyama Sensei is 10th-dan, Goju-ryu Karate, and one of the style’s most senior practitioners. We photographed Toyama Sensei in October 2013, but on this day we returned to interview him for Episode 12 of the Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate documentary series. As it had been 7 years since our previous visit, we also shot some new portraits. Our goal is that Episode 11 with Oshiro Sensei will be released in February 2020 and then Episode 12 with Toyama Sensei will be released in March or April 2020. Thank you to Toyama Sensei, his daughter Hideko Toyama, Scot Mertz and Andy Sloane for their assistance on the day of the shoot.

  • Toshihiro Oshiro, 9th dan Shima-Ha Shorin-Ryu karate, 8th dan Yamanni Chinen Ryu kobujutsu.
    by travel67 on 29. November 2020 at 3:11

    Last Saturday, I photographed Toshihiro Oshiro, 9th dan Shima-Ha Shorin-Ryu karate, 8th dan Yamanni Chinen Ryu kobujutsu, for the Karate Masters Portrait Project. We shot the studio style portraits at his dojo in Itoman, and then yesterday photographed him again on his local beach. We also interviewed Oshiro Sensei for the Sensei: Masters of Okinawa Karate series, and the episode will be available on YouTube and early next year. It was a real pleasure to hang out with Oshiro Sensei and his students. I got to learn some more fascinating aspects of Okinawan culture (use a light grip on the weapon), and the stormy weather conditions worked in our favor for photographs.

  • #10 Takehiro Gaja, Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate
    by travel67 on 23. November 2020 at 8:44

    Episode 10 in the series Sensei: Masters of Okinawan Karate is now online on YouTube and on Thank you to all those who helped film, edit, transcribe, translate, and check this episode. Thank you also to the sponsors and supporters of the series. If you’d like to learn more about the series, please click here. Main Sponsors  Fusei Kise, Isao Kise and the OSMKKF-USA   Jerry Figgiani – Shorin Ryu Karate Do International Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association Grant Campbell – USA Karate Federation Cezar Borkowski – Northern Karate Schools NOVA Okinawan Karate Dojo Series Sponsors   Marguerite “Peggy” Hess – Jensen Beach Uechi Ryu Karate Do Dojo Reece Cummings – Cummings Karate Dojo Michael Quinn – Okinawa Shogen-Ryu Karate-Do Europe Martin Pinto – Essex Goju Ryu Karate Mark Spear – Black Bear Dojo Okinawa Karate Podcast Fred Mansfield Jr. – Beikoku Shidokan / RBKD Series Supporters  Tim Herlihy Robin Ross Joshua Simmers  Jeff Perkins Paul Punshon   John J. Strangeway Gerry Campbell Shelley Cormier K V Manoharan  Phil Butler       Danny Smith  …

  • Shawn Miller: Okinawa Nature Photography
    by travel67 on 10. November 2020 at 3:49

    Anderson’s Crocodile Newt by Shawn Miller of Okinawa Nature Photography in the November 2020 issue of National Geographic. This post is to highlight the amazing work that photographer Shawn Miller is doing to document endangered Okinawan wildlife. Shawn has lived most of his life in Okinawa, and has dedicated himself to capturing its beauty and protecting its creatures. It is a fantastic for Shawn to be able to get one of his images of Okinawan wildlife into this month’s National Geographic. The fact that the image is also selected by Canon to showcase what you can achieve with their equipment, is a great testament to Shawn’s skill. For most, this would be a lifetime achievement, but this isn’t a first for Shawn. His photographs of Okinawan wildlife were used in May 2016, October 2017, and August 2019. When you consider that Canon could pick any photo, of any species, by any photographer in the world, the fact that four shots in less than five years were taken by Shawn is a massive achievement. Please check …

  • Tetsunosuke Yasuda, 10th Dan, Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate – Jundokan. 1926-2020
    by travel67 on 13. October 2020 at 13:18

    Yesterday, October 12th 2020, Tetsunosuke Yasuda passed away. A karate master and a true gentleman. I photographed him in 2014 when he was a sprightly 88 years old and he showed off his incline sit-ups while holding a weight above his head. Our paths crossed several times, as for a decade I rented a house through his Yasuda Jutaku housing company. Each time we met he was such as kind, generous man full of praise and encouragement for our project to document Okinawan karate. When I decided to create a book of the first 58 karate masters I’d photographed, I placed Yasuda Sensei at the center on the front cover . A lovely lovely man, and the international karate community will miss him dearly.


  • Kanō Jigorō and Motobu Chōki (3)
    on 24. July 2021 at 11:35

    Translated by Motobu Naoki In the previous articles, I have introduced the relationship between Kanō Jigorō and Motobu Chōki in such works as Yokomoto Isekichi's "A Companion's Account of Ryūkyū and Kyūshū" (1927), Nakata Mizuhiko's "The Sayings of M

  • 嘉納治五郎と本部朝基 3
    on 23. July 2021 at 3:51

    これまで、嘉納治五郎と本部朝基の関わりについて、横本伊勢吉「琉球九州随伴記」(1927)、中田瑞彦「本部朝基先生・語録」(1978)、「石川精徳先生 空手談義」(1999)といった文献を紹介してきた。嘉納師範の沖縄訪問は、空手史のみならず柔道史の観点からも重要なテーマであるが、それについて述べた文献は少ない。 さて、上記に加えて、ドイツの空手研究家のアンドレアス・クヴァスト先生が松林流の長嶺将真(1907 - 1997)の「遺稿」の記述を紹介している。この遺稿は、生前長嶺先生が手書きで書き記した

  • Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 6
    on 22. July 2021 at 4:32

    Translated by Motobu Naoki From Bu no Mai (Martial Dance) by Uehara Seikichi (1992) Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 5 About Motobu Chōyū SenseiI had heard that Chōyū Sensei was from a royal family called "Udun" (Palace), and that he had a mansion i

  • Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 5
    on 21. July 2021 at 6:26

    Translated by Motobu Naoki From Bu no Mai (Martial Dance) by Uehara Seikichi (1992) Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 4 Becoming a disciple of Motobu Chōyū SenseiIn hindsight, I think that Chōyū Sensei saw me as a rather naughty and daring boy, but a

  • Kanō Jigorō and Motobu Chōki (2)
    on 20. July 2021 at 13:11

    Translated by Motobu Naoki On January 7, 1927, Motobu Chōki performed karate in front of Kanō Jigorō, who was visiting Okinawa. However, the two actually met on aother day as well. In " The Sayings of Motobu Chōki Sensei," by Nakata Mizuhiko (1978),

  • 嘉納治五郎と本部朝基 2
    on 19. July 2021 at 13:26

    本部朝基は、昭和2年(1927)1月7日、来沖した嘉納治五郎の前で唐手を演武した。しかし、実は他の日にも2人は会っている。中田瑞彦『本部朝基先生・語録』(1978)に、以下の文章がある。 31. 自分が国にいた頃、講道館の嘉納治五郎さんが沖縄に来られ、自分の話を聞きたいといって、知人を通じて、ある料理屋に招かれた。嘉納さんはいろいろ雑談されたが、唐手については、“突いて外れたときはどうしますか”と聞いたのでそのときは、その手の肘ですぐ追い打ちをかける、と仕方話で答えたら、黙ってうなずき、それ以上

  • Kanō Jigorō and Motobu Chōki (1)
    on 17. July 2021 at 15:19

    Translated by Andreas Quast A 2014 book of the Okinawa Shōrin-ryū Karatedō Association contains an article about a round-table discussion, written by Ishikawa Seitoku of Shōrin-ryū in 1999. It contains the following passage. Director Ishikawa: (omis

  • 嘉納治五郎と本部朝基 1
    on 17. July 2021 at 3:25

    『沖縄小林流空手道協会誌 -合理合法 共存共栄-』(2014年)に、小林流の石川清徳の座談会記事(1999)が収録されているが、その中に以下の一節がある。 石川館長 (中略)加納治五郎先生が来沖した時、船越先生の空手は東京でも見ているが、本部先生と城間先生二人で加納先生が折角沖縄にいらっしゃっているので歓迎の意味で、沖縄の空手をお見せしなければ、ということになった。そこで商業高校の4年生の島袋太郎を学校の許可を得て、呼び出し、チントウを演武させた(注1)。 石川先生によると、嘉納師範が来沖した折

  • Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 4
    on 16. July 2021 at 4:04

    Translated by Motobu Naoki From Bu no Mai (Martial Dance) by Uehara Seikichi (1992) Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 3 Encounter with Motobu Chōyū SenseiAlthough I was accepted as a disciple by Mr. M, the results were disastrous. In those days, no

  • Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 3
    on 15. July 2021 at 2:47

    Translated by Motobu Naoki From Bu no Mai (Martial Dance) by Uehara Seikichi (1992) Autobiography of Uehara Seikichi 2 Finding a MasterHow to become stronger? I really thought about it. I became vaguely interested in the martial arts. Gradually, I