UH Manoa presents world premiere of karate exhibit

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Teri Skillman, (808) 956-8688
Events & Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jun 25, 2009

The world premiere of the exhibit, "Karate: From Okinawa to Hawaii," opens in UH Manoa‘s Hamilton Bridge Gallery on July 1, 2009. The exhibit features images from the collection of the Hawaii Karate Museum under the direction of Charles
C. Goodin, and is sponsored by the Center for Okinawan Studies, Center for Japanese Studies, Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa
Library. The exhibit will run from July 1 — August 28, 2009 and is open to the public during Hamilton Library Building hours.

The art of Karate, literally, China or "Tang" Hand, originated in Okinawa by the synthesis of the native fighting art of "Ti" and Chinese martial arts ("Chuan Fa"). This combined art
was called "Tudi" in the Okinawan language or "Tote" in Japanese. An alternative reading of the Chinese characters was "Karate."

Karate (later written as "Empty Hand") arrived in Hawaii in 1900 with the very first Okinawan immigrants aboard the S.S. City of China. In fact, Kisaburo Kawakami, an
Okinawan who "jumped ship" in 1896 and worked in Hawaii for many years, may well have been Hawaii's first Karate expert.

Through a series of visits from 1927 to 1934, prominent Karate instructors toured the islands to help establish and spread the art in Okinawan camps and communities from Hilo to Waipahu to Kekaha. Documentation of Karate in the island communities came in newspaper articles that occasionally described gangs of thieves who were knocked unconscious by elderly, unarmed Okinawan men who they had attempted to rob. Small
local groups that had taught Karate privately in homes and backyards as the secret art of self-defense, began to teach the art outside the Okinawan community. After World War
II, Hawaii residents serving with or working for the military in Japan and Okinawa, learned Karate and began to teach the martial art when they returned home.

Today, Karate is widely practiced in Hawaii and offers a window through which students can learn about the rich Okinawan culture from which it came. Above all, Karate is an
art that emphasizes character development, non-violence and respect for life, with selfdefense techniques used only as a last resort.

In conjunction with the exhibit, there will be a karate demonstration by senior instructors and students of the Hawaii Karate Kenkyukai at the UH Manoa Art Department Auditorium on Sunday, July 12, 2009 from 10:30 — 11:45 am. The demonstration and the exhibit are free and open to the public.

A one hour lecture on the early transmission of Karate from Okinawa to Hawaii will be given by Charles C. Goodin on Sunday, July 19th at 3:00 p.m. in Room 301 of Hamilton
Library. The lecture is also free of charge.

For more information on the exhibit and related events, please call Teri Skillman at 956-8688 or email skillman@hawaii.edu