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Thread: “Higaonna Kamesuke on Karate in Okinawa, Japan & Hawaii” by Henning Wittwer

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    Default “Higaonna Kamesuke on Karate in Okinawa, Japan & Hawaii” by Henning Wittwer

    Hello,

    I am happy to announce that my third English book came out today. Its title is “Higaonna Kamesuke on Karate in Okinawa, Japan & Hawaii”, and it contains my complete and annotated translation of a 1935 series of articles written by Higaonna Kamesuke. Higaonna was a special student of Motobu Chōki. His text contains some really surprising and interesting historical information.



    It is available at amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1542340942...4737002&sr=1-1

    If you prefer, you can order it directly from the publisher: https://www.createspace.com/6835582

    As usual, if you should have questions regarding the text please feel free to ask me here or via e-mail …

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Hello,

    The German version of my book was published already in 2016. Basically it is the same book, only in German. So German readers do not need to buy the English version, too.

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Hi Henning

    The cover is beautiful! And I am sure the content is as interesting as the cover is beautiful! I am definitely going to read it.

    Maybe you could say some words on Namesake's personality. What kind of person was he?

    Congratulations!

    David

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    Hello David,

    Thank you for your kind words!

    K. Higaonna was an interesting individual. He loved his mother and adored his karate teacher, C. Motobu. He was open-minded, perhaps “avant-garde” and liked the Hawaiian way of life; still, at the same time he treasured his native Okinawa. In karate he was a devoted student of C. Motobu, following his teacher’s way; yet, he also started to develop his own ideas on karate as a health method. I think that he was a little lost in the last part of his life because the modern sport karate instructors became more and more popular in Hawaii, while he apparently tried to uphold his more traditional art (which was not that successful).

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Hi Henning

    Thanks for your reply. Kamesuke sounds like a very interesting person.

    With regard to traditional martial arts, I am still trying to figure out what is essential, what is excessive and what is missing. I am sure I will be able to learn much a thing or two from Kamesuke’s experience; that his dealing with the onslaught of sport-karate (“modernity”) over the tradition he cherished would be quite revealing (It is interesting that Kamesuke chose as a teacher someone who was more of an iconoclast and a fighter over someone who was traditionalist par excellence, even while cherishing tradition).

    I believe that, in spite of tough setbacks, tradition ultimately wins.

    Congratulations for finding such a relevant research subject!

    David

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    Hello David,

    K. Higaonna himself describes C. Motobu and his karate not as “brutal fighter” respectively “brutal”, which is interesting, I think. In fact, he highlights the technical subtlety of his teacher’s karate and that he indeed has the (supposed) comportment of a fighting artist of old Ryūkyū kingdom.

    His text includes some contents of “traditional” karate as embodied/described by C. Motobu and K. Higaonna.

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Hi Henning

    I apologize it took me so long to answer you. I was away doing some field work.

    It is very interesting to know that Motobu was not only a simple fighter but a sophisticated technician too.

    Looking forward to reading your book!

    Best

    David

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    Hello David,

    There is no need to apologize. I appreciate your feedback always. If you should have questions after reading just let me know...

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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    Hi Henning

    Thanks! It would be nice to discuss the book with you.

    Best

    David

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    Hello,

    Just as a note: In 1965 Higaonna did publish a short article on the development of karate in mainland Japan, which he compares to the situation in Okinawa at that time. I would call it some kind of addition to his 1935 text, also containing persons and activities from the time between 1935 and 1965. Then he used the name Hiroshi and no longer Kamesuke. My translation of said article will be published in the next issue of "Classical Fighting Arts".

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

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