Jul 15, 2008
Sorry for not posting lately, our computer is not working that great - I am working on fixing that (might need to format it ):
One other thing - I think that starting from next post I will write in Hebrew. I have lots of reasons to do that, exactly as I had good reasons to write in English.
So, starting from next post, this will be a Hebrew blog (unless I will get lots of requests to keep it in English...)
Say what you think.
Jul 10, 2008
And another piece of Okinawan culture and history.
I don't know how this didn't come up yet, but a very distinctive feature in
You can see them almost in every entrance to a shop, house, public building etc. Basically they come in pairs, a female Shisa and male Shisa, one with his mouth open, and the other one closed (I think the male is with the open mouth).
Here are a few examples:
This is me next to one, and Iris next to the other:
Obviously, when you have such an iconic figure, people start making it in various ways and shapes:
And our personal favorite, Mongo Shisa:
Now to our trip on last Saturday –
Up to the 19th centaury, Okinawa was an independent kingdom, called the
As you can see, Okinawa had a big influence from both
Sadly, it was destroyed in WWII, so every thing is reconstructed, but they did a really good job.
At the tour we found out that on every interesting site in the castle, they have a stamp with its picture, and they have a cool sheet, which they put the stamps on it. Very cute.
Also, we saw an old couple, that decided to wear THE SAME SHIRT!! Like two 5 years old brother and sister. It was ridiculous. But also KAWAII (cute in Japanese) I suppose.
So, here we are in front of the Shurei-mon - the castle gate. It is very famous - it is the picture on the 2000 Yen bill - it represents Okinawa. Also, for the Karatekas among the readers - this is the symbol on the Shureido Karate-gi.
By the way, as you can see, Iris started to do like the Japaese women, and hangs around with a sun umbrella...
Some pics from the castle grounds (Notice the Shisa):
A bell and I:
This is the palace itself:
And this is the man who took our picture - he, like all other employees of the place, wears traditional Ryukyu clothes:
The royal throne:
And royal water taps.... kidding, it is in the bathroom... but it is cool:
That is it for today,
Jul 1, 2008
Let us go back to World War II. The Americans are trying to conquer
One week before, on Sunday, our Karate Dojo, along with lots of other Dojos, participated in a demonstration of Karate and other Okinawan arts to honor the dead.
It was real nice, although a bit too long… well, way too long. It took 5 hours or so. I guess it would have been a bit more interesting if we could understand more of what they said, but still… FIVE HOURS! Japanese people have lots of patience.
So now I will show you a proof that I don't bullshit you, and actually practice Karate here:
But before that - on the way to the meeting place, Iris and I saw some kind of exhibition of ecological vehicles or something like this...
And now, Karate.
In the beginning there was a short warm-up of all the Dojos together:
This is our dojo, first with the low gradings as well, and then just the black-belts.
The people are (in the picture on the stage) - from the left - back row: Brent, Tiffity, Vincent and I. Front: Miyagi, Kuramoto, Alesandro.
Traditional Ryukyu dancing - with a video (on the side again...) of a cool old guy that dances with them:
Traditional music - the picture is cool, the music a bit boring...
This is my Sensei - Higaonna Sensei. I think he was one of the organizers, and he spoke for a bit - very formal and rigid Japanese...
Some other dances:
And some videos:
Lots of pics this time...
We are almost up to date... it is hard to keep up.