Jul 1, 2008

War! What is it good for?

This post will start with a small piece of history. Eventually you will get to know this island quite well (:

Let us go back to World War II. The Americans are trying to conquer Japan from the south. The first place they invade that is part of Japan itself, and not just part of the Japanese Empire, is Okinawa. This is called the battle of Okinawa. The Japanese, who wanted to do hell to the Americans fought hard, and didn't hesitate to use the locals as human shields and such. They also accused locals who spoke the Okinawan dialect as spies and executed them. This is "The Battle of Okinawa", which happened between March 18-June 23 (1945, obviously) and took the lives of more than 200,000 people – American, Japanese and Okinawan. Most of the fighting took place in the southern part of the island, called Itoman. On June 23rd of each year (the day the battle ended), there is a memorial day for the dead (from all nations). This takes place only in Okinawa.

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.


מיכאל said...

great! I see your face! haven't seen that in a long time...

Anonymous said...

looks pretty cool.. did you just do katas or also exhibition fights?
I only saw the previous log in today, that trip looks very cool.. that crab looks REALLY cool!
So, if there where pirates, does it mean there may have been pirate-ninja fights ???

Yiftach said...

We also did Kata applications (which are quite cool), but sadly we were an odd number of people, so I didn't participate in that one.
Ninja-Pirates fights... it is actually possible - it was about the same period of time. I will have to check it (although I don't think I will find something - it is cool but without much written material i afraid...)

offer said...

then didnt I just find your research proposal?
This is the kind of thing you could later write a bestseller about with no problems! consider it..

Yiftach said...

Thats true... maybe I will do a rogue research about it :)