Hai Sai! Welcome to my Blog.

Hello, my name is Tom Corrao and I am the blogger behind the Okinawaology Blog. I created this blog to share and discuss all things Okinawan. I’m also the Public Relations Officer and Minkan Taishi to the Chicago Okinawa Kenjinkai. My experience with Okinawa is derived from the time I spent there during the 1980's and 90's (10 years) when serving in the United States Air Force. I've also been married to an Okinawan woman for 30 years now and have been immersed in many things Okinawan through both friends and family. I do not claim to be all knowing about everything Okinawan but I try hard and study the history and culture. I welcome everyone that is interested in Okinawa and hope that I can provide useful information to those uchinanchu that may be curious about their culture and heritage. I also welcome those who are not of Okinawan heritage but have experienced, or are experiencing, the islands culture while stationed there with the United States Military. Comments are welcomed and will be published as long as they are in good taste and on track with the purpose of this blog. My hope with this blog is to bring Uchinanchu people around the world a little closer to their cultural roots by expressing information that has started to fade in light of a more modern world. We should never forget our culture or the people who came before us and through the Blog my intentions are to meld the old with the new and implant knowledge that will help maintain the traditions and culture of an island people.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Karate - The way of the open hand

Yesterday I wrote about a karate even that will be taking place in Kenosha Wisconsin. Karate is something that has interested me for some time but its something that I haven't really gotten involved with. I know several people who practice it however and they amaze me with their abilities. I would describe karate as a "discipline." From my outside viewpoint it seems karate gives the person an ability to kick some a** but the resolve not to unless absolutely necessary to defend themselves or others.

There is a great history behind the art of karate which was developed in Okinawa when the Japanese under Satsuma decreed that the Ryukyu people were not allowed to carry weapons. This was during the time of the Japanese samarai so not being able to defend oneself was of great concern to the people in the Ryukyu islands. King Sho Hashi disarmed his people to prevent a war with the Japanese but secretly began training his warriors techniques learned through trade with China. The Ryukyu people took the knoledge of Gung fu and developed it into a style of open handed self defense and incorporated every day implements into the art as weaponry.  Many of the odori dances in those days had elements of karate kata mixed into them as a way to secretly practice the art without being accused of plotting to attack the Japanese.

Here are four ten minute videos I discovered that are old but give a great history of the art of Okinawan Karate as well as the process of mastering its techniques. Enjoy!


  1. Hello Tom,
    I stumbled upon your blog after seeing the 1930's footage of Okinawa which you posted on youtube. I just wanted to congratulate and thank you for your work. Whilst there are many blogs regarding the fighting arts of Okinawa, there are few which deal with the culture and the people of that great island. Keep up the good work, you have a new reader!
    Very best regards,
    Garry Lever

  2. Thanks Gary. I cannot take credit for everything you see posted here on the blog as I gather most of my material from the net but it is my goal to convey the rich culture and heritage of the Okinawan people through my efforts. The plan is to put as much information here as possible in one central location so thatanyone interested in Okinawa can gain useful knowledge and understanding of the islands culture. Thank You very much for your kind comments. I would be honored if you would join the Okinawaology faithful by clicking on the link on the upper right side of this page. Peace!