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    Judo on Okinawa

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    afja_lm139

    Posts : 122
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 76

    Judo on Okinawa

    Post by afja_lm139 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:23 am

    Back in my younger days while stationed at Naha Air Base, Okinawa we started a Judo class at the base gym in late-1960 and around mid-1961 the classes kind of petered out. Then in early 1962 some Judoka came in and rejuvenated the classes, but the gym hired a local sensei, by the name of Uehara, to run the class. Since it has been so long ago I cannot remember his other name, but he was all Okinawa Judo champ for three years sometime before 1960 and should have been mentioned and/or photographed somewhere at some time.

    Anyone here ever practiced Judo on Okinawa either at Naha AB or Kadena during the 1960's? Maybe so you may have remembered this guy?

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by NBK on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:53 am

    A quick look at the Okinawa Judo Federation website doesn't seem to have a list of former champs.

    afja_lm139

    Posts : 122
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 76

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by afja_lm139 on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:46 pm

    Much of the history of that island is missing.  After a half century the history of Okinawan karate is now plentiful, but not much has been said of their Judo program.  From my research it seems like thier history is being torn down and relaced with a commercial version of it.  They left the thousand year old Shuri castle standing but tore down the Butokuden Martial Arts hall that was built in 1939 due to aging!   Many of us trained there in the day.  We had Judo shiai there every week

    Maybe in time someo0ne will go there and revive the history of their great Judo programs that many of us benefited from.

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by NBK on Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:04 am

    Judo is relatively not popular in Okinawa AFAIK.

    Okinawa is semi-tropical - the climate is very tough on structures. Nothing much lasts 30-40 years, I reckon.

    afja_lm139

    Posts : 122
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 76

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by afja_lm139 on Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:28 am

    NBK wrote:Judo is relatively not popular in Okinawa AFAIK.

    Okinawa is semi-tropical - the climate is very tough on structures. Nothing much lasts 30-40 years, I reckon.  

    Huh? So I guess my neighborhood should be torn down as well? Yeah, I have lived in south Florida for 43 years and most of the buildings are still standing, except those torn down by Andrew Smile That old Police dojo was not all that old considering the Shuri Castle was built somewhere around 586 to 693 years ago and last time I saw it the buildings were in great shape, even after WWII.

    I suspect some group wants to do to th Okinawans as they have done for a thousand years, subjugate them as usual and erase their history again. Hum, maybe they will invent a new combative system like karate Smile Nuke-fists.......

    afja_lm139

    Posts : 122
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 76

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by afja_lm139 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:43 am

    Actually, Judo was very popular when I lived here in the early 1960's. There were small weekly shiai at verious locations, plus the Butokuden would be packed with all manner of Judoka for shiai and such. Years later Judo was less popular so a friend told me. Not sure why, Oki's were very good at it.

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by NBK on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:02 am

    The Naha Butokuden is gone. You can see the old building down this webpage, and the photo to the right of it is the current setup behind the prefectural police HQ. I don't think it was a standard prefectural Butokuden but more of a police dôjô, but that's an obscure organizational point.

    http://13.pro.tok2.com/~kariyushi/senseki/07/index.html

    The old Shuri Castle, started in the 15th century (but probably rebuilt several times) was almost entirely destroyed in WWII. The local Japanese command tunneled into the hill below it, set up its command center and fighting positions, and stayed to fight to near the last man. Only a handful evacuated to fight as part of the rearguard action further south. The US forces just stood off and blasted most of the hill and the palace into oblivion, so anything you saw was likely part of the reconstructed replica, finished in 1992. A true tragedy in the loss of so much history, and entirely predictable.

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by NBK on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:04 am

    Here's a good shot of the postwar Naha Butokuden.
    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://auctions.c.yimg.jp/images.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/image/ra235/users/6/3/8/7/xd3660-img600x450-14286216379h58va21064.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.buyee.jp/item/yahoo/auction/k184197282&h=450&w=600&tbnid=BM0N65ZHY6X9xM:&zoom=1&docid=givIlJNmFKrMcM&itg=1&ei=xD-kVY7mGZeOuASK2LHYAQ&tbm=isch&ved=0CD4QMygWMBZqFQoTCI7Yi_CX2cYCFRcHjgodCmwMGw

    afja_lm139

    Posts : 122
    Join date : 2012-12-30
    Age : 76

    Re: Judo on Okinawa

    Post by afja_lm139 on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:10 pm

    We just referred to it as the "Police Dojo."  Spent a lot of time there with our sensei, Miyazato, and his bunch.  You could see some damage to it even in 1960, and a lot of damage to Shuri Castle.  Yeah, lots of Judo there in those days.  At least as much as my memory permits.   Using Google Earth and some help I located late The Teahouse of August Moon in Nominoue and the now closed Nagamine dojo in Naha.  I am sure I would be completely lost in that place now; only been 53 years.

    I was just talking to my wife about imaging how many 50-caliber bullets were laying around there! You could dig a shallow hole and find all kinds of bullets. Every swinging dick had a 50-cal and some aircraft had 6 or 8 or them!  Some of my Oki friends spoke a little of those times.

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