The Chibana Project

A blog where I post my research on a certain Okinawan named Chibana Choshin.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Some Preliminary Translation Work

Unfortunately, this is not of the Okinawa Times article, as that has proven to be much of a challenge. This is a translation of a one-paragraph blurb about Chibana at the end of the 1991 reprint of Karatedo Taikan, the 1938 karate encyclopedia cataloging kata, techniques, history, a reprint of Itosu's Ten Precepts, and the first publication of Funakoshi's 20 Precepts. The paragraph was written in fragments with verbs in non-past affirmative dictionary form (or omitted altogether). These verbs were conjugated into past tense. In cases of verb omissions, the verb is interpolated based on the nouns. Names are arranged Japanese style with family name first.

Chibana Choshin (1) (Meiji 18th year [1885] – Showa 44th year [1969]) 85 years old (2)

Was born in Shuri’s Tori-Hori district. In Meiji 32nd year (1899) (3) became a disciple of Itosu Ankoh. In Taisho 7th year (1918), opened a dojo in Shuri. With Funakoshi Gichin and Ogusku Chojo (4) founded the Tode Research Club in Shuri. In Showa 8th year (1933), registered Shorin Ryu (5). In Showa 23rd year (1948), was first president of the Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Kyoukai (Okinawa Shorin Ryu Karatedo Association). In Showa 31st year (1956), was first president of the Okinawa Karatedo Renmei (Okinawa Karatedo Federation). In Showa 43rd year (1968), was awarded the Kunyontozuihoushou (Fourth Order of the Imperial Sacred Treasure) (6).

(1) "Chibana Choshin" is the Japanese reading of the kanji for Chibana's name. The kanji for "Choshin" can also be read "Asanobu" which means "trust in the morning" or "to rise with the dawn."
(2) Japanese include the year of birth as the first year - by Western counting, Chibana was 84 when he died.
(3) It is generally accepted amongst most sources that Chibana became a disciple of Itosu in 1900.
(4) Also known as "Oshiro Chojo", he was one of Itosu's top students during Kentsu Yabu's tenure as dai-sempai.* He was also a noted bo-expert under Chinen Sanda, father of Chinen Masami (founder of Yamani-Ryu kobujutsu). He worked closely with Funakoshi Gigo, Toyama Kanken, and Chibana on some of their kobudo training; his expertise with the bo suggests he probably focused on this weapon with them.

*John Sells, Unante, 2nd Edition, (Hollywood: W.M. Hawley Library, 2000), pg. 147

(5) Refers to registration with the Dai Nippon Butokukai.
(6) The Zuihoushou (Imperial Sacred Treasure) was an award established in 1888 by Mutsuhito, the Meiji Emperor, to recognize exemplary Japanese citizenship - individuals who contributed to and embodied Japanese society and culture.


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