Karate is a well-known sports that strongly represents Japan!

The Karate will be one of the new events in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020!

Recently, this sports popularity is rising and it is important to know the basic knowledge’s about it.

In this article, we would like to introduce the history of Karate. We hope that after reading thi article, you will have more knowledge about this sport!

What is Karate?


Karate is a martial arts that originated in Okinawa Prefecture during it being the Ryukyu Kingdom.

This sport is a battling skill that does not require a weapon. In Karate, fighters can only use their arms and feet and that is its main characteristic. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Karate is accepted as a new sports event!



There are many mysteries about Karate’s history because there were few stories written about it. However, there are theories about the sport and we will now introduce the most prominent theory.

When Karate Started

Between the 15th~16th Century, 「倭寇(Wakou )」or Japanese Pirates increased.

It was the Ryukyu Period and the Karate was born as a self-defence among pirates.

During the Ryukyu, the rarity of iron was high, and so the people made a self-defence where they use their own arms and feet instead of weapons.

At that time, Karate was called as Ti.

Karate Types

At that time, Karate types differ in the area

  • 首里手(Shurite)
  • 那覇(Nahate)
  • 泊手(Tomarite)

and was divided in three types.

Among these, the Shurite was established by 糸洲安恒(Itosu Anko) and made the「唐手(Karate)」, which is the sport we know today.

The Development of Karate

In the year 38th of Meiji Period, the class of Karate was accepted in the P.E. class of the Junior High School’s in Okinawa, Japan. Since the, the sport spread around Okinawa in no time.。

In the year 11th of the Taisho Period, a man named 富名腰義珍(Funako Shigichin) introduced Karate in the first Physical Education Exhibition sponsored by the Ministry of Education.

This was the chance for the Karate to spread nationwide.

In the year 13th~14th of the Taisho Period, a Karate Club Activity was made in the Keio Gijuku University and Tokyo Teikoku University, which gained popularity.

In the 3rd year of Showa Period, a study in the Keio Gijuku University found that the Chinese character use in Kara「唐」was not appropriate to the Japanese. Therefore, the character was changed to Kara「空」and is today written in Karate「空手」.

The name of Karate was officially changed in the year 11th of the Showa Period.

Today, the name still remains the way it was in the Showa Period.


What do you think?

In this article, we learned about the history of Karate which is becoming more famous worldwide!

It really is exciting to see how it will become more famous in the next few years!