Karate originated in Okinawa in the 14th century. Japanese karateka Ryo Kiyuna.  Photo: Kyodo Karate originated in Okinawa in the 14th century. Japanese karateka Ryo Kiyuna.  Photo: Kyodo
Karate originated in Okinawa in the 14th century. Japanese karateka Ryo Kiyuna. Photo: Kyodo
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Karate debuts at the Tokyo Olympics, but where did the 15th century martial art get its name? And what does ‘osu’ mean?

  • Created in Okinawa 700 years ago, the martial art was first called toudi or ‘Chinese hand’
  • In the 20th century, to skirt anti-Chinese sentiment and to help its spread in Japan, the name was changed to ‘open hand’ or karate

Karate originated in Okinawa in the 14th century. Japanese karateka Ryo Kiyuna.  Photo: Kyodo Karate originated in Okinawa in the 14th century. Japanese karateka Ryo Kiyuna.  Photo: Kyodo
Karate originated in Okinawa in the 14th century. Japanese karateka Ryo Kiyuna. Photo: Kyodo
READ FULL ARTICLE