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Center for Okinawan Studies at the UH

Last week I was very pleased to attend the opening ceremony for the Center for Okinawan Studies, part of the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It has long been the dream of educators and community members for there to be such a center at the UH. The center is not under the Japanese program -- it stands on its own.

Dr. Leon Serafim is the director of the center.

One of my missions with the Hawaii Karate Museum has been to see that Karate is included among the cultural treasures of Okinawa. We often think about Okinawan dance and food, but I am confident that the most widespread aspect of Okinawan culture practiced worldwide is Karate. When there are cultural events, I try my best to provide materials and exhibits about Karate.

Dr. Mitsugu Sakihara was a leading Okinawan history and culture educator. When I began formulating the museum, he took the time to take me to lunch and urge me to always study Karate as part of Okinawan culture, not as a sport or mere athletics. I have always been guided by his words, which have been echoed many times by elders in the Okinawan community, such as Mrs. June Arakawa.

If you study or teach Karate, I too urge you to study its roots in Okinawa and also here in Hawaii.

I wish the new Center for Okinawan Studies the best of luck and will do what I can to assist it with Karate research and materials.


Charles C. Goodin