Yesterday, I received some very good news from the University of Hawaii. As part of the Hamilton Library's Asia Collection, an Okinawan Collection was recently established.
An important part of the Okinawan Collection is the Hawaii Karate Museum Collection, which we donated to the university last fall.
Right now, there are 260 titles in the rare portion of the collection.
These titles are in closed shelves and can only be accessed in a secure room after showing an appropriate ID. Some of the earliest Karate books are in this section. The library has also published its access policy for this part of the collection.
The larger portion of the collection (418 titles) is in general circulation and can be checked out by Karate students and enthusiasts.
These books should also be available for loan between libraries, in the United States and internationally.
A digital archive has also been established. Right now the complete text of ten (10) titles are online.
It is planned that many more titles will be added. The complete text of four of Gichin Funakoshi's and Kenwa Mabuni's earliest books are already online.
We are very happy to see the progress of the collection and look forward to its growth over the years. Now, the collection will have a life that extends well beyond any of our own. It will have a permanent existence in a secure and climate controlled environment, as well as the expertise of Japanese language specialists.
Our museum has continued to collect rare Karate books and periodically donates them to the collection. People can either donate books directly to the collection at the university, or to our museum and will then donate them.
I feel that the universities are the best place for the collection and preservation of rare Karate books and artifacts. I hope that similar collections will be established around the world. In particular, the universities are in the best position to make digital archives of rare titles available free of charge to the general public.
Without the help of so many Karate Sensei, students, and their families around the world, the collection would not have been possible. If you donated books or materials to the collection, thank you very much!
Can you please let you friends and students know about this collection?
And if by chance anyone has originals of Motobu Sensei's 1926 and 1932 books...
Charles C. Goodin
Hawaii Karate Museum
Posted by Charles C. Goodin on Tuesday, December 15, 2009