Tales of Okinawa's Great Masters (Tuttle Martial Arts) Hardcover – 1 Aug 1998
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Shoshin Nagamine here presents the legacy, life histories and anecdotes of Okinawan's "bushi" warriors. To complement the tales of Okinawan's karate and sumo masters, the text concludes with detailed instructions for the practice of "zazen", sitting meditation.
Top Customer Reviews
The stories of legendary 'bushi' such as Karate Sakugawa, Sokon Matsumura, Chotoku Kyan and Chokki Motobu are simply amazing and are almost unbelievable. When you combine these stories, however, with Grandmaster Nagamine's notes on how to perform proper zazen (seated meditation) you realise that O'Sensei Nagamine surely embraced the true art of 'karate-do' that we all strive to achieve.
If you were intrigued by the stories contained in 'The Essence of Okinawan Karate', you simply MUST buy this book.
For me this has to be the best one. More so because Sensei Nagamine diligently went and interviewed as many of the great masters or their closest relatives & associates that he could (time was short!!).
Despite many valuable, ancient & historic documents being lost in Okinawa during raids in WWII, I am certain that this account of the founders of karate must be the closest & one of the most accurate yet.
Becoming a hard book to find now, but well worth the search & every penny. Why it is still not in re-print truly baffles me? A paperback version of this would be a best seller!! Are you listening Tuttle?
Like all the famous Bushi (Warriors) and buji before him, Sensei Nagamine has spent a lifetime perfecting his skills, honing his techniques & developing his true spirit to bring us the best out of karate and its true meaning.
Read this and go find your roots, maybe then you'll understand more about the art you've devoted yourself too. Also then perhaps then you'll realise that there's more to karate than just fighting, sparring & kicking, punching & grunting!!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
History buffs will also appreciate the numerous photographs and illustrations from Nagamine Sensei's personal collection.
This book crosses over all karate styles. Whether you are a student of Shorin-Ryu, Goju-Ryu or Shotokan, there is so much here for you. And for students of Matsubayashi-Ryu, the style founded by Nagamine Sensei in 1947, this book is must reading.
On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give it a 20!
If you have Nagamine's first book, translated into English as "The Essence of Okinawan Karate" and focusing mainly upon the 17 kata of Matsubayashi Ryu Shorin Ryu Karate (an Itosu-ha lineage), this second work of his provides the literary heart of the art. It does not dwell merely on the roots of Nagamine's style, but includes fascinating information on a myriad of styles, teachers, Okinawan history, and karate folklore. There is plenty of new information: this is not simply a 're-do' of old data. One chapter for instance, focuses on Okinawa's Native art, a form of wrestling called "Tegumi". Book includes endnotes, and an Appendixed article by Nagamine called "Okinawan Karate and World Peace".
It is nice to know that historically correct information is starting to come out about the true origins of karate and of its' founders. It is also nice that a little bit of myth also surrounds those same founders. Shoshin Nagamine does well to dispell those myths.
By knowing and understanding truth from the past we grow today and prepare for the future. This reviewer is glad that Patrick McCarthy translated this work for the world to read.
Buy the book.