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Since karate is not a Japanese system some might say that this does not apply because the Okinawans are different. Yes, they are different but as with many different groups in Japan they too are considered different and the culture acts accordingly. The Okinawans have been a part of Japan for a long, long time and since the 1600's have been influenced by the samurai culture so much so that it permeates their prefecture of Japan, Ryukyu Islands. It is just like the strong influences of other Asian cultures with specificity toward China.
In reality both Okinawan and Japan are offspring of a strong Chinese cultural influence. Many of the same things, i.e. the customs and courtesies of the China aristocrat and court systems. In a nutshell we all practice a descendent of the Chinese system of boxing called Kung Fu. If you take it a bit further as to the martial arts we all are descendent of India martial systems if the stories told are to be believed true.
If it is important to learn of the cultures and beliefs then it warrants at least a cursory look into those cultures that were "before" and "influential" in the creation and practice of our system. It sometimes causes me to wonder why Westerners don't delve into it since by the way it is governed and practiced here has a stong tendency to speak of lineage. Why in Isshinryu does it "end with Shimabuku Tatsuo Sensei?" I don't accept the answer, "because he created the system we practice."
Ahh, he did, your right BUT what he created if closely studied is merely some personal changes in how Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu and Kobodu are practiced in those systems which are also manifestations of personal preferences from Shuri-te, Tomari-te and Naha-te or in general "Te or Ti." Why stop at TS-san?
Ok, your getting a bit tired of all the rhetoric on lineage and history and culture and beliefs. It does have influence on what, how and why we practice if we are considering that practice beyond mere "sport."
We would see this if we studied a bit deeper and upon digging into it we would find marital culture of India that influenced changes in Chinese boxing and this was adopted by both Okinawans and Japanese thus influencing that system of martial practice and application. In that the influences led to the creation of the samurai and their culture. Samurai culture and beliefs are based on Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Zenism which were adopted from ..... yes, you guessed it China.,
The samurai took control of Okinawa in 1600. So it would go to show that their influences, strong ones that if not followed usually lead to extreme punishments, would cause changes to the Okinawans which by the way didn't take them far off of what they believed anyway for they too were influenced by Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism and Zenism. 1600 to 2012 means approximately 412 years where their governing dictated in such details that it changed the educational system of all Japan which means Okinawan. So much so that the indigenous language of Okinawan, comprised of adoption of Chinese, etc., Uchinaguchi ( http://www.okinawabbtv.com/international/uchinaguchi/byron.html ) is in danger of extinction.
Samurai culture permeates a good deal of all its groups and cultures which includes Okinawa. Can I prove this? Only if one were to study all the literature on the culture and come to a conclusions similar to what I have found to date (to date means I reserve the right to change as data keeps coming in).
One very important point, if you feel this to be accurate or even just possible then make sure you do the work before you decide to rename your dojo to some samurai type thing. Nothing more embarrassing than doing things without taking the time to get the details. Something Musashi Sensei said in the go rin no sho.
Chapter Eleven: Pay Attention to Details (注目の詳細を支払: Chūmoku no shōsai o shiharau: 注詳)
It is common for humans to gloss over the smaller details, especially when big projects or major programs are concerned. Agreeing to agree on principles first and then discuss the details later is often a recipe for failure, especially in Japan.
Present day businesspeople who do not understand the details of the business they are in, especially what really makes it work, they are not likely to succeed.
Note: There was a decline in the samurai way around the 1990's due to the economic bust they experienced but in the early 2000's their arose a new fervor toward the samurai culture, at least the more positive aspects. So much so that Mr. DeMente wrote another book on the subject.
DeMente, Boye LaFayette. "Samurai Strategies: 42 Martial Secrets from Musashi's Book of Five Rings." Tuttle Publishing. Vermont. 2008.