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May 6th, 2016

The Home of Karate: The Ryukyu Kingdom, Okinawa Prefecture

Okinawa prefecture is made up of Japan's southern islands, which were once part of the Ryukyu Kingdom. It's the home of Karate, the Japanese martial art with a global following. Swahili-language announcer Paul Alphonce is from Tanzania. He visits the home of Karate and rediscovers the beauty of this region.

Reporter Paul Alphonce

Major Attractions and Events

The Ryukyu Kingdom, the place where karate was born

Shurijo castle is a World Heritage site. Okinawa flourished as the independent Ryukyu Kingdom for 450 years from 1429 and Shurijo castle was its heart. The Ryuku Kingdom gave birth to karate.

Experiencing karate in a karate dojo hall in Okinawa. The most important spirit of Okinawan karate is never to attack first.

Paul with Mr. Zenpo Shimabukuro, a 10th-dan karateka with more than 60 years’ experience in the martial art.

A place where karate fans gather

The Dojo bar draws in karate fans from all over the world.

The bar’s British owner, James Pankiewicz. He came to Japan seven years ago and was drawn to Okinawan karate.

The walls are covered with messages left by customers from all over the world.


It takes two and a half hours to fly from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport to Naha Airport. Shuri, the closest station to the Shurijo castle, is about thirty minutes by monorail from there.

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