New Year’s Greeting from the President

News from Okinawa                                                            January 1,2023

Dear WMKA members around the world,

  Aratama nu tushi ni simi tu ku-bu kajyati kukuru kara shigata wakaku naimi sochi ii-sho-guwachi de-biru! 

 I would like to express my heartfelt congratulations to all of you for the glorious and hopeful New Year!

In August last year, as Okinawa marked the 50th anniversary since its reversion to Japan from U.S. rule, “The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament” and “The 1st Okinawa Karate Boys and Girls World Tournament” were grandly held by Okinawa Prefecture. Okinawa karate enthusiasts from 24 countries around the world gathered in Okinawa. WMKA Okinawa Headquarters welcomed participants from Australia, India and the mainland of Japan and deepened our bonds & friendship for future. The mass media in Okinawa also published many special featured articles about the Karate events, and anticipation & potential of Okinawa karate’s future was greatly felt. 

The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament 2022 Farewell Party was originally planned at a hotel but the event was changed to a Farewell Ceremony at the Okinawa Karate Kaikan to prevent the spread of Covid-19 corona virus infection. My closing address at the Farewell Ceremony on behalf of all Okinawa karate & Kobudo organizations is shown below.

The 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament Farwell Ceremony Closing Address:
Gusu-yo chu- uganabira!  Good evening, fellow Karate fans. We were able to have a successful event for the 2nd Okinawa Karate World Tournament and the 1st Okinawa Karate Junior Tournament in Okinawa, the birthplace of Karate, thanks to the participation and support of all of you. Today’s Farewell Ceremony gathers Karate practitioners from all over the world, making it a perfect opportunity for everyone to interact with each other and forge international goodwill.  Okinawa prefecture is committed to promoting Okinawa’s traditional karate, the martial art of peace, both within and beyond Japan. If everyone in the world becomes a fan of Karate, we will perhaps no longer have any conflicts on earth, and the bell of peace will chime forever. I hope that everyone gathered here today will serve as ambassadors of peace for Okinawan karate in your respective parts of the world, and that we can usher in an era of world peace. 
 Unfortunately, we have now come to the end of this event, and it is time to say goodbye. We hope to see you again soon.  Ippe- nife-de-biru!   Thank you very much!
August 8, 2022 Okinawa Karate World Tournament Executive Committee Vice chairman Taira Yoshitaka

It was truly regrettable that the unveiling ceremony for the erection of the Nagamine Shoshin Memorial Monument was held with only a small number of people at the Okinawa General Headquarters to prevent the spread of Covid-19 corona virus infection and that the people outside Okinawa could not participate. Therefore, we are planning to hold a “Memorial Monument Erection Commemorative Festival” (tentative name) sometime in the Autumn in 2024.  We look forward to the participation of many WMKA members from around the world and to meet you again in Okinawa.  

We pray the world will be a glorious and vibrant year in 2023!

Best Regards

Yoshitaka Taira, President of WMKA




平良 慶孝

 新 年 の ご 挨 拶

新玉ぬ年に炭と昆布飾てい 心から姿若くないみそーちい いいーしょうぐわち でーびる!

皆さまには 清々しい希望に満ちた新年を迎え 謹んでお慶び申し上げます。

沖縄が祖国復帰50周年を迎えた昨年8月に、沖縄県が主催する「第2回沖縄空手世界大会」 及び 「第1回沖縄空手少年少女世界大会」が盛大に開催されました。世界24ケ国から沖縄空手愛好家が結集し、我がWMKAもオーストラリア、インド及び本土からの参加者を大歓迎し、お互いの絆と親睦を深めました。県内の各メデイアでも特集記事が掲載され、沖縄空手への期待感や可能性が大きく感じられたところです。沖縄空手世界大会2022フエアウエルパーテイーも、ホテルでの大々的な開催を控え、新型コロナウイルス感染の拡大防止のために、沖縄空手会館でのフエアウエル・セレモニーに変更して行いました。私が沖縄空手・古武道界を代表して、下記の通りの閉会挨拶を行いました。

沖縄空手世界大会2022 フェアウエル セレモニー 閉会挨拶 グスーヨー チュウ ウガナビラ  空手を愛する 皆さん、こんばんは!空手発祥の地・沖縄において、多くの皆さまの御参加・御協力のもと、第2回沖縄空手世界大会及び第1回沖縄空手少年少女世界大会を無事に終了することが出来ました。 世界各国の空手家が集う本日の このフェアウエル・セレモニーは、国際親善・交流に最も相応しい場であります。 
 大変名残惜しいですが、時間の都合もありますので、これをもちまして閉会と致します。また次回お逢いしましょう。イッペー ニフェーデービル ありがとうございました。令和4年8月8日沖縄空手世界大会実行委員会副会長 平良 慶孝



令和5年 元旦

Twelve Zodiac Animals and New Year’s Cards in Japan
~Riki Nomura 

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit! They say “The Oriental Twelve Zodiac Signs from Ancient Chinese Astrology” was introduced to Japan around 6th century and was completely adopted as part of Japanese main culture and custom, especially in New Year’s Cards (Nengajo). Many people send New Year’s Cards to their relatives, friends, colleagues & business related people to express their gratitude in Japan. I borrowed some information from an open public website data as below. An estimated 1.64 billion New Year’s cards were printed by the Japan Post in 2023, amounting to about 13 cards per capita. The printed New Year’s cards of 1.64 billion was only 40 % of the printed New Year’s cards in 2004.  We don’t know how many New Year’s cards were actually sent for 2023 nor how many in 2004 either. Japan Post prints New Year’s cards and sells them for 63 JPY in many of the local post offices. People buy these cards and mail them out on their own. The number of New Year’s cards are decreasing every year due to the increased internet communication and SNS. Every Nengajo will be delivered on January 1st, if they have been posted by the due date December 25th

  Although many people use their family or vacation photos on the card, Twelve Zodiac animals are the most commonly used illustrations. Although many people can design their own Nengajo illustration, we can also pick up it free from a website with some examples shown below. If you are interested in Nengajyo, you can just visit Website Nengajo.

Thank you for your interest in it!

Posted in Matsubayashi-ryu.