Hawaii Karate Museum
Hawaii Karate Seinenkai

Seiji Noma Excerpt -- Tekobushi

The following appears on page 95 of Noma of Japan: An Autobiography of a Japanese Publisher, by Seiji Noma (assisted by Shunkichi Akimoto), The Vanguard Press, 1934. Mr. Noma was stationed in Okinawa as a schoolteacher in 1904. Okinawa used to be referred to as Loo Choo (or Luchu) and Okinawans were called Luchuans.

"My unruly behaviour was not confined to drinking and courtesans. I fought with roughs and thrashed men for imagined insults. The Luchuans are a pacific people, but like all those given to strong drink and leading a primitive life, they would commit acts of nameless cruelty if their blood was stirred. The Luchuans had developed through centuries of practice the peculiar art of self-defence and aggression, known as tekobushi, which consists in making incredibly deft and powerful thrusts of the fist after the fashion of jujitsu or even boxing. This was the only possible mode of self-defence for the Luchuans, who had been prohibited the use of weapons by their double rulers of China and Japan. A Luchuan expert in the deadly art could smash every bone in his victim's body with the thrusts of his arms, as if he had struck with a giant hammer. Not infrequently poor victims were found dead by the road-side bearing marks of terrible blows from naked fists. Near Tsuji at night there were always gangs of roughs supposed to be skilled in tekobushi, who were ready to pick quarrels with unwary strangers."

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