Only 34% know Okinawa is birthplace of Karate
The Okinawa Prefecture Karate Promotion Division has conducted a survey regarding Okinawa traditional Karate and martial arts, and made the results of the survey public on July 21st. The survey was the first conducted in the prefecture.
Regarding the knowledge of Okinawa as the birthplace of Karate, 96% of residents of Okinawa know it, but only 34.5% of residents of other areas in Japan do.
The survey was conducted to chart the task for the new Prefecture Karate Promotion Division (a tentative name) that will be inaugurated on July 27th.
More than 95% of men and women in Okinawa knew that Okinawa is the birthplace of Karate. However only 48% of men and 21% of women in other parts of the country did.
Tetsuo Yamakawa, the general manager of the Division, analyzed the results, saying, “Karate is regarded a martial art, like Judo or Kendo, but one does not know its birthplace if the person is not interested in the sport.”
The average number of disciples in dojos in Okinawa is 31.5. About 17 % of dojos have branches in other areas of Japan, whereas about 31% of them have branches overseas. About 40% of Okinawan dojos accept Karate practitioners from overseas. In 2016, visiting foreign karate practitioners took nine days of lessons on average while visiting.
Other findings from the survey included that less than 10% of dojo owners earn their main income from Karate, and about 37% of them make their living from activities other than karate. About 21% of them say they do not earn money from Karate.
The survey also showed that the number of local trainees is decreasing.