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    Satsuma Clan Imposed "Weapon Ban"

    Before Ryukyu became Okinawa, Satsuma, one of Japanese prefecture then ruled Ryukyu. Satsuma made several ban to people of Ryukyu. One of the bans was about ownership weapons.

    After they made this ban, Ryukyu samurai couldn’t arm themselves and this was the turning point of Okinawa Karate because Ryukyu samurai started to learn Karate. This was the theory strongly believed until recently.

    However, many historians deny this theory, because over century ago, this Ban of Ownership Weapons was made and executed by king of Ryukyu, King Shoshin. King Shoshin decided to dispossess all weapons and kept them in his castle. He used those weapons in emergency wars.

    These are part of Satsuma’s ban of ownership weapons.
    1. No one can get gun.
    2. Royal family and warrior class people can have weapons.
    3. If you want to repair your weapons, you need to tell magistrate’s office of Satsuma.
    4. If you want to have weapons, you need to get permission from magistrate’s office of Satsuma.

    They allowed people of Ryukyu to have weapons except gun. In fact, after Satsuma made this ban, lots of Okinawan practiced martial arts such as Swordplay, Archery, Spear and Kobudo which need to use weapons. Also, after this many masters of Karate and Kobudo appeared one after another.
    Reference Material
     − Okinawa Karate Kobudo Jiten [Author: Kashiwa Shobo]
     − Okinawa Karate Retsuden Hhakunin [Author: Hokama Tetsuhiro]
    Reference Site(s)

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