An Approach to a Cultural Constant as Seen in the ‘Tensho’ Karate Kata

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Jérémie BRIDE

Abstract

As cultural heritage from Japan (Okinawa), karate conveys not only body forms (or corporal shapes) of its culture of origin; it also gives insight into deeper cultural concepts. The use of time and space and a particular rhythmicity can be analysed in the practice of karate kata, and particularly in theTensho kata.This analysis is supported here by an anthropo-didactic study that highlights the pervasive cultural dimension of this kata in relation to the practice of other Japanese art forms, and even posits it as an overarching principle of Japanese culture. For this purpose,a parallel between the musicology of traditional Japanese music and the Tenshokarate kata is discussed here.

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