Karate Do Sanka- The Essence of  Karate

Myo gunjorno umi no iro

Saekeki shima no tokonga

Saegigaumishi mute no ken

Kokoro o Kitau, mi o kitau

Aa, Okinawa no, Karate-do!

O, beautiful islands of sunlight

And the color of the sea

The proud fighting spirit of the islanders

And the empty handed sword of justice

Training spirit and training body

This is Okinawan Karate-do!

Aa sare osou tekki araba

Shurei no kuni ni shingiari

Tetsu no kobushi wa kanzento

Niku o kirasete, hone o utsu

Kokoro o Mamaru, mi o mamaru

Aa, Okinawa no, Karate-do!

O, but if an enemy should happen to attack us,

And the method of courtesy prove to no avail,

If he should cut our flesh with his iron weapon,

Even then we will punch through to is bone.

Courtesy and defense together

This is Okinawan Karate-do!

Aa tensonshi kodai yori

Hewa no kane wa naritsutau

Semeru ni arazu fusegu waza

Gotai ga buziko kono karate

Kokoro o tadasu, mi o tadasu

Aa Okinawa no, Karate-do!

O, ever since the mythical ancestry of Japan

The bell of peace has been ringing in Okinawa.

The way of courtesy and the five bodily

Weapons of karate together

To make a straight character and good etiquette

This is Okinawan Karate-do!

This song, Karate-do Sanka, attempts to epitomize some of the most important aspects of karate. The most important lines of the three verses are: Kokoro o kitau, mi o kitau”; “Kokoro o mamaru, mi o mamaru”; and “Kokoro o tadasu, mi o tadasu”. Kokoro means spirit, heart, mind, or feeling. Mi is the body. Since the word Kitau means training or practice, the first line may be translated as “Training spirit and body”, i.e.. making not only the body strong through the many repetitions of years of continuous practice, but also strengthening the spirit to be able to tackle the most difficult tasks, both physical, mental, and also spiritual.

The second line combines with the word for defense, mamaru. Hence the total meaning is defense with body or the blocking and attacking method of the Karate-jutsu, and more importantly the ability to avoid fighting even when it means walking away from the insult or some other difficult situation. In other words, defense with the spirit, or in rough approximation, courtesy.

The third line builds us up to the most important and difficult of the three concepts, Character and Etiquette. Tadasu means to make straight and so the literal translation of this is “Make a straight spirit and a straight body”. In other words, to correct and perfect the very way in which each individual thinks and acts on a moral basis, as determined by his society and religion.