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"Birth of 'Rikutaro'! Press Conference Announcing New Character Naming | January 17, 2024"

The Okinawa Traditional Karatedo Promotion Association (hereafter referred to as "the Association") has developed an original character inspired by the motif of the Iriomote Cat. The aim is to enhance the familiarity and accessibility of Okinawan karate to the public and to promote the traditional culture of Okinawa, the birthplace of karate. The character's name was openly solicited from residents of the prefecture from Monday, November 6, 2011, to Wednesday, December 6, 2023, and we received a total of 343 submissions!

After careful consideration of the numerous outstanding ideas submitted, the promotion committee ultimately settled on the name "Rikutaro." A press conference was held on Wednesday, January 17, to officially unveil the character and announce the chosen name.

[Best Naming Award Winner] Mr. Yoshimi Takaesu (center of the photo)

Thank you, Yoshimi Takaezu, for providing such a wonderful name. A heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who submitted names.

We are committed to further promoting "Okinawa Karate," a traditional culture with its roots in Okinawa, to enhance its familiarity and reach a broader audience, both locally and internationally. Anticipate exciting future endeavors featuring "Rikutaro."

«Naming: Rikutaro.»

Under the clear blue sky, the legacy of Okinawa's traditional karate extends as vast and profound as the ocean. Rikutaro, holding a black belt in karate, dedicates himself to daily training.

As a black belt in Okinawan traditional karate, he engages in daily training. Assuming the roles of both a "senior" and occasionally a "sensei," he actively participates in activities aimed at imparting the essence of Okinawan karate to children.

Moreover, Ryukutaro plans to participate in events and activities both within and outside Okinawa to promote and educate the public about the rich tradition of Okinawan karate.

Interestingly, the discoverer of the Iriomote wildcat was a disciple of Shurite Funakoshi Gichin (Shotokan), establishing a connection with Yukio Togawa, a zoologist.