Lecture 'Orientalising the Orient: Searching for Karate’s Budo Roots in Contemporary Egypt'

For whom
Students, Employees, Alumni
When
18-02-2020 from 11:00 to 12:30
Where
Leslokaal 090.034, Blandijberg 2, 9000 Gent
Language
English
Organizer
Vakgroep Talen en Culturen, Afd. Midden-Oosten Studies en Japanologie, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte
Contact
aymon.kreil@ugent.be
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Presentation by Prof. Hatsuki Aishima (National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka)

In this presentation, Hatsuki Aishima looks at the efforts of the members of the Egyptian Traditional Karate Federation (ETKF) members to reinstitute Japanese “traditions” of karate in contemporary Egypt.

In 2011, a renowned Egyptian karate master who resided in Paris since the 1980s returned to establish the ETKF by promoting the idea that “karate ought to be a lifestyle.” In his view, the World Karate Federation style “sport karate (karate riyadi)” had become a mere competitive sport and moved away from the original budo ethos of karate. The ETKF defines the term as “martial arts,” using the English expression rather than its Arabic equivalent. Budo becomes doubly foreign—Japanese and English, yet modern due to its English rendering.

This complex genealogy of Egyptian karate illustrates the role Orientalist aesthetics play in branding cultural products from an Orient to the other Orient, as it continues to mediate and shape Egyptian images of Japan.