8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor's picture
Ananku Kata History

Hi everyone! I need your help regarding the kata Ananko (Ananku, Annanko) and whether anyone knows personally or indirectly the history of the kata, or would be able to point me in the right direction, as I am trying to gather information for my own publication of the kata.  My own research of this kata has thrown up some interesting points regarding it’s history leading to a chapter written by Zenpo Shimabukuro in his book ‘Shorin Ryu Seibukan - Kyan’s Karate’ on the history of Ananko. Zenpo being a direct student of Chotoku Kyan the creator of the kata. In the chapter he basically states that most of the reasons that are attached to how the kata was created are not true, and these reasons are still being quoted today!

But what I am struggling with is how the kata came into the Shito-Ryu style, as there seems to be almost half of another kata ‘bolted on’ to the end of the Shorin-Ryu’s version. With the exception of minor stance and angle differences the versions are very similar until the Shorin-ryu version ends and the Shito-Ryu version carries on. It also seems that some direct students of Kenwa Mabuni do not have this kata in their syllabus, but it tends to appear in the Chojiro Tani’s lineage, the Shukokai branch of Shito-Ryu. Here-in lies my problem of trying to establish how it came across into Shito-Ryu, and who added the remaining moves, as there is very little written about Chojiro Tani and Shukokai, and this is the group from which I came.!! If you may be able to help then I  would be very grateful, and I hope that the post is not confusing!!

Below are the videos of the kata

Shorin-Ryu version

Shito-Ryu / Shukokai version

Many thanks!

RigsVille's picture

Hi Lee

Sorry I can't be very helpful but I would also be interested in knowing more about this Kata as it's my favourite Kata so I'm looking forward to the book.

The only thing I've ever seen regarding this Kata is the following YouTube clip - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aqtr5IMaeE


Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor's picture

Hi Mark

My favourite kata too! Yes I've seen that one too and thought it quite informative until I found the book I mentioned which pretty much discounted the theories in the video!

It might be one of those that has been lost to time, but you never know!


Dale Parker
Dale Parker's picture

Holger is probably the best source here, he seems to be very knowledgeable about histories.

Steve Gombosi
Steve Gombosi's picture

What I find fascinating is that both of these versions of the kata are quite different from the Matsubayashi-ryu version:


Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor's picture

Hi Steve

Apparently that was created by Matsubayashi in honour of Kyan, but again I cant quantify that reason either!

Steve Gombosi
Steve Gombosi's picture

I don't think so - Nagamine-sensei never claimed to have originated the kata. Instead, he says (in the English version of Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do - I have the Japanese version, but I'm not going to try transcribing the kanji for those whose Japanese is better than mine):


The composer of this short kata is unknown, and the history of it is comparatively short.


That's not a lot to go on, but it's pretty clear he didn't develop it.

Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor's picture

Steve, just another example of historical information being adjusted to suit then!