Language Usage on this site

An explanation of the name and Romanized spellings used in the name of this organization.

The correct name of the organization is in Japanese "kanji" (Chinese characters).The Romanization used to pronounce the name of this organization is listed four ways: standardized Roomaji system for Japanese, standardized Pinyin system for Mandarin Chinese, standardized Pinyin system for Cantonese Chinese and Romanization for the name Uechi Kanbun Sensei first made for his style using this "kanji" which was supposedly his way of saying it. The latter Romanization is the one most familiar to Uechi Ryuu practitioners outside of Okinawa and Japan.

There are several Romanized systems in each of the languages that have been developed and are official. The most commonly used systems now are: in Japanese, the Roomaji system and the Hepburn system; in Chinese, Pinyin and Wade-Giles systems. We have expressed the original name in "Kanji" because this is the most accurate. Next, we have listed the Romanized expression which has been the form picked up from Okinawa somewhere along the line, usually spelled in English as "Pang Gai Noon," which is neither Japanese, Okinawan nor Chinese pronunciation. We believe, and other practitioners and some masters in Okinawa believe it to actually be a distorted pronunciation of the original Chinese language. No name of a "style," as such, can be traced back to Fukien Province in China. This is mainly due to the fact that the Chinese did not incorporate "styles" into their system. The idea of "Ryuuha," in Japanese, commonly called "ryu" in English, meaning "styles" is a Japanese one and fairly new, as is the "kyuu," "dan" and belt ranking systems. Uechi Kanbun liked the "half hard-soft" concept evidently, and used this as a name for what he taught when he started teaching in Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. Indeed, it is a good name, derived from an elemental concept in Asian philosophy and budou, "in-you" or "yin-yang" and expresses the forcefulness yet fluidity of this particular art.


The common way of spelling terms such as "dojo" and "ryu" that is commonly used is not a recognized standard form of Romanization for the Japanese language. The scholastic standard spellings in Roomaji and Hepburn systems for these two Japanese terms is "doojoo" or "doujou" and "ryuu." When two o's are put together, each sound is pronounced as two "o's" which in effect means it is extended and is not one short "o" sound. The same is true of "ryuu" as opposed to "ryu." The spelling "dou" is pronounced just like it is seen: "do" (doh) and "u" and when spoken quickly sounds like a drawn-out "o" like "oh" in English.

Although we can't give everyone a lesson in the Japanese language here, we felt it was time that the standard Romanized spelling be used instead of catering to the mispronunciation and spelling commonly used by non-Japanese speakers. Also, we have not found the capability of putting a long mark above the vowels on the Internet, which can be done with typesetting, and which many English speakers commonly use. If " " is used, this is also incorrect, as this is used in Spanish to elicit a certain sound, and there is no capability to use it for the other vowel sounds, anyway. Roman or "English" letters can not possibly be completely accurate expressions of the sounds in either Japanese or Chinese, because these languages have sounds the English language does not have. To pronounce Japanese correctly, one should learn the syllabary systems of Japanese, "hiragana" and "katakana." If one understands these systems, one would understand the difficulty we are having right now explaining this to the reader.

©2009 Pang Gai Noon Ryu Karate-Do Seibu Juku
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