It is said that around 1926, the ethnic Chinese man named ‘Go Genki’ (呉賢貴) or ‘Wu Xiangui (1886-1940) – migrated to Okinawa and became a Japanese citizen. My view is that the name ‘呉賢貴’ (Wu Xian Gui) is a transliteration of this person’s chosen Japanese name – and is not his given ethnic ‘Chinese’ birth name. I believe this is true despite many Western scholars treating this transliteration as if it were his ‘true’ and ‘genuine’ ethnic Chinese name. Furthermore, Japanese language historical texts state that this Master of Fujian ‘White Crane Fist’ (白鶴拳 - Bai He Quan) married an Okinawan woman surnamed ‘Yoshihara’ (吉原 - Ji Yuan) - and that he took this surname as his own. This surname is common in Japan and the Ryukyu Islands and has more than one origination. This name literally translates as ‘Lucky Origination’ - and although one branch is linked to the Japanese imperial house – many others are simply linked to ‘good’ and ‘pleasant’ places. If Go Genki took this name, then he would have been known as ‘Yoshihara Genki’ or ‘吉原 賢貴’ - if these names (and facts) are correct.
Go Genki is believed to have taught Miyagi Chojun the ‘Open Hand of the Crane’ exercise. This is recorded within Japanese language texts as '鶴の手'. The first and third ideograms - '鶴’ (he4) meaning ‘Crane’ and ‘手’ (shou3) meaning ‘Open-Hand’ - are of Chinese language origination, whilst the second character (‘の’ - ‘no’) is entirely ‘Japanese’ in nature. This phrase can be read in the Japanese language as:
a) 鶴 (he4) - Crane = ‘か’ (Kaku), ‘つる’ (Tsuru) and ‘ず’ (Zu), etc.
b) の (no) - Hiragana Character – ‘Belonging to’, 'Possessing’ and ‘Pertaining to’, etc.
c) 手 (shou3) - Open-Hand = ‘ず’ (Zu), ‘て’ (Te) and ‘手’ (Te), etc.
As this training method has been transmitted into the practice of modern Goju Ryu Karate-Do - the above concept can be compared to its contemporary counter-part – namely that of ‘Sticky-Hands’ generally referred to as ‘Kakie’ (カキエ). This analysis reveals a startling correlation in that ‘Kaku’ (か) - Japanese for ‘Crane’ - shares the first particle of ‘Kakie’, namely the Katakana particle of ‘カ’!
This is said to be linked to the Chinese language ideogram ‘加’ (jia1). This ideogram is composed of two particles:
Left Particle = ‘力’ (li4) - meaning a ‘plough’ used to cultivate the land. The foot presses down so that the plough may ‘cut’ into the soil whilst being firmly rooted.
Right Particle = ‘口’ (kou3) - referring to an ‘open mouth’ which is calling-out encouragement to the oxen pulling the plough!
During the Heian Period of Japan (794-1185 CE), however, the Chinese ideogram ‘加’ (jia1) was modified and reduced to only the left-hand particle – forming the Japanese Katakana letter of ‘カ’ (and the Hiragana letter of ‘か’). Interestingly, the Japanese term ‘Kaku’ (meaning ‘Crane’) is written as ‘か’ (mirroring the ‘Hiragana’ letter) - but in this instance it is a direct conjunction of the Chinese ideogram - 鶴 (he4), taking on a more specific and direct meaning. The Chinese ideogram - 鶴 (he4) or ‘Crane’ - is comprised of the following constituting particles:
1) Left-Hand Particle: 寉 (he4) - Archaic – Meaning ‘Crane’ and ‘Bird’. The Japanese equivalents for reading this Chinese particle include ‘か’ (Kaku) and ‘つる’ (Tsuru) - all referring to a ‘Crane’.
2) Right-Hand Particle: 鳥 (niao3) - ‘Bird’ and ‘To Breed’ Birds. The Japanese equivalents for reading this Chinese particle include ‘か’ (Ka) and ‘とり’ (Tori) - all referring to a ‘Bird’ and/or ‘Chicken’.
The Japanese term ‘か’ (Kaku) - although a recognised conjunction of the Chinese ideogram 鶴 (he4) (meaning ‘Crane’) - is used today to refer to a ‘Mosquito’ (although an archaic interpretation also refers to a ‘deer’). Perhaps the association between a ‘Crane’ and a ‘Mosquito’ refers to both being flying creatures that are known to be ‘dangerous’ due to their ‘biting-stinging’ capabilities.
What links the Japanese term ‘か’ (Kaku) - or ‘Crane’ - to the Goju Ryu Karate-Do practice of ‘カキエ’ (Kakie) - or ‘Sticky-Hands’ - is the Japanese (Katakana) language particle of ‘カ’. This corresponds to the ‘Hiragana’ particle of ‘か’ (also pronounced ‘Ka’ when discussed as the sixth syllable of the gojuon order). In and of itself, ‘カ’ (Ka) indicates a ‘question’ or a ‘sense of doubt’ when used with general Japanese language discourse – although it is also used as part of hundreds of other concepts, from Buddhist enlightenment to a glowing fire and many others! Whatever the case, when ‘か’ (Kaku) is used within the context of Goju Ryu Karate-Do - the particle ‘カ’ (Ka) forms an important constituting element of the Japanese word for ‘Crane’. In this instance, the fighting abilities of the Crane are emphasised. The Crane is defined as a large, long-legged bird of the Gruidae family – which can be dangerous because of its fierce squawking and deceptive movements – coupled with the use of its long and sharp beak, its strong kicking and its dangerous ability to powerfully deflect blows through the use of its wings. The alternative Japanese term for ‘Crane’ - ‘つる’ (Tsuru) - does not refer to the Crane’s fighting ability – but rather the length of its slender legs, body and beak. This is because ‘つる’ (Tsuru) is linked to a description of a ‘vine’, ‘string’ or ‘twine’, etc, - referring instead to the slim dimensions of the ‘Crane’ rather than any combative or fighting abilities it may possess. (Indeed, ‘つる’ (Tsuru), due to its association with ‘fishing’ and ‘hooks’, etc., also carries the meaning of ‘to hang’ - as if ‘hanging’ from a hook – perhaps referring to a ‘Crane’ as it soars through the sky – or perhaps as it stands upon one-leg – giving the impression that its solid stance has some other supporting device).
As the practice of ‘カキエ’ (Kakie) is said be ‘Crane-like’ - then it is logical to assume that the practice of '鶴の手' (Kaku No Te) - or ‘Open-Hand of the Crane’ - must be directly related to the practice of ‘カキエ’ (Kakie). I suspect that as the Master to Disciple transmission was traditionally premised upon physical action and spoken instruction, the Chinese practice of ‘鶴の手’ (which could be pronounced in China as ‘He De Shou’ or more succinctly as ‘He Shou’) was passed on in Okinawa as ‘Kaku No Te’ - which was then transformed into ‘Kakie’ (カキエ) overtime – being finally written down through the manner in which the description of the practice had evolved. The original emphasis upon the ‘Crane’ as a noun – was transformed into an emphasis of the dynamics of the practice itself (as a ‘verb’). I believe the clue to this association is the inclusion of the Japanese particle ‘カ’ (Ka) in both ‘か’ (Kaku) - or ‘Crane’ - and in ‘カキエ’ (Kakie) - ‘Sticky-Hands'.
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.