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Part 1 Article about Master Folta in Okinawa Newspaper

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Part 1 Article about Master Folta in Okinawa Newspaper


Okinawa Times Newspaper OT 111 English Translation of the article originally published in Japanese, Okinawa Japan on Nov. 27, 2023

OT 111ワールド 信員 ネット【空手八段のフォルタさん、伝統文化と歩み伝える】

World Correspondent Net / Okinawa Times Newspaper: 11.27.2023 

Karate 8th Dan Folta, “Walking with Traditional Culture” 

Part 1 or 2-part series about Mr. Nestor T. Folta, a karate 8th dan.

by Teiko Yonaha Tursi, Okinawa Times Overseas Correspondent/Essays

Nestor T. Folta (70), a civil engineer, moved from the United States to Okinawa 40 years ago in 1983, where he lived for five years. Since then, he has continued to live with Okinawan culture.

When he lived in Okinawa, he practiced karate five days a week under Uechi-ryu Karate (Sõke), Futenma Honbu (Headquarters), under the direct tutelage of Kanei Uechi Sensei, and the members of the dojo became like his relatives. He met Mayumi Kishimoto, then 25 years old from Naha City, at a rock concert. After a while, Nestor, then 32 years old, proposed to Mayumi on a sightseeing boat in Hong Kong.

Nestor worked as an engineer at Kadena Air Base and elsewhere, and Mayumi worked for an airline. They were two people with very different nationalities, religions, and cultural backgrounds. All these differences culminated in their needing four weddings that were held in one month. Nestor's parents, who came from Massachusetts, attended two wedding events. The other two times, it was necessary for his senior at the dojo functioned as his father.

"The wedding was my first big project with Mayumi. We solidified our relationship of trust with each other, allowing us to work toward the same goal then and in all our future endeavors," said Nestor. Hearing this story, I was profoundly brought to tears. Cherish Okinawan culture and rituals. Be respectful to the bride's parents. Furthermore, have the spirit of ``Ichariba chode'' (once we meet, we are brothers and sisters) and ``Yuimaaru'' (cooperate and help each other). Nestor says he learned these skills at the dojo and at work.

Washington D.C. in 1988. Upon returning to the U.S., the Folta’s joined the local Okinawan Kenjinkai and learned karate Yeisa-. They performed as a group at the first Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival (WUF) held at the Convention Center in Ginowan City in 1990 along with efforts to visit and perform at schools. It is said that these activities have healed Nestor’s nostalgia for Okinawa, his second home. He is proud of the many friendships he has made through Okinawa.

In 2017, he was certified as an 8th Dan (8th Degree Black Belt) karate master by the Uechi-ryu Karatedo Association. Four days later, Nestor was tasked by the Okinawa prefecture to serve as a coordinator for an international seminar and model instruction to send Masters of Okinawan traditional karate and kobudo to the United States.

Five instructors were dispatched from Okinawa, and I also participated as an interpreter and reporter. Nestor's role was one of the great responsibilities. I was a little worried that there must be great pressure, but he achieved a great result. I was moved by the essence of his Uchina karate, not only the splendor of his techniques and forms but also his human strength.


Monthly Essay and translation by “Teiko” Yonaha-Tursi,
Overseas Reporter/Essayist, The Okinawa Times

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