The name Ryukyu in Chinese / Japanese...

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 liú qiú
Ryukyu Scroll

琉球 refers to the Ryukyu (Ryūkyū) Islands which include Okinawa and are located between Japan and Taiwan.

This can also refer to the Ryukyu kingdom of old Okinawa. Ryukyu is also used in martial arts terms for styles with origins in Okinawa.

Ryukyu Kobujutsu

Okinawan Kobudo

Ryukyu Kobujutsu Scroll

琉球古武術 is the title for “Ryukyu Kobujutsu” or “Ryukyu Islands Martial Arts.”

Sometimes referred to as “Okinawan Kobudo.”

Don't Worry, Be Happy

 nan ku ru nai
Don't Worry, Be Happy Scroll

なんくるない or nankurunai is an Okinawan word, written in Japanese that means “Don't worry, be happy.”

沖縄/Okinawa and/or the 琉球/Ryūkyū Islands have a more laid-back “island style” approach to life. So the nankurunai idea is a perfect match for that lifestyle.

Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Hiragana, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.


Everything will be all right, it will all work out one way or another

 nan ku ru nai sa
Nankurunaisa Scroll

なんくるないさ or Nankurunaisa means “Everything will be all right” and/or “It will all work out one way or another.”

なんくるないさ is an Okinawan (琉球 / Ryūkyū Islands) word written in Japanese.

You might see this romanized with breaks like nankurunai-sa or nankuru-nai-sa. It's the same word either way. However, there is a separate word, なんくるない, in there which is nankurunai, translated as “Don't worry, be happy.” The “sa” or さ part indicates an assertion or interjection.

Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Hiragana, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa

 quán fǎ
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll

拳法 is a form of martial arts that can be translated in several ways.

Some will call it “fist principles,” “the way of the fist,” or even “law of the fist.” The first character literally means fist. The second can mean law, method, way, principle, or Buddhist teaching.

Kempo is really a potluck of martial arts. Often a combination of Chinese martial arts such as Shaolin Kung Fu with Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Jujutsu (Jujitsu), Aikido, and others. You may see the term “Kempo Karate,” which basically means Karate with other disciplines added. In this way, Kempo becomes an adjective rather than a title or school of martial arts.

These facts will long be argued by various masters and students of Kempo. Even the argument as to whether it should be spelled “kenpo” or “Kempo” ensues at dojos around the world (the correct Romaji should actually be “kenpou” if you precisely follow the rules).

The benefit of Kempo is that the techniques are easier to learn and master than pure Kung Fu (wu shu). Students are often taught basic Karate moves, kicks, and punches before augmenting the basic skills with complex Kung Fu techniques. This allows students of Kempo to achieve a level where they can defend themselves or fight in a relatively short amount of time (a few years rather than a decade or more).

Because the definition of this word is so fluid, I should make some notes here:

1. Purists in Okinawa will claim that “Okinawa Kenpo” or “Ryukyu Hon Kenpo” is the original and true version of this martial art from the old kingdom. It is actually little or no connection between Okinawa Kenpo and the way the word is used elsewhere.

2. In Chinese, where these characters are pronounced “quan fa” (sometimes Romanized as “chuan fa” because the Chinese-pinyin “q” actually sounds like an English “ch” sound), these characters do not hold the connotation of being a mixed martial art. It is simply defined as “the law of the fist.”

3. My Japanese dictionary oddly defines Kenpo as the “Chinese art of self-defense.” I personally don't feel this is the most common way that people perceive the word but just something you should know.

Not the results for ryukyu that you were looking for?

Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your ryukyu search...


If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

Simple Dictionary Definition


see styles
liú qiú
    liu2 qiu2
liu ch`iu
    liu chiu
 ryuukyuu / ryukyu

More info & calligraphy:

Ryūkyū; refers to the Ryūkyū Islands 琉球群島|琉球群岛[Liu2 qiu2 Qun2 dao3] stretching from Japan to Taiwan; Liuchiu township in Pingtung County 屏東縣|屏东县[Ping2 dong1 Xian4], Taiwan
(See 沖縄) Ryukyu; chain of southwestern Japanese islands comprising Okinawa Prefecture; (place-name) Ryūkyū


see styles
 ryuukyuukobujutsu / ryukyukobujutsu

More info & calligraphy:

Ryukyu Kobujutsu
(See 古武道) Okinawan kobudo; traditional martial arts of the Ryukyu Islands


see styles
(hist) turban-like hat worn by officials in the Ryūkyū Kingdom; (surname) Yamaki


see styles
(kana only) Ryukyu spiny rat (Tokudaia osimensis)



see styles
liú qiú
    liu2 qiu2
liu ch`iu
    liu chiu


see styles
 shoushi / shoshi
Shō clan (royal family of the Ryukyu Kingdom)


see styles
 aji; anji; anzu
    あじ; あんじ; あんず
(hist) chieftain (of the Ryukyu Kingdom)


see styles
(kana only) Ryukyu spiny rat (Tokudaia osimensis)


see styles
 tonouchi / tonochi
(honorific or respectful language) (hist) (rkb:) residence of a government official in the Ryukyu Kingdom; (surname) Tonouchi


see styles
 ryuukyuu / ryukyu
(place-name) Liuqiu (Chinese name for islands in the East China Sea, perhaps referring to Ryukyu or Taiwan); Lewchew


see styles
liú qiú
    liu2 qiu2
liu ch`iu
    liu chiu
variant of 琉球[Liu2 qiu2], Ryūkyū, e.g. the Ryūkyū Islands 琉球群島|琉球群岛[Liu2 qiu2 Qun2 dao3] stretching from Japan to Taiwan


see styles
wáng fǔ
    wang2 fu3
wang fu
 oufu / ofu
prince's mansion
(archaism) royal government (esp. Ryukyu Kingdom)


see styles
 kyuuyou / kyuyo
(1) (hist) official history of the Ryukyu Kingdom (compiled between 1743 and 1745); (2) (See 琉球) Kyūyō (poetic name for the Ryukyu Islands)


see styles
 ryuukyuu / ryukyu
(surname) Ryūkyū


see styles
liú qiú
    liu2 qiu2
liu ch`iu
    liu chiu
Luzon, island of the Philippines; the Ryukyu islands


see styles
(1) (kana only) red beard; person with a red beard; (2) (derogatory term) Westerner; (3) (kana only) Ryukyu robin (Erithacus komadori); (surname) Akahige


see styles
(1) (kana only) red beard; person with a red beard; (2) (derogatory term) Westerner; (3) (kana only) Ryukyu robin (Erithacus komadori)


see styles
(irregular okurigana usage) (1) sailing windward; (2) (obsolete) land division in the Ryukyu Kingdom equivalent to modern prefectures (but the size of cities or towns)


see styles
 suzumedai; suzumedai
    すずめだい; スズメダイ
(kana only) pearl-spot chromis (Chromis notata, species of damselfish found in southern Japan, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan, and China)


see styles
(hist) appointed official sent to administer a certain region (in the Ryukyu Kingdom)


see styles
(kana only) Okinawa pit viper (Ovophis okinavensis); Ryukyu Island pit viper


see styles
 kenaganezumi; kenaganezumi
    けながねずみ; ケナガネズミ
(kana only) Ryukyu long-haired rat (Diplothrix legata)


see styles
 ryuukyuukoku / ryukyukoku
(hist) Ryukyu Kingdom; (place-name) (former) Ryukyu Kingdom



see styles
liú qiú guó
    liu2 qiu2 guo2
liu ch`iu kuo
    liu chiu kuo
Ryūkyū kingdom 1429-1879 (on modern Okinawa)
See: 琉球国


see styles
 ryuukyuuko / ryukyuko
(See 琉球諸島) Ryukyu archipelago


see styles
liú qiú hǎi
    liu2 qiu2 hai3
liu ch`iu hai
    liu chiu hai
Ryūkyū Sea; refers to the Ryūkyū Islands 琉球群島|琉球群岛[Liu2 qiu2 Qun2 dao3] stretching from Japan to Taiwan


see styles
 ryuukyuutatami / ryukyutatami
Ryūkyū tatami; sturdy and durable tatami that has a facing weaved from Shichito matgrass


see styles
 ryuukyuukougai; ryuukyuu kougai / ryukyukogai; ryukyu kogai
    リュウキュウコウガイ; リュウキュウ・コウガイ
(kana only) (See メヒルギ) Kandelia obovata (species of mangrove)


see styles
 ryuukyuuayu; ryuukyuuayu / ryukyuayu; ryukyuayu
    りゅうきゅうあゆ; リュウキュウアユ
(kana only) (See 鮎・1) Ryukyu sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis ryukyuensis)


see styles
 iboimori; iboimori
    いぼいもり; イボイモリ
(kana only) Anderson's crocodile newt (Echinotriton andersoni); Anderson's newt; Ryukyu spiny newt; Japanese warty newt

Click here for more ryukyu results from our dictionary

The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Ryukyu琉球ryuukyuu / ryukyuliú qiú / liu2 qiu2 / liu qiu / liuqiuliu ch`iu / liuchiu / liu chiu
Ryukyu Kobujutsu琉球古武術ryuukyuukobujutsu
Don't Worry, Be Happyなんくるないnan ku ru nai
Nankurunaisaなんくるないさnan ku ru nai sa
Quan Fa
Chuan Fa
拳法kenpou / kenpoquán fǎ / quan2 fa3 / quan fa / quanfach`üan fa / chüanfa / chüan fa

Many custom options...

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Scroll

And formats...

Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Vertical Portrait
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Horizontal Wall Scroll
Kenpo / Kempo / Quan Fa / Chuan Fa Vertical Portrait

Lookup Ryukyu in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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Some people may refer to this entry as Ryukyu Kanji, Ryukyu Characters, Ryukyu in Mandarin Chinese, Ryukyu Characters, Ryukyu in Chinese Writing, Ryukyu in Japanese Writing, Ryukyu in Asian Writing, Ryukyu Ideograms, Chinese Ryukyu symbols, Ryukyu Hieroglyphics, Ryukyu Glyphs, Ryukyu in Chinese Letters, Ryukyu Hanzi, Ryukyu in Japanese Kanji, Ryukyu Pictograms, Ryukyu in the Chinese Written-Language, or Ryukyu in the Japanese Written-Language.

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