The Karate-Chicken Connection

唐揚 [からあげ] – fried (e.g. chicken)

  • 唐 [トウ・から] – China (T’ang Dynasty)
  • 揚 [ヨウ・-あげ] – deep fat fry

Interestingly, the art of Karate (空手) used to be written with the character 唐.  Because the character had Chinese implications, the Japanese decided to switch from 手 (Chinese hand) to 手 (empty hand), both of which are pronounced the same way.  Also of interest (to me, anyway) is that the Korean art Tang Soo Do is written 唐手道, meaning “Way of the Chinese Hand.”  The next time your friends deny a connection between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean martial arts, point them here.