If you just walked into Osagame off the street you might notice a little more than just a awesome Mat room, some serviceable bathrooms and a bunch of cubbies. You might also notice lots and lots of turtles. You might see turtle sculptures made of wood, ceramic and clay. You might see stuffed animal turtles —- even a measuring tape hidden in a turtle casing.
And you might ask “What’s up with the turtles?”
Funny you should ask.
Our name, Osagame, is the Japanese word for the sea going, leatherback turtle. It starts off life with a wingspan of 2 ½ inches, and can grow to a wingspan of 10 feet. I thought that was an apt metaphor for a journey from white belt to black belt.
We’ve been open for 8½ years now, and people bring us back turtles from all over the world. We’ve got turtles from India, from Vietnam, from the Caribbean, from Europe, from Africa and Thailand. (And also from Florida, Texas and New Jersey). Some are from far away, some are from sources that are walking distance to the club. But all of them come from people who were thinking about us when they weren’t on the mat. It’s pretty cool.
Now you know