Family Tree: Shotokan Karate – Pre 1945

Gichin Funakoshi, a school teacher from the island of Okinawa, arrived in Japan in 1922. He had come to Tokyo to take part in the 1st Annual Athletic Exhibition, hosted by the Ministry of Education.

Following his display at the exhibition, there was plenty of interest in what Funakoshi was showing. He stayed on in Tokyo, giving a number of demonstration to a number of interested parties.

Funakoshi made it his mission to spread Karate throughout Japan. He settled in Tokyo. He eventually raised enough funds to open his first dojo, the Meisei Juku Dojo. In 1939 the Shoto-Kan dojo was opened.

Being an educator, Funakoshi recognised that the best way for Karate to spread was through the university system. A number of clubs were opened at various universities, starting with Keio Univerity in 1924.

Many people trained with Funakoshi, between 1922 to 1945. The following diagram shows some of the main people to train with him during this period.

Author: Patrick Donkor

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