On this day….(March 2)

On this day, 2 March 1960, Gichin Funkoshi’s eldest son, Yoshihide, died aged 71.

Yoshihide Funakoshi is not as well known as his more talented younger brother Yoshitaka(Gigo). Little is known about his karate ability. In his youth Yoshihide had trained under Master Yasutsune Itosu alongside his father.

Master Funikoshi and his eldest son had a complex relationship. Yoshihide had moved to Tokyo several years before his father. However, he fell in with a bad crowd and accrued gambling debts. He would borrow money from his father’s students, not paying them back.

Following the the deaths of son Yoshitaka in 1945 and his wife in 1947, Master Funakoshi was facing a difficult time, having given up teaching karate and moving to Oita, Kyusho, during the war years. It was his son Yoshihide who persuaded him to return back to Tokyo to resume teaching, with his help. Funakoshi lived with Yoshihide and his family for the last ten years of his live.

Yoshihide strove to keep his father’s views about following a traditional approach to karate alive. He was not happy about the sporting direction of karate. He would would eventually follow his father and become president of Shotokai.

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