松 濤 館   空 手 道

Shotokan Karatedo

Shotokan Shihan

Gichin Funakoshi

Gichin Funakoshi was born on Tuesday 10 November 1868 in Shuri, Okinawa (then part of the Ryukyu Kingdom). The pen name that he used for writing poetry was Shōtō ( 松 濤 ), which means ‘waving pines’. In 1938 in Tokyo, after having trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan Karate-jutsu of the time (Shōrei-ryū and Shōrin-ryū), Funakoshi developed his own Karatedo style, which became known as Shōtōkan ( 松 濤 館 ), of which the Japanese word Kan ( 館 ) means ‘building’. In 1936, his third son, Yoshitaka, became the main instructor. However, after this son died in 1945, Gichin Funakoshi started to teach again. Aged 88, Gichin Funakoshi died on Friday 26 April 1957 in Tokyo, Japan. He became posthumously honored as the Supreme Master of Shotokan Karatedo. After Gichin Funakoshi’s death, the Shotokan practitioners became divided into the Nihon Karatedo Shotokai (NKS, with kai meaning ‘school’) and the Japan Karate Association (JKA).

Yoshitaka Funakoshi

Yoshitaka Funakoshi was born in 1906 in Shuri, Okinawa, as the third son of Gichin Funakoshi. He was mostly named Gigo. At the age of seven, he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. Nevertheless, he became the main instructor of his father’s Martial Art in 1936. He actually gave a powerful flavor to Shotokan Karatedo. According to the official version, Gigo Funakoshi died of tuberculosis at the age of 39 on 24 November 1945, in Tokyo, Japan. However, according to some, he was actually shot dead that day by a post-war firing squad.

Masatoshi Nakayama

Masatoshi Nakayama was born on 13 April 1913 in the Yamaguchi Prefecture (then part of the Empire of Japan). As student of Gichin Funakoshi, he became an internationally famous Japanese master of Shotokan Karatedo. In 1949, he helped establish the Japan Karate Association (JKA) or the Nihon Karate Kyokai (in transcribed Japanese) as the global Shotokan Karatedo organization. He also wrote many textbooks on Shotokan Karatedo (such as Dynamic Karate and the 11 volumes of Best Karate), which served to popularize this martial art. For almost 40 years, Nakayama worked to spread Shotokan Karatedo around the world. Aged 74, he died on 15 April 1987 in Tokyo, Japan.

Hirokazu Kanazawa

Hirokazu Kanazawa was born on 3 May 1931 in the Iwate Prefecture, Japan. As student of Gichin Funakoshi as well as Masatoshi Nakayama, he became a teacher of Shotokan Karatedo. After he left the Japan Karate Association (JKA), he founded in 1978 the Shotokan Karatedo International Federation (SKIF), of which he became both president and chief instructor. Aged 88, he died on 8 December 2019.

Taiji Kase

Taiji Kase was born on 9 February 1929 in Chiba, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, as a son of Nobuaki Kase (5th Dan in Judo). He began learning Judo before he turned 6 years old, and later in boyhood also studied Aikido and Kendo. In 1944, at the age of 15 years, Kase attained the rank of 2nd Dan in Judo. That same year, he read a book on Karatedo by Gichin Funakoshi, and was inspired to begin studying that art under Funakoshi himself. Kase became a master of Shotokan Karatedo, and he was one of the earliest masters responsible for introducing this martial art into Europe, while he lived in Paris, France. He named his style of Karatedo: Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha (meaning: Shotokan with Kase’s personal touch). In 1989, he and Hiroshi Shirai founded the World Karatedo Shotokan Academy (WKSA). Aged 75, Kase died on 24 November 2004 in Paris, France.

Hiroshi Shirai

Hiroshi Shirai was born on 31 July 1937 in Nagasaki, Japan. He started learning karate in 1956, three years after seeing a promotional video of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) at Komazawa University. In 1962, he won both the kata and the kumite championships of the JKA, thereby becoming one of those receiving the title ‘Grand Champion’. After a world trip to promote Shotokan Karatedo together with Hirokazu Kanazawa, Taiji Kase, and Keinosuke Enoeda to Europe, South Africa, and the United States of America, he settled in Milan, Italy, in 1965. Under his tutelage, the Italian Karatedo flourished, and many titles went to his students. In 1989, he and Taiji Kase founded the World Karatedo Shotokan Academy (WKSA).

Keinosuke Enoeda

Keinosuke Enoeda was born on 4 July 1935 on the island of Kyushu, Japan. As a youth, he trained in Kendo and Judo. By the age of 16, Enoeda had reached the rank of 2nd dan in Judo. He entered Takushoku University and, being impressed by a Shotokan Karatedo demonstration there, began studying that martial art. After graduating from university, Enoeda studied at the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Honbu Dojo (headquarters training hall) in Tokyo under Masatoshi Nakayama, then the JKA’s Chief Instructor. He also trained in kumite under the direction of Taiji Kase. He won the JKA All Japan Championship in 1963 against Hiroshi Shirai. Enoeda acquired the nickname Tora (‘Tiger’ in Japanese) after Nakayama had described his fighting style. In 1965, moved to the United Kingdom where he began teaching in Liverpool. Aged 67, he died on 29 March 2003 in the United Kingdom.

Mikio Yahara

Mikio Yahara was born on 4 April 1947 in Ehime Prefecture, Japan. After Judo, he started practicing Karatedo. He became a kenshusei (or junior instructor) with the Japan Karate Association (JKA). As a competitive karateka, he achieved substantial success both in kumite and kata (from 1974 to 1984). In 2000, he founded the Karate-no-michi World Federation (KWF), where Karate-no-michi- (or 空手の道 in Japanese) means ‘The Path of Karate’, in order to promote Budo Karate, consistently referred to on this website as Karatedo.

Yoshinobu Ohta

Yoshinobu Ohta was born on 3 November 1959 in Chiba, Japan. In 1982, he became Keinosuke Enoeda’s assistant in England for the next twenty-one years up until Enoeda’s death in 2003, after which he was appointed as the chief instructor and chairman of JKA England.

Tetsuhiko Asai

Tetsuhiko Asai was born on 7 June 1935 in the Ehime Prefecture, Japan. In 2000, he founded the International Japan Martial Arts Karate Asai-ryu and the Japan Karate Shoto Federation (JKS; formerly known as the Nippon Karate Shoto-Renmei). He died on 15 August 2006.

Masao Kagawa

Masao Kagawa was born on 8 June 1955 in Osaka, Japan. After Tetsuhiko Asai’s death in 2006, he became the JKS’ Chief Instructor.

Shotokan Shihan with Johan Oldenkamp

© : This page was last updated on 2024/03/30.