Master Funakoshi - ( 1868 - 1957 )
Master Gichin Funakoshi, the Founder of Shotokan Karate, was born in Shuri, Okinawa in 1868. He was taught two different forms of martial arts as a child, Shuri-te and Naha-te. These two styles of martial arts were blended to create Karate and was introduced into Japan by Funakoshi.
In 1917 he was asked to perform his martial art for an education exhibition and was asked again in 1922, then again for a special performance for the Emperor and the Royal family.
Gichin Funakoshi remained in Japan to teach his art. He earned means for his first school which opened in Meishojuku. He also wrote several books on karate and published an autobiography. Funakoshi took a lot of criticism about his art but eventually gained recognition as a Japanese martial art in 1941.
Gichin Funakoshi died at the age of 88 in 1957. He was a humble and gentle man, a man of Tao.