4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Jason Lester
Jason Lester's picture
Karate Do: My way of life mistake

Hi everyone,

For those who have a copy of the wounderfull book karate do, my way of life by Gichin Funakoshi, take a look at pages 69 in which the year is 1921 and page 71. Master Funakoshi clearly states that he wrote to Masters Azato and Itosu telling them of his idea to promote karate etc,  the masters replied with letters of encouragement.

Im clearly confused as both masters had passed away years before the date in question, if this has already been discussed before please ignore this post or if i have the details wrong please correct me.

Kind regards,

Jason

ky0han
ky0han's picture

Hi Jason,

I probably should take a look into the book first but I try anyway smiley.

Funakoshi is telling stories from the past. I don't think the book is in a chronological order. He is jumping back and forth with his recollections of past events. That means he once wrote letters and got answers. As far as I know, Funakoshi formed a Karate demo team in as early as mhhh 1906 I think (not quite sure) and started promoting karate all over Okinawa. He had demos in front of high ranking officials from the japanese mainland, such as the future emperor and high military officials.

A few years earlier in the 1890s the first karate clubs were opened at okinawan school where it eventually became part of the school educational program at the beginning of the 20th century.

Itosu together with Hanashiro and Yabu changed karate to fit the needs for the instructions of large classes and adopted some military behavior, like lining up and do the exercises at a count. Itosu also wrote his famous letter were he advocated karate as a tool to strengthen the nation. Asato was also pro japanese (he was one of the first to abandon the top knot where others resisted several years).

So Itosu lived until 1915 and Asato until 1906 I think it was. Both wanted to spread Karate for the greater good or at least suported that idea. So no surprise here in encouraging their student funakoshi.

Hope that helps.

Regards Holger

ky0han
ky0han's picture

So I looked it up and it is indeed so, that he is talking about the time after 1921. That is strange. Can have to reasons. The first reason can be that Funakoshi mixed something up due to his age. And the second and in my eyes most likely reason is a bad/wrong translation.

Another bad translation you can find on page 4. It is stated that Karate was banned by the government. That is not true and in the original japanese version you can only read that it was not possible to learn Karate publicly.

Regards Holger

Jason Lester
Jason Lester's picture

Hi Holger, thanku for the replys.

It is rather odd, maybe he did indeed write a letter but maybe it was to his fellow karateka masters of that time, sadly we may never know. I have not noticed the error on page 4 but i will be sure to have a read of that.

Many thanks,

Jason