Shotokan Karate

The House of Shoto (Shotokan) was the house of Gichin "Shoto" Funakoshi–born in 1868 in Shuri, Okinawa. His training in the then forbidden and secret arts of Shorin-ryu karate began at age 11, under the instruction of Anko Itosu and Yasutsune Azato, both reputed to be among Okinawa's greatest experts. In 1921 on a visit to Okinawa, Prince Hirohito was treated to a karate demonstration by Funakoshi, and soon after, Funakoshi was asked to introduce the art to the Japanese mainland. Funakoshi's efforts, fueled by his belief that karate ought to be accessible to all, led to the establishment in 1936 of the first independent karate dojo in Japan–named "House of Shoto" after Funakoshi's pen name--and the foundation of the Japan Karate Association in 1955, for which he was chief instructor.

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