Gichin Funakoshi was born in Shuri at 1868.

Funakoshi is the founder of the Shotokan Karate and considered the father of the modern karate. Gichin Funakoshi have brought the Karate from Okinawa to the mainland Japan in 1922. Funakoshi have trained in two styles that were popular at that time: Shorin-Ryu and Shurei-Ryu.

He have been teaching in several Japanese universities and became the chairperson of the JKA (Japan Karate Association), when it was established at 1949.

The origin of the name Shotokan is taken from Gichin Funakoshi’s pseudonym, “Shoto” which means “Waving Pines”, and the meaning of “-kan” is a hall, or a training place. So Shotokan is the training hall of Shoto. The name Shotokan was created by Funakoshi’s students, who have written it above the entrance of his dojo.

He have also established the concept of Kata – sequence of techniques that emulate real combat.

In addition to teaching Karate, Funakoshi was a philosopher and poet. Funakoshi’s autobiography is called “Karate – the way of life” and his “Niju Kun – 20 principles” holds his philosophy and paves the principles of karate as they are today. The most famous book “Karate-do Kyohan” holds extensive information about kata, fighting techniques, rules and history. The famous drawing of the tiger, which appears on the cover of the book, became, with years an official symbol of the Shotokan style.