In order to preserve and promote the principles of one of the most popular styles of karate in the world, as perceived by masters Funakoshi Gichin, Nakayama Masatoshi and their students Enoeda Keinosuke, Abe Keigo and Sumi Yoshikazu, the Japan Shotokan Karate International (JSKI) was set up at a meeting of like‐minded individuals in January 2010.
Shotokan karate was founded by ‘O’ Sensei Funakoshi Gichin who was born in 1868 in Shuri, Okinawa who is described as the ‘Father of Modern Karate’. As a young man he was a student of two very famous masters of the martial arts, Anko Itosu and Yasutsune Azato. In 1922 he was invited to Japan to give a demonstration of karate in front of the Emperor of the time, at the First National Athletic Exhibition in Tokyo, which was organised by the Ministry of Education. After this demonstration he decided to remain in Japan to spread the word and due to his efforts, karate became a part of the school curriculum in Japan. He built the first Shotokan dojo in Tokyo in 1936 but it was sadly destroyed. The style name ‘Shotokan’ was given to Funakoshi’s karate by his students. Shoto was Funakoshi’s pen name as a writer, meaning ‘pine waves’ and Kan means ‘school’ so those who trained at Funakoshi’s ‘school’ became known as the Shotokan. The style was further influenced by his son Funakoshi Yoshitaka (Giko) 1906—1945,who was deemed to be the technical creator and developer of modern karate, who greatly helped developed Shotokan as we know it. Thus developing a karate style with techniques that definitively separated Japanese Karate‐]do from the local Okinawan art, giving it a completely different and at the same time notoriously Japanese flavour. In 1948 Funakoshi and his students, established the Japan Karate Association and he remained the head of the JKA until his death in 1957.
Nakayama Masatoshi sensei 10th Dan, born in 1913 in the Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan, became a student of Funakoshi Gichin after he entered the famous Takushoku university in 1932 and was appointed the first JKA headmaster in 1958, after the death of master Funakoshi. Nakayama Sensei authored a great deal of textbooks on Karate, many of which are still used today, and was primarily responsible for setting the standard of the then JKA and thus the spread of Shotokan throughout the world. One of the JKA instructors to be sent out by Nakayama to sow the seed of Shotokan was Enoeda Keinosuke 9th Dan, who was the JKA representative and Chief Instructor for Great Britain. Nakayama sensei passed away at the age of 74 in the year 1987, leaving no successor, which led to a major split amongst the JKA’s most senior instructors. This led to the formation of another three major Shotokan groups, the Japan Shoto Renmei, Tetsuhiko Asai 10th dan (died 2006), the Japan Shotokan Karate Association, Keigo Abe 9th Dan and the Karatenomichi, headed by Mikio Yahara 8th Dan.