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Funakoshi Gichin

( One of the founders of modern karate, the creator of the style of Shotokan)

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Biography Funakoshi Gichin
photo Funakoshi Gichin
Funakoshi, Gichin (Funakoshi, Gichin) (1868-1957), one of the founders of modern karate, the creator of the style of Shotokan. Born April 24, 1868 in g.Syuri on Okinawa in a poor family of a petty official - tax collector. Junior Funakoshi grew weak and sickly child. The upbringing of young Gitina took over his grandfather, Gifuku Funakoshi, who taught at a local school a number of classical science: the Confucian literature, grammar, calligraphy. In school Gichin Funakoshi became friends with the son Azat Yasutsune, master Shuri-te, one of the directions of karate - a traditional close combat Okinawa.
In 1888 Funakoshi passed the exam for the youngest elementary school teacher and, having gone in the footsteps of his grandfather, became a school teacher. This position does not provide for higher education that Funakoshi never received, but among the inhabitants of the provincial Shuri Funakoshi was considered a very educated man.

In the Meiji period, with the introduction of universal conscription, the Japanese government began to pay attention to the physical development of students of secondary schools. These medical examinations mid-1890's in Okinawa revealed a surprising proportion, strength and endurance of adolescents with childhood karate. By the time the Army and Naval Command, summed up the experience of Japanese-Chinese war, recognized the benefits of martial arts training for the armed forces. In 1906 at the initiative of Okinawan masters Itosu, the first demonstrations of karate, which was attended by dozens of officials. In this demonstration, participated and 37-year-old Funakoshi. Minister of Education of Japan Shintaro Ogawa agreed to introduce Okinawa-te, the then name of karate in the program of instruction in secondary schools and some universities Islands. Since then, karate was formalized discipline.

In 1916 Funakoshi a delegation from Okinawa participated in a demonstration performances in Kyoto (Japan). In 1921, on the way to Europe, Crown Prince Hirohito, the future Emperor of Japan, visited Okinawa, where he had arranged a demonstration kata and kumite in tamesivari Shuri Castle (cm. KARATE). Prince, a man of very warlike pursuits, was delighted with this demonstration, which ultimately decided the fate of Karate. Public opinion was formed, karate was officially recognized in the upper strata of society.

In 1922 Funakoshi came to Tokyo to attend the first National Sports Festival, organized by the Ministry of Education, and met with the patriarch of Judo Jigoro Kano. Appeal to Kano was not accidental. Funakoshi came to pay homage not only to the father of judo, . but also to the president of the Japan Athletic Association, . President of the Japanese Society of Physical Education, . Representative of Japan to the International Olympic Committee, . - Actually a man, . the word which depended the fate of any new type of physical education in Japan,
. Kano, invited Funakoshi to the Kodokan for demonstrations of karate, and was fascinated by the intelligent and knowledgeable master in Okinawa.

Enlisting the moral support of Kano in the development and promotion of karate, Funakoshi decided not to return to Okinawa and to stay in Tokyo. Funakoshi's wife refused to follow him, citing loyalty to the traditions which prescribe to live near the graves of ancestors.

In 1922 in Tokyo, saw the publication of Funakoshi's first book, Ryukyu Kempo Karate, literally translated: 'Fist techniques Chinese (Tang) hands with the Ryukyu Islands'. Name rather remarkable - here emphasizes the one hand, the origin of Okinawan karate, but on the other hand, its genetic relationship with China.

Skopje little money, Funakoshi opened his first tiny room at the temple Meysedzoku, which contained at its expense. His efforts were not wasted, and he appeared the first disciples. In September 1924 Funakoshi opened a karate club at the University of Keio. In 1925 wrote a new, revised version of his first book, already under a different name - Rentan Guoxing karate-jutsu - 'The Art of Karate for hardening of the body and spirit for self-defense'. Already in 1926 opened a second club at the University of Tokyo in the ITIC. Since 1927 the group began to operate in karate Waseda University, Takushoku, Sedan, Hitotsubashi. By 1930, only one in Tokyo was opened about thirty rooms, located directly under the leadership of Funakoshi. The wizard worked for days, accompanied by several workouts a day in different parts of the city, wrote articles, worked on a new book, which was supposed to complete the creation of the concept of 'new' karate. In order to encourage pupils to phase advance in karate, in 1926 he, along the lines of judo, has introduced a rigid system of rank - the student (kyu) and workshops (dan), conferring with the first given to a black belt as a sign of higher skill.

1930 was very tense for Funakoshi - it went from one of the best students Hironori Ohtsuka, later created a style of Wado-Ryu.

In 1930 Funakoshi formally appointed his son Yoshitaka chief instructor of the prestigious Waseda University, which was located one of the major schools of karate.

The term karate-do (karate, as a spiritual path) has appeared in only Funakoshi in 1935 in his book Karate-do Kehan. The character 'to' he took under the influence of judo, where the concept has been developed martial arts as a way of life. It is in the middle of 1930 Funakoshi completed the establishment of a theoretical framework of his martial arts.

In 1935 Funakoshi realized an old dream, which he had cherished for many years - he built his own room in the quarter Meydzyuro in Tokyo. Its construction was completed by mid-1936. Hall named 'Shotokan'. It was under the pseudonym 'Seto' once wrote Funakoshi his poems in imitation of ancient Chinese poets. Hieroglyph 'Ge' literally means 'pine tree', character 'a' - 'Sea'. Since then, his room and style of karate called 'Hall of pine and the sea' or 'Room Wizard Seto'.

The spring of 1945 Hall of Shotokan was destroyed to the ground during a U.S. airstrike. Killed many archives and records Funakoshi. In the same year died from tuberculosis, his son and the first assistant Yoshitaka. After the war, Funakoshi decided to return to Okinawa, but the island was occupied by Americans. By order of the commander of the occupying American forces, General MacArthur, many Okinawans were resettled in Japan, and with them came the wife of Funakoshi. For an elderly couple, finally, after 25 years of separation, reunited and settled in the town of Oita on Kyushu, but, alas, marital happiness was destined to last long - the autumn of 1947 his wife died Funakoshi.

In 1949, the country ended with the postwar revival of karate, but in fact - the formation of a new approach to karate as a physical education, focusing upon sports. In the same year was established All-Japan Karate Association (JKA), in fact uniting only style Karate Shotokan. Funakoshi was elected honorary president.

Gichin Funakoshi was active until the end of his days tirelessly traveled to competitions, visited the various sections. Having free time, participated actively in cultural life, especially love poetry meetings, was a profound and subtle connoisseur of poetry.

Funakoshi died in Tokyo on November 14, 1957.

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