to Karate-do Kyohan
Twenty years have passed since publication of the first edition of Karate-do
Kyohan: The Master Text. I recall with some feeling publication in 1922 of
the earliest book, Ryukyu Kempo: Karate, and subsequent publication of
the second, Rentan Gosshin Karate-jitsu, which went to several editions.
The honor afforded by the reading of the second book by the emperor and members
of the imperial family was a source of deep gratification and humility to me.
Then, after more than ten years of further training and experience, and about
two years of review and correction of incomplete parts of Karate-jitsu,
I published Karate-do Kyohan: The Master Text. The joy I felt at the appearance
of this book remains as real to me as if its publication had occurred yesterday.
As a result of the social disorder that followed the end of World War II, the
karate world was dispersed, as were many other things. Quite apart from a decline
in the level of technique during these times, I cannot deny that there were moments
at which I came to be painfully aware of the almost unrecognizable spiritual state
to which the karate world had come from that that had prevailed at the time I
had first introduced and begun the teaching of karate. Although one might claim
that such changes are only the natural result of the expansion of Karate-do, it
is not evident that one should view such a result with rejoicing rather than with
It is, therefore, with mixed feelings of joy and remorse that I have watched and
tried to provide a better direction to the course of the world of karate, and
I am at a loss to estimate the influence I might yet exert upon its strongly flowing
course. In any case, being now close to ninety years of age, it is not for me
to speculate on the futute. For several years, I have thought about the necessity
of republishing this book. Recently, in attempting to locate a copy of the first
edition in the large number of secondhand bookstores in the Kanda district of
Tokyo, I was surprised at its scarcity and high price. Moreover, I have had many
requests for a new edition from my students and am now convinced that there is
still use for such a book among those who seek it. In approaching the writing
of the new book, unlike my feelings before, I have been shocked by the profundity
of Karate-do to the point that even I at times have hesitated, and as a result
the writing has extended itself over the past three years.
Nevertheless, I have appreciated that if these profound aspects of karate are
not set forth at some level now, they may never be built upon in the future, and
it is with this recognition and with utmost humility that I provide this second
To my students and to all others who devote their time to karate, may I express
the hope that you will understand my earnest wish in this and will yourselves
supplement this work; thus will the objective of the work be fulfilled.
Tokyo October 13, 1956
Note to the Second Karate-do Kyohan Edition
for the Karate Student, by Master Funakoshi
Karate Do Shotokai Enyclopedia on Karate-do and Japanese Martial Arts
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