A tentative, and far from complete, version.
(July 1st, 1998)
will try to be a more complete version. there'll still be many things missing,
but that you all understand.
I continue to ask for help from the different groups around the world, your
help is necessary to try to "complete" it.
Please do take into consideration that there may be mistakes in what I write
here, but none are on purpose!
The beginning of the story
is included in the History of Karate, I will start at the moment of the foundation.
Shotokai (Shoto: Master
Funakoshi's pseudonym & Kai: group, meeting) was founded in 1935, this related
to the establishment of the Shotokan Dojo Fund, created to generate the resources
necessary to build the first Dojo for Master Funakoshi). This organization was
reformed in 1956 as a group in charge of the preservation of Karate-do unblemished
by commercialism. The masters involved were Funakoshi, Egami, Hironishi and
Noguchi, the name of the organization was: Nihon Karate-Do Shotokai. Master
Funakoshi was it's president until his death in 1957 (reference: Karate-do Kyohan
biography of Funakoshi). The objective of Shotokai was to preserve the true
spirit of Karate-Do, that already at that moment was starting to become commercial
and sports oriented by NKK's (Kyokai; JKA) influence.
After Master Funakoshi's
death in '57, Master Shigeru Egami took over the titles of Head Instructor of
the Shotokan (Shotokai's Hombu Dojo in Japan) and President of Nihon Karate-do
Shotokai. He was president of this organization until his death in 1981, at
that moment the successor was Genshin Hironishi, who until today is the highest
representative of Nihon Karate-do Shotokai.
Shotokai's History outside
Japan is rather complicated and incomplete in my handed-down knowledge.
There are two important
things to take into consideration:
So in 1955, both Ohshima and
Harada Sensei traveled abroad, Ohshima traveled to USA, California, Harada to
Brazil, to the city of São Paulo. And due to the date, they established
Shotokan in both countries. Shotokan of America (SKA) and Shotokan do Brazil.
Ohshima Sensei continued to expand his organization, and at the moment it embraces
all the USA, and some other countries, like: Canada, France Spain, Belgium, etc.
Though I am not totally sure, they mostly avoid competition, or at least do not
lay much weight on it, never as much as the JKA.
- Before the 1950's, when
the Shotokai/kan split took place, Shotokan represented the name commonly
used to designate the Karate-do that Master Funakoshi founded and established,
even though his organization was Shotokai.
- All 5th dans in the Shotokai
Organization are authorized to establish their own organizations and heed
the one "Greatest authority" represented by, today, Master Hironishi.
Harada Sensei stayed continuously in Brazil until 1962, when he traveled to Europe.
There he seems to have arrived in France and later England, where he established
SHOTOKAI in these countries (the split had already happened). He intermittently
traveled to Brazil, until 1969, when he established himself permanently in England,
he now seems to be living in Wales. Harada's organization in Europe has expanded
to other countries, including: Finland, Belgium, Portugal, Algeria, Scotland,
Murakami sensei, traveled to Europe in the late 50's by request of a French karate
practitioner, once there he began establishing a very strong organization that
includes a number of groups in various European countries, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland,
etc. Sensei Murakami studied with Yamagushi sensei (Not the Goju-ryu master) one
of O-sensei's students, he later studied under Egami sensei, becoming Egami's
representative in Europe for Nihon Karate-do Shotokai. Murakami sensei passed
away in the late 80's leaving a big number of strong dojos in Europe.
In 1958, Kawanabe Sensei, assistant to Master Egami opened a Dojo in Atsugi, Japan,
thus founding Kawanabe Shotokai.
Marshall M.Dow Sensei studied in Atsugi in 1960, under Kawanabe, he later on returned
to the USA where he established Shotokai, in Tucson, Arizona. In 1985 he founded
the Shotokai Kumayama Dojo.
Harada before leaving Brazil definitively, had a number of students, including
Okada. Humberto Heyden Sensei studied karate in Brazil. Heyden Sensei returned
to his country, Chile, where he teaches Shotokai Karate-do, under the Shotokai
name, with authorization from Kawanabe and Dow Sensei. There is also a small group
of students directed by Heyden Sensei in Brazil.
With respect to Okada Sensei, he has stopped teaching Shotokai. Two Shotokai masters
have taught in Brazil, Harada and Shibata, but the latter has retired from teaching
karate-do. Apparently the only true Shotokai group practicing in South America
is directly related to Humberto Heyden Sensei.
Other Shotokai masters in Europe, students of Master Egami, seems, are: Fujita
sensei in France, Atsuo Hiruma sensei in Spain and Italy.
As an end to this tale, Shotokai is practiced under the Shotokai name is at least
the following countries, today:
This is all I can say, with
a certain foundation. Extra information and corrections to be included write
Karate Do Shotokai Enyclopedia on Karate-do and Japanese Martial Arts http://www.shotokai.com © 1995-2013. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated. For reproduction permission contact: