Karate-Do: My Way of Life Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

Gichin Funakoshi
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Entering the Way

• The author, Gichin Funakoshi was born in 1868 but changed his birth date to 1870 to comply with a regulation.

• The Meiji Restoration began in the same year in Edo, which was now called Tokyo, Japan.

• Applicants to the medical school entrance exam must be born in 1870 or later.

• Ironically, he passed the medical school exam but did not enter the school.

• Another Meiji rule required cutting the traditional topknot hairstyle to begin a medical career.

• The Funakoshi family opposed this topknot ban, and Gichin went along with family pressure.

• He was a sickly child raised by grandparents who "coddled and pampered" him.
• He was in the "shizoku" class which demanded learning Four Chinese Classics and Five Chinese Classics of Confucian tradition.

• While in school he met the son of Yasutsune Azato.

• He was one of Okinawa's greatest karate experts.

• Gichin began to practice karate with him...

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