The Karate-do That Began with Chinmochi By Gichin Funakoshi (Translation by Mark Tankosich)

This translation originally appeared in Vol. 34, No. 2 of the Hiroshima University of Economics Journal of Humanities, Social and Natural Sciences. 

From Okinawa to Tokyo

“Have you begun a mochi-making business?”  It was a Buddhist priest from Shomyoji, the temple located at the bottom of the cliff.  Mochi-making business?!?!  What in the world was he talking about?  I came to understand later, and it’s humorous how karate-do’s pioneer in Tokyo – that is, its first voice [here] – [seemingly] started out making mochi.   

Thinking about it, I guess I could say that the very beginning was my having come up to Tokyo about 40 years ago, at the end of 1921, to attend the First National Athletic Exhibition3 (including kobudo4), which was to be sponsored by the Ministry of Education, and held at the Tokyo Ocha-no-mizu Education Museum5 in early spring the following year. I had wanted to introduce karate-do to the heart of the nation for a long time, and had [the benefit of] the recommendation of the prefecture, etc., so, thinking that I shouldn’t miss this perfect opportunity, I had hurriedly prepared by hastily making double-width scrolls6 containing more than a hundred pictures7 of kata, along with explanations and what not.  

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