In Okinawa 1868, the founder of Shotokan Karate, Gichin Funakoshi, was born. As a young boy, two great Karate masters Yasutsune Azato and Yasutsune Itosu, decided that they would take him under their wing and train him in the art of Karate.
Gichin Funakoshi would learn a form of karate known as Shuri-te from Master Yasutsune Azato and Naha-te from Yasutsune Itosu. After becoming proficient in both styles of Karate, he decided to merge the two styles together and began to introduce the art of Karate to Japan. After a very successful demonstration at a Physical Education exhibition, he was asked to perform again, only this time in front of the Emperor and the Royal Family. He went on to spread the art around the country.
Although Gichin Funakoshi passed away at the age of 88 in 1957, it is amazing that his legacy still lives on in the love and respect of all karateka.