This is an eclectic book about Funakoshi Gichin, who many consider to be the father of Japanese karate. But this is not a book of commentary about this master. Instead, the man, his background and early karate history are intimately portrayed through his own early writings, his portraits, many photos and other related materials.
While not aimed at the martial arts beginner or casual reader, the book would be enjoyed by historians, researchers, Shotokan karate practitioners or anyone interested in the development of karate in the early 20th century.Although some of this information has been printed elsewhere, the book does provide new translations, while also revealing the sources of the information.
Central to the collection are new translations of five early writings by Funakoshi dating back to 1914 that touch on a wide variety of subjects: His thoughts on the origin of karate, other former martial artists, styles of karate, kumite, points of practice and fighting, the relationship between karate and academic study, his personal prospective of the introduction of karate into Japan, his recollections about his teacher Azato Ankoh as well as the contrast of stillness and action (yin & yang) and how it relates to karate practice.
The publication is enhanced with nearly 40 pages of rare and historical photos, portraits, sequences of technique and translated calligraphy. Among them are the controversial 925 King Magazine illustrations that depict the story of Choku Motobu defeating a foreign boxer in a challenge match, but rather than Motobu being shown the drawings are of Funakoshi.