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Thread: The other Funakoshis and Shotokan

  1. #16
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    Hey Henning, Very intereresting read. I knew about Yoshitaka (Gigo) I think we all do because of his involvement in Karate. However I only knew a bit about Giei. the information I read was that Giei did teach Karate with the Shotokai however. I have read this at several online sources yesterday, one of them being an official Shotokai site.

    I would be very interested in seeing the sources for your information about his other sons. From what I read here it sort of states that the other sons basically did not learn Karate, one because he had passed away young. Yet Funakoshi himself says that his "Sons" learned Karate from the masters and they were spoiled with candy and sweets.

    I guess I am just having issues balancing the common thoughts on them with the information you present. Can you provide sources (not formally just a idea of where you found this out from).

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #17
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    Hello,

    Firstly, you mention, that you read about Giei "teaching karate at the official Shōtōkai site". To be accurate, you read the English version (i. e. a more or less good translation of the Japanese original) of that site. If you refer to the original Japanese version, you will not find a hint, that Giei "did teach karate" (in the sense of being a karate instructor). It simply states, that Giei as the eldest son of Gichin served as the 2nd president of the Shōtōkai and was in great pains in order to succeed his way. This does not mean he was a "karate instructor".

    As for my sources, they are Japanese primary and secondary sources. I am using, for example, a biography of Gichin and Yoshitaka, which was written and published by a direct student of Gichin and Yoshitaka when Gichin was still alive. Therein you can find the information about the sons.

    Regards,

    Henning Wittwer

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibukai View Post
    I am using, for example, a biography of Gichin and Yoshitaka, which was written and published by a direct student of Gichin and Yoshitaka when Gichin was still alive. Therein you can find the information about the sons.
    Can you tell us the title and author of this book?
    Andrew Smallacombe

    Aikido Kenshinkai

    JKA Tokorozawa

    Now trotting over a bridge near you!

  4. #19
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    To me, an interesting historical aside regarding Kenneth Funakoshi. Originally, he was a blackbelt under Sijo Emerado in Kajukenbo while it was still in the Palama district of Hawaii.

    Later, Kenneth Funakoshi felt that he should honor his family's lineage and went to train in Shotokan.
    "Hard won, buy easy lost. True karate does not stay where it is not being used."

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin73 View Post
    To me, an interesting historical aside regarding Kenneth Funakoshi. Originally, he was a blackbelt under Sijo Emerado in Kajukenbo while it was still in the Palama district of Hawaii.

    Later, Kenneth Funakoshi felt that he should honor his family's lineage and went to train in Shotokan.
    it is common knowledge that He did not know about his family connection to Shotokan till he started training and his instructor pointed that out to him, it does not match what you have suggested. Can you further explain that.

  6. #21
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    In an interview with Centrun Negro Magazine (conducted by John Bishop), Sijo Emperado made the following statement.

    CN: Are there other people that were originally Kajukenbo black belts?

    EMPERADO: Many. The Shotokan stylist Ken Funakoshi was one of the black belts who came out of the Palama school, as was the actor Don Stroud. Funakoshi, who was a descendant of Gichin Funakoski felt that he should follow his heritage and train in Shotokan. I gave him my blessing.
    I did misquote and said "lineage" instead of "heritage". But, what I take from this interview it wasn't until later after earning a blackbelt that Kenneth Funakoshi went to Shotokan. I don't know at what point he found out about his family connection to Shotokan, but he was still a student of Kajukenbo and and went to them before making the switch it sounds like.
    "Hard won, buy easy lost. True karate does not stay where it is not being used."

  7. #22
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    I tried to edit my message, but it wouldn't let me.

    I tracked down an interview with both Sijo Emperado and with Kenneth Funakoshi.

    This was taken from an interview that John Bishop conducted with Sijo Emperado in Centron Negro Magazine.

    CN: Are there other people that were originally Kajukenbo black belts?

    EMPERADO: Many. The Shotokan stylist Ken Funakoshi was one of the black belts who came out of the Palama school, as was the actor Don Stroud. Funakoshi, who was a descendant of Gichin Funakoski felt that he should follow his heritage and train in Shotokan. I gave him my blessing.

    In an interview that Kenneth Funakoshi did for "The Shotokan Way", he states that he started training in Kajukenbo in 1956 and then in 1960, he first met Kanazawa Sensei. He states that this was the first exposure that he had to Japanese Karate. It wasn't until after this that Funakoshi would have found out about his family and switched to Shotokan.
    "Hard won, buy easy lost. True karate does not stay where it is not being used."

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin73 View Post
    I tried to edit my message, but it wouldn't let me.

    I tracked down an interview with both Sijo Emperado and with Kenneth Funakoshi.

    This was taken from an interview that John Bishop conducted with Sijo Emperado in Centron Negro Magazine.

    CN: Are there other people that were originally Kajukenbo black belts?

    EMPERADO: Many. The Shotokan stylist Ken Funakoshi was one of the black belts who came out of the Palama school, as was the actor Don Stroud. Funakoshi, who was a descendant of Gichin Funakoski felt that he should follow his heritage and train in Shotokan. I gave him my blessing.

    In an interview that Kenneth Funakoshi did for "The Shotokan Way", he states that he started training in Kajukenbo in 1956 and then in 1960, he first met Kanazawa Sensei. He states that this was the first exposure that he had to Japanese Karate. It wasn't until after this that Funakoshi would have found out about his family and switched to Shotokan.
    I only ask because its confusing for one source to say he knew about his connection to Shotokan and the person himself said he did not. The interview basically said that his mother and Kanazawa talking over a meal that Kanazawa was invited to at their home. Kanazawa brought up that they had the same last name as the creator of Shotokan and Kenneths mother said "yes we had a great uncle named that" and they put the dots together right then and their.

    I found it interesting that they did not realize this and also Funakoshi Sensei has living family that still does Karate.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kensei View Post
    I only ask because its confusing for one source to say he knew about his connection to Shotokan and the person himself said he did not. The interview basically said that his mother and Kanazawa talking over a meal that Kanazawa was invited to at their home. Kanazawa brought up that they had the same last name as the creator of Shotokan and Kenneths mother said "yes we had a great uncle named that" and they put the dots together right then and their.

    I found it interesting that they did not realize this and also Funakoshi Sensei has living family that still does Karate.
    No worries. I agree that it seems at odd with each other. But, I think it was the timelines that make it as such. In the Sijo Emperado interview, he isn't really talking about Kenneth Funakoshi's lineage per se, but only mentioning that he was a Kajukenbo BB first and then later switched to Shotokan due to his lineage. Doesn't really say when/where he found out. If we look at the time line, there would have been 4 years of studying Kajukenbo before Kanazawa came to Hawaii and Kenneth Funakoshi states that this was the first exposure he had ever had to Japanese karate, and he didn't even know that there were different styles. So, I think that this is where the confusion is, Sijo Emperado is talking about the event after the fact of Kenneth Funakoshi learning his family history and as Kenneth Funakoshi is telling it, he is walking us through the past as he learned it.

    I also find it very interesting that Funakoshi Sensei has family that still does Shotokan. I also, find it even more intersting when we think about how famous Gichin Funakoshi, that one of his own family didn't realize this part of their history.
    "Hard won, buy easy lost. True karate does not stay where it is not being used."

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