With the kind permission of Takao Nakaya, I am quoting from ‘KARATEDO History and Philosophy’ 6th Edition , 2018. I have edited/omitted portions in order that Nakaya Sensei’s rights are preserved.

“The Meishojuku dormitory was built in the middle of the summer, in 1912. It was between two eras (Meiji and Taisho) and the name came from these two eras with Jyuku meaning house.

Originally, Funakoshi had planned to return to Okinawa but changed his mind and began living at the Meishojuku dormitory for Okinawan students. Gima (Gima used the pronunciation of his first name, Makoto instead of Shinkin in the mainland of Japan), who also lived in Meishojuku, asked the superintendent of the Meishojuku, Kanjun Higaonna, for permission for Funakoshi to live and use a room for karate training, which was granted.

Funakoshi moved in there early in August, and in the middle of the month, he began to teach Karate to Kano’s most advanced students and members of the police and military at various sports centres during the day.

Masahiro Kasuya, Hironori Otsuka, and Katsuichi Matsuda joined around the middle of September. In the evenings, Funakoshi taught karate at the Meishojuku, using only 360 square feet. It was Funakoshi’s teaching at the Meishojuku that seem to bring a recognition to karate.

Evening classes usually who are small classes consisting of 4 to 8 students. He stayed there for a few years. The next year, on September one, 1923, there was the Kanto earthquake, and the Meishojuku building was damaged. Around the beginning of summer 1924, Funakoshi moved to the Yushinkan Dojo, belonged to a famous Kendo expert, Hakudo Nakayama, until the Meishojuku building was fixed. Nakayama gave permission to Funakoshi to use this dojo when he was not using it. He used this dojo until 1931. After then, he rented one house which was Masago-Cho (town) for two years. After then, he moved to the next house until March 1, 1938. The rental house’s owner, Masuko Yoshiyama, who was a widow, became Funakoshi’s first female student. Funakoshi’s students called it Masago-Cho Dojo. On March 1, 1938, his students presented one dojo called Shotokan Dojo to him.

This dojo was burned down by air attacks during World War II on March 9, 1945. The following people ere Funakoshi’s students from the above three dojos:

(Editor’s note this – list has been purposely shortened by me for the sake of this web page).

  • Akiba Hideo
  • Fujii Nobuo
  • Gima Shinkin (Gima Makoto)
  • Hayashi Yoshiaki
  • Ito Yasunari
  • Konishi Yasuhiro
  • Obata Isao
  • Otsuka Hironori
  • Shimoda Takeshi
  • Taira Shinken
  • Takagi Masatomo

and others.”

Leave a comment