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Recommended Books

Karate-do KyohanKarate-Do Kyohan : The Master Text
Written by Master Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate, and translated by Sensei Tsutomu Ohshima, this book is the definitive guide to Shotokan Karate. A must-have for any serious karateka.

Karate-Do Nyumon : The Master Introductory Text
by Gichin Funakoshi, John Teramoto (Translator).
Karate-Do Nyumon The first half of the book is full of wonderful history and entertaining anecdotes, advice on training, and photographs of practice during the first half of the (20th) century. The second half contains descriptions of basic techniques, ten-no-kata, and kawashi as practiced recently by senior Shotokai members. The text concludes with wonderful 'vignettes' of Funakoshi's teachers, Yasutsune Itosu and Yasutsune Azato, and of their teacher, Matsumura Sensei. Very highly recommended!

Karate Jutsu : The Original Teachings of Gichin Funakoshi
by Gichin Funakoshi, John Teramoto (Translator), Tsutomu Ohshima
karate jutsu As the Kyohan's earliest version, Karate Jutsu has attained legendary status. Legions of enthusiastic martial arts practitioners have sought out the original Japanese version, and pirated English-language editions have circulated for years.
This is the first official English publication of Karate Jutsu. Karate Jutsu includes rare historical photographs of Funakoshi himself demonstrating the kata, his early writings in their original form, and a foreword by Tsutomu Ohshima.

Notes on TrainingNotes On Training
Written by Sensei Tsutomu Ohshima, founder of Shotokan Karate of America and one of Master Funakoshi's last and most-gifted students, this book is a compilation of 30 years of his notes concerning karate training that originally appeared in the SKA newsletter. A perfect complement to "Karate-Do Kyohan".

Karate-do, My way of lifeKarate-Do: My Way of Life
An autobiography by the founder of Shotokan karate. It provides a fascinating view of his life as well as his firsthand perspective of the history, principles, and evolution of karate.

 

The Heart of Karate-Do
The Heart of Karate-doThis book has been out of print for some time and now it's back! It is one of my favorite books about karate, written by a man who studied directly from Gichin Funakoshi. Originally published at The Way of Karate: Beyond Technique, this book will guide karate practitioners to another side of karate, a softer, more powerful, and more spiritual side as described by one of the pre-JKA pioneers, Shoto Kai Master Shigeru Egami.

The Art of War
The Art of War Written in China more than 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu's classic The Art of War is the first known study of the planning and conduct of military operations. These terse, aphoristic essays are unsurpassed in comprehensiveness and depth of understanding, examining not only battlefield maneuvers, but also relevant economic, political, and psychological factors. Indeed, the precepts outlined by Sun Tzu can be applied outside the realm of military theory. It is read avidly by Japanese businessmen and in fact was touted in the movie Wall Street as the corporate raider's bible.

Zen in the art of archeryZen in the Art of Archery
So many books have been written about the meditation side of Zen and the everyday, chop wood/carry water side of Zen. But few books have approached Zen the way that most Japanese actually do - through ritualized arts of discipline and beauty - and perhaps that is why Eugen Herrigel's book is still popular so long after it first publication in 1953.

BushidoBushido: The Soul of Japan
This book is great for those who are unfamiliar, with the way of life of the samurai, and the population as a whole in feudal Japan. Siting similarities with other cultures great histories, it provides a contrast which brings better understanding to the subject.

Among Warriors: A Woman Martial Artist in Tibet
In 1991, inspired by 12 years of martial arts practice, Dr. Pamela Logan, an aerospace scientist and a third-degree black belt in shotokan karate (SKA), embarked on a rare journey to investigate warrior tribes in eastern Tibet. This remarkable book offers a riveting account of her fascinating odyssey. En route, she ponders the discipline of karate and swallows gallons of yak butter tea. The dialogue she recreates is stiff but fresh; vivid phrasing beautifully renders the people, the landscape, and her own evolution.
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Ryoma: Life of a Renaissance Samurai
RyomaHillsborough has painted a clear and thorough picture of the times and overlaid it with a compelling story of ingenuity and bravery, supported by 16 years of historical research in Japan. This is definitely one not to be missed by anyone interested in Japanese history, the Meiji restoration or the spirit and determination of the warrior classes of feudal Japan.

Samurai Sketches
Samurai SketchesSamurai Sketches are, to quote the author, “accurate portrayals of the heart and soul of the samurai, the social and political systems of whom have, like the Japanese sword, become relics of a distant age, but the likes of whose nobility shall never again be seen in this world.”

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