Rentan Goshin Karate-Jutsu

Karate, Funakoshi Gichin, Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Vancovuer, Kitsilano, BC, Lessons, Martial Arts
Originally published on Sept 23, 1926 in the Asahi Newspaper

In my last entry I wrote about the newspaper advertisement promoting the side-show Karate of Kojima Noritaka and how it might have shaped perceptions of Karate in the 1930s. I said I would contrast this with an advertisement for Funakoshi Gichin’s ‘Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu”.
“Rentan Goshin Karate Jutsu” or “The Art of Karate: Training  Courage & Self-defense” was Funakoshi Gichin’s second book on Karate-do that was published March 1, 1925. It expanded on his first publication “Ryukyu Kenpo Karate” or “Ryukyu Karate Boxing” that was published in 1922, mostly by replacing the original line drawings with photographs. This is explained in detail by Andreas Quast on his blog.

The advertisement to promote Funakoshi’s second book appeared over a year later in September, 1926. Its impossible to say whether or not Funakoshi had any input about what went into the advertisement, but regardless of whether he did or not, there are a few interesting points. The first is that it he uses his Okinawa family name “Tominakoshi” and not Funakoshi. As I’ve pointed out before, it wasn’t uncommon during this period for Okinawans to change their names to make them sound more “Japanese” when they moved to mainland Japan. Eventually Funakoshi, along with many others, changed his family name.

The second interesting thing is the linking of Karate to the police force to give it authenticity. Just as Judo and Kendo were linked to policeman in Japan since its modernization, Karate too seemed to be taking the same route. The last interesting tidbit is the appeal to the general population using the age old troupe of “fearing no man”. The advert conveys the notion that studying Karate will make you invincible.

I didn’t have enough time to translate the full advertisement, just the main sections. I’ll try to complete it later on, time permitting.



Authored by Tominakoshi Gichin – Expert in the art of Karate (1)

304 pages

280 yen

Postage 18 yen

It is no trivial matter to face a robber armed with a pistol or naked blade.

The art of Karate has been adopted by the police community to deal with the violence of thugs.

Karate is the art of the empty hand that allows you to face an opponent regardless of the weapon he holds.

You’ll have the confidence to face any man.

A must read for tens of thousands!

 (1) Karate is written as “China / Tang hand” (唐手) yet next to it, written in furigana, it reads “Karate” (カラテ).