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Anko Itosu
1831 - 1915

Anko Itosu

     Anko Itosu was born in the Yamagawa Village, Shuri, and became a student of Sokon "Bushi" Matsumura at a very early age. As an educated man well-versed in Chinese classics, Japanese classics and calligraphy, he held the position of Secretary for the Administrative Office of the Ryukyu kingdom under the last Ryukyuan king, Sho Tai, until the monarchy was dissolved in 1879.

     In April 1901, Itosu introduced karate to the physical training curriculum at the Shuri Jingo Elementary School. Four years later he became the karate teacher at the Prefectural Dai Ichi College and the Prefectural Teacher's Training College. In 1908 he wrote a letter (now referred to as the "Ten Articles of Karate") to the Prefectural Education Department which led to the introduction of karate to all Okinawan schools.

Kata
Anko Itosu is credited for simplifying Matsumura's katas. Itosu split the Pinan kata into Pinan Shodan, Pinan Nidan and Pinan Sandan. He is also credited with creating Pinan Yondan and Pinan Godan. He also took the Naihanchi kata and broke it into three katas: Naihanchi Shodan, Naihanchi Nidan and Naihanchi Sandan.

* from Original Okinawan Karate

 

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