Episode 197 – Fist of Legend, Part 4

This week: karate comes to mainland Japan (and gets a rebrand in the process), and the Butokukai’s attempts to militarize the martial arts backfire when the Americans come to town.

Listen to the episode here.


Gainty, Denis. Martial Arts and the Body Politic in Meiji Japan.

Haines, Bruce. Karate’s History and Traditions.

Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-do Nyumon.


Funakoshi Gichin as a younger man.
Funakoshi Gichin after the Second World War.
The monument to Funakoshi Gichin at Engakuji, placed there by his mainland Japanese students in the 1970s.
Naginata training like this was traditionally associated with female samurai during the Edo period; during the 20th century, the art of Naginata-do retained that association. It is still dominated by female practitioners to this day.
By the 1920s, budo training in state run schools (like this state-run agricultural college in the 1920s) was commonplace. By the time of World War II, it became mandatory in secondary schools.