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Master Okano

The History of Karate

Master Tomosaburo Okano was born in 1922 and is a direct student of Master Gichin Funakoshi and his third son Gigo Funakoshi. He was a member of Master Funakoshi’s karate association the Dai Nihon Karate-do Shotokai

In 1942, Master Okano was given permission to start a karate research club named Kenkokai Karate-bu in his home town of Hachioji.

The club was started with the help of Master Okano’s friends, Suzuki Shinjo, Kaneko Isamu, and Takagi Yoshitomo.

With the guidance and blessing of his teacher he renamed the dojo and called it Kenkojuku Budokan in 1948.

Master Tomosaburo Okano

Master Tomosaburo Okano Memorial
Founder and Chief Instructor of Kenkojuku Shotokan Federation
1922 • 2003


Master Tomosaburo Okano, age 22

Master Okano (far left) is sitting next to Mas Oyama, Shotokan 1943

Master Okano with his black belts from the Kenkojuku dojo

Master Okano with members of his Kenkojuku Dojo, 1959

Master Funakoshi has taught and visited the Kenkojuku many times. Master Okano’s karate was greatly influenced by both Masters Gichin and Gigo Funakoshi and eventually, this branch of Shotokan became known as Kenkojuku Shotokan.
Master Okano’s karate has retained the Shotokai lineage as well as the name Shotokan as the style of karate being taught.
Master Okano was on the panel of masters of the Japan Karate-do Federation (JKF).

Master Funakoshi’s visit to the Kenkojuku dojo, November 30, 1955


Master Tomosaburu Okano in his Kenkojuku dojo, 2002


Master Okano and his top student Master Toyotaro Miyazaki


Go no Sen
Master Miyazaki (l) evades and counters


Sen no Sen
Master Okano’s sudden strike against(l) Master Miyazaki (r)

Master Okano was also a high ranking expert in Kobudo and taught all types of weapons

Masters: Minoru Horie, Toyotaro Miyazaki, Masakazu Takahashi, Koji Sugimoto

Some of his most famous students outside of Japan are Masters Takeshi Akuzawa, Toyotaro Miyazaki, Kazuo Kuriyama, Masakazu Takahashi, Koji Sugimoto and Minoru Horie.

Master Toyotaro Miyazaki’s turning back kick, 1976

Shihan Tomokatsu Okano


Since Master Okano’s passing the Kenkojuku Budokan is now run by his son Shihan Tomokatsu Okano

Shihan Leung’s tournament award, 1981

Master Okano was declared a Living National Treasure of japan before he passed away on July 19, 2003, at the advanced age of 81.

The International Shotokai Karate-do Federation, under the guidance of Master Toyotaro Miyazaki and Shihan Kai Leung will continue to help spread this wonderful art of karate-do to the next generation.