Gichin Funakoshi, The Father of Modern Karate, was born in 1868 in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. He was the son of a Samurai who started training in the Martial Arts as a young man to help overcome his frailness. He became the Chairman of the Okinawa Shobukai in 1913. Funakoshi was a school teacher and a poet who wrote under the pen name of "Shoto". From 1924 until his death in 1957, he travelled around Japan teaching karate at many Universities. He wrote several books on Karate including his autobiography, Karate-Do: My Way of Life , which was completed shortly before his death.
Masatoshi Nakayama was born in 1913 in Yamaguchi Prefecture. He is considered one of Master Funakoshi's greatest students. Master Nakayama wrote many books on Karate included the Best Karate series. He helped to develop the JKA and served as the chief instructor from 1955 until his death in 1987. During his time as director of the JKA his goal was to spread karate around the World. He was extremely successful. Shotokan Karate is the most widely practiced form of Karate on the planet.