Ank%C5%8D Asato
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Ank%C5%8D Asato
Ank? Asato
Ry?ky? Kingdom
Died1906 (aged 78–79)
StyleShuri-te, Kendo, Kyudo
Teacher(s)Sokon Matsumura
Notable studentsGichin Funakoshi

Anko Asato ( , Asato Ank?, Azato Yasutsune in Japanese, 1827 - 1906) was a Ry?ky?an master of karate. He and Ank? Itosu were the two main karate masters who taught Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate. Funakoshi appears to be the source of most of the information available on Asato. Many articles contain information about Asato,[1][2][3][4][5] but the relevant parts are clearly based on Funakoshi's descriptions of him.[6]

Funakoshi first met Asato when he was a schoolmate of Asato's son; he called Asato "one of Okinawa's greatest experts in the art of karate."[7] According to Funakoshi, Asato's family belonged to the Tunchi () class (hereditary town and village chiefs), and held authority in the village of Asato, halfway between Shuri and Naha, and he was not only a master of karate, but also skilled at riding horses, Jigen-ry? kend? (swordsmanship), archery, and an exceptional scholar.[6]

In a 1934 article, Funakoshi noted that Asato and Itosu had studied karate together under S?kon Matsumura. He also related how Asato and Itosu once overcame a group of 20-30 attackers, and how Asato set a trap for troublemakers in his home village. In his 1956 autobiography, Funakoshi recounted several stories about Asato, including: Asato's political astuteness in following the government order to cut off the traditional men's topknot (pp. 13-14); Asato's defeat of Y?rin Kanna, in which the unarmed Asato prevailed despite Kanna being armed with an unblunted blade (pp. 14-15); Asato's demonstration of a single-point punch (ippon-ken; p. 15); and Asato and Itosu's friendly arm-wrestling matches (p. 16).[6]


  1. ^ Green, B. D. (1992): Gichin Funakoshi, more than a great master Archived July 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2 September 2007.
  2. ^ Noble, G. (1988): Masters of the Shorin-Ryu: Part One, by Graham Noble Archived 2014-11-16 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2 September 2007. Originally published as "Masters of the Shorin-ryu (Part 1)," Fighting Arts International, 9(2):24-28.
  3. ^ Master Yasutsune (Ankoh) Asato (1928-1906) Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2 September 2007.
  4. ^ Yasutsune Azato Archived August 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2 September 2007.
  5. ^ Azato Archived August 24, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2 September 2007.
  6. ^ a b c Funakoshi, G. (1956/1975): Karate-d?: My way of life. Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 978-0-87011-463-2.
  7. ^ Funakoshi, G. (1956/1975): Karate-d?: My way of life (p. 3). Tokyo: Kodansha. ISBN 978-0-87011-463-2.

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