I was asked a couple of weeks ago "what is the origin of the Shotokan Tiger?"..... I didn't know and I thought that I should, so I have done a little research, here is what I found.
"When Gichin Funakoshi was a young man, he enjoyed walking in solitude among the pine trees which surrounded his home town of Shuri. He would often walk up Mt.Torao and meditate among the pine trees under the stars and bright moon. Mt.Torao is a very narrow, heavily wooded mountain which, when viewed from a distance, resembles a tigers tail. The name "Torao" literally means "tigers tail". And it is because of this that people think Funakoshi chose the tiger symbol. ( However there is an other story that explains why the tiger was used. Apparently Funakoshi was asked to write the 1st book about karate. The man who asked him was an artist called Hoan Kosugi. It was decided if the book was written Kosugi would design the cover. In Japanese, "tora no maki" is an official document of an art. Funakoshi's book would be "tora no maki" of Karate. "Tora" also means tiger.)"
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Labels: Origin, Shotokan, Tiger