Tetsuji Murakami was born on March 31st, 1927 in the Japanese prefecture Shizuoka, a town on the coast about 250 km to the south of Tokyo. He began his Karate study at the age of 19 by master Masaji Yamaguchi (a namesake of the founder of Goju Kai), who taught Shotokan Karate Do. He besides practised Kendo, Aikido and with master Minoru Mochizuki lai Do. In November 1957 Tetsuji Murakami came by invitation of Henry Plee for the first time to France, in order to teach Karate at the “France Martial Arts Academy”. Tetsuji Murakami was one of the first Japanese masters who came to Europe to teach Karate Do. 1959 he founded his own school (Yoseikan) in Paris, where he taught Karate, Aikido and Kendo. In the following years he instructed Shotokan Karate Do in many countries all over Europe, in England, Italy, Yugoslavia and Switzerland, but also in Morocco and Algeria. He was one of the Karate pioneers in Europe and had a decisive impact on the first development of Karate Do in Europe.
As he once again travelled back to Japan in 1967 he met master Shigeru Egami, who showed him a new form of training, Shoto Kai, that Shigeru Egami had developed out of Shotokan Karate Do and was now practised in the Shotokan Dojo respectively Honbu Dojo of Gichin Funakoshi.
Back in France, after two years spent in Japan, he dedicated all his energy from now on to the Shoto Kai Karate Do of Shigeru Egami. Tetsuji Murakami certainly is one of only few masters of Karate Do, which has fundamentally questioned his work as Karateka as well as the forged paths. Instead of being content to live from his good reputation, Tetsuji Murakami changed his form of teaching. He tried thereby to convince his students to take part at his new “way”. Many of them however leaved him and remained on the way of Shotokan Karate Do in its original form according to Gigo Funakoshi. Nonetheless they had in Tetsuji Murakami the living example of a man who made abnegation to his life-sense. Abnegation in the purpose of Zen Buddhism or Yoga and obviously in the practice of martial arts, which is connected to the consciousness and doesn’t seek in competition whether balance nor confirmation.
Tetsuji Murakami went this way until his death on January 24th, 1987 in Paris. He was an extraordinary man and practitioner, passionate and demanding. All those who have known him – whether they practised Shotokan or Shoto Kai Karate Do or not – keep an unforgettable remembering.