Taiji Kase was born on February 9th, 1929 in Ciba, Japan. At the age of 6 he already began with the study of Judo. 1944 he graduated to 2nd Dan. In February of the same year, at the age of 15, he began with the study of Karate Do at the Shotokan Dojo under the direction of both Gichin and Gigo Funakoshi. It was by the book Karate Do Kyohan of Gichin Funakoshi that he had taken notice of Karate, a martial art he then absolutely didn’t know.


For a certain time he studied both martial arts. However, shortly before he graduated to 3rd Dan he abandoned the study of Judo. Occasionally he also practised Aikido by both the masters Morihei Ueshiba and Noriaki Inoue, the Aikido teacher of Shigeru Egami.


At the age of 16, on March 1945, Taiji Kase reported by the military to become Kamikaze pilot. Before he was deployed though, the war was over.


Later on, he studied at the Sanshu University, where he also was taught in Karate Do by Genshin Hironishi. 1946 he got the 1st Dan, 1947 the 2nd and 1949 the 3dr Dan in Shotokan Karate Do.


In the years 1964 and 1965 he was director of the instructor course of the Japan Karate Association (JKA). He had joined the JKA in order to devote himself completely and professionally to the worldwide spread of Karate. In these years happened his first journeys to foreign countries, among many others also to South Africa, but always with the single target to teach and spread Karate.

From 1966 on, he taught in various European countries and finally settled in France.

1986 he leaved the JKA and began to go own ways.


For him the history of Karate divided in three phases:

the Okinawian phase, the Japan or Gichin phase, and the Gigo phase. He personally tried to reanimate the Karate Do of Gigo Funakoshi. For this purpose he 1986 founded together with Hiroshi Shirai an own federation, the World Karate Shotokan Academy (WKSA), where traditional Karate Do in the style of the Karate Do of Gigo Funakoshi was taught.

In his trainings he put particular value on the practise of Kata, which he liked to exercise mirror-inverted and backwards.


On May 31st, 1999 he unfortunately suffered a heart attack from which he never really recovered. Despite the warnings of his doctors he didn’t quit Karate Do but continued to teach, faithful to his teachers Gigo Funakoshi and Shigeru Egami.


Taiji Kase died on November 24th, 2004 in Paris at the age of 75. Until his death he taught Gigo Karate Do all over Europe.

Taiji Kase (1929-2004)

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