The reading list is a recommended resource for all students and their families. Most books are available in larger bookstores and others are easily purchased online. All of the books listed have been read by Sensei and are decidedly helpful to all who are sincere in their practice. Some of the suggestions have been judged to be too advanced or unsuitable for children each of the books suggested in the beginner and intermediate sections have been annotated with suggestions to help with your choices. It is recommended in all cases that parents read through the books with your children. If any questions arise that are unanswerable by you then feel free to contact Sensei or Senpai for clarification.

It is also recommended that all serious students not limit themselves by this list. A constant search for knowledge is imperative to the true karateka. This being understood, I recommend all types of media and periodicals or publications be perused to stir the imagination and help evaluate current skills and knowledge being presented. For suggestions, again contact Sensei or Senpai. As is stated in Chapter San, page 12, "E No Naka No Kawazu".

Click on the book names in RED for links to purchase.


Karate-Do, My Way of Life: Gichen Funakoshi – Kodansha Pub.1975
This book explains the basic ethical and philosophical premise of karate-do and relates personal experiences of Funakoshi O'Sensei. Funakoshi is considered by most to be the "father of modern day karate" and the founder of the Shotokan style of karate from which the Japan Karate Association bases its principle. It is also the originating style of the Taikyoku series of kata which are the first three we learn. (All with help)

ZEN AND THE MARTIAL ARTS: Joe Hyams – Bantam Books 1979
This book deals with little vignettes of philosophy and attempts to answer questions that may arise during the normal practice of a foreign art such as karate. Personal experiences and interviews are included and it is very short and informative reading for any beginner student. (Young and old teens through adult)

THE JUDO TEXTBOOK, In Practical Application: Hayward Nishioka & James R. West – O'hara Pub. Inc. 1979
This book is a very simple format and was designed to be a textbook to be introduced into the school systems of the US by two very accomplished and educated Judoka. It explains the basic rolls (breakfalls) required for yellow tip and the history of Judo. The pictures are very helpful as well. It also delves easily into the history of Judo. (All students)

KODO / ANCIENT WAYS: Kensho Furuya – Ohara Pub. Inc. 1996
Kensho Furuya (Reverend) is an extremely accomplished Aikidoka who has been so honored to have addressed congress on peace and its attainment. His book is a compilation of articles he has written between 1988 and 1995. In the forty one essays you will find lessons inspired from the teachings and wisdom of the ancients. His insights to the modern dilemma are very helpful and easy to read. (All / kids with help)

AUTUMN LIGHTING: David Lowery – Shambala Press 1985
This book relates very much to the experiences, practices, philosophies and goals of Hayes Sensei and the IB. Lowery Sensei relate a compelling presentation of medieval Japanese samurai and its survival and juxtaposition to modern society in the US. This is a well written and easy read on the cultural differences and melding of two great nations. Lowery Sensei has an extensive series of books regarding many aspects of Martial awareness, training and traditions. All books are recommended at some point but it is recommended that this be the first. (Teen and adult)

SCIENTIFIC KARATE DO: Masayuki Kukan Hisataka – Charles E. Tuttle, Inc. 1976
This is considered to be the most comprehensive text printed on karate to date. Masayuki Hisataka Kyoshi is the son of Kori Hisataka Shinan, the founder of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karate. It is one of two books published in English on our style and has been out of print for years. I do occasionally copy and distribute my book for students. It can be purchased but the average cost for the hard copy is $250.00 and the soft reprint is at cheapest yet $75.00. An invaluable resource and considered to be the "bible" of our style thus far. (All)


ESSENTIAL SHORINJIRYU: Masayuki Kukan Hisataka – Charles E. Tuttle, Inc. 1976
This book is a bit more esoteric and at times embarrassing with regards to claims (unsubstantiated) concerning historical references. Irrespective of this, it is still an important source of information and insight as to the direction of the Kenkokan Federation. This is the federation of my original certification and one of my original teachers. The book tends to promote the Koshiki Federation and clearly marks the deviation from the original style toward mainstreaming and "linearizing" of techniques and changing the curriculum. Des Paroz Renshi the Administrative President of our Australian Shibu was the co-author and research analyst for the text. After reading the unauthorized changes to the originally approved text (of which he wrote most), he removed his name from the credits. Again, like Scientific Karate Do this too is out of print and valuable. (Adults)

KARATE DO KYOHAN:Gichen Funkakoshi – Kodansha International, Ltd. 1973
Nineteen kata of karate are presented her in complete detail. They are the ones selected by Funakoshi O'Sensei himself to give comprehensive training in Karate Do. Besides invaluable insights to the formation of "modern karate" we can find detailed step by step descriptions of all kata with photo illustrations in entirety. This includes the Shoto version of the Taikyoku series, Heian series and Tekki (Naihianchin). (Beginner/Inter. All)

SWORD AND BRUSH: David Lowery - Shambala Press 1995
"This moment of perfect clarity that is the force behind all the traditional Japanese arts - from archery to flower arranging – is celebrated here in David Lowry's exploration of the common principles shared by calligraphy and the martial arts." (All, with help)



MODERN BUJUTSU & BUDO Volume Three: Don Draeger – Weatherhill 1973/74
This is in my opinion the most effectively accurate and succinct series ever written for the westerner regarding the historical, technical and philosophical practices of Budo from the Koryu through modern day. Draeger Sensei is a modern Samurai and genius as well as technician of incomparable abilities. This series is a must have for any serious student of Budo. (Adult)



ANGRY WHITE PYJAMAS: Robert Twilliger – Quill 2000
"A scrawny Oxford poet takes lessons from the Tokyo riot police force…"This book blends the ancient with the modern - the "ultratraditoinalism", ritual, and "violence" of the dojo with the shopping malls, nightclubs and scenes of everyday Tokyo life in the 1990's – to provide a brilliant, bizarre glimpse of life in contemporary Japan. I found it to be both humorous and accurate. This is required reading for all adult students who intend to truly study the art as you will need to know the people to do so.


The Outnation, A Search for the Soul of Japan: Rausch, J. – Little, Brown and Company 1992
Anyone interested in business in Japan--whether to compete, cooperate, emulate, or simply understand--will profit from this insightful and illuminating look at Japan and the Japanese.

The Bible of Karate: Trans. Patrick McCarthy – Charles E. Tuttle 1995
Called such because of its insightful information and its impact on the development of all Okinawan Martial Arts as it was held in such high esteem by the masters of modern karate. Some of whom were; Funakoshi, Higashionna Kanryo, Miyagi Chojun, Yamaguchi and Mabuni Kenwa. The text arrived in Okinawa sometime in the mid 19th century via an author and transport unknown to date. This text in mandatory study for any serious karateka of consequence.

Koyru Bujutsu / Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan: Diane Skoss – Koryu Books 1997

Sword & Spirit / Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan: Diane Skoss – Koryu Books 1999

Keiko Shokon / Classical Warrior of Traditions: Diane Skoss – Koryu Books 2002
This series is highly recommended for the advanced student interested in understanding the history in the formidable years of BU. Diane and Meik Skoss both studied under some of the same teachers as Kato Sensei and Don Draeger. Two quotes that epitomize the series; "Keiko Shokon: Reflect deeply on the past, decide what to do now, then do it,", "By exploring the old, one becomes able to understand the new."

Reading and Writing Japanese: Tuttle Pub.
My copy is too worn to read the dates and is missing its covers as well. Any book you find to help you with translation and everyday conversation is recommended. A basic knowledge of the language will prove invaluable in your study.

Ideals of the Samurai (Writings of Japanese Warriors): Trans. William Scott Wilson - Ohara 1982

Budoshoshinshu The Warrior's Primer of Daidoji Yuzan: Trans. William Scott Wilson - Ohara 1984

CODE OF THE SAMURAI A Modern Translation of the Budhido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke: Trans. Thomas Cleary – Tuttle 1999

BUDO MIND AND BODY Training Secrets of the Japanese Martial Arts: Nickolas Suino – Weatherhill 1996, 2006

MUSASHI AN EPIC NOVEL OF THE SAMURAI ERA: Eiji Yoshikawa, Trans. Charles S. Terry - Harper and Row Kodansha International 1981

MIYAMOTO MUSASHI, His life and Writings: Kenji Tokitsu – Shambala, English version 2004

Way To Victory: annotated Book of Five Rings: Trans. Victor Harris & Hidy Ochiai - Overlook Press 2001

HAGAKURE, The Book of the Samurai: Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Trans. William Scott Wilson – Kodansha 1979, 83

BUSHIDO THE WAY OF THE SAMURAI (Based on the Hagakure): Ed. Justin F. Stone, Trans. Minoru Tanaka - Squareone Classics 2002

THE JAPANESE ART OF WAR Understanding the Culture of Strategy: Thomas Cleary - Shambala 1941, 91, 2005

ZEN MIND BEGINNER MIND Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice: Shunryu Suzuki – Weatherhill 1970, 70, 99

THE UNFETTERED MIND: Takuan Soho, Trans. William Scott Wilson – Kodansha 1986, 87, 2002


THE LIFE-GIVING SWORD Secret Teachings from the House of the Shogun: Yagyu Munenori, Trans. William Scott - Kodansha 2003

THE SWORD AND THE MIND: Trans. Hiroaki Sato - Overlook Press 1985

THE SWORD OF NO-SWORD Life of the Master Warrior Tessu: John Stevens – Shambala 1984, 89

BUDHIDO THE SOUL OF JAPAN (A Classic Essay of Samurai Ethics): Inazo Nitobe – Kodansha 1905, 2002

SAMURAI STRATEGIES: Boye' Lafayette De Mente – Tuttle 2005

SOUL OF THE SAMURAI: Thomas Cleary – Tuttle 2005

THE WAY OF THE LIVING SWORD, The Secret Teachings of Yagyu Munenori (The Warrior Series Book 5): Trans. D. E. Tarver - iUniverse, Inc. 2003

THE CODE OF THE WARRIOR (BUDOSHOSHINSHU) (The Warrior Series Book 4): Daidoji Yuzan, Trans. D. E. Tarver - IUniverse, Inc. 2003

SECRET TACTICS (Lessons from the Great Martial Arts): Kazumi Tabata – Tuttle 2003