The Shotokan lineage

The history of karate gets foggy very quickly as it enters back into the nineteenth century, and much of what we 'know' is from folk memory and obscure scraps. The chart below depicts the lineage from information available, though there will be many other influences on each teacher that cannot be known or which are only hinted at. It is known that Shaolin style and White Crane style kung-fu were both influential on Okinawan te. The figures with the strongest influence would probably be Kusanku, Matsumura and Itosu.