Taiji Kase Profile
Apart from his brilliance in the dojo, Taiji Kase was known for his smile. He was a character of the Karate world that influenced a great deal of what we practice today, and his teachings live on strong in his association Shotokan Ryu Kase Ha.
Born on the 9th January 1929, Taiji Kase like many from his generation entered the world of the martial arts via judo. When he first saw the book Karate-Do Kyohan in a bookshop, he decided to meet Gichin Funakoshi.
Sensei Kase began training, under the tuition of Master Funakoshi, but at the end of March 1945, he enlisted in the Navy, joining the Kamikaze special force. However, the war ended in the August of the same year, so decided to join the University of Senshu. In March 1951, he graduated with a degree in Economic science
However, due to the destruction of the war, the dojo had been destroyed, although he rejoined as soon as Gichin Funakoshi reopened the Shotokan. In 1946, he obtained his shodan, and quickly moved through the ranks.
Sensei Kase joined the JKA in order to become a professional karate instructor, but despite the many splits that occurred following the death of Sensei Funakoshi, Kase kept in close contact with his instructors from both groups.
In Japan, as one of the instructors on the Instructors Course, his job was to prepare the budding students to be sent overseas. Within the course, his students were such famous karateKa as Enoeda and Shirai.
Over the years, he has taught in Brussels, Milan, and decided to settle in France when he remained permanently, despite having to prove himself to many of the French Martial arts who challenged Kase.
In 1988, Kase decided to close his dojo in Paris and then decided to tour the world teaching his style of Karate. Despite several set backs, such as his heart attack of 1999, he fought through, saying that Karate was the one thing that kept him strong.
Sadly, Kase Sensei past away quite recently, and the world of Karate bowed their head in morning that they had lost a fantastic Karateka who helped spread the word of karate, and the joy of learning.
If you ever see photographs of Kase, teaching, or in private, the one thing that stands out to all who knew him or met him was his personality that was humorous and joyful. He was a true Master, who will long be remembered.