Until his death on April 14, 1998, Osamu Ozawa was the highest-ranked shotokan karate master in the Western hemisphere. His place in the history of karate stemmed from a fascinating life — the kind most of us only read about. Osamu Ozawa was born in 1925 in Kobe, Japan. His ancestors were samurai, and he was brought up in accordance with that ancient tradition. Osamu Ozawa was forced to endure the strict, even brutal, training that was the norm for forging the mind and body into a deadly weapon. His teachers included Gichin Funakoshi, founder of shotokan karate, and Daiichiro Aizawa, who at the time of this interview was Japan’s second-highest-ranked master of wado-ryu karate.