The History of Karate: Goju Ryu by Morio Higaonna

History of KarateA treasure of facts concerning the early history of karate, it contains wonderful descriptions of the early training in Okinawa... the closest thing in English to the primary source for the early period of Okinawan karate
Journal of Asian Martial Arts

Considered the definitive work on the subject
Dragon Times

A fascinating insight into Chojun Miyagi and his karate
Goran Powell

This book is the result of decades of research by Morio Higaonna including several trips to Fujian Province to discover the influence of Chinese arts on the Goju system. Well written and translated, it also contains hundreds of rare photos of training in the early days.

This is primarily a biography of Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju Ryu karate, but there is also extensive information about his master, Kanryo Higaonna (no relation to the author) who trained in Fuzhou in southern China. The book paints a wonderful picture of Miyagi, describing his extraordinary training methods and offering a fascinating insight into his character and ethics.

When it comes to the book's later assertions regarding Miyagi's senior students and the next generation of teachers, bear in mind there is some controversy in Goju circles - but don't let karate politics put you off a sensational book on Chojun Miyagi. If anything will put you off, it may be the price! Look out for second hand bargains or you'll pay dearly.