The founder of Shito-ryu was Kenwa Mabuni, an Okinawan like Funakoshi, who had as his instructor Kannryo Higoanna, the same man who instructed Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu, as well as Anko Itosu, one of Funakoshi's instructors. This gave Mabuni a chance to practise naha-te style karate, as well as shuri-te style karate. Therefore, he covered naha, shri and tomari kata. Being a close friend of Miyagi, Mabuni also visited China with him to study the Chinese wushu forms. With such an amassed amount of knowledge, Mabuni created a style based on more than 60 kata (forms) and called it Hanko-ryu.
He eventually changed the name to Shito-ryu, which was an amalgamation of the names of two instructors who had taught him: Itosu and Higoanna (Chinese characters).
Like Funakoshi, Mabuni travelled to Japan in the late 1920's and settled in teh southern area of the country near Osaka, where he taught his Shito-ryu. It is very popular in Japan and now, through competition, very popular on the tournament circuit, both inside and outside of Japan.
Reproduced with kind permission from Chris Thompson.