I am thinking out loud here but IMVHO too oftem the quote of Funakoshi Ginchin about masters only knowing or requiring 3 kata is being thrown out there, and frequently by people who don’t practice the art of Funakoshi Ginchin.
When we take a look at what actually was done by instructors from Okinawa there is not one size that fits all of them.
Certainly were some that had few forms, Then there were more had a bit more than a few forms. And of course those who used many form studies.
Perhaps every student did not study every form in those larger examples, but it seems to me as time passed, many systems grew in size as to the number of forms they studied.
I am not interested in passing judgment, just noting what happened, and in each of those cases someone made a choice to follow a different paradigm.
Of course Master instructors are free to make their own rules for their own reasons.
But let’s go back to the 3 kata, each in 3 years of study of Funakoshi Ginchin.
Just because something is written, nor being written does that make it unequivocal truth. Many times I have found reasonable propositions in books, in turn copied from other books, etc. And then only discovered the original writing was incorrect. Cascading martial inaccuracies becoming ‘truth’.
Just because something is written, nor being written does that make it unequivocal truth.
One the other hand perhaps another reason come to mind.
Such as statements might be use to lead the mind, a common potential, that does not mean it is wrong to do that.
What if the intent to focus the beginner mind on what they are actually working on, and move that mind away from what others, not beginners, are doing. That might also be a reasonable interpretation why those words were written.
Of course my suggestion does not actually answer the question. That choice as to meaning is up to your use.
I only suggest it might be a possible interpretation. Through effort, we may learn and prosper,