Having studied dozens of the old Okinawan kata in great depth, Funakoshi came up with some new kata (exercises) that he felt were better preparation for beginners. These new beginners' kata included Taikyoku (which you might translate as something like 'the beginning of everything') and Tennokata (Form of the Universe). What? Another beginner's kata that is a 'universal kata'?
Interestingly, Tennokata does not have an embusen (performance line), or at least not much of one. Every technique is performed with a half step forward or back into an appropriate stance, and between each technique the karateka returns to a ready stance at the starting point. This kata is really a set of repetitions, left and right, of fundamental blocks and hand strikes. Also interesting in this exercise are the first several punches, which are done with the punch moving directly from ready position to the ending position without chambering the punch.
Tennokata contains its own bunkai (application/interpretation). The second part of the exercise can be done by one partner facing another partner who is doing the first part of the exercise and the two parts match up into an introduction to one-step sparring.
After 1-2 ranks in karate, this exercise seems trivial, but I've said before that I'd rather participate in a karate class in which all the fundamentals are repeated every class. They might be done as a warm-up, but they are there and are constantly repeated. That is the role of Tennokata and Taikyoku - foundational material that is to be repeated as warmup, review, and reminder at the beginning of every class.