Jigoro Kano : Biography, Family, Parents, Wife, Children, History, Quotes and Legacy

Jigoro Kano was a Japanese educator, athlete, and the founder of Judo know all about him in this article as like his Biography, Family, Parents, Wife, Children, History, Quotes and Legacy

Jigoro Kano : Biography, Family, Parents, Wife, Children, History, Quotes and Legacy
  Bio
Name Jigoro Kano
Birthdate ( Age) 10 December 1860,
Place of Birth Mikage, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
Nationality  Japanese 
Marital Status  Married
Spouse/Partner Sumako Takezoe
Children Risei Kano
Parents Name not known
Education The University of Tokyo (1881–1882), The University of Tokyo (1877–1881)
Awards Asahi PrizeGrand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun
Profession Japanese educator, athlete, and the founder of Judo
Net Worth Not Known
Last Update October 2021

Jigoro Kano was a Japanese educator, athlete, and the founder of Judo. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport. Pedagogical innovations attributed to Kanō include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of dan ranking to show the relative ranking among members of a martial art style.

Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano

His official honors and decorations included the First Order of Merit and Grand Order of the Rising Sun and the Third Imperial Degree. Kanō was inducted as the first member of the International Judo Federation (IJF) Hall of Fame on 14 May 1999.

Early Life and Family

Jigoro Kano was born to a sake-brewing family in the town of Mikage, Japan on 10 December 1860.Kanō's father was a great believer in the power of education, and he provided Jigorō, his third son, with an excellent education. The boy's early teachers included the neo-Confucian scholars Yamamoto Chikuun and Akita Shusetsu. Kanō's mother died when the boy was nine years old, and his father moved the family to Tokyo. The young Kanō was enrolled in private schools, and had his own English language tutor. In 1874 he was sent to a private school run by Europeans to improve his English and German language skills.Jigoro Kano attended the Tokyo Imperial University in 1877, he started looking for jūjutsu teachers.He first looked for bonesetters, called seifukushi.

His assumption was that doctors who knew the martial art were better teachers. His search brought him to Yagi Teinosuke, who had been a student of Emon Isomata in the Tenjin Shin'yo-ryu school of jūjutsu. Yagi, in turn, referred Kanō to Fukuda Hachinosuke, a bonesetter who taught Tenjin Shin'yō-ryū in a 10-mat room adjacent to his practice. Tenjin Shin'yo ryu was itself a combination of two older schools: the Yōshin-ryū and Shin no Shindo-ryu.

Jigoro Kano Wife and Children

Jigoro Kano married with wife Sumako Takezoe,Who was the daughter of a former Japanese ambassador to Korea. Eventually, the couple had six daughters and three sons.

Professional Career

On 5 August 1879, Kanō participated in a jūjutsu demonstration given for former United States president Ulysses S. Grant. This demonstration took place at the home of the prominent businessman Shibusawa Eiichi. Other people involved in this demonstration included the jūjutsu teachers Fukuda Hachinosuke and Iso Masatomo, and Kanō's training partner Godai Ryusaku.Fukuda died soon after this demonstration, at the age of 52.Kanō began studying with Iso, who had been a friend of Fukuda. 

While under Iso's tutelage, Kanō witnessed a demonstration by the Yōshin-ryū jūjutsu teacher Totsuka Hikosuke and later took part in randori with members of Totsuka's school.Kanō was impressed by the Yōshin-ryū practitioners and realized that he might never be able to beat someone as talented as Totsuka simply by training harder: he also needed to train smarter. It was this experience that first led Kanō to believe that to be truly superior, one needed to combine the best elements of several ryū, or schools, of jūjutsu including Yagyu Shingan-ryū Taijutsu. Toward this end, he began to seek teachers who could provide him with superior elements of jūjutsu that he could adopt.

After Iso died in 1881, Kanō began training in Kitō-ryū with Iikubo Tsunetoshi (Kōnen). Iikubo was an expert in kata and throwing, and fond of randori. Kanō applied himself thoroughly to learning Kitō-ryū, believing Iikubo's throwing techniques in particular to be better than in the schools he had previously studied.It is Iikubo who issued Kanō's only verified jūjutsu rank and teaching credential, namely a certificate of Menkyo (not Menkyo kaiden) in Nihonden Kitō Jūdō, dated October 1883.

Kanō also oversaw the development and growth of his judo organization, the Kodokan Judo Institute. This was a remarkable effort in itself, as the Kodokan's enrollment grew from fewer than a dozen students in 1882 to more than a thousand dan-graded members by 1911.

In May or June 1882, Kanō started the Kodokan dojo with twelve mats, in space belonging to the Eishō-ji, a Buddhist temple in what was then the Shitaya ward of Tokyo (now the Higashi Ueno district of Taitō ward), with Iikubo attending the dōjō three days a week to help teach.Kanō had only a handful of students at this time, but they improved their technique through regular contests with local police jūjutsu teams.The Kodokan moved to a 60-mat space in April 1890.In December 1893, the Kodokan started moving to a larger space located in Tomizaka-cho, Koishikawa-cho, and the move was completed by February 1894.

International Olympic Committee

Kanō became active in the work of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1909. This came about after Kristian Hellström of the Swedish Olympic Committee wrote to the governments of Japan and China to ask if they were going to send teams to the 1912 Olympics.[46] The Japanese government did not want to embarrass itself on an international stage by saying no, so the Ministry of Education was told to look into this. The Ministry logically turned to Kanō, who was a physical educator with recent experience in Europe. Kanō agreed to represent Japan at the International Olympics Committee, and, after talking to the French ambassador to Japan and reading pamphlets sent by the Swedes, developed, in his words, "a fairly good idea of what the Olympic Games were."

Death and Legacy

In 1934, Kanō stopped giving public exhibitions. The reason was his failing health, probably compounded by kidney stones. The British judoka Sarah Mayer wrote "People don’t seem to think he will live much longer" to her friends in London.Nevertheless, Kanō continued attending important Kodokan events such as kagami-biraki (New Years' ceremonies) whenever he could, and he continued participating in Olympics business.

In May 1938, Kanō died at sea, during a voyage that he made as member of the IOC on board the NYK Line motor ship Hikawa Maru.Because the Japanese merchant fleet of the 1930s used Tokyo time wherever it was in the world, the Japanese date of death was 4 May 1938 at about 5:33 am JST, whereas the international date of death was 3 May 1938 at 20:33 UTC.

The cause of death was officially listed as pneumonia.but other sources list food poisoning as the cause of death.During the 1990s, there appeared allegations that Kanō was murdered by poisoning rather than dying of pneumonia.Although there is no known contemporary documentation to support this claim, Kanō's opposition to Japanese militarism was well-known, and many others who also opposed it were allegedly assassinated.Judo did not die with Kanō. Instead, during the 1950s, judo clubs sprang up throughout the world, and in 1964, judo was introduced as an Olympic sport in the Tokyo Olympics, and was reintroduced at the Munich Olympics in 1972.