Jigoro Kano: Who is today’s Google Doodle?

Illustrated by Cynthia Yuan Cheng, the Doodle Celebrates the life of the legendary pioneer of Japanese judo on what would have been his 161st birthday.
Born in 1860 in Mikage, during his childhood, Kano settled in Tokyo where he would eventually open his own dojo – the Kodokan Judo Institute – in 1882.

Meaning “the gentle way”, judo was born when Kano removed the most dangerous techniques from jiujitsu.

“The ultimate goal is to put two principles in our minds”, Murata explained to CNN Sport in 2018.

“The principle of maximum efficiency and the principle of mutual welfare is the spirit of judo.

“Think and do, think and do.”

Former world number one Tal Flicker told CNN in 2018: “I think the most obvious value that people can derive from judo and apply in their lives is respect.

“Before a fight you greet your opponent. Then you fight like you want to eat yourself, but at the end of the fight you shake hands and bow again. Other sports might learn from this. “


At the turn of the 20th century, the International Olympic Committee wanted to bring Japan and Korea into the Olympic fold, and as one of the country’s top sports and fitness authorities, in 1909 Kano was established. sent by Japan to officially represent the nation on the IOC.

As a result, he became the first Asian member of the IOC.

Kano would continue to play a key role in Japan’s bid for the privileges of hosting the “Lost Games” in 1940, delivering a keynote address to the IOC at the end of the 1932 Games in Los Angeles.

According to then IOC leader Henri de Baillet-Latour of Belgium, Kano told those in attendance that holding the Games in Japan would broaden the vision of the movement’s founder, Pierre de Coubertin, and bridge the gap between the East and West.

Kano died in 1938 at the age of 77, but his legacy has long been preserved and has since evolved into a world famous martial art.

In 1960, judo was approved as an official Olympic sport, making its debut four years later at the 1964 Games – rightly so, in its spiritual home in Tokyo.

Murata hero Isao Inokuma would go on to become a heavyweight gold medalist at the Tokyo Games, and over the past half-century the sport has only gotten stronger.

A record 389 competitors from 136 countries qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, while figures from 2014 indicate that there are 28 million judo practitioners worldwide, including eight million in Japan alone.

The explosion in judo hasn’t come without a tinge of sadness for Murata, who doesn’t want to see Kano’s core values ​​supplanted by the pursuit of medals.

“It’s not bad,” Murata insisted. “But I think Jigoro Kano would feel very sad if all Japanese considered judo only a sport.”

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