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23rd June 2000, 04:00
Hi Everybody,

Is it only me, or does it seem like there isn't much written about Judo's history? I've read what the written in "Kodokan Judo", a few web sites here and there and some magazine articles, but nothing like I've seen written about Aikido, etc. What's happened to Judo's history? Are we forgetting it or is it all locked up in the Kodokan archives or something? I hope I'm not the only one that actually interested in the history of Judo. So much has been written about Ueshiba & Aikido. How about Jigoro Kano and Judo?

mel bailey

23rd June 2000, 08:29
What do you want to know? There is an autobiography of J. Kano, but the Kodokan Judo by J. Kano is really a manual of judo. There are some writings in there about judo, but what specifically? You might try this site for some historical data and some great articles on judo in the Pacific Northwest, including the first dojo in the US. Try http://ejmas.com Go to the "Combative Sport" section and also try Kronos. It is a good starting point, but without more on what you would like to know, it is difficult to aim you in the right direction. You may want to try Furyu Magazine at http://www.furyu.com You will find some good stuff about the Tokyo Police Tournament (Furyu #3), and also the JAMA. Also try http://www.judoinfo.com The information is fair, but there is a lot of it. Again, what would you like to know?


Joseph Svinth
23rd June 2000, 09:24
Mel --

Also see:

* http://www.kanosociety.org (a new site, under construction, but a few articles you probably haven't seen before)
* http://www.concentric.net/~Budokai
* http://www.bstkd.com/JudoHistory/HistoryOne.htm

If you're planning a trip to Los Angeles, swing by the Japanese American National Museum, which is having an exhibition on sport that includes displays on kendo, judo, and sumo. You can order the accompanying book through the museum online store; one chapter describes kendo in the US before WWII and the other introduces judo, boxing, and wrestling in the JA community over the past century.

For Canada, your best bet is to see if you can find a copy of Glynn Leyshon's now out-of-print "Judoka." For Britain, go to the British Library and read "Budokwai Quarterly Bulletin" and Croydon "Judo."

[Edited by Joseph Svinth on 06-23-2000 at 01:29 AM]

Joseph Svinth
23rd June 2000, 09:32
A partial bibliography. This one is geared toward the Pacific Northwest, and much of what is there pertains more to the culture of judo rather than how-to.

Select Bibliography

the temple tour
on the island of Shikoku
is now much easier
on the pilgrim bus
-- Richard Hayes

Useful newspapers included Seattle’s Great Northern Daily News, Japanese-American Courier, and North American Times. For the wartime era, the Minidoka Irrigator (Hunt, Idaho) and (Portland, Oregon) Evacuazette were consulted. And, for the postwar period, The Northwest Times (Seattle), Pacific Citizen (Salt Lake City), and the Argus-Observer (Ontario, Oregon) were also helpful.

Metropolitan dailies were another rich source. The Japan Times (Tokyo) was the most useful individual newspaper, but US metropolitan newspapers such as the Bellingham Herald, Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin, Los Angeles Times, New York Times and World, Portland Oregonian, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Times, Spokane Spokesman-Review, and Tacoma Daily Ledger also were consulted. Unfortunately, with the exception of the New York Times, there are rarely indexes to sports pages. Therefore their use is a tedious process. John Litz has, however, indexed Seattle Times entries relating to Japanese and Japanese Americans up to 1910, and is currently working on additional indexes extending coverage through World War II.

Published community histories often provided useful details. Unfortunately there are many communities without published histories, and some of those that do have turned out books that ignore or slight ethnic minorities. For overcoming this problem school publications deserve more respect than they usually get. The University of Washington Daily, for example, is a surprisingly good source of local history. High school and college yearbooks also provide much interesting detail.

For general background to Japanese combative sports two dated but still useful books are E.J. Harrison, The Fighting Spirit of Japan (Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1982) and Robert W. Smith, A Complete Guide to Judo: Its Story and Practice (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1958). For more recent writings, try the Internet site maintained by Kim Sol at the University of Montana. The URL is http://www.bstkd.com/judorev.htm

The following are recommended readings on specific topics.

Japanese Vocabulary

Kask, Alexander D.C. Japanese for the Martial Arts (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1996).

The Development of Kodokan Judo

Iizuka, Kunisaburo. “I Remember,” Revue Judo Kodokan, VII:2 (15 Mar 1957), 2/1150-4/1152; VII:3 (May 15, 1957), 5/1185-9/1189.
Kano, Jigoro. “The Contribution of Jiudo to Education,” Journal of Health and Physical Education, 3 (1932), 37-40, 58.
-----. “Jiudo: The Japanese Art of Self Defence,” Living Age, 314 (1922), 724-731.
-----. “Olympic Games and Japan,” Dai Nippon, 1936, 197-199.
-----. “Principles of Judo and Their Applications to all Phases of Human Activity,” unpublished lecture given at the Parnassus Society, Athens, Greece, on June 5, 1934, reprinted as “Principles of Judo” in Budokwai Quarterly Bulletin, April 1948, 37-42.
Kano, Risei. “The Kodokan Judo” (Tokyo: The Kodokan, 1951)
Maekawa, Mineo. “Jigoro Kano’s Thoughts on Judo, with Special Reference to the Approach of Judo Thought during His Jujutsu Training Years,” Bulletin of the Association for the Scientific Studies on Judo, Kodokan, Report V (1978), reprint from http://www.bstkd.com/kano1.htm
----- and Hasegawa, Y. “Studies on Jigoro Kano: Significance of His Ideals on Physical Education and Judo,” Bulletin of the Association for the Scientific Studies on Judo, Kodokan, Report II (1963); reprint from http://www.bstkd.com/jobo.1.htm
Matsudaira, Tsuneo. “Sports and Physical Training in Modern Japan,” Transactions and Proceedings of the Japan Society, London, 8 (1907/1909), 120.
“Nagaoka Shihan: A Short Biography,” tr. by G.R. Gleeson, Budokwai Quarterly Bulletin, April 1953, 17-18.
Waterhouse, David, “Kanô Jigorô and the Beginnings of the Jûdô Movement,” Toronto, symposium, 1982, 169-178.

Pacific Northwest Issei

Azuma, Eiichiro. “A History of Oregon’s Issei, 1880-1952,” Oregon Historical Quarterly (Winter 1993-94), 315-367.
Benedict, Ruth. The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Patterns of Japanese Culture (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989).
Burke, Ed and Burke, Betty, “In a Chorus of Shadows: The Story of Nippon Kan and Its Restoration,” in Turning Shadows into Light: Art and Culture of the Northwest’s Early Asian/Pacific Community, ed. by Mayumi Tsutakawa and Alan Chong Lau (Seattle: Young Pine Press, 1982).
Ichioka, Yuji. The Issei: The World of the First Generation Japanese Immigrants, 1885-1924 (New York: The Free Press, 1988).
Ito, Kazuo. Issei: A History of Japanese Immigrants in North America, tr. by Shinichiro Nakamura and Jean S. Gerard (Seattle: Japanese Community Service, 1973).
Kohl, Stephen W., ed. and tr. “An Early Account of Japanese Life in the Pacific Northwest: Writings of Nagai Kafu,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly, April 1979, 58-68.
Tamura, Linda. The Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon’s Hood River Valley (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1993).

Yoshitsugu (Yoshiaki) Yamashita

Theodore Roosevelt’s Letters to His Children, ed. by Joseph Bucklin Bishop (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1919).
Tomita, Tsuneo. “Histoire du Judo,” Revue Judo Kodokan, XII:5 (November 1962), 1/2163-160/2322.
Tuhy, John E. Sam Hill: The Prince of Castle Nowhere (Beaverton, OR: Timber Press, 1983).

Tokugoro Ito

De Leonardis, Anthony. “The Lively Early Years of U.S. Judo,” Black Belt, March 1967, 26-31.

Seattle Nisei

Miyamoto, Shitaro Frank. Social Solidarity among the Japanese in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1939, rev. ed., 1984).
Sone, Monica. Nisei Daughter (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979).

Seattle Dojo

“How Seattle’s Sons of Old Japan Practice Jiu-Jitsu,” Seattle Sunday Times, March 10, 1907, Magazine Section, 1.
Smith, Robert W. A Complete Guide to Judo (Rutland, VT: Charles E. Tuttle, 1958).
-----. Martial Musings: A Portrayal of Martial Arts in the 20th Century (Erie, PA: Via Media Publishing, 1999).

Tentoku Kan

Yoshida, Jim and Hosokawa, Bill. The Two Worlds of Jim Yoshida (New York: William Morrow, 1972).

South Park

Cleveland High School. Duwamish Diary, 1849-1949 (Seattle: Shorey Book Store, facsimile reproduction, 1974).
Eyler, Melba and Yeager, Evelyn A. The Many Roads to Highline (Seattle: Highline Publishing Co., 1972).


McDonald, Lucille. Bellevue: Its First 100 Years (Fairfield, WA: Ye Galleon Press, 1984).
Tsushima, Asaichi. “History of Hard Struggle for Reclamation Work of Bellevue Area by the Japanese People Before World War II,” summary tr. by Iwao Matsushita (Bellevue, WA: Self-published, 1952; tr. published 1974), University of Washington Manuscripts and Archives Division, Accession Number 1028. Bellevue’s Marymoor Museum has another translation. Completed in February 1991 by Harriet Yamagishi Mihara, Alan Hideo Yabuki, Chiye Ito Yabuki, and Rose Yabuki Matsushita, the latter is more complete than the former.

Bainbridge Island

Price, Andrew Jr. Port Blakely: The Community Captain Renton Built (Seattle: Port Blakely, 1989).
Tanaka, Stefan Akio. “The Nikkei on Bainbridge Island, 1883-1942: A Study of Migration and Community Development,” unpublished MA thesis, University of Washington, 1977.

Green Lake

Akichika, Yutaka Nishitani. “Nishitani Families in the United States” (Tokyo: Self-published, 1979?).
Bender, Barbara L. Drake. Growing Up With Lake Forest Park: The Early Decades in ‘North Seattle’ (Seattle: Shoreline Historical Museum, two volumes, 1988).
Dubrow, Gail Lee, Van Nostrand, Maren, and Tuttle, Cathy. Meadowbrook Community History (Seattle: Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, 1995).
Fiset, Louis. ”’Green Lake John’ Settled on First Homestead at Green Lake in 1869,” Green Lake News, 2:1, 2.
Interview with Martha Nishitani, May 16, 1998 (Sara Yamasaki, interviewer), in Densho Project collection at Wing Luke Asian Museum, Seattle, Washington; see also the Hashitani Family Collection at Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario, Oregon.


Eyler, Melba and Yeager, Evelyn A. The Many Roads to Highline (Seattle: Highline Publishing Co., 1972).
Nomura, Gail M. ”Tsugiki, a grafting: a history of a Japanese pioneer woman in Washington State,” Women’s Studies, 14:1 (1987), 15-37.

White River Valley

Flewelling, Stan. Farmlands: The Story of Thomas, A Small Agricultural Community in King County, Washington (Auburn, WA: Erick Sanders Historical Society, 1990).
Kitagawa, Daisuke. Issei and Nisei: The Internment Years (New York: Seabury Press, 1967).
Nishinoiri, John Isao. “Japanese Farms in Washington,” unpublished MA thesis, University of Washington, 1926. (Although the University of Washington spells Nishinoiri’s middle name “Iwao,” historian Stan Flewelling assures me it was actually “Isao.”)
White River Valley Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League. “A Pictorial Album of the History of the Japanese of the White River Valley” (Auburn, WA: White River Japanese American Citizens League, 1986).

Tacoma and Environs

Fukui, Shuichi. “History of the Tacoma Japanese,” unpublished typewritten translation in the Ronald Magden collection, Tacoma, WA: 1941.
History of the Japanese of Tacoma, tr. by James Watanabe (Seattle: Pacific Northwest Council, Japanese American Citizens League, 1986).
History of Southeastern Pierce County, ed. by Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society (Tacoma, WA: Tacoma-Pierce County Genealogical Society, 1989).
Magden, Ronald E. Furusato: Tacoma-Pierce County Japanese (Tacoma, WA: Tacoma Japanese Community Service, 1998).
Nakagawa, Martha. “Kohei Yoshida: Judo Pioneer,” Pacific Citizen Holiday Issue, December 1999, 59.

Yakima Valley

Heuterman, Thomas H. The Burning Horse: The Japanese-American Experience in the Yakima Valley 1920-1942 (Cheney, WA: Eastern Washington University Press, 1995).
Nomura, Gail M. “Tsugiki, a grafting: a history of a Japanese pioneer woman in Washington State,” Women’s Studies, 14:1 (1987), 15-37.
Potter, Louise Elton and Brulotte, Frieda Eichler. ”Germans from Russia in the Yakima Valley Prior to 1940,” Odessa Digital Library, July 8, 1996 http://pixel.cs.vt.edu/library/odessa.html
Wapato History and Heritage, ed. by Wapato History Committee (Wapato, WA: Wapato History Committee, 1978).
Yakima Valley Japanese Community. “Profile: Yakima Valley Japanese Community, 1973” (Wapato, WA: Yakima Valley Japanese Community, 1974).


Fegan, Bertha M. “Japanese-American History and Culture of the Spokane Area,” Spokane Area Community Workshop, Whitworth College, no date, located in Spokane Public Library Northwest Room.
Issei Commission on Evangelism. Highland Park Methodist Church: Sixty-five Years in Pictures (Spokane: Issei Commission on Evangelism, 1967).


Brenneke, R.J., Mar. A., and Veatch, T. “An Outline of the History of Obukan Dojo, Inc. and of Kodokan Judo in Portland” (Portland, OR: Obukan Judo Dojo, Inc., 1979).
Gresham: Stories of Our Past, Campground to City, ed. by W.R. Chilton (Gresham, OR: Gresham Historical Society, 1993).

Holm, Debra Nelson, Clark, Lynda Campbell, and Holm, Norman. Nampa’s People 1886-1986 (Nampa, ID: Nampa Centennial Committee, 1986).

British Columbia

Iwamoto, Masamichi. “Vancouver Judo Club and Sensei Satoru Tamoto in the Context of Judo History,” Judo B.C. Digest, 18:3 (Summer 1998), 27-28.
Judo B.C. Digest, 4:2 (Mar-Apr 1986). (The entire issue was devoted to history.)
Leyshon, Glynn A. Judoka: The History of Judo in Canada (Gloucester, Ontario: Judo Canada, 1998).
Nakayama, Gordon G. Issei: Stories of Japanese Canadian Pioneers (Toronto: NC Press, 1984).
Norman, Howard and Tanaka, Jitaro. “Etsuji Morii, Villain or Scapegoat,” in Stories of My People, A Japanese Canadian Journal, ed. by Roy Ito (Hamilton, Ontario: Roy Ito, 1994), 325-337.
Okazaki, Robert K. The Nisei Mass Evacuation Group and P.O.W. Camp ’101’ Angler, Ontario, tr. by Jean M. Okazaki and Curtis T. Okazaki (Scarborough, Ontario: Markham Litho Ltd., 1996).
Stacey, Duncan and Stacey, Susan. Salmonopolis: The Steveston Story (Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 1994).
Takagaki, Shinzo. “Some Famous Meetings in Canada,” Judo Kodokan Revue, (January 1960), 1634-1637.

[Edited by Joseph Svinth on 06-23-2000 at 01:35 AM]

23rd June 2000, 13:25

And in a few months, when you're finished with that one, try The U.S. Classical Judo Society at: http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~uscjs/

23rd June 2000, 23:18
Hello, Mel!

It's those damned competitions! There's no time for anything else, including judo's history.
Anyway, you must not forget one of the Internet's best sites, "World of Judo and Jujutsu" ( http://members.aol.com/cunningham/index.htm )
Go there and see!

28th June 2000, 17:55
Well, I guess I'll busy looking up all the references ya'll posted for me during the next few months. As far as my active judo practice goes, I'm pretty lame, but I can read history with the best of 'em. I've always had a great interest in the history of jujutsu and its (well, okay kito ryu and tenshin shinryo ryu) influence on judo. I think it's kind of a shame that we can't see to much of the classical ryuha of jujutsu in the USA. I've seen some books on kenjutsu styles. I wish there were some on jujutsu beyound the make believe "judo/aikido/karate" mixture that seems to pass as jujutsu.


29th June 2000, 07:19
Hi Mel,
I just posted a reply in the "Judo's roots" thread and what I think of the information in the above posted website. Seems that Steve R. Cunningham has posted this same article with no changes since 1996 and on various sites (including this one now). There is good traditional jujutsu in LA, but you must ask. I did Kito ryu for a while in LA, but the dojo is not there anymore, and I don't know where these teachers went. You will probably find a tenjin shinyo school in the area, but again, I do not no where they are. Tradional jujutsu takes patience and a willing search, as no one has ever said (well some have:) ) you cannot find good jujutsu (Judo) in LA. I do know the judo neighborhood there fairly well, as I lived most of my life in LA until 1986. If you need any info in the judo department, let me know, either here or by email.

Thanks for your replies.

Joseph Svinth
29th June 2000, 07:42
If you're serious about doing research, then the newspaper to start with is the "Rafu Shimpo," which has had an English-language sports page since 1926. (If you read Japanese, then Rafu goes back further.) It is still in print, and back issues are available on microfilm throughout Southern California.

30th June 2000, 03:17
Hi Mark,

I'm sorry if I gave you the idea that I was in Southern CA. I used to live there about 11 years ago. I worked in Huntington Beach and took Aikido at the Orange County Aikikai for a little while (took some Aikido from a little Vietnamese place in Santa Ana [i think] that tought both judo and aikido). I used to take judo in high school in the mid 70s in Central California (a little town called Atwater). We used to go to tournaments up in Sacramento and Pleasanton all the time. I used to lose quite readily. I got choked out on my first match in pleasanton. I live in North Central Texas now. Texas has a lively judo scene. Much more so than California as I recalled. I know of 5 schools in the general area. My sensei is a Kodokan 7th dan. I can't spell his name tho'. He was one of Otani Sensei' special research students in the 60s before he came over here to teach judo for the US Air Force. I haven't actively practiced in almost a year. My diabeties has gotten worse and I've had to give up practice for a while. When I get things back under control, I'll get back into it.
As you can probably guess, I'm in my mid forties now. I started taking judo in Taiwan back in 1970 at the then CCK Air Base in Taichung, Taiwan. My dad was in the USAF at the time. My first tournament was in downtown Taichung and I lost my first match because I had no idea what was going on. I was the only non-chinese there.


30th June 2000, 05:58
Hi Mel,
It looks as if we were neighbors at one time, or at least we have lived in the same general area. I was born and raised in Stockton (San Jaoquin Valley) so I know Pleasanton and Atwater, but this was in the fifties very early sixties. I had idea none about judo then, but in 1962 I moved to So.Cal., the San Fernando Valley (Van Nuys/Sherman Oaks. I did all my study (on ocassion I still do) in the Los Angeles area. I think the best dojo I've had the pleasure is The Gardena Judo Club. Best maintained and most attended I have seen. Check them out if you'd like. They have a judo (MA) program that I think is a model for all MA dojo, but you probably know that. I have been up and down California on the shiai circuit but I am physically, not to mention too old, to do that today. Sorry about your illness, but I hope that things go well for you.


BTW: Mel, I hate to even bring it up, but please remember to sign your posts with your full name, or at least a first initial and your last name. I am sure you just forgot so this is only a reminder. It may be easier for you to include your name in the signature block of your profile. Thanks, and I am sorry to mention it.