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Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science
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Judo and the process of nation-building in Japan: Kanō Jigorō and the formation of Kōdōkan judo
Tetsuya Nakajima & Lee Thompson
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Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University Version of record first published: 03 Dec 2012.
To cite this article: Tetsuya Nakajima & Lee Thompson (2012): Judo and the process of nationbuilding in Japan: Kanō Jigorō and the formation of Kōdōkan judo, Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science, DOI:10.1080/13854046.2012.743701 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2012.743701
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The prominent intellectual. sports. thereby reviving interest in the process of judo’s formation. employing Hobsbawm’s concept of the ‘invention of tradition’ (Hobsbawm & Ranger.2012. Speciﬁcally.1080/13854046. he rejected the prevailing theory of jujutsu’s Chinese origins.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science iFirst article. Email: raou@aoni. in the late nineteenth century. 1998). and in what ways did he differentiate judo from jujutsu? This approach is a form of modernization theory. previous research has focused mainly on the continuity between jujutsu and judo or lack thereof.tandfonline. view ¯ ¯ jujutsu. Waseda University Although the founding of judo by Kano Jigoro has been well studied. but the people had yet to be formed into a uniﬁed body.17. In the twenty-odd years from 1868 to 1889 Japan changed from a samurai society to a nation state. Moreover.org/10. Kano developed what he referred to as the ‘values’ of judo in the context of the ¯ ministry’s adoption of gymnastic exercises for the physical education curriculum. That is. 1998). and there is a surprising dearth of research attempting to treat the formation of judo in relation to its social background. invention of tradition. Keywords: jujutsu. This paper considers how the system of judo was constructed in the context of the formation of the nation state in Japan. ¯ although in order to legitimize judo’s patriotic credentials. Each aspect of Kano’s judo was developed in response to speciﬁc ¯ conditions – in particular.743701 http://www.232. In sum.com . Kano believed that continuity with older schools of jujutsu was important. The diverse and ﬂexible history of jujutsu came to be forgotten. nation-building was considered a top priority. 2012. Sogawa (1994) particularly points out that Kano’s emphasis on judo as physical ¯ ¯ education connects judo with modern sports. 1–14 Judo and the process of nation-building in Japan: Kano Jigoro and the ¯ ¯ formation of Kodokan judo ¯ ¯ Tetsuya Nakajima* and Lee Thompson Faculty of Sport Sciences. perhaps less is ¯ ¯ known about the sociohistorical background behind its formation.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 Introduction Research into the history of judo in Japan has heretofore focused mainly on the formation of judo from earlier forms of jujutsu.waseda. educator and journalist Fukuzawa Yukichi wrote in 1874 that Japan had a government but no nation (Fukuzawa.doi. How did Kano Jigoro. a government had been established for the new state. gymnastics. In recent years other scholars. At the same time. have called attention to the afﬁnities between judo and jujutsu (Inoue.jp ISSN 2164-0599 print/ISSN 2164-0602 online q 2012 Taylor & Francis http://dx. Fukuzawa’s comment shows why. moral and physical education. the founder of judo. it is said that Kano reorganized and uniﬁed the many ¯ existing schools of jujutsu to create judo as a form of intellectual. East Asia Downloaded by [80. the Ministry of Education’s aversion to the martial arts. 1874/1978). he also excluded ‘frivolous’ techniques and attempted to restore jujutsu to its ‘original’ noble essence as a practical form of combat. In order to fashion a nation to take up the *Corresponding author.
vol. The ﬁrst Minister of Education. the most important concern was the formation of the nation’s people. Mori wrote: ‘The sword is only effective in ¯ defending an individual against a single opponent’ (Okubo. Nakajima and L. In this way the concept of the nation state contains elements of both tradition and modernity. and was a strong proponent of the Westernization of Japan. Mori spent about one quarter of his life in America and Europe. Thompson Downloaded by [80. the Meiji government propagated the feudal samurai culture by recycling it as part of the traditions of a historically. The Meiji government mainly adopted ‘military gymnastics’ (heishiki taiso) for the school physical education curriculum – the drills and ¯ exercises were adapted from military training for the school physical education curriculum. In this article. 2. The concept of the nation state is useful when considering the formation of judo. p. Kano founded judo in 1882. which probably inﬂuenced his criticism of Japan’s military strength. in the very midst of the process aimed at the formation of ¯ the nation state.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 burden of the new modern state. seemingly without contradiction. The purpose of Mori’s trip to England was to study Western military science. In a letter to his elder brother sent from England on 7 August 1865. the residents within the borders become a people. from an early age he was critical of the martial arts. Although it was not part of the ‘national folklore’ created by the Meiji government. 9). in the education of samurai. p. his opinion . 1996. and judo as a method of physical education 1. and what were once considered the ‘evil anachronisms’ of the samurai culture of the Edo period were appropriated and extolled in the name of the emperor (Takagi. p.232. and swordsmanship in particular. ethically and publicly worthy imperial state. he had the opportunity to deliver a lecture to government representatives on the merits of judo. Kano was careful to adapt judo to the newly created nation state. disciplined bodies in order to serve as soldiers or industrial workers and sustain the national culture. Although he was a samurai from the Kagoshima Domain.17. Japanese culture was rediscovered for the purpose of nation-building in a particular historical moment. many new national traditions had to be created to help unify the nation. On 11 May ¯ 1889. However. Mori Arinori (1847 – 1889). 220). Mori Arinori’s critique of the martial arts In the Meiji government’s efforts to establish a modern state. The exclusion of martial arts from physical education in the schools.2 T. established in 1868 and nominally led by the Emperor Meiji. Physical education was the means by which this was to be achieved in relation to the body. Mori was not alone in his assessment. On the other hand. but the result was that samurai culture came to be viewed as something that needed to be suppressed. during his ﬁrst trip abroad. The title of the lecture was ‘General Aspects of the “Judo” and its Value in Education’ (referred to hereafter as ‘General Aspects’). 1972. The emperor announced that he would pardon the rebellious elements. 48). who must maintain healthy. The state seeks to unify the institutions and cultures that lie within its borders. The rebellion was defeated. 2005. we consider how the merits of judo as eventually proposed in this lecture were constructed in the context of the formation of the nation state. with the establishment of a new regime through the promulgation of the Meiji constitution in February 1889. disaffected elements of the samurai class rebelled against the new government. According to Haga (2004). During the Boshin Civil War of 1868 –1869 and the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. was a strong promoter of military gymnastics. the Meiji government actively created various forms of what Fujitani terms ‘folklore of the regime’ (Fujitani.
although the 12th Annual Report of Downloaded by [80. two opposing views of swordsmanship came to exist side by side: disdain for its military usefulness and appreciation of its spiritual aspects. violence would naturally decrease. as the country was becoming more civilized.17. 1). and the police would protect public order. For example. Indeed. in places where the martial arts are dominated by a kind of educationism that cherishes them for their emphasis on honour and shame. vol. it was obvious that the traditional martial arts were no match for the military strength of the West. From this episode we can see that the concept of the ‘Japanese spirit’ was projected onto the sword from the end of the feudal era into the Meiji period. who explained his motives as follows: a man wears a sword to repel invaders from without. However. vol. the practical effectiveness of the traditional martial arts was already being questioned by the end of the feudal era (Sonoda. even as the sword and spear lost their military value. one of the reasons Tokugawa Nariaki gave for promoting the traditional martial arts was that training in the sword and spear cultivated the ‘Japanese spirit (Yamatodamashii)’.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science 3 reﬂected the reorganization of military force taking place at the time. 551). My native Kagoshima is no ¯ exception’ (Okubo. and for self-defence.232. A sword is therefore necessary in tumultuous times. Mori’s bill was opposed by the majority in parliament. By restricting the bearing of swords to the military and government ofﬁcials. Japan’s feudal government began to review its military strength in response to external threats. In this way. then. With the introduction of Western military science and weaponry. Here again Mori views the martial arts as being permeated with an undesirable ‘educationism’. ‘Martial arts experts should teach practical forms of spear and sword. the traditional martial arts were still widely practised. ‘ . in a lecture given on 24 June 1887 at the Wakamatsu Primary School in Fukushima Prefecture.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 . when the contrasting claims were highlighted in arguments over a bill introduced to the ﬂedgling parliament in 1869 calling for a ban on the wearing of swords in public. In this way. except by soldiers and the police. and should choose weapons based on their merit in actual combat’. . and that even if a decree banning swords were issued. 1972. The sword was the symbol of the warrior class. the military would perform the task of repelling invaders. However. 1972. he stated. . These two views came into sharp conﬂict immediately after the Meiji Restoration. For that reason. no one with true Japanese spirit would obey it (Yoshino. 1993). Let us look. In a report written on the occasion of the disturbing appearance near Edo (present-day Tokyo) of a ﬂeet of frigates commanded by Admiral Matthew Perry. they gained a new signiﬁcance. and morality and good customs would be cultivated. Mori believed that swordsmanship entailed a degree of violence that would hinder the progress ¯ of civilization in Japan (Okubo. the traditional martial arts lost their military value. it took on a spiritual value. it’s too late to expect the adoption of methods with a practical use. Mori never changed his negative opinion regarding the martial arts throughout his lifetime. For example. at the social background to the criticism of the traditional martial arts. For that reason. Nariaki continued. The inevitable result of comparison of the traditional marital arts with the techniques and methods of modern warfare was that the former were rejected in favour of the latter. From the 1830s. Tokugawa Nariaki – the lord of the inﬂuential Mito Domain – wrote: ‘The warriors of our divine nation must ﬁrst and foremost practice the arts of sword and spear’. However. 1928). who countered that the wearing of swords was a natural expression of the martial spirit of Japan. This decree was introduced by Mori Arinori. At the beginning of this period of reappraisal. By projecting the symbolic concept of the samurai onto the sword. 1. the ‘evil custom’ of wearing swords should be done away with. Mori’s scorn for the martial arts can be best understood from this perspective. p.
while excluding the traditional martial arts from public education. the students at the Tokyo Normal School had never experienced military gymnastics before. Both instructors and students had difﬁculties with the course. The Military Cadet Academy immediately adopted this into their . 481– 486). We believe that doing so will bring beneﬁts. infantry training. Mori is said to have been particularly passionate about implementing military gymnastics in the normal schools which trained the next generation of teachers. 1885.4 T. Second. he taught jujutsu [author’s note: judo] to improve the students’ ¯ weak constitution. and they should each learn these three traits. drills to discipline the body are particularly effective in stimulating the mind (Hasegawa. 1972. By indoctrinating future teachers. and dignity. Military gymnastics are an appropriate means to achieve the three goals mentioned earlier’. to write a textbook for the course. who supervises the squad and maintains its dignity. 224). but to no avail. Middle School Ordinance and Primary School Ordinance issued in April of the same year. He also petitioned the government several times to have jujutsu included in the school physical education curriculum. The same gentleman devised a form of jujutsu for use in the schools. military gymnastics were made part of the physical education curriculum through the Imperial University Ordinance issued in March 1886 and the Normal School Ordinance. who was the ﬁrst instructor of military gymnastics at the Tokyo Normal School. Since intellectual and moral education are greatly inﬂuenced by the student’s mental state. Mori deleted ‘martial arts’ from this as an outdated method of education. vol. and yet others squad commanders. and that ¯ is why we introduced these exercises (Okubo. The following article appeared in the 5 July 1893 edition of a leading educational journal. 2. Mori gave a speech at the Saitama Normal School in which he said: ‘recently we introduced military gymnastics at the Tokyo Normal School. When Kano Jigoro. others unit leaders. Inquiry into the suitability of jujutsu and swordsmanship As the incumbent Minister of Education. What we want to cultivate through military gymnastics is ﬁrst of all the obedience that is most important for a soldier. 1995). Thompson the Ministry of Education issued in 1887 reported that because of a shortage of teachers in Fukushima Prefecture.17.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 After this speech. Downloaded by [80. was ¯ ¯ vice-principal of Gakushuin. In the same way some students will be common soldiers. where just as with gymnastics. Military gymnastics became an established part of the school curriculum from this time (Nose. During Mori’s tenure. Third. the purpose of military drills is to instil discipline in the students and strengthen their bodies and characters. Kano apparently ¯ petitioned the government to include judo in the school curriculum. several dozen students can line up and practice together. 2007). recently promoted to principal of the First Higher Middle School. and swordsmanship to the curriculum’ (Akagi. Shortly before becoming Minister of Education in 1885. 1. pp. chorus. each with a commander. Mori directed First Lieutenant Matsuishi Yasuharu. The signiﬁcance of the drills lies in the fact that physical education is not just for the purpose of developing the body. whose duty is to strengthen the attachment within his unit. According to this textbook. friendship. these units form squads. each with a leader. their bodies were stiff and they did not ‘understand the mentality’ behind the group exercises. ‘the education ordinance will be revised to temporarily add etiquette. Thus Mori sought to cultivate the body and soul of the nation through military gymnastics.232. soldiers are organized into units. Instead he sought to cultivate what he thought were the morals proper to a civilized nation through ‘military gymnastics’. Nakajima and L. p. According to Hasegawa (2007). Mori’s ideas would continue to inﬂuence succeeding generations. Mori’s aversion to the martial arts was a major obstacle to assigning educational merit to judo. These ‘three goals’ were obedience.
26). p. 2. they looked at several schools of jujutsu.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 The dangers were as follows: 1. 2. including Tenjinshinyo ¯ and Kito. In response to a chorus of voices calling for inclusion of the martial arts in the regular curriculum. After investigating the physiological beneﬁts of swordsmanship and jujutsu. In October 1878. but the proposal was not acted upon. 3. performed with and without hand-held apparatus (Guttmann & Thompson. . 5. George Adams Leland. ¯ bringing to Japan a newly graduated American doctor of medicine. and boosts morale. the government established the National Institute of Gymnastics (Taiso ¯ Denshu jo) to consider the question of suitable activities for the physical education curriculum. Exhilarates the will to ﬁght which could manifest into an attitude of winning at all costs. The results of their ¯ ¯ ¯ investigation were as follows: Advantages of introducing Bujutsu into schools: 1. 34). so from the above article we ¯ ¯ know that he petitioned the government within this period. it was not until 1911 that the Ministry of Education ﬁrst authorized the teaching of judo in schools: this reveals that Kano’s attempts had met ¯ with repeated failure. to supervise this investigation. The ﬁrst head of the National Institute of Gymnastics. May cause unbalanced physical development. it can also be said that his system of judo was constructed in response to these failures. as both physically strong students and weaker individuals are apt to be excited too much. 3. Develops stamina. However. and one of the methods discussed was the martial arts. It is said that he is determined to make the proposal at this year’s conference as well (Anonymous. the two main schools on which Kano Jigoro based judo. Hiizu Miyake. 1893. Difﬁcult to determine the appropriate degree of exercise. 1879. On the other hand. At a conference of middle school principals held last year Kano again proposed ¯ that judo be included in the curriculum as jujutsu-based gymnastics. Expurgates spinelessness and replaces it with vigour. Rouses the spirit.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science curriculum. Could encourage violent behaviour due to the rousing of the spirit. 91). 2001. 5.232. An effective means of enhancing physical development. and are arbitrarily teaching them in the schools’ (Izawa. even in the 1880s the martial arts were being taught in physical education classes in Fukushima Prefecture. 5 Kano was vice-principal of Gakushuin from 1886 to 1889. Downloaded by [80.17. p. There were other attempts to get the martial arts included in the curriculum. a system of light exercises for the maintenance and promotion of health. the Institute issued its report to the Ministry of Education in October of 1884. it was not only Mori’s aversion that kept the martial arts out of physical education. Always an imminent danger present in training. ‘There are some today who claim that swordsmanship and military drills are the most suitable methods for physical education. Erwin Balz and Julius Scriba from the medical faculty of Tokyo University participated in the study. Izawa Shuji ¯ (1851 – 1917). The main outcome of this study was the so-called ‘normal gymnastics’. 4. Arms the exponent with techniques for self-defence in times of danger. wrote somewhat critically in a 1879 publication of the Ministry of Education. p. Kano would not have developed the form of judo ¯ that he did without this conﬂict with the Meiji government. From this we can see that the government was itself experimenting with methods of physical education other than military gymnastics. and that he also made similar proposals in 1892 and 1893. the Ministry of Education referred the matter to the National Institute of Gymnastics in May 1883. 4. And as we have already seen. However.
p. Most people think of it as a dangerous art. An article in the Yomiuri newspaper in May of 1888 stated: The vice-principal of Gakushuin. 8. but at the present time it has become very popular in Japan. there may be beneﬁts in incorporating the martial arts in schools where the regular curriculum in gymnastics is being neglected in favour of intellectual training (Translated by authors from Watanabe. 2. ˆ 9. He matriculated at the ¯ ¯ ¯ Department of Literature of Tokyo Imperial University in 1877. and in the same year started learning the Tenjinshinyo school of jujutsu. although based mainly on the above two schools. the National Institute of Gymnastics rejected the inclusion of swordsmanship and jujutsu in the school curriculum. and in the light of educational theory. 7. he was invited to deliver a lecture at the Asiatic Society of Japan in Tokyo. Nakamura Hansuke. In April 1888. They were also eschewed for physiological (1. the Old Samurai Art of Fighting Without Weapons’. 772). In July of that year a transcript of that lecture was published in the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. moral (4. The title of his talk was ‘Jiujutsu. Difﬁcult to sustain uniﬁed instructional methodology for large numbers of students. ¯ Given the above results. as a system of athletics. are planning to promote jujutsu as a method of mental training and physical development. and its value as a method for physical training has been recognized by the establishment of several schools of Jiujutsu and Jiudo in the capital (Lindsay & Kano. along with Yoshida Naozo. 2 and 3). Downloaded by [80. In 1882. Uehara Shogo. ¯ ¯ and other prominent practitioners of jujutsu. kenjutsu requires the use of armour and other special equipment which would be expensive and difﬁcult to keep clean and hygienic. p. the National Institute came to the following conclusions: 1. or that it takes a lot of space to practice. Through his study of the techniques of various schools. Even though jujutsu only requires a keiko-gi (training-wear). The martial arts are not suitable for inclusion in the regular school curriculum. he began learning the Kito school as well. Judo as physical education Kano Jigoro was born in 1860 in what is today Hyogo Prefecture. Thompson 6. In his talk. emphasis added). Kano ¯ describes the merits of jujutsu as follows: Since the abolition of the Feudal System the art has for some time been out of use. In order to simplify and narrow down the number of techniques. It was against the backdrop of these objections that Kano had to assert the beneﬁts of his creation – judo. After the death of his teacher in June ¯ 1881. Suzuki Magohachiro.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 In effect. 5 and 6). Kano Jigoro. Nakajima and L. the gentlemen above have gathered at the Kodokan to ¯ ¯ .232.17. and practical (7. moral and physical training. A danger of encouraging a warped sense of competitiveness to the extent that the child could even resort to dishonest tactics. Kanatani Motoyoshi. (Quoted from translation by Sogawa. though with some important modiﬁcations. he established Kodokan Judo to ¯ ¯ ¯ consolidate all the styles of jujutsu practised in Japan. Because of their relative accessibility. 1971. For the Meiji government. 2005. ¯ 3. 8 and 9) reasons. Hisatomi ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ Tetsutaro. ¯ 1888. Kano said he came to realize ¯ that the practice of the martial arts was compatible with the main aspects of modern education: intellectual.6 T. so few people aspire to learn it. At this time Kano was actually working with other jujutsu practitioners to develop a form ¯ of practice that would be appropriate for physical education. Requires a large area to conduct training. this was not just a matter of the two arts being outdated. 192. 197). p. Dr.
458). he also had to change the perception of the very people who he hoped would come to take up and practice judo. exercise kata were designed to be practised anywhere Downloaded by [80. or a man with a small weapon’ (Kano. killing. p. ¯ Kano deﬁned jujutsu as a technique for wounding. he said. and enabling free movement of all parts of the body’. a system of combat. making the body ﬁt. By ‘a system of physical education’. most frequently throwing techniques. by ¯ which injury is avoided when being thrown or falling. A transcript of that lecture can be found in a journal of the Society in which Kano systematically describes ¯ judo. constructing it in a form most suitable to today’s society’ (Kano. Kano meant the following: ‘Excluding ¯ everything potentially harmful. 3). 456). p. a form of practice in which two opponents face each other and freely attempt various moves. In this lecture. Kano explained judo’s objectives by dividing them into three aspects: a ¯ system of physical education. They have come up with a single.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science compare the relative advantages of the techniques from different schools. 456).214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 . 1889. Kano strives to meet the standards required by the ¯ Ministry of Education (Kano. increasing strength. So he not only had to deal with the negative report from the National Institute of Gymnastics. Kano offered detailed description of the technique of ukemi. In his lecture.17. subjecting everything to scientiﬁc analysis. Kano spoke of ¯ the need to ‘develop a distinct method to work those muscles that normally aren’t much used’. . ¯ The ﬁrst thing to consider is how Kano described the process of the creation of judo. and that judo was superior in this respect to the ‘normal gymnastics’ and ‘militarystyle exercises’ promoted by the Ministry of Education (Kano. asserting that this was ‘necessary to human ¯ life’. or capturing an opponent. 1889). p. It was not enough just to claim the physiological beneﬁts of jujutsu. 446– 447). meaning that Kano was perhaps able to make the case for the merits of the martial arts to a greater ¯ degree that he had been able during Mori’s tenure.232. . 1888. ¯ He said that he developed judo by ‘ﬁrst studying the existing forms of jujutsu in as much detail as I could. 7 From this article we can see that Kano was working with practitioners of jujutsu to reﬁne ¯ the physical-education aspects of judo. and a system of intellectual and moral education. but also had to change this common perception of jujutsu as something dangerous. In it. He claimed that other forms of exercise could not achieve this to the same degree as judo. to attack or defend himself against an unarmed man. p.1 While randori can only be practised wearing a gi (uniform) on a safe surface such as a tatami mat. The lecture was delivered three months after the death of Mori Arinori. In particular Kano emphasized the capacity to move freely. ¯ ‘When the general public today thinks of jujutsu’. But randori does not bring into play all the muscles of the body. 1889. sprained joints. Kano was invited by the Educational Society of Japan to give the ‘General Aspects’ ¯ lecture to members of the Ministry of Education on 11 May 1889. it was a ‘technique for an unarmed ¯ man. . pp. killing and resuscitation—something dangerous with no redeeming value that can only harm the body’ (Kano. 1889. Thus. ‘they think of throttling throats. appropriately developing the muscles. and introduced the ‘Kodokan kata exercises’ that he had developed with jujutsu ¯ ¯ practitioners the previous year. safe method and will hold the ﬁrst demonstration in the near future (Yomiuri Shimbun. As for jujutsu. Kano almost certainly focused on ¯ this technique in order to emphasize the safety of randori. May 5. The content of this lecture can be seen as a direct response to the report by the National Institute of Gymnastics rejecting martial arts as unsuitable for education. 1889. carefully selecting what was useful and rejecting what was unnecessary. ¯ The means of achieving these physical beneﬁts is randori. Kano believed that the general public’s ¯ ¯ image of jujutsu was of ‘something harmful to the body’. or a man armed with a small weapon.
Furthermore. p. popular spectator sport. a master swordsman by the name of Kenkichi Sakakibara. replies to the third. formed the Gekiken-kai (Sword-ﬁghting Society) in 1873. pp. Thus. Kano’s explanation addresses the many areas that the report listed as ¯ ‘harmful or inappropriate’ – speciﬁcally. and the second point is addressed by stressing the care taken to reduce risk. A contemporary report stated: The Sword-ﬁghting Society will hold a competition for ten days in mid-April. Kano also developed ¯ ¯ ‘kata exercises’ that could be taught to groups of students.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 and in everyday clothes. Their situation worsened with the promulgation of an edict in March 1876 prohibiting all citizens except the military. The length of the shinai (bamboo sword) was ﬁxed at 3 shaku 8 sun (117 cm). including some jujutsu practitioners. many famous master swordsmen in Tokyo have fallen on hard times. within a marked ring and with proper rules for deciding the winner. Kano claimed that judo cleared the standards for ¯ physiological efﬁcacy and practice environment set forth by the government. featuring many prominent swordsmen. The invention of judo as a Japanese tradition 1. ‘[b]ecause of the edict making swordwearing optional. which do not require special uniforms or facilities. and many dojos have closed” (Watanabe. 8).232. Nakajima and L. and had served as instructor in the military school established by the Shogunate. The competition will be patterned on sumo. Sakakibara was a former vassal of the Shogun. the Meiji government took the right to wear the sword away from private citizens. 458). he addresses the ﬁrst point made in the report by claiming that judo appropriately develops the muscles. Kano asserted that the exercises were designed so that ¯ anyone could perform them. ˆ The matches were refereed by a gyoji (a term taken from sumo) and consisted of three rounds of one point each. In addition. police and government ofﬁcials from carrying swords in public. The success of martial artist shows In 1871. p. Many martial artists. his assertion that anyone can perform the kata exercises. Moreover. Iso Masatomo and Fukuda Hachinosuke. First. the practice of kendo has declined. 1994. if they can walk. the Meiji government issued an edict making the wearing of swords optional for the samurai class. 725).17. a magazine article from March 1873 reported. alarmed by the rapid decline of swordsmanship. The Sword-ﬁghting Society obtained government permission to hold sword-ﬁghting performances. 1889. This edict represented a major blow to those samurai who made their living teaching swordsmanship. According to Fujiki (2005. Nakamura (1994) has called them a form of professional. 725). In the midst of this crisis. Second. 199–200). ‘even the elderly or invalid. the police. it was systematically designed to have physiological beneﬁts. eighth and ninth points of the report (Sogawa. p. For example. the ﬁrst of which was held on 26 April. were encouraged by the commercial success of the sword-ﬁghting shows to begin holding performances of their own. can perform them with no trouble’ (Kano. An admission fee was charged for the performances. two years after Mori’s bill banning swords was voted down. symbolic privilege of soldiers. 1971. which was an attempt to meet the objections voiced in point seven. 1971 p. ¯ Sogawa has pointed that Kano’s assertion of judo’s suitability as a system of physical ¯ ¯ education counters the following objections to the martial arts given in the report of the National Institute of Gymnastics. Thompson Downloaded by [80.8 T. Both men and women spectators will be admitted (Watanabe. both masters of the Tenjinshinyo school ¯ . and made it the exclusive. and government ofﬁcials—those who most directly yielded the power of the new Meiji state.
First. p. And while in most situations its methods can effectively be applied. Because of the unexpected popularity of Sakakibara’s enterprise and the money it has brought in. Fukuda Hachinosuke. These efforts are probably intended to revive the ﬂagging fortunes of the martial arts and use the occasion to raise the general level of skill. and they were quickly followed by exhibitions of equestrianism and jujutsu. This old man wishes that in these times warriors should have more respect for themselves and their arts (Watanabe. the term ‘judo’ was meant to differentiate the practice ¯ from those used in admission-charging martial arts shows. In ‘General Aspects’ he explained his position as follows: Because certain individuals have begun to turn jujutsu into a kind of show. the master swordsmen used the money that they got from these performances for intemperate drinking. they sullied the honour of the Japanese sword. Kano’s criticism of martial arts shows ¯ Kano Jigoro feared that turning jujutsu into a show would lead to its decline as a form of ¯ ¯ combat. Chiba. Downloaded by [80. As a result. 1971. Advertisements for these events are plastered all over the city to the point of distraction. everyone is scrambling to hawk these precious arts for a quick proﬁt. had participated in these ¯ performances. Jujutsu was originally a form of combat with the object of defeating one’s opponent . According to Nakamura (1994). 725). That is say. Kano ¯ wrote that he intentionally chose the term ‘judo’ for his new system to ‘avoid the name jujutsu because I did not want judo to be identiﬁed with jujutsu’ and its vulgar image (Kano. with performances before paying spectators in venues where sumo and acrobatic performance are also held. participated in a performance of jujutsu ¯ ¯ held in Tokyo later in 1873 (Saito. in . the number of discontented samurai fell after the conclusion of the Satsuma Rebellion in 1877. 1968). published in a journal in June 1873. Minister of Finance Okuma Shigenobu banned them in Tokyo. how did Kano attempt to differentiate judo from jujutsu? ¯ Let us ﬁrst consider how he perceived jujutsu. many people have begun to regard jujutsu as something vulgar (Kano. there were three basic criticisms of these performances. 934). 1887. According to Nakamura (1994). However. . and martial arts performances were once again authorized. Aside from the name. . 1889. They continued to be popular until around 1890. then gradually went out of fashion. but that’s not how they are viewed by the general public. leading to the vulgarization of the performance as a whole.17. 457). the emphasis had tended to shift away from the actual matches to the sideshows that were added to enliven the programme. Aichi and Kyoto prefectures for the reason that they ‘interfered with the people’s business’ (Ofﬁcial Cabinet Gazette. . they were not something with which he was unfamiliar.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 The writer deplored the fact that the martial arts were being turned into a spectacle. In the face of the growing popularity of swordsmanship performances. swordsmanship has come to be looked down upon as something no better than street performances of sword-drawing. he wrote of the ‘progress’ of jujutsu: That jujutsu attained a high status in Japan is demonstrated by the fact that it transformed itself from a means to an end . Moreover. and the ban was instituted to prevent these protests. The author of the following letter. p. then. Second. such performances often degenerated into protests against government policies by the disaffected former samurai who took part. 457). criticized these commercial performances in the following terms: Recently the Sword-ﬁghting Society began performances in Tokyo. . p. p. 2. ¯ However. not all observers were pleased with this new development in the world of martial arts. Third. published in October 1888. and jujutsu as the equivalent of one-man performances of sumo. ¯ Since one of Kano’s former teachers. and reduced its adherents to the level of street performers.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science 9 who would later become Kano Jigoro’s teachers. 1889.232. In the monograph ‘Jujutsu and its origins’.
naming them “exercise kata. Kano had ¯ to come up with some way to critically overcome it: Jujutsu was at one time highly respected in our country as a noble art. In addition. but with the passage ¯ of time. p. it is clear that he seems to be particularly critical of the school here. the content of the two versions is largely the same. which he deﬁned as ‘the techniques of subduing an opponent while avoiding submission oneself’ (Kano. methods that are effective in most situations have ultimately become ends in themselves. In this way jujutsu has already left behind its essence as a pure form of combat. Kano excluded not only dangerous techniques but ‘frivolous’ ¯ ones as well. studied and practiced solely for its practical application. and then inserting some of my own ideas. p. ¯ ¯ in many ways they seem rather detached from reality’. and emphasized practical effectiveness and physical beneﬁts. Nevertheless. and because of this jujutsu has come to be slandered as just a means of scraping out a meager livelihood (Yomiuri Shimbun. ¯ What is most important here is that in this lecture Kano speciﬁcally makes the ¯ connection between jujutsu’s obsession with ‘mere appearance and beauty of form’ and the commercialization of jujutsu as a performance. 453).17. The acquisition of these sorts of ¯ dangerous combat techniques can only be acquired through training in kata (Kano. it is safe to assume that the articles faithfully record what Kano actually said. as published in the ¯ Yomiuri Shimbun. 1888. many practitioners are obsessed only with mere appearance and beauty of form. 1889. Thompson actual combat the opponent is often defeated through the application of superior force. and the enjoyment one gets from them. and emphasized practical effectiveness and physical educational beneﬁts (Yomiuri Shimbun. they aren’t discarded. and become a contest of clever. ¯ Downloaded by [80. coordinated movements.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 Kano believed that jujutsu was originally a practical means of combat. agile skills. however. to the degree that posture and movements of the body are judged by aesthetic standards (Kano. 1889. and it is often more advantageous to ﬁght force with force.232. Nakajima and L. p. coordinated movements’ were both extremely compatible with the martial arts performances of which he disapproved. perfecting technique became an end in itself. The two newspaper articles quoted above come from a transcript of the ‘General Aspects’ lecture given by Kano on 11 May 1889. Although Kano does identify this development as a form of progress. 1889. In addition. pp. ¯ . superseding its use as a practical method. jujutsu’s original purpose was as training in ¯ combat methods. and there are cases when. differs somewhat from the version Kano submitted to the Japan Society ¯ of Education.” As much as possible I excluded dangerous and frivolous techniques. agile skills’ and the ‘aesthetic of graceful. 462).10 T. ¯ By ‘practical effectiveness’. 2) I developed Kodokankan judo exclusively through combining the best elements from the ¯ ¯ various schools. The language of this transcript. he writes about the kata of the Tenjinshinyo school: ‘by creating a nice appearance. ¯ but through the practice of kata the student not only acquires techniques but also ‘studies the theory of combat’ (Kano. May 16 1889. At the same time a kind of aesthetic has developed that values graceful. although their application is extremely disadvantageous. thereby coming up with 130 techniques. in the manuscript submitted by Kano. regardless of whether there is any practical value in a technique. May 17 1889. the contesting of ‘clever. since through ¯ this transformation jujutsu gained signiﬁcance as intellectual. Kano is almost certainly referring to effectiveness as a ¯ method of combat. 462). (Kano. Therefore. According to Kano. and since Kano ¯ appears not to have objected to the version published by the newspaper. p. 2). p. later generations look on it as no more than a form of entertainment. while appreciating the progress that jujutsu had made. 30 – 31). In this way Kano ¯ sought to improve jujutsu and further its ‘progress’. When we ¯ consider that the Tenjinshinyo school participated in the very martial arts shows of which ¯ Kano disapproved. Another important point is that in developing the exercise kata. moral and physical education. 1889).
‘consider carefully. making them truly part of the elite. 3. however. he stated: It seems to me that. So he came up with the idea that the theory of combat learned through the practice of kata ‘was also applicable to the rest of life’ (Kano. Kano ¯ hoped to strengthen patriotic sentiments.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 Even before the ‘General Aspects’ lecture. . but only follow the straight path’ (Kano. his main target audience consisted ¯ of students in institutions of secondary education. The ‘core principle’ of judo is a response to the ﬁfth and sixth points of the report. 1889. that the martial arts could encourage an attitude of ‘winning at all costs’. p. although attendance was supposed to be compulsory. However. act promptly’ and ‘techniques of control’. swordsmanship. he was also able to extol the merits of judo over the spear and sword because society had been transformed by the edict prohibiting the wearing of swords in public. Moreover. 471). and not fear in the face of danger. and for that reason alone a graduate of a higher primary school was one of the elect. 1889. including the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and the Naval Academy (Inoue. and therefore judo is the most appropriate of the martial arts (Kano. In ‘General Aspects’. there isn’t yet a proper system of teaching ethics. what he considered the ‘core principle’ of judo was ‘to be humble in victory and not give in to defeat. Reconﬁguring the origins of judo As Kano contrived to keep judo from appearing vulgar. ¯ the majority of people had not even graduated from normal primary school. and even the sword is becoming less necessary than it once was. And only one third of those graduates then went on to middle school.” (Kano. the elite students who could attend the middle schools at that time were mostly sons of the former samurai class. and . . 1998). Many students who did go on to higher primary school ended up dropping out. 478). 470). and spearmanship were an important part of higher education in Japan. 1889. The elite status that Kano envisioned for judo also had an element of restoration. at the time of Kano’s lecture.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science 11 Downloaded by [80. Most of the men who are known for their talent and ability trained their minds through the martial arts . p. judo was already being taught at organizations that required a practical form of the martial arts. . Kano expressed the main precepts of this system as follows: ‘attend to one’s relations ¯ with others’. In this way. Because of this. ¯ By evoking the ‘higher education’ of former times in his revival of the martial arts. Kano could not easily relinquish the practical combat techniques of judo. particularly in the middle schools and above. Establishing judo in the middle schools therefore meant raising it to elite status. not be careless when the going is easy.17. but also for ethics . p. ¯ According to educational sociologist Amano Ikuo (1992). Having concern for one’s relations with others and considering one’s actions carefully both require rational thinking. even though they ¯ contributed to the image of judo as harmful to the body. ‘take the initiative’. . which was the objective of judo as a system of moral and intellectual ¯ education (see above). 480– 481). . pp. 1889. Kano attempted to further demonstrate that judo met the ¯ standard of moral education set in the report to the Ministry of Education.232. These principles ¯ can be viewed in light of the 1884 report to the Ministry of Education on the suitability of the martial arts for education. which responds to the fourth ‘danger’ listed by the report: that the martial arts may encourage violence by making their practitioners easily agitated. as he ¯ suggests in the following passage: From ancient times until quite recently the martial arts such as jujutsu. I think that this judo that I’ve been talking about is not only suitable for physical education. However in these times we no longer need training in the spear.
2009). within the geographical framework of the nation at the time of its formation. Kano understood that an appreciation of the country’s ¯ traditions was important for strengthening patriotism. professor at the Tokyo Imperial University medical school. but it is known that he occasionally exchanged opinions with its members (Ikeda & Nakamura. 1889. the spirit of the martial arts must by all means be instilled to some degree in the minds of today’s youth (Kano. He published his ﬁndings in a university journal. Based on an analysis of scrolls from ¯ the Kito and Tenjinshinyo schools. it’s not enough to rely on the lore of one or two schools. and come to an independent conclusion . We have to conclude that jujutsu was devised by the Japanese . He asserts . ¯ ¯ 1884). pp. Kano explained his interpretation of ethics in the following manner: ¯ The feelings of attachment one has for one’s country differ in strength depending on whether or not one loves the achievements of that country. There was one problem. 471).17. A tradition is supposed to be something that has existed from ancient times. He worked independently from the committee commissioned by the Ministry of Education. ¯ Kano of course proposed judo as the way to achieve this purpose. conducted an independent study of the physiological effects of jujutsu at the behest of the university. so it can be assumed that his conclusions were familiar to those held by the university faculty and within the Ministry. in the book Jiujutsu (Lindsay & Kano. His ﬁndings were largely in accordance with those of the commission. Nakajima and L. ¯ Downloaded by [80. During the feudal period that preceded the formation of the Meiji state. Therefore. the new nation state had to establish autonomy from the international order that had existed in East Asia for centuries with China at its apex (Yamamuro. with using judo to strengthen patriotism. 1999). One could say it was a logical decision for Kano to ¯ promote judo there. . 2001). that country had no inﬂuence on the development of jujutsu in Japan. and to strengthen patriotism. he concluded that jujutsu came from China (Osawa. or whether one has the same feelings as people in the past .214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 By stating in this talk that the origins of jujutsu need to be discovered through analysis of the texts of a variety of schools. and that was the popular perception of judo’s origins. You have to consult records from a variety of schools. In Japan’s case. If Kano had based ¯ ¯ his system on an activity that originally came from China. it was hardly suitable as a ¯ national tradition. Although he does not go into the detail in the ‘General Aspects’ lecture. Kano insisted ¯ that jujutsu was a uniquely Japanese tradition: If you want to establish a valid theory of the origins of jujutsu. and this interpretation ¯ was widely accepted in the academic community during the Meiji period as well. much as it is today to say one learned or found out about something from Westerners (Kano. check them against the known facts. In order for the Japanese people to love what is Japanese about Japan.12 T. Kenji Osawa. In the past. In his ‘General Aspects’ lecture of May 1889. in response to Osawa and others’ assertions. it was probably more believable to say that one learned or found out about something from the Chinese. was potentially devastating. ¯ For example. Thompson therefore familiar with the martial arts. It cannot be something imported from some other country. jujutsu was generally recognized as having come from China (Sogawa. . . ¯ Osawa’s conclusion about the origins of jujutsu. p.232. . 1888) he references several Japanese and Chinese ¯ historical documents and concludes that although one can detect a slight connection with China. Kano is advocating an historical approach to the history of ¯ jujutsu. As mentioned. 447– 449). ¯ however. based on an analysis of the very schools from which Kano developed judo. . one of Kano’s motives in promoting judo among the elite was to ¯ strengthen patriotic sentiments. but he also considered the art’s history. . 1889. or easily available written materials.
& Thompson. Jujutsu-kata-taiso [Jujutsu-kata exercises]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. T. 34. Kyoiku jiron. The important thing here is that each of the points in Kano’s lecture ‘General Aspects ¯ of the Judo and its Value in Education’ were asserted in response to speciﬁc conditions. Kano rejected the theory ¯ of the art’s Chinese origins. we can see that the process of the invention of judo was fraught with many conceptual problems related to the conditions affecting nation state formation in East Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Haga. Hasegawa. S. In conclusion. K. I. the Meiji government had yet to recognize the value of sports as a means to improve the physical ﬁtness of the nation. therefore.Asia Paciﬁc Journal of Sport and Social Science 13 that the theory of jujutsu’s Chinese origins arose from the desire of martial artists for legitimacy in the feudal period. pp. H. In this way. (2007). Rekishi hyoron. First. S. based on which he ¯ appealed for recognition from the Meiji government. particularly the Ministry of Education’s aversion to the martial arts. Splendid monarchy: Power and pageantry in modern Japan. not sports. See also Guttmann and Thompson (2001). (1992). the diverse and ﬂexible history of jujutsu came to be forgotten. Moreover. he also excluded ‘frivolous’ techniques and attempted to restore jujutsu to its ‘original’ noble essence as a practical ﬁghting art. Note 1 Downloaded by [80. Mori Arinori niokeru kokumintekishutai no soshutsu [The creation of a ¯ national subject by Arinori Mori]. (1885). Tokyo. Fukushima ken nempo [Annual report of Fukushima prefecture]. Fukuzawa. much as in Kano’s times people tended to believe in ¯ Western civilization. 296. of course. ¯ ¯ 647. Gakureki no shakaishi [Social history of academic qualiﬁcations]. the preferred method of physical education was gymnastic exercises. At the same time. This debate. reﬂects a more general problem that many nations in East Asia have faced in the process of nation formation. 224. ¯ Anonymous (1893). Japanese sports: A history. Thus. Katanagari [The sword hunt]. (1874/1978).17.214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Fifth Edition. to patriotism. Guttmann. L. in the early 1880s when this lecture was delivered. (2005). Fujitani. and in the process the entertainment value of jujutsu and its Chinese origins came to be regarded as heretical. ¯ Amano. 62 – 63. Mombusho ¯ ¯ nempo. Nihon kindai ni okeru ‘dento’ [The ‘traditional’ in modern Japan]. ¯ ¯ Fujiki. Conclusion This paper has demonstrated how Kano constructed what he believed to be the merits of ¯ judo. References Akagi.232. we would like to make two points. however. 12. 17 – 31. (1996). In order to ¯ connect the traditions of judo. A. 2002) deﬁnes kata as ‘a system of basic exercises or postures and movements used to teach and improve the execution of techniques in judo and other martial arts’. Berkeley: University of California Press. Y. arising from jujutsu.. (2001). Kano preserved the Japanese identity of judo by ¯ claiming a cultural break with China. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Tokyo: Shinchosha. . The future development of judo as a sport was ¯ not yet foreseen. An encouragement of learning. Oxford University Press. In conclusion. Gymnastic exercises were the model-rival in contradistinction to which Kano developed the values of judo. (2004). Kano believed that continuity with jujutsu was important. Kyoto: Shibunkaku. Kano invented an authenticity and orthodoxy for judo.
S. ¯ ¯ Kano. Tokyo: Iwanami ¯ shoten. (1994). ‘Kyodoai’ to ‘aikokushin’ wo tsunagu mono [What joins regionalism and ¯ patriotism together?]. Shisokadai tositeno Ajia [Asia as a thought problem]. T. (2001). ¯ Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Japan. (1994). (1993). ¯ ¯ Inoue. ¯ ¯ Okubo. What should be taught through budo. 110. Kindaigo toshiteno budo no gainen-keisei [Formation of the modern concept of ¯ ¯ ‘budo’]. 16(2). 15. rev ed. (1888). 163– 173). 7. ¯ ¯ Osawa. Kindai ni okeru taisoka kyoiku shi (1): Meiji 10 nendai no jujutsu ¯ ¯ ¯ saiyoron [History of physical education in Modern Japan: the debate over adopting jujutsu in ¯ 1880s]. T. Kyoto: Shibunkaku. Saito. (2009). 1. Horei Zensho [Book of statutes]. Tokyo: ¯ ¯ Shinjimbutsuoraisha. (1879). (1972)..214] at 06:41 08 February 2013 Hobsbawm. Vlastos (Ed. S. Thompson Downloaded by [80. Meijiki gakko taiiku no kenkyu [Research on physical education in the Meiji era]. ¯ Yamamuro. G. ¯ Watanabe. 28 – 33. 34 – 51.232. T. J. 87. & Ranger. (1889).. Shiryo Meiji budoshi (Historical documents of budo in the Meiji era). ¯ 370– 385. In S. Seiyoka no kozo [The structure of westernization]. Kendo jiten [Encyclopedia of kendo]. ‘Judo ippan narabini sono kyoikujo no kachi’ koen ni miru Kano Jigoro no ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ jujutsu taikeiron [The system of jujutsu as presented in Kano Jigoro’s lecture ‘General aspects of ¯ ¯ ¯ the “judo” and its value in education’]. Tokyo: Shimazushobo.] Vol. Nakajima and L. (Eds. Mirror of modernity: invented traditions of modern Japan (pp. The invention of tradition. 26. pp. Izawa. Tokyo: Hakubunsha. . E. Bennett (Ed. Berkeley: University of California Press. J. (1998). Meiji bunka zenshu [The complete series of Meiji culture]. S. ¯ ¯ Sonoda. (1995). Shinsetsu taisoho no seiseki [A record of the new gymnastics]. (1884). 97 – 104. Jiujutsu: the old Samurai art of ﬁghting without weapons. T. ¯ ¯ ¯ Kano. 3. 192– 205. T. I.). 659. Yoshino. (1971). ¯ Lindsay. (1928). Ikeda. The invention of the martial arts. Dainippon kyoikukai zassi. S. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ Sogawa. K. S. Rekishi hyoron. 2 – 18. Nakamura. (2005). (1999). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gakugei shirin. T. H. Tokyo: Heibonsha. T.14 T. Judo ippan narabini sono kyoikujo no kachi [General aspects of the “judo” and its ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ value in education]. Kyoiku zashi. Auckland: Kendo World Publications Ltd. 1 – 10. 21. 1 – 2).17. & Kano. ¯ ¯ ¯ Takagi. & Nakamura. Kodokan judo kagaku kenkyukai kiyo. (1888). Tokyo: ¯ Nihonhyoronsya. H. ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ Sogawa. Fukushima daigaku jissen kenkyu kiyo. 2. (1983). (Ed. Jujutsu shikatsu no ben [On life and death in jujutsu]. 446– 481.). (1968). T. Jujutsu oyobi sono kigen [Jujutsu and its origins]. Sogawa. In A. Mori Arinori zenshu [The complete works of Mori Arinori] (Vols. ¯ ¯ Nose. ¯ ¯ Tokyo: Fumaido Shuppan. T. Zotei buko nempyo [Buko annals. Gendai supotsu hyoron. Tokyo: ¯ Senbundo.). 195– 202). (2005). 37. ¯ Ofﬁcial Cabinet Gazette (1887). Nihon Bungaku. J. Budo perspectives ¯ (Vol.).
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