Google Doodle Honours 'Father of Judo', Prof Kano Jigoro on His 161st Birthday

Kano Jigoro was born in Mikage (now part of Kobe) on 28 October 1860

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Google Doodle on Thursday, 28 October honoured Japan’s “Father of Judo,” Professor Kano Jigoro, on his 161st birth anniversary.

To celebrate Professor Kano's birthday, Google shared a few doodles depicting his story, illustrated by Los Angeles, CA-based artist Cynthia Yuan Cheng.

According to the Google Doodle blog, the name Judo means “the gentle way” and the sport is built on principles such as justice, courtesy, safety, and modesty. "Kano saw the martial art as a way to bring people together, even while throwing opponents to the mat," the blog added.


Who was Kanō Jigorō?

Kano Jigoro was born in Mikage (now part of Kobe) on 28 October 1860. He moved to Tokyo along with his father when he was 11 years old.

Kano wanted to learn to the martial art of Jujutsu to build strength. He found Jujutsu master and former samurai Fukuda Hachinosuke, who would teach him, during his time at Tokyo University.

Judo, however, was first born when Kano incorporated a western wrestling move to bring his much larger opponent to the mat during a Jujutsu match.

"By removing the most dangerous techniques used in Jujutsu, he created “Judo,” a safe and cooperative sport based on Kano’s personal philosophy of Seiryoku-Zenyo (maximum efficient use of energy) and Jita-Kyoei (mutual prosperity of self and others)," reads the Google Doodle blog.

Kano opend Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo in 1882, where he worked on the development of Judo for years. He also welcomed women into the sport in the year 1893.

Professor Kano Jigoro joined the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1909. He was the first Asian member of IOC. Judo was approved as an official Olympic sport by IOC in 1960.

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