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    Was Kano anti-militaristic?

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    NBK

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    Was Kano anti-militaristic?

    Post by NBK on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:53 am

    From the Wiki entry on 'Japanese militarism':

    Kanō Jigorō, creator of Judo and founder of the modern Japanese educational system, member of Japan's Olympic Committee, and de facto foreign minister for Japan was a staunch opponent of militarism. Concerned that his Judo school, the Kodokan, would be used as a military training center, he obtained a promise from the Emperor that it would not be. Alternate sources list different causes of death, and some consider his passing to be suspicious.

    I've heard all this for years, but have never seen any evidence pro or con.  Wiki can be a valuable resource, but here's something that has a number of half-truths and perhaps outright fabrications.

    1.  Kano shihan did not found the 'modern Japanese educational system'.  Certainly he was very involved in its development rather early on, and while influential, never rose above a high mid-level position in the Ministry of Education, and only for a limited period.

    2.  His international diplomacy was limited to his effort to get approval for the 1940 Olympics to be held in Tokyo, so certainly was not the 'defacto foreign minister'.

    3.  What demonstrates his 'staunch anti-militarism'?  He advocated caution in foreign engagements, but despite having the bully pulpit of being a member of the House of Peers (equivalent to US Senate or UK House of Lords), I can't find any speeches by him on the topic.  He confined most public comments to issues of the Olympics, education, and judo.  

    4.  I can find no sign that he was concerned about the use of the Kodokan as a military training facility.  In fact, I think it strange to think so, as the Kodokan was nowhere near a major military facility at the time, so it's utility as a military training facility would be very low.  You take the training where the soldiers are, not vice versus.  As the property of a private foundation, the Kodokan was not under the purview of the military.  Also, well before Kano's death, a brutal form of judo was being taught at every major Imperial military school, often under the supervision of senior Kodokan kodansha.  In fact he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Imperial Navy's adoption of judo as its primary martial art, and supported the adoption from the earliest days, dispatching senior instructors to Etajima after it moved from Tsukiji, Tokyo.    

    5.  Years before his death, Kano shihan was seriously ill for a long time, and died onboard a luxury passenger ship enroute home to Japan after a tough travel schedule that probably would have left even a much younger, healthy man tired and subject to illness.  The ship's captain described him as clearly ill for days before his death, and personally multiple times urged Kano to stay in his cabin to rest until the ship could reach port and he could get medical care.  Kano shihan, stubborn to the end, refused, and insisted on dressing and attending meals with the captain until he could no longer physically leave his bed, where he died days from home.    

    Does anyone have any sources to expand or change the above?

    thanks!

    NBK
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    BillC

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    Re: Was Kano anti-militaristic?

    Post by BillC on Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:30 am

    Mr. Natural,

    Thank you for a great "judo myth" thread.  Yes, it is an oft-repeated story.  It would be interesting to know how far back this story goes, and in which country it originated.  Kodokan history re-write?  Black Belt Magazine article?  Prominent gas-bag lecturing a rapt audience of ten-year-olds?

    As you have lectured previously, any number of people tried to wash their image after the war.  In addition to that, probably more common and less sinister, the embellishment and myth-making process that takes place ... what sensei doesn't know he makes up!

    Cheers.

    Bill



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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Was Kano anti-militaristic?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:32 pm

    NBK wrote:From the Wiki entry on 'Japanese militarism':

    Kanō Jigorō, creator of Judo and founder of the modern Japanese educational system, member of Japan's Olympic Committee, and de facto foreign minister for Japan was a staunch opponent of militarism. Concerned that his Judo school, the Kodokan, would be used as a military training center, he obtained a promise from the Emperor that it would not be. Alternate sources list different causes of death, and some consider his passing to be suspicious.

    I've heard all this for years, but have never seen any evidence pro or con.  Wiki can be a valuable resource, but here's something that has a number of half-truths and perhaps outright fabrications.

    1.  Kano shihan did not found the 'modern Japanese educational system'.  Certainly he was very involved in its development rather early on, and while influential, never rose above a high mid-level position in the Ministry of Education, and only for a limited period.

    2.  His international diplomacy was limited to his effort to get approval for the 1940 Olympics to be held in Tokyo, so certainly was not the 'defacto foreign minister'.

    3.  What demonstrates his 'staunch anti-militarism'?  He advocated caution in foreign engagements, but despite having the bully pulpit of being a member of the House of Peers (equivalent to US Senate or UK House of Lords), I can't find any speeches by him on the topic.  He confined most public comments to issues of the Olympics, education, and judo.  

    4.  I can find no sign that he was concerned about the use of the Kodokan as a military training facility.  In fact, I think it strange to think so, as the Kodokan was nowhere near a major military facility at the time, so it's utility as a military training facility would be very low.  You take the training where the soldiers are, not vice versus.  As the property of a private foundation, the Kodokan was not under the purview of the military.  Also, well before Kano's death, a brutal form of judo was being taught at every major Imperial military school, often under the supervision of senior Kodokan kodansha.  In fact he was an enthusiastic supporter of the Imperial Navy's adoption of judo as its primary martial art, and supported the adoption from the earliest days, dispatching senior instructors to Etajima after it moved from Tsukiji, Tokyo.    

    5.  Years before his death, Kano shihan was seriously ill for a long time, and died onboard a luxury passenger ship enroute home to Japan after a tough travel schedule that probably would have left even a much younger, healthy man tired and subject to illness.  The ship's captain described him as clearly ill for days before his death, and personally multiple times urged Kano to stay in his cabin to rest until the ship could reach port and he could get medical care.  Kano shihan, stubborn to the end, refused, and insisted on dressing and attending meals with the captain until he could no longer physically leave his bed, where he died days from home.    

    Does anyone have any sources to expand or change the above?

    thanks!

    NBK
    NBK,

    I wrote an extensive reply to your post, with sources and detailing several things. In the mean time another post had been made since I had started writing and somehow the program failed to properly process my post, gave an error that "there is a problem with the attachment" (I did not attach anything) and it was lost in cyberspace. Sorry, nothing I can do about it. This is not the first time this has happened to me. I like helping out people, but I am not going to type out the post again, as it took me 45 minutes to write it, and I don't like wasting my time by having to type everything all over, espec. when talking about lost posts that have considerable length.


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    Old Chestnut

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    Re: Was Kano anti-militaristic?

    Post by Old Chestnut on Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:49 pm

    When you've finished typing, use ctrl-a to select all, ctrl-c to copy, then click to post. If your message doesn't get processed, you can use ctrl-v (or right-click then paste) to ensure the effort wasn't wasted.

    Either that or type everything out on notepad++ or similar before copy pasting.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Was Kano anti-militaristic?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:37 pm

    Old Chestnut wrote:When you've finished typing, use ctrl-a to select all, ctrl-c to copy, then click to post. If your message doesn't get processed, you can use ctrl-v (or right-click then paste) to ensure the effort wasn't wasted.

    Either that or type everything out on notepad++ or similar before copy pasting.
    Thanks. I sometimes do the ctrl-a thing, but sometimes I forget. I just wish that when you click to post something that it simply will post your post, instead of first informing you that another post has been posted in the mean time and then asking if you still want to post or not, or edit, etc. It is this in-between step in such cases that has contributed to several of my posts being lost.

    Notepad is not good option either, because you cannot type macrons (unless you know the ASCII codes) and if your screen freezes you lose the contents too since it doesn't save it. Typing in MS-Word is a better option.

    The other reason that I often do not use the Notepad/MS-Word option is that when you type there you can't actually see the post you are replying to. That's OK if you are replying to a one-line question, but not if you're repylying to a lengthy post with 5 or more different sections like NBK's coz' one can't remember each time what number to refer to. Sure, you can copy that post too in the Notepad/MS-Word file, but still, it's annoying because you also can't directly put links in to images or youtube, etc. You then have to first copy all the text into the forum and then again go from A all the way to Z to put in links and attachments. It's simply a less natural way of progression and of working than directly typing everything in.

    With the many crashes lately, especially with the last Firefox 23 browser that affects even typing (letters often appear too late) and that is incompatible with the current JAVA version (I believe), I try to limit the number of programs that are simultaneously running to reduce the number of crashes, as they require rebooting and sometimes additional losses in other things that were open at the time.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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    NBK

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    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Was Kano anti-militaristic?

    Post by NBK on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:50 pm

    I'd just settle for the 4.5 minute version.... : -/

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