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    Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

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    DougNZ

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    Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by DougNZ on Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:03 am

    In reviewing some information I have on Kawaishi Mikinosuke, I noticed some discrepancies regarding his relationship with Kurihara Tamio.

    The first source is an interview with Kawaishi (in French) in 1955. In the interview he denied Kurihara was his teacher, saying "We were just in the same college and M. Kurihara was four years my senior."

    The second source is an interview (also in French) with Awazu Shozo in 2010. Awazu said, "After the war, I worked in Kyoto, in Budokai with Kurihara sensei. Kawaishi sensei, who was also his student, asked him to send someone to teach. Kurihara sensei offered me, and I came."

    The third source is an interview (again, in French) with Awazu in 2004. Awazu said, "M. Kawaishi, the teacher who started judo in France, was forced to return to Japan during the war. This was Himeiji region, as M. Kurihara, who was a professor at Kyoto and who knew my judo. The latter introduced me to M. Kawaishi. He left in December 1948 and I was asked to join him as an assistant ..."

    Awazu implies that both he and Kawaishi were students of Kurihara, though it seems not at the same time. Perhaps Kawaishi trained under Kurihara prior to his interment in Manchuria (1944-45) or in the years after, before he returned to France (1945-48).

    Does anyone have any more light they can shed on this?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:26 am

    DougNZ wrote:In reviewing some information I have on Kawaishi Mikinosuke, I noticed some discrepancies regarding his relationship with Kurihara Tamio.

    The first source is an interview with Kawaishi (in French) in 1955.  In the interview he denied Kurihara was his teacher, saying "We were just in the same college and M. Kurihara was four years my senior."

    The second source is an interview (also in French) with Awazu Shozo in 2010.  Awazu said, "After the war, I worked in Kyoto, in Budokai with Kurihara sensei.  Kawaishi sensei, who was also his student, asked him to send someone to teach.  Kurihara sensei offered me, and I came."

    The third source is an interview (again, in French) with Awazu in 2004.  Awazu said, "M. Kawaishi, the teacher who started judo in France, was forced to return to Japan during the war. This was Himeiji region, as M. Kurihara, who was a professor at Kyoto and who knew my judo. The latter introduced me to M. Kawaishi. He left in December 1948 and I was asked to join him as an assistant ..."

    Awazu implies that both he and Kawaishi were students of Kurihara, though it seems not at the same time.  Perhaps Kawaishi trained under Kurihara prior to his interment in Manchuria (1944-45) or in the years after, before he returned to France (1945-48).  

    Does anyone have any more light they can shed on this?

    Kawaishi is in Tôkyô studying at Waseda University until 1924, then does his military service and and goes to the US. He is 26 years old then.

    He spends 5 years in the US and forms black belts there (I don't know exactly who, but Joe Svinth will know), and it is said that he finished his 3rd cycle university studies there, which would suggest he would have obtained a PhD or similar, but I have never seen any hard data that substantiate that. He seems to have been travelling a lot there, because one day he was in New York, then in San Diego, then in Colombia, then in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and this in a time before air travel existed, so how much time he has actualy spent at school, at have no idea.

    When he arrives in France he is a 4th dan Kôdôkan since 23 Dec 1924. He arrives in France in October 1935 and stays there until 1944; comes back in 1948 until he dies in 1969. So, his 4th, and also his 5th dan are both Kôdôkan but his 7th dan is origially Butokukai, although the Kôdôkan recognized it later due to the standard agreement between the two. Nevertheless, this seems to suggest that any such Butokukai training under Kurihara might have occurred after Kawaishi's return to Japan in 1944.

    Since Kurihara himself was born only in 1896, he would not have been ome famous teacher before 1924. In fact, Kurihara only obtained his judo teaching credentials in 1929, although he was a part-time instructor already since 1920, and had more formal duties since 1921. I am not sure how serious to take that though. Around that time was himself still a fierce fighter rather than a teacher as he himself participated in and actually was the winner of the famous Tenran Shiai before the Emperor (Only 3 such shiai have ever been held) that year (1929). It's really only after this event that Kurihara starts popping up as assistant to Isogai. So, for all of these reasons, I think were are looking at somewhere during the time he returns to France in 1948. By 1948, Kurihara is indeed a famous teacher; he obtained his 9th dan that year (he had been an 8th dan since 1937), and Isogai had died the year before that, hence making Kurihara quite important. In consequence, one could say that anyone around that time being there, would technically fall under Kurihara's responsibility. The only thing is that by 1948 there was of course no Butokukai anymore (it was closed in 1946). So putting everything together, the most logical response would be during the first half of the time when Kawaishi returned to Japan, so 1945-1946.

    It is of course, very well possible, that all kinds of ways were created for people to train elsewhere. That is virtually impossible to verify and you've got to take people's word for it (or not if you don't want to). Only people who were there at the time will know how things worked. Similarly, I trained at the Kyôto Police Academy and once had to deal with idiots who went then like "So, you're saying you were a member of the Police Academy, so do you have a membership card to prove that ?" OK, you then are dealing with morons who have no clue, and it gets even worse if they don't realize or won't accept they have no clue and are determined to believe that you are just making this up. To start with, one is not "a member" of the Police Academy, there does not exist a membership, and you can't become a member unless you are as a policeman (or -woman) at the police school (or are formally employed, I guess) I don't even think that the policemen actually "sign up for a membership", but are automatically members of their judo department just as they are members of the the entire school. So, as members of their school, through their enrolment and when they compete against other police teams they are then of course more formally considered a "member of the policeteam", which obviously I never was since I am not a Japanese policeman. I never had to fill out a single sheet of paper there, no insurance, not a single cent of "membership" fees or mat "fees", nothing and the training was some of the best of my life. People who in the West, and even some Westernized Japanese, just don't get that. We did not have little cards which the sensei signed off, counting your lessons to see if you weren't ready yet for your next colored belt. Geez, were were in Japan, not in Donald Duck Land ! In fact, if you would look at the list of member clubs of the All Japan Judo Federation you would not even find us, since there is no such "club" or entity in the form of "club". The sensei gave you a verbal approval to train there so that the guards at the gate would let you pass, and that was it. The judo division of a Police Academy is not a "Judo club". So, the point I am trying to make, is simply unless I tell you, or read it somewhere from a friend or someone who knows from me or was there at the time (but there were no foreigners) you have no way of finding out when I was there, who were my teachers, etc. It's then of course up to you to take my word of it and believe me or not. I wasn't trying to get on a tangent, simply trying to make a point. The situation with Kawaishi/Awazu may be somewhat similar. There is virtually no way to actually 'verify' that situation. Sure, there exists a Japanese biography of Kawaishi, and I don't have it here, and I can't recall what the sources were, but unless there are dated pictures or historic letters by Kawaishi or Kurihara, it is going to be hard. As I said, even though we know that the Butokuaki closed in 1946, yet Awazu seems to claim they trained there under Kurihara until 1948. The discrepancy does not mean that someone is lying or wrong. What if Kurihara had the keys and secretly organized judo classes while the thing was officially closed ? What if Kurihara organized judo classes in a backroom of his house and called that room Butokukai to continue the tradition ? Byt the way, there also were still some other famous judo teachers in Kyoto around that time, such as, for example, Fukushima-sensei.

    The other person on this forum who might know of something regarding this situation, or of which I am not thinking, is Kuden. To solve your questions beyond any speculation or to prove any response with irrefutable evidence is going to be hard. It is often like that in judo in Japan. Many, many, many years ago I participated once in the Kôdôkan International Summer School. Well, you won't find my name in the list. Why not ? Simple. I was not a 4th dan (the official minimal rank to enroll) and was given verbal approval which my sensei sought from Abe Ichirô. Strange ? Not at all. Just a couple of years there was a kid, a yellow belt during the Kôdôkan International Summer Kata Course. So, clearly he was not a 4th dan. How is that possible. His dad (I think they came from Sweden) was there, and he could not just leave the kid all by himself in Tokyo, so he was on the tatami, and was present during I think every class including the ones on advanced kata. His name is also not on any list, and he probably did not even pay the participation fee since officially he couldn't participate. Well, he did participate and did so in every class. If that kid in X number of years says "well, you know I participated in that event back in the year 2000-whatever" every objective evidence will point against it. He can't prove it, as his name won't be in the list, and people will easily calculate he can't possibly have met the minimal requirements back then, and yet he was there. His advantage is that we live in modern times now and so many pictures and videos are taken today, so that you can actually see him present on probably dozens of recordings which was not the case during my time at the Police Academy or the time that Kawaishi studied with Kurihara.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by DougNZ on Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:00 pm

    One cannot underestimate the significance of even one year training under an influential teacher. However, as a man in his mid-40s, Kawaishi's judo would have been pretty much 'set' by 1945.

    This prompts the oft-raised question: who taught Kawaishi in his early days?

    By his own words, Kawaishi began his studies at the age of 8 (c1907) at Himeji, and by the time he left Himeji Middle School about age 15 he had completed about 7 years. I cannot say whether Yoshida Kotaro was his teacher or whether he learnt ju-jitsu / judo or gekiken / kendo, though he claimed to have learnt judo and kendo (maybe the terms in vogue at the time of his 1955 interview). Three years later he finished High School and received a DNBK shodan in February 1918. He then completed five years at Waseda University in Tokyo, most of which he was studying Kodokan. He received yondan from the Kodokan in December 1924, which was the grade he held when he left Japan in 1926.

    Do we know who the ju-jitsu / judo teachers associated with DNBK were in the Himeji area 1907 - 1918? And who were the likely Kodokan teachers associated at Waseda University or the Kodokan 1919 - 1924 (Kawaishi said in 1955 that Kano held mainly a technical role at that time)?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 pm

    DougNZ wrote:One cannot underestimate the significance of even one year training under an influential teacher.  However, as a man in his mid-40s, Kawaishi's judo would have been pretty much 'set' by 1945.

    This prompts the oft-raised question: who taught Kawaishi in his early days?

    By his own words, Kawaishi began his studies at the age of 8 (c1907) at Himeji, and by the time he left Himeji Middle School about age 15 he had completed about 7 years.  I cannot say whether Yoshida Kotaro was his teacher or whether he learnt ju-jitsu / judo or gekiken / kendo, though he claimed to have learnt judo and kendo (maybe the terms in vogue at the time of his 1955 interview).  Three years later he finished High School and received a DNBK shodan in February 1918.  He then completed five years at Waseda University in Tokyo, most of which he was studying Kodokan.  He received yondan from the Kodokan in December 1924, which was the grade he held when he left Japan in 1926.

    Do we know who the ju-jitsu / judo teachers associated with DNBK were in the Himeji area 1907 - 1918?  And who were the likely Kodokan teachers associated at Waseda University or the Kodokan 1919 - 1924 (Kawaishi said in 1955 that Kano held mainly a technical role at that time)?  
    I think that if you are really interested in that level of detail regarding Kawaishi that it would be best that you get a hold of his Japanese biography. The Western stuff is usually so ureliable that you can't do a thing with it. The reason is that most people in the West who write about judo get their information solely from popular Western books, hearsay, and sometimes luckily from people who have actually experienced some of it themselves provided that they were still alive so the author could talk to them. In this case, having someone like Awazu or like Kawaishi's son Norikazu are luckily some of the useful sources, admittedly, so other information from Western sources should be matched to their views.

    But the major problem is that most of the authors of Western popular books or budo magazine articles on Kawaishi (1) are not fluent in Japanese and thus do not consult Japanese sources, and (2) have no critical approach that is underpinned by critical analysis. The Japanese sources generally lack the critical analysis too, but ... invariably they will contain things that Western popular books don't have, namely historic pictures, and some other documents. The advantage of that is that if you have a historiographic education and know Japanese and judo, you can actually critically analyze these documents yourself and oftentimes easily find evidence that is just there right in your face but that no one ever bothered looking at or that is not in Western popular books because those authors can't read it or do not even know of its existence. As said, even though I have the book in my library, regrettably I do not have access to it. It's a book with a colorful front page that depicts a selection of colored judo belts, of which the creation or popularization is often attributed to or associated with Kawaishi. This is the book:



    Its title is: Sekai ni kaketa shichishoku nanairo no obi. Furansu jûdô no chichi Kawaishi Mikinosuke den. It means something like "Seven colored belts spread throughout the world. Chronicle of the father of French judo, Mikinosuke Kawaishi.

    Its author is Yoshida, but her first name can't be identified with certainty unless you know (likely pronounced Kuniko, Fumiko or Ayako) in this case.


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    "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."

    DougNZ

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by DougNZ on Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:23 am

    Sadly, I do not read Japanese so your reference is of little help to me. I was aware the book existed and hoped someone on this forum who had read it might provide some insight. When you do have access to your copy, I would be very thankful if you could find time to answer some of these questions.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:10 am

    DougNZ wrote:Sadly, I do not read Japanese so your reference is of little help to me.  I was aware the book existed and hoped someone on this forum who had read it might provide some insight.  When you do have access to your copy, I would be very thankful if you could find time to answer some of these questions.
    There also exists a scholarly paper on Kawaishi by Magara Hiroshi. The reference is:

    真柄浩-川石酒造之助について--生いたちと欧州柔道界に与えた影響. Juntendo University (順天堂大学) Bulletin of health and physical education 20: 28-36, 1977. IIArticleID(NAID): 40001782591, NIINACSIS-CATID(NCID): AN00113343

    I do not appear to have it stored on my machine. I do understand that you do not read Japanese, but I mention the reference here since there are people visiting this forum who do, and who currently live in Japan and might have access to the journal.


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    "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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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by NBK on Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:26 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote: .....Around that time was himself still a fierce fighter rather than a teacher as he himself participated in and actually was the winner of the famous Tenran Shiai before tthe Emperor (Only 3 such shiai have ever been held) that year (1929). ....
    As the Japanese say, 'Chigaimasu'. A Westerner might say, Not so.

    There were more Tenranjiai (usually pronounced as a single word with the shi-ji sound change) than 3. I have a lot of info on the Tenranjiai, its history, etc., as a result of a very long session at the Saineikan, and am working this into an article or book.

    How do I know? The short version is that last year I was invited as the guest of honor at a special martial arts training session at the Saineikan, the Imperial Guards Police martial arts dojo established by the Meiji Emperor in 1883 on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, through the introduction of the Crown Prince (a long story, but I think the Imperial Household Agency was bemused by a martial arts historian [namely, me] approaching the Crown Prince to see cops' judo and kendo practice - but the Imperial Guards Police were shocked when I showed up with a copy of their confidential internal history, another long story. But what really surprised them was when they asked if I had any questions beforehand, and I sent them three pgs in Japanese. They ended up stalling for weeks to do their homework, eventually to leave no question unanswered. As a result I think that now they have a very nice history of the place that they can show Japanese and others.).

    I mention this because tonight I'm taking the man who made it all possible out to dinner, and dug out my notes to chat with him about it, and they reminded me of this thread.

    Regards,

    NBK
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    BillC

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by BillC on Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:56 pm

    NBK wrote:
    I mention this because tonight I'm taking the man who made it all possible out to dinner, and dug out my notes to chat with him about it, and they reminded me of this thread.      
    Well wherever that was, it was not at the Change Bar in Kamiyacho. Quiet night tonight, watched the Giants prevail on the tube. Thanks, by the way, for apparently picking up the tab last Thursday. Good thing you missed me on Friday when I "paid" for the generosity.

    Thursday ... thinking Kodokan ... maybe our buddy from the library can be persuaded to go out after class with no notice?


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    NBK

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    Re: Kawaishi's relationship with Kurihara

    Post by NBK on Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:44 am

    I thought it was all your idea.  But I got there after a successful brokering session with some Japanese on the phone with some Germans, which of course occasioned a long round of shochu with the Japanese to celebrate (somewhere in the conversation that ensued, one of them said 'next time, we do it without the Italians! and you, NBK, can come along' - I didn't dare ask...)

    If I picked up the tab Thu, then I deserved to feel like I did Fri....  silent

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