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    Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:16 am

    平成26年の新年を迎え、心より新春のお慶びを申し上げます。

     昨年9月7日の国際オリンピック委員会総会で、2020年オリンピック・パラリンピックの開催地が東京に決まりました。これは東京都のみならず日本が一体となって招致活動に取り組んだからこそなしえたものであり、日本のスポーツ界にとって明るい大きなニュースでありました。嘉納師範はオリンピックの日本への招致に心血を注がれました。私たちは今回の決定を歓迎し、柔道界が一丸となって大会成功のために、全力で取り組んでいかなければならないと思っています。
     
     さて、昨年10月には世界柔道形選手権大会が京都で開催されました。日本国内初となった大会には30ヵ国・地域から200名を超える選手が参加し、熱戦が繰り広げられました。この世界形選手権は、これまでにマルタ、ハンガリー、ドイツ、イタリアで開催されましたが、日本代表が全て上位を占めてきました。京都大会では、韓国が「投の形」で優勝した他、入賞国は、これまでの限られた国だけでなく各国へと広がりを見せており、回を重ねる毎に技量も上がってきています。これは、各国独自の取り組みはもとより、欧州での講道館形講習会や地道に続けてきた諸外国への巡回指導等がもたらした成果であると思っています。今後も形を通した柔道の普及と国際交流を深めるために継続的に指導者を海外へ派遣したいと考えています。
     
     また、国際柔道連盟が導入した新たな試合審判規定は、混乱なく概ね各国の選手たちに理解されてきました。柔道本来の姿である“組み合って、技による攻防で”勝負を決する試合が多くなってきたことは喜ばしい限りです。一方で、規定の悪用、規定に定められていない危険な行為などが未だに見受けられるのは残念なことです。
     嘉納師範は柔道を勝負として成り立たせるために勝負法を定められました。時代の移り変わりとともに試合のルールは変遷してきましたが、元来、ルールの根底には武道としての精神があります。勝負は正々堂々とお互いの心身の力量の優劣を決めるものであり、当然、相手に危害を及ぼすような行為や卑怯なことはしてはなりません。修行者の熟達度、年齢等によってルールを変えてもいいと思っていますが、変えてはならないものがあることを我々は強く認識しておかねばなりません。これまで、体を捨てながらの腋固やかに挟みが禁止された時には変形柔道が横行しました。また、組み合わず脚を取るために低い姿勢に終始する試合、相手の反則によって勝ちを得ようとする偽装攻撃等への対策としてルールの改正が行われました。試合の観戦者に判りやすくすることは大切なことですが、そのために柔道本来の姿、魅力を失ってはいけません。本来の柔道は、どういう状況にあっても、礼法を守り、正しく組んで、理にかなった技で、一本を取る柔道を実践していくことが肝要です。
     
     我々は、「競技としての柔道」の発展とともに「教育としての柔道」「人づくりとしての柔道」を力強く確実に推進させなければなりません。これまで先達が築いてこられた講道館柔道の歴史、伝統から学び、柔道の理念、礼法、受身、体捌き、技、形、審判法等の資料、映像等を再整備し次世代に正しく伝えて行く責任があります。
     年頭に当たり、嘉納師範の遺訓「柔道は心身の力を最も有効に使用する道である。その修行は攻撃防御の練習によって身體精神を鍛錬修養し、斯道の神髄を體得することである。そうして是によって己を完成し、世を補益するが柔道修行の究竟の目的である」に立ち返り、地道に「精力善用」「自他共栄」の実践に努め、柔道の普及・振興に全力で取り組んでゆく所存です。館員各位のご指導、ご支援、ご協力を宜しくお願いいたします。
     
     最後になりましたが、今年も皆様にとって良い年でありますようお祈り申し上げます。


    Most noteworthy, Uemura-sensei devotes considerable attention to IJF contest rules changes. In brief, he emphasizes the importance of judo being easy to follow for the audience, and welcomes rules to get rid of anti-jûdô. However, he warns several times (first in veiled terms or between the lines, but also explicitly) about changing judo so much/so far it deviates to much from what Kanô intended as Kôdôkan jûdô.

    He also points out being proud of the having organized last year's kata championships in Japan, and points out that so far Japan strongly dominates interntional kata contests (my personal comment: ... which ... really isn't too much of a surprise given that the official standard is the Kôdôkan DVD and if the Kôdôkan makes kata even more nonsensical, then that 'nonsensicality' will be the standard which presumably the Japanese will experience from very close and continuously since one can practice kata all the time at the Kôdôkan every day under guidance of those who do what their superiors told them without question).

    He also comments on the success of the Kôdôkan organizing foreign workshops, and idea which he hopes will continue and uses terms such as "providing guidance", "disseminating judo", "international exchange" (comment CK: as meritorious as this may sound, it is also somewhat colonial as he makes no provision for people or employees being able to learn from others, but instead seems to assign absolute wisdom/knowledge to his own institution and employees; even if one stays in Japan, one could wonder if this also implies that no one at the Kôdôkan, for example, would have anything to learn from Okano-sensei or Koga-sensei or other 9th dan-holders elsewhere in Japan, who are neither a Kôdôkan instructor nor in any other way employed by this institution).

    The Olympic games clearly remain the most important even for Japan, and Uemura-kanchô speaks with pride about the role Kanô-shihan played in it and the fact that Tôkyô won its Olympic bid.

    One notes that the message does not contain any reference to, nor expresses any regret with regard to some of the jûdô events of last year which did not always place Japan in the ideal spot light. One can only speculate about the reasons as to why/why not, but likely people are going to have opinions on whether he should/should not have.


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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 ?)
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    NBK

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    Re: Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by NBK on Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:18 pm

    Thank you for posting and explaining!
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    Jonesy

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    Re: Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by Jonesy on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:06 pm

    I believe it is the Kagami Biraki today.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:37 pm

    Jonesy wrote:I believe it is the Kagami Biraki today.

    It was. Probably somewhat a 2014 Kôdôkan Kagami-Biraki in minor given that it was more or less concomitant with the funeral proceedings of Abe Ichirô's wife who passed away a couple of days ago.

    Kata demonstration recordings are not yet avaible, but there is one of the randori session. The atmosphere as captured in the recording appears a bit desolate.

    Randori:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axeLWg0iumQ


    Also some recent Kagami-biraki events elsehwere such as this Kagami-Biraki Taikai - New Year's Kid's Contest under Kôdôkan rules, which personally I like so much more than the current IJF rules contests in Smurf gi on headache producing colored tatami:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T30vkcO9Dr8


    _________________


    "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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    Jonesy

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    Re: Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by Jonesy on Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:38 pm

    Sad news. I was aware Abe-sensei's wife had been ill for quite some time and that it was naturally a huge worry.


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    Jihef

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    Re: Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by Jihef on Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:28 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:He also comments on the success of the Kôdôkan organizing foreign workshops, and idea which he hopes will continue and uses terms such as "providing guidance", "disseminating judo", "international exchange"
    (comment CK: as meritorious as this may sound, it is also somewhat colonial as he makes no provision for people or employees being able to learn from others, but instead seems to assign absolute wisdom/knowledge to his own institution and employees; even if one stays in Japan, one could wonder if this also implies that no one at the Kôdôkan, for example, would have anything to learn from Okano-sensei or Koga-sensei or other 9th dan-holders elsewhere in Japan, who are neither a Kôdôkan instructor nor in any other way employed by this institution).
    Interesting comments.
    For most of us, meaning NOT in Japan, nor fluent in japanese, there are Gotaro Ogawa's articles on the "Voice of Japan" website that provide some sort of alternative POV.
    http://judo-voj.com/contents/index.html

    Would anyone know of something similar, that would be available in english ?
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    Cichorei Kano

    Posts : 1948
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    Location : the Holy See

    Re: Uemura-kanchô New Year's message

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:48 pm

    The Kôdôkan has now published its own complete translation:

    I would like to wish you a Happy New Year.

    The International Olympic Committee selected Tokyo as the host city for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games on September 7th last year. This achievement would not have been possible without the Japan-wide hosting campaign in addition to the efforts of Tokyo itself, and it was big and bright news for the sports community of Japan. Kano Shihan devoted himself to make Japan a host country of the Olympic Games. We welcome the election result, and we have to dedicate all our strength in order to make the Tokyo Olympic Games a resounding success.

    In addition, the World Judo Kata Championship was held in Kyoto in October last year. It was the first time this competition was held in Japan. More than 200 participants from over 30 countries and regions gathered to compete. Although the World Kata Championships were already held in Malta, Hungary, Germany and Italy, the higher-ranking winners were Japanese competitors. In Kyoto, a Korean pair won the first prize for the Nage-no-Kata, and various other countries placed for the first time. The skill of the participants has continued to improve each tournament. I think this can be attributed to the Kodokan Kata seminars held in Europe and other overseas destinations led by instructors from the Kodokan, in addition to the efforts of each country. We are planning to continue dispatching instructors in order to diffuse Judo through Kata, and promote international exchange.

    The new contest rules introduced by the International Judo Federation are now generally understood by competitors from each country. It is gratifying to see more and more matches decided by the successful execution of techniques in Kumite. On the other hand, unfortunately abuse of the rules and the dangerous actions do still exist.

    Kano Shihan established the manner of Shiai (match) to make Judo a sport in which the winner could be clearly established through proactive application of techniques of attack and defense. Although the rules of Judo have changed with the times, the spirit of Budo (martial arts) remains at the basis of match methodology. The purpose of Shiai is to decide fairly and squarely which competitor has the greater ability in terms of body and spirit. Of course, actions that cause harm to the opponent and cowardly attacks are prohibited. I do think it is possible to modify rules to fit competitor’s proficiency and age, but we should recognize that there are some things that we cannot change. A distorted form of Judo was prevailing when applying Ude-hishigi-waki-gatame falling directly to the Tatami and Kani-basami were designated as prohibited techniques. The rules have also changed to restrict certain dubious acts such as fighting from a stooped position by both sides in order to catch the opponent’s leg, or false attacking to coax the opponent into breaking some rule. Although it is important to make the matches comprehensible for spectators, we must not diminish the original figure and charm of Judo. In any situation, what is of paramount importance for Judo is to aim for an Ippon derived from a rational technique, in accordance with the protocols of Reiho, and by engaging in proper Kumite.

    We have to be active in promoting “Judo as a way of education” and “Judo to develop human resources”, together with the development of “Judo for competition”. We should learn from the history and traditions of Kodokan Judo formed by our predecessors, and have a responsibility to review written materials, videos and other resources regarding Judo philosophy, Reiho, Ukemi, Tai-sabaki, Waza, Kata, contest rules, and so on.

    To mark the beginning of the year, I would like to recall the words of Kano Shihan: “Judo is the Way to most efficiently use one’s mental and physical strength. By training, one should discipline and cultivate his body and spirit through the practice techniques for offense and defense, to thereby master the essence of this Way. And, by dint of these means, it is the ultimate goal of Judo to build oneself up to perfection and benefit the world.” I will consistently make an effort to implement the two concepts: “Seiryoku-Zenyo (Principle of maximum efficiency)” and “Jita-Kyoei (Mutual prosperity for self and others)”. I will facilitate the diffusion and promotion of Judo to the best of my ability, and would be grateful for the guidance, assistance and support of each member of the Kodokan.

    I hope the New Year will bring you good luck and happiness.


    _________________


    "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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