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    Judobookman

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    Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Judobookman on Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:04 am

    Does anyone have any background information on Tatsukuma Ushijima, 9th Dan?  We know he was the sensei of Kimura, Hirano, O'Neill, Robinson and Poole among others.

    Any info is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Steve Smile
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:01 am

    Judobookman wrote:Does anyone have any background information on Tatsukuma Ushijima, 9th Dan?  We know he was the sensei of Kimura, Hirano, O'Neill, Robinson and Poole among others.

    Any info is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Steve Smile


    What do you want to know ? The (Japanese) Wikipedia page on Ushijima has been updated the last couple of years and is actually pretty good and extensive. The site also mentioned or at least suggests that at the occasion of the centenary of the Kôdôkan it was considered whether his achievements were sufficient to promote him the year before his death (1984) from 8th dan to 10th dan, but that it wasn't and that instead he was promoted (only) to 9th dan. There are suggestions of political wrangling in particular since Kotani was promoted to 10th dan the same year as Ushijima when it is suggested that Kotani's merit does not compare and consists mostly of simply having been a student to Kanô, having traveled with him and having been at the Kôdôkan, whereas Ushijima was a ferocious fighter with an extensive competitive record who bred at least three legendary champions (Kimura, Ishikawa, Hirano). It is know though that the Kôdôkan has long demonized anyone who came from the Ushijima stable, and every single one of those jûdôka was screwed over by the Kôdôkan just like they did with Okano. They kept Kimura for decades at 7th dan, they isolated Hirano, and they never promoted Ishikawa past 9th dan. Ushijima-jûdôka have always been feared by the Kôdôkan. Ushijima himself was even banned from the Kôdôkan, then at one point humbly asked for permission to be readmitted, was readmitted, showed up at the dôjô and by himself went on a dôjô yaburi tour of the Kôdôkan where he wiped the floor with every single Kôdôkan jûdôka present while a not mentioned Kôdôkan sensei present nearly wet his pants and went into hiding.

    Ushijima, like Kanemitsu, like Michigami was a true Butokukai jûdôka and sensei and many of them looked own on the salonesque jûdô of the Kôdôkan in Tôkyô. The rift between Kansai jûdô and Kôdôkan can still be felt today. Many of the leading sensei in Kansai today are artificially kept at lower ranks. There are experts in kata in Kansai, in newaza who are systematically excluded from involvement in important Kata matters, and the Kôdôkan for nearly 70 years has refused to promote anyone to 10th dan who has not been residing at the Kôdôkan in Tôkyô which is part of its attempts to hold on to power and avoid what happened before 1946 when the Butokukai was a more important center for jûdô than the Kôdôkan and Butokukai ranks were considered more prestigious than Kôdôkan ranks.


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    Ushijima

    Post by Judobookman on Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:57 am

    I'm just trying to pick up some additional information on him. I found the Japanese Wikipedia page for him, google translate isn't the best for reading it though.
    I found it interesting that he conspired to assaninate the prime minister to help bring an end to WWII.
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:20 am

    Judobookman wrote:I'm just trying to pick up some additional information on him.  I found the Japanese Wikipedia page for him, google translate isn't the best for reading it though.  
    I found it interesting that he conspired to assaninate the prime minister to help bring an end to WWII.

    This is probably stuff that will interest our friend NBK too. The Butokukai is sometimes brought in connection with ultranationalist right wingers, but Ushijima and his teacher Fukushima, were the contrary and became somewhat politically active, coming under the influence of Ishihara Kanji, a respected Japanese army military strategist. They were both against racism and welcomed Korean and Chinese students and were quite liberal and critical of themselves and institutions. They could find themselves in the idea of Kanô which is hugely interesting if one considers that after the death of Kanô there were several of the Butokukai and Busen-educated jûdôka who were critical of the Kôdôkan. People like Kanemitsu and Michigami were outspoken in their criticism. In other words it were people from the Butokukai who were most outspoken in criticizing the Kôdôkan for showing disrespect towards its own founder ! By the way, I believe they were right. It is not the Butokukai but the Kôdôkan itself which already before the IJF existed was responsible for starting to destroy Kanô's jûdô.


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    judo66

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by judo66 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:42 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Judobookman wrote:I'm just trying to pick up some additional information on him.  I found the Japanese Wikipedia page for him, google translate isn't the best for reading it though.  
    I found it interesting that he conspired to assaninate the prime minister to help bring an end to WWII.

    This is probably stuff that will interest our friend NBK too. The Butokukai is sometimes brought in connection with ultranationalist right wingers, but Ushijima and his teacher Fukushima, were the contrary and became somewhat politically active, coming under the influence of Ishihara Kanji, a respected Japanese army military strategist. They were both against racism and welcomed Korean and Chinese students and were quite liberal and critical of themselves and institutions. They could find themselves in the idea of Kanô which is hugely interesting if one considers that after the death of Kanô there were several of the Butokukai and Busen-educated jûdôka who were critical of the Kôdôkan. People like Kanemitsu and Michigami were outspoken in their criticism. In other words it were people from the Butokukai who were most outspoken in criticizing the Kôdôkan for showing disrespect towards its own founder !  By the way, I believe they were right. It is not the Butokukai but the Kôdôkan itself which already before the IJF existed was responsible for starting to destroy Kanô's jûdô.


    Humm, that raises a question, Do you believe that Ushijima's opinion on shiai was the same than Kano's. I'm thinking about the purpose of shiai. Wasn't there a conflict between martial way and martial art?
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:21 am

    judo66 wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Judobookman wrote:I'm just trying to pick up some additional information on him.  I found the Japanese Wikipedia page for him, google translate isn't the best for reading it though.  
    I found it interesting that he conspired to assaninate the prime minister to help bring an end to WWII.

    This is probably stuff that will interest our friend NBK too. The Butokukai is sometimes brought in connection with ultranationalist right wingers, but Ushijima and his teacher Fukushima, were the contrary and became somewhat politically active, coming under the influence of Ishihara Kanji, a respected Japanese army military strategist. They were both against racism and welcomed Korean and Chinese students and were quite liberal and critical of themselves and institutions. They could find themselves in the idea of Kanô which is hugely interesting if one considers that after the death of Kanô there were several of the Butokukai and Busen-educated jûdôka who were critical of the Kôdôkan. People like Kanemitsu and Michigami were outspoken in their criticism. In other words it were people from the Butokukai who were most outspoken in criticizing the Kôdôkan for showing disrespect towards its own founder !  By the way, I believe they were right. It is not the Butokukai but the Kôdôkan itself which already before the IJF existed was responsible for starting to destroy Kanô's jûdô.


    Humm, that raises a question, Do you believe that Ushijima's opinion on shiai was the same than Kano's. I'm thinking about the purpose of shiai. Wasn't there a conflict between martial way and martial art?


    I wouldn't dare to answer that question off the top of my head. I have Ushijima's book but I have not completely read it and I don't have it here so I can't consult it or would not be able to back up anything with really solid references unless I would have those materials lying on my table here.

    Of course you may referring to the fact that he and Kimura went pro. That entire history is a whole chunk of jûdô history that requires serious reflection too. If I remember well in the past Jon Z has written a couple of excellent posts on this. It's not a part that I personally devoted much research to, so for that reason I don't feel comfortable writing about that either unless I have the references right at my side here. Maybe it's something that NBK had looked into or has explored other threads about. Our forum friend Kuden would probably also have some good insights about this topic.

    I do think that it is possible to have ideas that differ from Kanô but still be authentic; Mifune is the prime example of this. What I mean is ... you can be faithful to Kanô, but Kanô really stops in 1938 and the world has changed since, so if one really understand jûdô I think one can build on that foundation. That is also what Kanô himself wanted. He knew that jûdô would not stop with his dead and he spoke about that in future new things jûdô would be developed. This does not directly answer your question though, it is more of a caveat.


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    judo66

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by judo66 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:00 am





    There is this quote from Ushijima that i read from john stevens' book (what a pity he didn't reveal his source):

    '' A contest his like a fight to the death, to defeat an opponent in a matchis equivalent to killing him, being defeated means to be killed. You killed eight ennemies in the contest, but got killed by the ninth. You can only survive in judo by killing or drawing with your opponent, no matter how many you face. To lose is to die.''


    That was this way of thinking that i refered. It seems to me a closer approach to a martial way than the educational approach adopted by Kano. Could it be one the reasons why there was some problems beween Ushijima and the Kodokan?

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:59 am

    judo66 wrote:



    There is this quote from Ushijima that i read from john stevens' book (what a pity he didn't reveal his source):

    '' A contest his like a fight to the death, to defeat an opponent in a matchis equivalent to killing him, being defeated means to be killed. You killed eight ennemies in the contest, but got killed by the ninth. You can only survive in judo by killing or drawing with your opponent, no matter how many you face. To lose is to die.''


    That was this way of thinking that i refered. It seems to me a closer approach to a martial way than the educational approach adopted by Kano. Could it be one the reasons why there was some problems beween Ushijima and the Kodokan?


    There is another potential explanation: conversion. It seems that both Fukushima and Ushijima 'converted', and it seems that Ishihara Kanji contributed to that conversion. That is not unseen in jûdô. There are many successful jûdô competitors of the past who you will hear today even on this forum be outspoken against competitive jûdô especially for children.

    I think that if the quote from Stevens is genuine it needs to be put in the right context and dated. I would imagine that the Ushijima from 1929, who was a finalist in the first Tenran Shiai would be very fierce, and I can see this quote perfectly fit in his training attitude. I also don't think that it is impossible have these seemingly incongruable views at the same time.


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    judo66

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by judo66 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:38 am



    There is another potential explanation: conversion. It seems that both Fukushima and Ushijima 'converted', and it seems that Ishihara Kanji contributed to that conversion. That is not unseen in jûdô. There are many successful jûdô competitors of the past who you will hear today even on this forum be outspoken against competitive jûdô especially for children.

    I think that if the quote from Stevens is genuine it needs to be put in the right context and dated. I would imagine that the Ushijima from 1929, who was a finalist in the first Tenran Shiai would be very fierce, and I can see this quote perfectly fit in his training attitude. I also don't think that it is impossible have these seemingly incongruable views at the same time.[/quote]

    According to Stevens it is something He told to Kimura after a tournament where his pupil won 8 bouts and lost one against yodan. He apparently got promoted to godan following that performance.

    Thank you for your answers.
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    NBK

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by NBK on Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:29 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    This is probably stuff that will interest our friend NBK too. The Butokukai is sometimes brought in connection with ultranationalist right wingers, but Ushijima and his teacher Fukushima, were the contrary and became somewhat politically active, coming under the influence of Ishihara Kanji, a respected Japanese army military strategist. They were both against racism and welcomed Korean and Chinese students and were quite liberal and critical of themselves and institutions. They could find themselves in the idea of Kanô which is hugely interesting if one considers that after the death of Kanô there were several of the Butokukai and Busen-educated jûdôka who were critical of the Kôdôkan. People like Kanemitsu and Michigami were outspoken in their criticism. In other words it were people from the Butokukai who were most outspoken in criticizing the Kôdôkan for showing disrespect towards its own founder !  By the way, I believe they were right. It is not the Butokukai but the Kôdôkan itself which already before the IJF existed was responsible for starting to destroy Kanô's jûdô.....

    I wouldn't dare to answer that question off the top of my head. I have Ushijima's book but I have not completely read it and I don't have it here so I can't consult it or would not be able to back up anything with really solid references unless I would have those materials lying on my table here.

    Of course you may referring to the fact that he and Kimura went pro. That entire history is a whole chunk of jûdô history that requires serious reflection too. If I remember well in the past Jon Z has written a couple of excellent posts on this. It's not a part that I personally devoted much research to, so for that reason I don't feel comfortable writing about that either unless I have the references right at my side here. Maybe it's something that NBK had looked into or has explored other threads about. Our forum friend Kuden would probably also have some good insights about this topic.

    I do think that it is possible to have ideas that differ from Kanô but still be authentic; Mifune is the prime example of this. What I mean is ... you can be faithful to Kanô, but Kanô really stops in 1938 and the world has changed since, so if one really understand jûdô I think one can build on that foundation. That is also what Kanô himself wanted. He knew that jûdô would not stop with his dead and he spoke about that in future new things jûdô would be developed. This does not directly answer your question though, it is more of a caveat.
    I've always been interested in the man behind this stare:
    Ushima

    CK wrote you have his book - you mean 志士牛島先生伝?  Very rare, don't loose it.
    The very title might be a giveaway - Tales (or Bio) of the UltraPatriot Ushijima Sensei.  

    The Kodokan never seemed to be comfortable with overt politics except from some folks very close to Kano shihan.  Of course when his nephew Admiral Nango Jiro took over it became more closely aligned with the prevailing government policies, but by then just another cog in the machine.  

    The tale of Ushijima sensei crosses into the postwar period in a way that means I haven't really examined his history.  His training legacy is clear, but if the Kodokan hadn't gone into a retrospective period trying to clean up its legacy and get judo back into public schools and facilities, you have to wonder what impact his ideas might have had.  All pure speculation.  

    NBK
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by BillC on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:16 am

    Just that name ... "cow island" ... has always made me snicker. Especially during the lectures of my former colleague by that name. Of course, it was really "horse island" but someone didn't know their cows from their horses I guess. Maybe from behind the mares and the cows look ... anyway ... Japanese must be the worst cowboys ever! Back at your, Mr. Natural. Let's try some video and editing Saturday? I'll bring my laptop.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:52 am

    judo66 wrote:
    According to Stevens it is something He told to Kimura after a tournament where his pupil won 8 bouts and lost one against yodan. He apparently got promoted to godan following that performance.

    Thank you for your answers.

    As I come to think of it, I have never spoken to anyone who knew Ushijima well or trained under him, except for Hirano. However, Hirano himself was for us such a phenomenon that in those days it would not come up in us to ask him questions about someone else. Instead we were already pleased to learn more about him. Besides, in those days we were nothing but little shrimps whose knowledge of jûdô history was simply too limited to ask these kind of questions. However, Hirano does write about Ushijima and his training, and the man no doubt was extremely tough.

    I wonder though if Bluming had any experiences with him. I know that Ruska trained under both Okano and Kimura, but I don't recall Ruska in his books talking about Ushijima either and given his current physical limitations after his stroke it is no longer possible to ask him about this and receive an intelligible response from which one would learn new details. But Bluming in the days he was in Japan and given his relationship to Oyama (from karate) I would be surprised if he wouldn't have some anecdotal information (Ushijima and Kimura knew Oyama well; Oyama also had done been training jûdô in Japan around the time that Kanô died).


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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Jonesy on Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:11 pm

    Ushijima-sensei - "the man who bit the belt". More when I am reunited with my library.


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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:52 pm

    Jonesy wrote:Ushijima-sensei - "the man who bit the belt". More when I am reunited with my library.

    Yes, legend has it that the competition rule that prohibits taking the belt or gi in the mouth during newaza was created after Ushijima in one of his fierce combats won a tournament because in the end he was able to secure his opponent in osae-komi-waza while controlling him using his jaws and teeth to hold him by the belt.


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    "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: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by NBK on Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:50 pm

    Crikey - was scanning some books for a couple of things and found a near 30 pg article on Ushijima 5dan - more than anyone in their right mind would want to know about any judoka, I reckon.
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Jonesy on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:04 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Yes, legend has it that the competition rule that prohibits taking the belt or gi in the mouth during newaza was created after Ushijima in one of his fierce combats won a tournament because in the end he was able to secure his opponent in osae-komi-waza while controlling him using his jaws and teeth to hold him by the belt.
    You can read the story here "The Man Who Bit The Belt".  It is taken from the book "Judo Through The Looking Glass" - a collection of short Judo stories by the late great British artist, teacher, sportsman and environmentalist Jerry Hicks, MBE, RWA, 7 dan.
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:01 am

    Jonesy wrote:
    You can read the story here "The Man Who Bit The Belt".  It is taken from the book "Judo Through The Looking Glass" - a collection of short Judo stories by the late great British artist, teacher, sportsman and environmentalist Jerry Hicks, MBE, RWA, 7 dan.

    Thanks for posting this famous story, Jonesy.

    It's a pity the man isn't alive anymore, since there is a great need for someone like today and walk in the grand dôjô of the Kôdôkan and wipe the floor with the salonesque jûdô that today has become the Kôdôkan standard.

    I have been secretly hoping for a long time that one day Okano-sensei would walk in and do the same with all the 7th and 8th and 9th dan-holders who haven't even achieve a sprinkle of what he has, he the person who the Kôdôkan insultingly had deemed worthy only of 6th dan, a rank he has been holding for 45 years.

    You can still feel it at the Kôdôkan if your origin is one of those true Butokukai-sensei like Ushijima, Kimura, Hirano (did not graduate from the Busen but in a Kyôto Middle School was trained by several of the great Butokukai sensei including Ushijima), Michigami, Ebii, Kurihara, etc


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    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:00 am

    Jonesy wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Yes, legend has it that the competition rule that prohibits taking the belt or gi in the mouth during newaza was created after Ushijima in one of his fierce combats won a tournament because in the end he was able to secure his opponent in osae-komi-waza while controlling him using his jaws and teeth to hold him by the belt.
    You can read the story here "The Man Who Bit The Belt".  It is taken from the book "Judo Through The Looking Glass" - a collection of short Judo stories by the late great British artist, teacher, sportsman and environmentalist Jerry Hicks, MBE, RWA, 7 dan.

    What a fabulous story and what fabulous story-telling. Many thanks, Jonesy.
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    NBK

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by NBK on Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:32 am

    Judobookman wrote:I'm just trying to pick up some additional information on him. I found the Japanese Wikipedia page for him, google translate isn't the best for reading it though.
    I found it interesting that he conspired to assaninate the prime minister to help bring an end to WWII.
    Yes, he was involved in a plot to kill Prime Minister Tojo Hideki because of their notion that a more moderate government might be formed afterwards that could seek an end to the war.

    By the time the plotters got organized, the first Tojo government had already fallen, so they never executed the plot. The plotters were arrested a few months later, informed upon by one of their confidants.
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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by NBK on Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:41 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:
    You can read the story here "The Man Who Bit The Belt".  It is taken from the book "Judo Through The Looking Glass" - a collection of short Judo stories by the late great British artist, teacher, sportsman and environmentalist Jerry Hicks, MBE, RWA, 7 dan.

    Thanks for posting this famous story, Jonesy.

    It's a pity the man isn't alive anymore, since there is a great need for someone like today and walk in the grand dôjô of the Kôdôkan and wipe the floor with the salonesque jûdô that today has become the Kôdôkan standard.

    I have been secretly hoping for a long time that one day Okano-sensei would walk in and do the same with all the 7th and 8th and 9th dan-holders who haven't even achieve a sprinkle of what he has, he the person who the Kôdôkan insultingly had deemed worthy only of 6th dan, a rank he has been holding for 45 years.

    You can still feel it at the Kôdôkan if your origin is one of those true Butokukai-sensei like Ushijima, Kimura, Hirano (did not graduate from the Busen but in a Kyôto Middle School was trained by several of the great Butokukai sensei including Ushijima), Michigami, Ebii, Kurihara, etc
    Is the failure of Okano sensei to be promoted beyond 6 dan due to some imagined slight or fault of the Kodokan or because of Okano sensei's lack of interest? I wonder.

    Judo rank in Japan typically comes from regional or prefectural judo associations' recommendations. The Kodokan does not single out people who don't practice at the Kodokan for promotion, outside of winners at certain national tournaments. 7th dan and above the promotions are centralized, but the recommendations come from the judo associations. Is Okano sensei active in one of the judo associations, or is he simply on his own? I cannot believe that the Kodokan would not promote him if he was active, even minimally active, in one of the numerous associations.

    I'm not sure what do you 'feel' at the Kodokan. Is that feeling inspired by your origin of 'one of those true Butokukai-sensei'? This was discussed in the old forum but perhaps there are some new folks that might benefit from an explanation.

    I always wonder about the truth behind such stories as Ushijima sensei pillaging the Kodokan - there would certainly be Japanese cultural issues that wouldn't be evident, and certainly not explained to young foreigners.

    Would Japanese competitors in their prime not go 100% against a much older, famous sensei? Would they take a dive for such a sensei? Would they seek to learn by allowing him to demonstrate his judo rather than fight him full throttle?

    I think possibly so.

    I take such tales with a grain of salt. Entertaining but hardly conclusive. A thirdhand tale of a tale.

    NBK
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:55 pm

    NBK wrote:
    You can still feel it at the Kôdôkan if your origin is one of those true Butokukai-sensei like Ushijima, Kimura, Hirano (did not graduate from the Busen but in a Kyôto Middle School was trained by several of the great Butokukai sensei including Ushijima), Michigami, Ebii, Kurihara, etc
    Is the failure of Okano sensei to be promoted beyond 6 dan due to some imagined slight or fault of the Kodokan or because of Okano sensei's lack of interest?  I wonder.  

    Judo rank in Japan typically comes from regional or prefectural judo associations' recommendations.  The Kodokan does not single out people who don't practice at the Kodokan for promotion, outside of winners at certain national tournaments.  7th dan and above the promotions are centralized, but the recommendations come from the judo associations.  Is Okano sensei active in one of the judo associations, or is he simply on his own?  I cannot believe that the Kodokan would not promote him if he was active, even minimally active, in one of the numerous associations.  

    I'm not sure what do you 'feel' at the Kodokan.   Is that feeling inspired by your origin of 'one of those true Butokukai-sensei'?   This was discussed in the old forum but perhaps there are some new folks that might benefit from an explanation.  

    I always wonder about the truth behind such stories as Ushijima sensei pillaging the Kodokan - there would certainly be Japanese cultural issues that wouldn't be evident, and certainly not explained to young foreigners.  

    Would Japanese competitors in their prime not go 100% against a much older, famous sensei?  Would they take a dive for such a sensei?  Would they seek to learn by allowing him to demonstrate his judo rather than fight him full throttle?  

    I think possibly so.  

    I take such tales with a grain of salt.  Entertaining but hardly conclusive.  A thirdhand tale of a tale.  

    NBK  

    Some things you do not have to take literally. I obviously was not calling nor expecting that anyone would actually challenge someone who is 85 years old and 9th dan and full of arthrits to a randori. It is more of a virtual challenge to indicate the comparison in achievements and knowledge.

    The issue is difficult to publicly discuss because it may quickly collide with privacy. Okano's as a world champion and Olympic champion is obviously very well published and so is his situation. But there are others. There are any unspoken rules that apply to senior promotions. The Kôdôkan in more than 60 years has not promoted anyone to 10th dan (while alive) who did not reside at the Kôdôkan. That is not just coincidence, just as it was no coincidence that for almost 20 years after the death of Mifune they refused to promote anyone to 10th dan while alive.

    I have been in many private situations where a senior person at the Kôdôkan sneers at Kansai jûdô, and I have experienced the opposite in senior. I don't have filmed recordings to prove it, and even if I had them I obviously couldn't just publish them. I have also met several outstanding experts in Kansai in certain topics of judo that well exceeds the expertise of most people I know at the Kodokan, and several of them indicated that limits put on their promotion. It is very well known that irrespective of the rules federations and organizatios pull all kinds of tricks out of their pockets to not promote people even if they meet all criteria. There are numerous examples of this in most countries, and the lack of a proper appeal decided by an objective third party makes such situations often definitive. Several of the sensei I met, like Okano too were held at exactly the same rank: 6th dan. Some of their achievements were beyond impressive.

    It is commonly known that with ranks above 8th dan one is totally at the mercy of the Kôdôkan politicians, so it becomes difficult to argue anything even after one has achieved the minimal time-in-grade, since ranks above are exceptional. That doesn't take away that I personally know some sensei who have met every objective criterion one could come up with in that context even when well aware of what those criteria are. One of those people is one of my sensei, who interestingly has been the long-serving president of one of the regional renmei, and his expertise is nationally really well-known as he was a sparring partner to Kimura. So, I doubt that he would not have the support of his association. And yes, when I talk ranks they are all above 6th dan, so nothing that is not centralized. I agree with you and I also do not know of any case of stopping Japanese citizens for promotions from 1-6th dan, although now I come to think of it, your Kansai friend Miss Mitsui has been a nidan for quite some time despite her newaza in no means being inferior to her standing entries.

    I am sure that what you write in your last three paragraphs is entirely correct. I doubt the accuracy of many of those legends too. I am trying to imagine myself in the place of some of those incidents wondering about the possibility. Some I can see, others I have difficulty believing. However, the things I was really referring to such as Okano and the tensions between Kansai/Tokyo, those are not spectacular things. Many of those never reach the surface even in the from of any event that masses can witness.

    I am hesitating ... you know ... if you (or I) really want to go there ... some people sometimes tell me if I really want to walk around with a target painted on my body ... and I think well, I already have many more enemies than friends, then again I also do not want to be an agent provocateur and publicly provoke the Kôdôkan or who ever just because I can. These are not things I enjoy. I may write controversial things or do so when I feel it is really necessary or if there is an important principle to adhere. Despite all this, I also believe in quiet diplomacy and jû if this doesn't force us to become hypocritical or is guided by fear. I take the lessons of Kanô seriously, and I don't advocate seeking conflict just because one can. I feel very strongly about Okano and I believe that hammering on this is more ethical and more adhering to the state of one's heart after decades in jûdô than to choose for the most comfortable solutions. I also do not see "quiet diplomacy" working there either. Okano does not set foot in the Kôdôkan, so much is certain, and many senior Japanese have told me (including at the Kôdôkan) that the man couldn't care less about any rank. I think he is one of those figures who truly has transcended rank, just like Kanô or Ueshiba did not hold rank in their discipline. Still, I have difficulties settling for that explanation perhaps because the masses in judo or outside do not have that thorough and understanding of judo that they get all that. They get only one thing: the dan rank and color of the belt, and I believe that it is justified to create a solution that the masses understand too.

    I also remain perplexed when I realize that the reason that Fukuda was promoted to 6th dan was after a worldwide petition, and the same for 7th dan. When she was a 9th dan for 2 years, half the forum here already was screaming that the Kodokan should promote her to 10th dan, and the US crazy for patriotism (ref. jeremy Glick "10th dan", Pres Rooseveldt "8th dan"). One can argue at length but there probably was something more than just exaggerated speculations that neither Fukuda nor any other woman before was promoted beyond 5th dan. Of course in the US the idea started to live a life by its own that Fukuda was the most senior woman, etc, which was not true, since that was Noritomi who really was a student of Kanô and who had been a 5th dan even much longer than Fukuda. But the point I was trying to make by dragging in the late Fukuda-sensei is why on earth it is that the entire world never seems to have taken the initiative to start a petition to set the Okano case straight ?  So that is what perplexed me "in comparison to Fukuda".

    In terms of what is fantasy or not, the freezing of Kimura's 7th dan is not some old wives's story either and is quite well documented. I think that is about all I can write without making this thread into some flame bait, which none of us really wants to deal with anymore. I am old and tired with lots of other things to do so I leave the duels up to energetic youngsters with higher circulating testosterone levels than I.


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    finarashi

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by finarashi on Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:36 am

    We could continue with stories about regional differences in France and regional differences in Holland where some regions feel they have been discriminated against.

    In US the "battles for belts" have been well documented as that resulted in three assocciations.

    I think one main thing is that with high belts one is trying to promote a certain kind of Judo; right or wrong. So also with Kodokan, they want to control the way Judo is developing through whom they promote. One does not elect to high governemental positions people that disagree with you no matter how good their service record is.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Tatsukuma Ushijima

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:34 am

    finarashi wrote:We could continue with stories about regional differences in France and regional differences in Holland where some regions feel they have been discriminated against.

    In US the "battles for belts" have been well documented as that resulted in three assocciations.

    I think one main thing is that with high belts one is trying to promote a certain kind of Judo; right or wrong. So also with Kodokan, they want to control the way Judo is developing through whom they promote. One does not elect to high governemental positions people that disagree with you no matter how good their service record is.

    Sometimes people 'feel' discriminated against because they actually 'ARE' discriminated against, which in those imposing the inequality may be less conscious if it has become institutionalized rather than being individually outspoken. Even though 'discrimination' can exist in each party involved, in reality only the discrimination effected by those in charge of the institutions and power which each group requires to effect its living, working, social activities, and promotion becomes enforced and limits the party that is discriminated. In practical terms, if you, Finarishi, decide to go to Japan and participate in Japanese judo and tell everybody that you hate every Japanese because you strongly believe they are intellectually and physically inferior, few people are going to care because you have no institutional power whatsoever in Japan, especially when it comes to judo. If, however, the Japanese feel the same towards you, then you WILL suffer the consequences.

    There certainly exists a glass ceiling, which is one of the main reasons for schisms in organizations. Unfortunately the picture is very clouded because oftentimes those believing they are or were conspired again may in fact also simply not have the skills and experience, which is one of the reasons why in so many schismatic and dissident organizations many weaker people suddenly achieve astronomic ranks, self-promote, and ... engage in the same things they previously accused others about. Ultimately judo organizations govern and the issue is one of power, and the solution for excesses in power has been found and proposed a long time ago by Montesquieu: separation of powers. Anyone who stands straight in their shoes should not be afraid of separation of powers, yet this is precisely what virtually every judo organization is afraid for, and they know why. Even in cases where there is an apparent separation of power with appeals, they oftentimes have been rather craftily designed to prevent real separation of power and those in it again fall within the jurisdiction of the organization's president have strong ties with those in other committees or parts of the power structure. We're still a long, long time away from when terms such as recusing, independency, ethics, and equal rights become evident in judo, and until we reach that point the maxims of Kanô remain nothing but bags filled with air.

    Judo traditionally has a totally rotten structure. Have you ever seen an advertisement for candidates for a committee or position in the IJF ?  Yet, they all get filled. On top of that one of the other rotten habits in judo is that committees whose task is to make life difficult for others by installing exams typically consist of people who have never done the exams themselves which they administer for others. The system of "grandfathering in" has a long tradition of abuse. It's a guarantee for corruption and nepotism, which is exactly what makes these organizations thrive. If I were to work with people, I would prefer being surrounded by people who are all much smarter than me. The temptation of these organizations to reward loyalty at the expense of brainpower is a shortcut to mediocrity, if not outright disaster. While not all loyalists are hacks, if they do not possess the necessary brainpower, prodigious energy, and the ability to motivate, loyalists will forever remain B players in A jobs. That is a huge problem for the simple reason that B players tend to hire other B players or, worse, C players, setting off an organizational chain reaction of underperformance.

    I am not active in the business world but our friend Jonesy is and he has made reference to some of these issues before and pointed out some business models.

    After all, why bite the hand that feeds you ?  That is how these judo organizations work and thrive and many are willing to go very far if that guarantees that the hand will keep feeding them be it in the form of a higher dan-rank, a higher referee classification, free, trips, whatever. When I attended the European Championships earlier this year I saw people who I remember seeing 25 years ago, who have since not been on a tatami, whose judo is below any level, who contribute nothing but being parasites and they still travel on the costs of the federation to any country exotic or not, wine and dine, and profit from all the money your grassroots club and are your club members pay, and when it comes to do anything they will do exactly what they need to do to ensure that they can continue doing that even if that implies that they have to go very far in terms of violating whatever principle of ethics at your expense. This is how it works.

    Contrary, in my line of work I prefer to surround myself with competent people who support the same cause rather then people who lack the spine to disagree with me.

    Remind me to send you a list with the names of the women in our national team at the time who all had to let the coach sit on them if they wanted to get selected for the team and let me know what they responded after you asked them if they 'felt' that constituted discrimination. We sure didn't have to undergo anything like that in the male team nor a coach that would sneak into our room at night. We also never had to worry that someone had other motives when they wanted to 'talk' to use alone or have lunch of dinner with us, we didn't have to worry about a coach's hands going places they didn't need to be, etc. What those women all had to endure besides simply being a good judoka ...


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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."

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