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    forgeron judo

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    red and white belt

    Post by forgeron judo on Sun May 04, 2014 3:46 am

    Is there a reference document which highlight the date of the creation of the red and white belt structure at the Kodokan and who were the first 5 or 6 first recipients.?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: red and white belt

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun May 04, 2014 11:52 pm

    forgeron judo wrote:Is there a reference document which highlight the date of the creation of the red and white belt structure at the Kodokan and who were the first 5 or 6 first recipients.?

    The colored belts for dan ranks (black, red/white, red) were created starting in March 1930, but there is some discrepancy as there are some other sources that suggest it was actually in March 1926. The classical reference is Kanō Jigorō's own jūdō book. Kanō wrote only a single book on jūdō, although he also wrote a smaller booklet. His book is called Jūdō kyōhon - jōkan  [A textbook of jūdō - First Volume] [note CK: the next volume was never finished or published]. It was pubished in 1931, and the information about the ranks is on page 7, obviously in Japanese.

    Your last question cannot be answered since it makes little or no sense. You can't say who were the first recipients of the red- and white-paneled belt since people arent't really recipients of a color of a belt but of a rank. Thus I can give you the information who were the first 6th dan-holders, but I can't say who were the first red- and white-belt holders, since obviously some holders of a 6th-9th dan who received that rank BEFORE 1931 after 1931 started wearing a red- and white-paneled belt while before they wore a black belt even though they held the same rank. For example, Mifune appears in Kanō's 1931 book possibly for the first time seen on a photograph wearing a red- and white-belt; before that he was seen wearing a black belt. However, in 1931, Mifune had already been a 6th dan for 14 years since he had received this rank in January 1917, but during that time window was only seen (on surviving pictures) wearing a black belt since the red- and white belt did not yet exist. So when Mifune was seen wearing a red- and white-paneled belt he was in fact already an 8th dan, rank he obtained in January of 1931. Something similar applies for Handa-sensei (or was it Kanda-sensei or Honda-sensei ?  Can't keep the three apart, so I would need to look that up) who also appears seen wearing a red- and white-paneled belt on pictures in Kanō's 1931 book.

    The same person is also seen as Kanō's uke on the old pictures that feature Kanō performing jû-no-kata:



    That being said, the first rokudan-holders were Yamashita Yoshitsugu and Yokoyama Sakujirō who were promoted to this rank by Kanō in January 1889.

    Oh wait, what I can tell you is that T.R. was the first JudoForum red- and white-paneled belt holder. Stacey and JudoSensei will confirm this. If memory serves me well, I thin I was #3 and Stacey was the first female JudoForum red- and white-paneled belt !   Cool


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    forgeron judo

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    red ansd white belt

    Post by forgeron judo on Mon May 05, 2014 6:25 am

    Thank you for the information as to the origin of R and W obi at the kodokan.
    As it pertain to the ancient holders of same, was Shiro Saigo, Yamashita  and Tsunejiro Tomita ever worn such a colored belt?
    Thanks again for your historical perspective.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: red and white belt

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon May 05, 2014 7:19 am

    forgeron judo wrote:Thank you for the information as to the origin of R and W obi at the kodokan.
    As it pertain to the ancient holders of same, was Shiro Saigo, Yamashita  and Tsunejiro Tomita ever worn such a colored belt?
    Thanks again for your historical perspective.

    This is impossible to say for sure as we can only reflect on the information and pictures that we know are in existence. I don't know the information and pictures that might have been taken but that are not known or have remained undisclosed and are in private hands. Based on this, I have never seen a picture of any of these people wearing a kôhaku belt and Yamashita doesn't in any of the books he is wearing. I also doubt that this 'funny' belt color would have been very popular by those jûdôka who had a koryû background. Furthermore, Yamashita was already a 9th dan by the time the new colors were introduced. Since 9th dan according to the new colors too was supposed to be a red- and white before it was changed to red (as an alternative color) some time after the death of Kanô when the dan-ranks became cut off at 10.

    As far as I recall off the top of my head, Saigô Shirô was promoted to 6th dan posthumously after he died towards the end of 1922 after having been in poor health in Hiroshima. He had also really left the Kôdôkan by then, and more importantly the kôhaku obi did not even exist at the time of his death (1922). Saigô had been a TSYR jûjutsu student of Inoue Keitarô inter alia at the Gakushûin and such colored belts would likely ave been frowned upon by the koryû people in those days. In general, they are only important later in those koryû schools that gave up the traditional ranking system and adopted the dan-rank system. I still think it looks very awkward for a koryû practitioner to wear a colored belt over his hakama as it give the impression that rather than adhering to the traditional values they have stepped into the jûdô trap of obsession with rank and proudly displaying that as some way for begging for authority and respect.

    I cannot imagine Tomita either. Whilst he was among the first students to be awarded a number of dan-ranks, he latest dan-ranks came with delay suggesting he was not that active anymore, and according to some sources he received his 7th dan only posthumously in &937. This is something that requires more research as there are other sources that say he received his 7th dan promotion in 1927 rather than 1937. Most of the pictures showing a mature Tomita show him in Western-style suit or hakama, not in gi. There is another reason why Tomita is impossible: Tomita was never a 6th dan, as he was jump-promoted by Kanô from 5th dan to 7th dan posthumously, having not been promoted for something like 45 years !  If on the other hand it was 1927 when he was promoted then I guess he only was 35 years without promotion. His activity in the Tôkyô area involved strong support for the kôsen jûdô system and inter-university jûdô competitions. There actually exists a book authored by him in Japanese precisey about this

    So, I think you are looking at the wrong people. Those who were the first to obtain to be awarded dan-ranks in general (Yamashita being the exception) had been past by others in terms of being the first top ranks. Maybe in the circles of Kawaishi there were still people who wore these belts, which might explain his own fondness of it


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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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    forgeron judo

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    Re: red and white belt

    Post by forgeron judo on Tue May 06, 2014 6:07 am

    It seemed that the early period of the Kodokan was enduring several management styles and that the old masters from different koryu background had difficulties embracing the proposed educational and hierarchical system as proposed by the Shihan. Recognizing that Kano was often away on other diplomatic or educational missions, the implementation of the kyu and dan recognition system may have taken a longer time to settle in. Under the old kyu dan system,the head Sensei evaluated and awarded the respective kodansha diploma based upon the demonstrated degree of maturation(physical,technical and mental level) of the student, but with the increasing number of students at the KODOKAN in the early 30's, such evaluation must have been performed by a special group or committee which cold account for the degree of emphasis given to wearing the colored Red and White obi.
    Thank you again for your appropriate comments.
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    Jonesy

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    Re: red and white belt

    Post by Jonesy on Tue May 06, 2014 6:48 am

    forgeron judo wrote:It seemed that the early period of the Kodokan was enduring several management styles and that the old masters from different koryu background had difficulties embracing the proposed educational and hierarchical system as proposed by the Shihan. Recognizing that Kano was often away on other diplomatic or educational missions, the implementation  of the kyu and dan recognition system may have taken  a longer time to settle in. Under the old kyu dan system,the head Sensei evaluated and awarded the respective kodansha diploma based upon the demonstrated degree of maturation(physical,technical and mental level) of the student, but with the increasing number of students at the KODOKAN in the early 30's, such evaluation must have been performed by a special group  or committee which cold account for the degree of emphasis given to wearing the colored Red and White obi.
    Thank you again for your appropriate comments.
    Not sure bout this. A lot of speculation. In the early days of the Kodokan, Kano himself did the rank awarding but as the Kodokan grew this became harder to do. The kohaku obi is a red herring - they are not worn on a daily basis in Japan - not now and not then.

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