Budo World

The 1st BAMIS International Forum—Budō SymposiumInvestigating the possibilities of body and bind integrated science in budō~Learning from Kanō Jigoro‘s achievements to consider the present~

IV. Internationalization of Jūdō (Budō) by Kanō

Kosuke Nagaki (Hyogo University of Teacher Education)

At the time Kodokan Jūdō was founded by Kanō in 1882, he knew that it would not only be of use in educating the people of Japan, but also that “People of other countries will praise this as an ingenious training, unparalleled by anything else in the world.” (Kodokan Jūdō Lecture, 1899). Kanō carried out the internationalisation of jūdō perfectly based on an ideal of “mutual prosperity” (kyōei) between Japan and foreign countries. I would like to discuss how Kanō spread jūdō to Britain and the world, while retaining its characteristics as a part of Japanese culture. I will also address the important point that “jūdō is the global standard of jūjutsu”.

Firstly, I would just like to point out that Kanō never disregarded traditional jūjutsu. It may seem like common sense, but making use of the characteristics of jūjutsu developed in the Edo period allowed the “traditional culture” of Japan to live on in jūdō. These characteristics, are embodied in the principle of “jū yoku gō wo seisu (soft overcomes hard)” in line with traditional “bujutsu”. Kanō then “standardised” the characteristics of jūjutsu from an educational point of view. This standardisation was considered necessary for the new style of education in the Meiji period. A symbolic episode of this would be the integration of the jūjutsu factions with the establishment of the “Jūjutsu shinpan kitei (rules and regulations for jūjutsu)” by the Dai-Nippon Butokukai (1899). This was followed by the formation of the “jūjutsu shingata (new kata)” (1904), of which Kanō served as chairman of the committee that made them. This integration was possible because Kanō had already created “jūdō” by reforming jūjutsu from an educational perspective.

Eventually, Kanō and the term “jūdō” behind this educationally driven style of Japanese jūjutsu began to be heard by jūjutsu-ka from all over the world, and by the beginning of 1900, jūjutsu started to gain in popularity especially in Europe and America. Kanō became a member of the International Olympic Committee (1909), and in conjunction with this, he worked on further spreading and publicising jūdō around Europe and America. This infiltrated western countries as “jūdō” instead of jūjutsu after the Taishō era (1912–1926). During this process, Kanō pursued “universality” (in other words, a global standard) in order to increase comprehension of foreign participants, and altered the principle of “jū yoku gō wo seisu to “seiryoku zenyō (maxim efficient use of energy)”. What must not be overlooked is the aspect of “strength of body and mind”. From this we can see that Kanō had not forgotten that the “mind” belongs with the “body”.

Even before this, Kanō had made mention in his famous lecture in 1889 “General and Educational Benefits of Jūdō” of the educational value of jūdō or jūjutsu is in physical education (body strengthening), bujutsu (i.e. serious competition), and also “shūshin (self-development)”.

Shūshin is explained as a wide ranging concept that includes intelligence, morality, and their application to life based on the bujutsu training of the samurai. Kanō then raised the ideal of “jita-kyōei (自他共栄 prosperity of the self and others)” to include “zen (good)” in “seiryoku-zenyō” (精力善用). These eight kanji characters became fixed as the guidelines of jūdō across the world. I would like to appreciate again jūdō (budō) as something that concerns the study of an even “better way of living” through training the “body and mind”.