Mifune Kyuzo/God of Judo



(Mufune Kyuzo 1883 – 1965)

 It is in 1882 that Kano Jigoro (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kan%C5%8D_Jigor%C5%8D) established Kodokan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodokan) in Tokyo, Japan, after mastering Jujutsu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jujutsu). Kano developed his own philosophy and skills in Jujutsu into Judo. Generated from Jujutsu, Judo has been independent of Jujutsu since Kano established Kodokan. In one word, Judo is to Jujutsu as Cro-Magnon man is to Australopithecus.


(The Theory of Evolution)


 (Jujutsu = Australopithecus)


(Cro-Magnon Men = Judo) 

 Mifune is called “God of Judo’ while Kano, the founder of Judo, ‘Father of Judo’ or ‘Father of Japanese Physical Education.’ Their nicknames express their functions in Japanese society very well. After joining Kodokan, Mifune became an ‘ambassador’ of Kano’s philosophy in Judo while inventing some Judo techniques, such as Tamaguruma (Sphere Wheel), Oguruma (Large Wheel), Kibisugaeshi (Single Leg Takedown/Heel Trip), Sankakugatame (Triangle Armlock), and so on.


(Tamaguruma: https://youtu.be/Wih3scfwDyA)


(Oguruma: https://youtu.be/YI9loUuJJDk)


(Kibisugaeshi: https://youtu.be/EVRlFnkOf64)


(Sankaku Gatame: https://youtu.be/2Hq8BGgh6i0

 Last but not least, this is Mifune’s legendary Corner Drop named ‘Kukinage/Sumiotoshi’ in Japanese.


(Kukinage/Sumiotoshi: https://youtu.be/iPNReDFSxDo

 As you may have already recognized how many hours of Mifune’s life were dedicated to the development of Judo. Especially since Kano passed away in 1938, Mifune took over the baton of Judo from Kano and successfully implemented Kano’s missions. One of the biggest missions from Kano was to make Tokyo Olympics in 1965 successful, where Judo was added to the Games as an official sport. For an 81-year-old ‘God of Judo,’ it was a bit too heavy a burden then. After accomplishing the very burden, Mifune Kyuzo turned himself back into mortality, hoping someone would take over the baton of Judo from him and would dedicate himself to the development of Judo like he did for Kano and himself for the last quarter century.

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