Search engine giant Google is celebrating the 161st birthday of Professor Kano Jigoro, who is also known as the “Father of Judo”, on his birth anniversary through the Google Doodle.
The Google doodle, with its various animated scenes, depicts the life of Kano and even his contribution and work in judo. The slides show him teaching his students the judo martial art with the values of hard work and humility.
This special doodle has been designed and illustrated by Cynthina Yuan Cheng who is a Los Angeles-based artist.
Professor Kano was born in Mikage, Japan in 1860, and then moved to Tokyo when he was only 11 years old. He was determined to gain full knowledge of the martial art of Jujutsu during his school days.
When he was a student at Tokyo University, he meet former samurai and Jujutsu master Fukuda Hachinosuke, who helped Kano in his learning.
The ancient martial art Judo became distinct from Jujutsu when Kano himself added a new Western wrestling move to defeat a much larger opponent in a Jujutsu sparring match. He improved, improvised and removed several “dangerous techniques” from Jujutsu and managed to create Judo as a safe and cooperative sport.
Simply, the word Judo means “the gentle way” and its name is illustrative of the principles of justice, modesty, safety and courtesy.
The name given to him, 'The Father of Judo' is based on his personal philosophy of Jita-Kyoei which means mutual prosperity of self and others and of Seiryoku-Zenyo which states maximum efficient use of energy.
He then started his own martial arts gym which in Japanese is known as 'dojo', at the Kodokam Judo Institute in the capital Tokyo in the year 1882, and he went on to further develop the martial art for years. He even welcomed women into the sport in the year 1893. And in the year 1909, he became the first Asian person to become a prominent member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Later, Judo was approved as an official Olympic sport by the IOC in 1960. The legend passed away on 4 May, in the year 1938, at the age of 77 years.