Google is celebrating the 161st birthday of Professor Kano Jigoro, also known as the “Father of Judo”, on his birth anniversary through a Google Doodle. The doodle, with its multiple animated slides, depicts Kano’s life and work, and shows him teaching his students martial art, as well as the values of hard work and humility.
The doodle has been illustrated by Cynthina Yuan Cheng, a Los Angeles-based artist to mark the occasion.
Kano was born in Mikage, Japan in the year 1860, and moved to Tokyo when he was 11 years of age. A child prodigy in school, Kano was determined to gain knowledge of the martial art of Jujutsu.
However, it was only when he was a student at Tokyo University, that he found someone who would help him in his endeavour — former samurai and Jujutsu master Fukuda Hachinosuke.
Judo as a martial art became distinct from Jujutsu when Kano added a Western wrestling move to defeat a much larger opponent in a Jujutsu sparring match. By improvising and removing several “dangerous techniques” from Jujutsu, Kano managed to create Judo as a safe and cooperative sport.
The word Judo means “the gentle way” and the name is illustrative of the principles of justice, safety, modesty, and courtesy that have been built into the sport,
The Father of Judo based the martial art on his personal philosophy of Jita-Kyoei (mutual prosperity of self and others) and of Seiryoku-Zenyo (maximum efficient use of energy).
Kano started his own martial arts gym, or dojo, at the Kodokam Judo Institute in Tokyo in 1882, where he went on to further develop martial art for years. In the year 1893, he also welcomed women into the sport.
In the year 1909, Kano became the first Asian person to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Judo was approved as an official Olympic sport by the IOC in 1960. Kano passed away on 4 May, 1938, at the age of 77 years.