Google Doodle celebrates Judo founder Kano Jigoro's birthday
The Google Doodle on Thursday paid tributes to Professor Kano Jigoro, who is often referred to as Japan's “Father of Judo”, for formalising the martial art as a sport that brings together people on principles of justice, courtesy, safety, and modesty, even while throwing opponents to the mat sometimes. According to Google, the doodle has been illustrated by Los Angeles-based artist Cynthia Yuan Cheng to celebrate Professor Jigoro's 161st birth anniversary.
The Google Doodle on Professor Kano Jigoro's birthday on October 28 has multiple slides and is animated to show the Judo progenitor's life and work in a series of frames where he appears to teach his students the value of humility and hard work when mastering the martial art.
Kano, who was born in 1860 in Mikage (now part of Kobe), moved to Tokyo with his father at the age of 11. Though he was known as a child prodigy in school, he often faced adversity. To build strength, he became determined to study the martial art of Jujutsu. During his time as a student at Tokyo University, he finally found someone who would teach him - Jujutsu master and former samurai Fukuda Hachinosuke.
Judo is, at the end of the day, a result of improvisation. The martial art became distinct from Jujutsu when Kano incorporated a western wrestling move during a Jujutsu sparring match to bring his much larger opponent to the mat. Jujutsu was earlier known to incorporate several “dangerous techniques”; by removing these from the new martial art form, Kano managed to create a safe and cooperative sport in the form of Judo. It was based on Kano's personal philosophy of Seiryoku-Zenyo (maximum efficient use of energy) and Jita-Kyoei (mutual prosperity of self and others).
Later on, in 1882, Kano opened his own dojo (a martial arts gym), the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, where he would go on to develop Judo for years. He also welcomed women into the sport in 1893.
Kano became the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1909, and in 1960, Judo was officially approved as an Olympic sport.