The doodle that Google offers on its homepage today, Thursday 28 October 2021, celebrates the Japanese “father of judo”, Professor Kanō Jigorō, on the day of the 161st anniversary of his birth. The doodle was illustrated by the artist from Los Angeles (California) Cynthia Yuan Cheng.
The name Judo means “the gentle way” and the sport is built on principles such as justice, courtesy, safety and modesty. Kanō saw martial art as a way to bring people together, even as he knocked opponents to the mat.
Born in 1860 in Mikage (now part of Kobe), Kanō moved to Tokyo with his father at the age of 11. Although regarded as a child prodigy at school, Kanō often faces adversity. To increase strength, he decides to start studying the martial art of Jujutsu. During his time as a student at the University of Tokyo, he finds someone to start teaching him: Jujutsu master and former samurai Fukuda Hachinosuke.
Judo was born during a Jujutsu sparring match when Kanō incorporates a Western wrestling move to knock out his much larger opponent. By removing the most dangerous techniques used in Jujutsu, Kanō creates “Judo”, a safe and cooperative sport based on his personal philosophy of Seiryoku-Zenyo (maximum efficient use of energy) and Jita-Kyoei (mutual prosperity of self and others. ).
In 1882, Kanō opened his dojo (a martial arts gymnasium), the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, where he continued to develop Judo for years, even welcoming women in 1893.
Kanō becomes the first Asian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1909 and in 1960 the IOC learns of Judo as an official Olympic sport.
Today’s doodle that Google dedicates to the 161st anniversary of the birth of Kanō Jigorō is a series of images that retrace the main stages in Kanō’s life that led him to the creation of judo. In addition to Italy, this doodle is also shown on the Google homepage located in Peru, Canada, France, Iceland, Germany, Ukraine, Estonia, Spain, Bulgaria, India, Vietnam, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.