The Kanō Society Bulletin #54 – The Kanō Chronicles

For the October 2022 Kanō Society Bulletin, the editors chose three essays of mine.

• The Twelve Precepts of Jūdō
Sen, Go no Sen, Sen no Sen, and Sen Sen no Sen – What are they?
• Fine Art at the Kodokan

The Twelve Precepts of Jūdō is an updated version of a shorter essay I posted a couple of years ago.

Sen is ‘initiative’ in Japanese. Certain martial arts cultivate the understanding of reading your opponents’ body language, movement, eye focus and other details to understand their intent and to steal the initiative from them – sometimes before their very thought is fully formed!

Finally, although Kanō shihan did not write or speak much about art, he was taken with a certain artist’s heroic and massive depiction of ‘Wildly Galloping Horses’, and had a large, two piece screen set commissioned that were apparently kept in his office most days but displayed in the Kodokan on special, ceremonial or formal occasions. The screens survived Kanō shihan’s death in 1938 only to be burned in one of the final air raids of Tokyo in 1945, when the Kodokan nearly burned down. (see the story of the 1945 Firebombing of the Kodokan here:


Lance Gatling
Author / Lecturer, The Kanō Chronicles
Tokyo, Japan
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