Kanō shihan’s First 35 Years – The Kanō Chronicles

Recently I provided an essay to the Asiatic Society of Japan, the “oldest learned society in Japan” of which I am a member. See https://www.asjapan.org for an introduction to the Society.

It was founded in Yokohama in 1872, when Kanō Jigorō was only 12 years old and had just moved to the new Japanese capital ofTokyo with his family. By 1888 Kanō was one of the first Japanese members, and became a member of the first Japanese board of advisors. The Society membership was like a Who’s Who of a wide range of Japanese and Asias diplomacy, science, natural history, languages, cultures, and more.

The essay was provided to the Society’s Transactions 134 years after Kanō and a colleague at the Gakushin where Kanō was the vice-principal gave a lecture in 1888 then a demonstration of his new jūdō, making it one of if not the first known demonstration of jūdō to a foreign audience.

Later I made this presentation based on the essay, and gave it to an informal group of Japan-centric academics called Informasia.

Please enjoy, and let me know if you have questions or comments.

Lance Gatling
Author / Lecturer
The Kanō Chronicles