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  1. Kano considered judo training to be an aid to the student’s educational aspirations. His ultimate ambition was to produce students of fine character, so that they would in future become useful, educated citizens and thus benefit society. 

    ‘The purpose of judo is to perfect oneself physically, intellectually and morally for the benefit of society.’
    Professor Jigoro Kano (1860-1938)

    (The Father of Judo, Kodansha International, 2000)
    (IL Padre Del Judo, Edizioni Mediterranee, 2005)

    (Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano, Trafford Publishing, 2008, 2014)
    (Memorias de Jigoro Kano, Editora Cultrix, 2011)

    Before the great expansion in air travel that started in the 1950s, most passengers journeyed overseas on ocean liners. One of the ships that often sailed the Japan – U.S.A. routes was NYK Line’s workhorse the Hikawamaru. This cargo-passenger liner reportedly made the two-week trip between Yokohama and the then gateway to the US, Seattle, 254 times between 1930 and 1960 when she was finally decommissioned and became a floating restaurant and later refurbished (2006-2008) and reopened as an Important Cultural Property permanently moored at the port of Yokohama. Professor Jigoro Kano, who made some 13 extended overseas trips in his lifetime, on occasions voyaged on the Hikawamaru, as did many other celebrities of the day.

    The Seattle Judo Club, established in 1902, was reportedly the very first judo dojo to open on US soil. Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) seated in the centre of this photograph, called at this dojo twice, once in 1936 and again in 1938.
    After attending the International Olympic Committee meeting held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1937, he later visited several European cities, then New York, Seattle and finally Canada. On April 23, 1938 Kano headed home and left Vancouver Harbor on the Hikawamaru, which was scheduled to arrive at Yokohama on May 6. However, he did not live to see his homeland again. En route, at the age of 77; he succumbed to pneumonia and died on this vessel on May 4, 1938.

    Brian N. Watson
    30 October 2016

    References: (The Father of Judo, Kodansha International, 2000)
    (Judo Memoirs of Jigoro Kano, Trafford Publishing, 2008)
    Seattle Judo Club photograph courtesy of Ken Morinaka

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