Home > Activities > Kodokan Judo Museum & Library

Kodokan Judo Museum & Library

Historical Materials Display Room

The Historical Materials Display Room features a collection of documents, photos, and objects associated with the history of Kodokan Judo. These include the enrollment book signed by Yamada Tsunejiro, the first Kodokan student; training uniforms worn by Jigoro Kano's star student Shiro Saigo; scrolls and documents relating to Kano's study of classical jujutsu systems; paintings from the late 1880s depicting training at the early Fujimicho dojo; a framed calligraphy brushed by Meiji Restoration "bloodless revolution" engineer Katsu Kaishu expressing his appreciation of Kano's judo; and numerous photos depicting famous matches, significant happenings, and other events surrounding the development of judo in Japan and abroad.

Hall of Judo Luminaries

The Hall of Judo Luminaries displays photographs and brief biographies of nineteen individuals who made significant contributions to the early teaching and development of judo. These include, among others, 7th dan Tsunejiro Tomita, Jigoro Kano's first student and lifelong supporter; the exceptionally talented 6th dan Shiro Saigo, famous for his "mountain storm" technique; Sakujiro "Devil" Yokoyama, the powerful 8th dan at the center of instructional activities at the early Kodokan dojo; and Yoshitsugu Yamashita, the first 10th dan, judo instructor to U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, and a principle contributor to the development of judo abroad. These four--Tomita, Saigo, Yokoyama and Yamashita--are known as the "Four 'Demigods' of the Kodokan." The two individuals photographed in military uniform are 6th dans Takeo Hirose and Takejiro Yuasa, remembered and revered for making the ultimate sacrifice for their country during the Russo-Japanese war. Commander Hirose, earlier known for his fierce performance during the Kodokan's Red & White Matches, was killed while bravely returning to search for a missing member of his squad during the battle of Lushun Harbor. Others highlighted include 10th dan Shuichi Nagaoka, renowned for his incredible sacrifice techniques and unflinching personal integrity; 10th dan Kyuzo Mifune of "kuki nage" ("air throw") fame; 9th dan Sampo Toku, admired as "a lone cedar standing in the field" for his remarkable height and unbreakable good training posture; 10th dan Matsutaro Shoriki, who contributed financially to building both the Kodokan and the Nippon Budokan; and 10th dan Sumiyuki Kotani, praised by Jigoro Kano as "an absolute genius."

Jigoro Kano Memorial Hall

The Jigoro Kano Memorial Hall displays artifacts related to Jigoro Kano himself, including a battered training uniform, torn by fierce jujutsu practice and painstakingly mended; a portrait of Kano by master oil painter Heizo Kanei; calligraphic brushings by Kano himself of such important judo maxims as "Maximum Efficient Use of Energy" and "Mutual Prosperity"; and a pair of Japanese dolls clad in miniature judo uniforms, crafted to commemorate Kano's demonstration of judo before the Japanese Prince Regent (later the Showa Emperor).
Also on display are assorted lecture notes and manuscripts, as well as various letters and other documents highlighting Kano's association with many of the important social and political luminaries of the day.

Kodokan Library

The Kodokan Library collection contains about 7,000 works, including 2,700 pertaining directly to judo. Although maintained as a closed-stack collection, the library is available for use by all, and will undoubtedly prove an invaluable resource to students, researchers, members of the press, and all others interested in the history and evolution of judo.

Library Archives (PDF)

Domestic Archives (PDF)
Foreign Archives (PDF)
AV Archives (PDF)
Brochure of Judo Games (PDF)


Opens:11:00 - 18:00 on weekday
Closed: on Sat. Sun. & National Holidays, Summer recess, Year end & New year Holidays
Opens on the days of New Year's rice-cake cutting ceremony etc..
Admission: Free

Contacts´╝Ü Museum & Library
1-16-30 Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-0003 Japan
TEL: 81-3-3818-4562 FAX: 81-3-3818-4565