As you might know, Tokyo will have the Olympic in 2020. The last Tokyo Olympic was held in 1964, and maybe, for me, it will be the first time to watch it in my life.
I might be lucky to watch some of them, but I expect that people from overseas watch more and enjoy the rest of Japan.
I want to talk about one story. It is about Judo competition in 1964. It was the first time Judo was competed in Olympics, and Japan, as the Judo country at that time, was supposed to win all the 4 classes.
I mean Judo was not so international as now, especially now European countries are so good. Japan won three gold medals in a row, and the last day was the heaviest, where the match would decide the strongest Judo player in the world.
The opponent was a Dutch Judo player, called Geesink. He was good and he had been improving himself by staying in Japan many times before the Olympic to practice with Japanese.
Moreover, his personality and discipline were highly spoken of among Japanese players.
And he beat the Japanese finalist.
The auditorium became quiet, and the Japanese finalist seemed to be crying.
It was the next moment : when the Dutch coach tried to hug Geesink on the tatami, Geesink stopped him from coming.(the picture below) And he came back to the original position to bow to his opponent.
Judo as a Budo, which begins with Rei and ends with Rei, where everything begins and ends with a bow. A bow represents ‘courtesy’ or ‘respect’ to others.
He shocked many Japanese by his victory, but impressed Japanese more with his courtesy. His behavior is still highly spoken as a Judo sprit.
Maybe this was the moment, when Judo began to be international from a local sport.
Thank you for reading again!