2011, Volume 7, Issue 3

Kōdōkan Jūdō’s Inauspicious Ninth Kata: The Joshi goshinhō ―“Self-Defense Methods for Women” – Part 3

Carl De Crée1, Llyr C. Jones1

1International Association of Judo Researchers, United Kingdom

Author for correspondence: Carl De Crée; International Association of Judo Researchers, United Kingdom; email: prof.cdecree[at]earthlink.net

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Background and Study Aim: The purpose of the present paper is to provide a comprehensive review of Joshi goshinhō (“Self-defense methods for Women”), the now reclusive ‘ninth’ kata of Kōdōkan jūdō, once part of the standard women’s jūdō curriculum in Japan.
Material and Methods: To achieve this, we offer a careful critical analysis of the available literature and rare source material on this kata.
Results: Historically, women practiced a less physical jūdō than men, their instruction being chiefly driven by health promotion-oriented calisthenics. Joshi goshinhō was created in 1943, following an order by Nangō Jirō, a retired Japanese Navy rear admiral in charge of the Kōdōkan. Joshi goshinhō would meet the increasing demands for more self-defense-oriented jūdō for women. However, jūdō, and joshi goshinhō in particular, also matched popular fascist views of body image in war-time Japan. Joshi goshinhō’s current state of decline is caused by: unavailability of competent teachers, a misconstrued perception that links it to gender discrimination, the sportification of jūdō, concerns about the effectiveness of its techniques, and reminiscences to the jingoist ideologies of Nangō Jirō. Therefore it has become victim to the long-established self-critiqueless and historic revisionist practices of the Kōdōkan leading to a silent exit.
Conclusions: Joshi goshinhō is still worthy of a place in contemporary jūdō, and may be ef-fectively combined with randori techniques for self-defense purposes during an emergency situation. Jūdōka have a right to a critical analytical and non-revisionist approach to jūdō’s history in its every aspect as an integral part of the pedagogical aims of jūdō and free of any anti-intellectual fascism.

Key words: ata, gō jirō, jigorō, kōdōkan, noritomi masako, oshinhō , ūdō , ukuda keiko