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Usage of shihan in judo Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 06:52 AM

View PostJon Z, on 23 July 2010 - 09:41 PM, said:

Thank you BillC!
This is pretty much what I was thinking.

I remember the judo myths busted thread but it came at a time when I had a lot of things going on so I didn't post in it. Maybe I'll necropost? There are so many, it's hard to know where to start: Kanō is the only person called "shihan" in jūdō (definitely not true) or how about the whole fabrication of the 1880s police matches? That one's the most interesting because it was created by the Kōdōkan itself :unsure:

Cheers,
Jon Z

Interesting - who else then has enjoyed this designation?
Dr Llyr C Jones
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#2 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:14 AM

View PostJonesy, on 24 July 2010 - 03:52 PM, said:

Interesting - who else then has enjoyed this designation?


I am assuming that this is a matter of semantics. Japanese often use the term 'shihan' to refer to the head-sensei of a dôjô. In that sense, there obviously have been and are hundreds of 'shihan'. I have even seen Yamamoto Shirô wear a belt that says "Yamamoto Shirô shihan". But, that obviously does not mean that he has ever been bestowed the title of shihan from any organization which employs and has the rank of 'shihan' as an award of merit and knowledge or skills.

It is similar to the 'professor' thing. There are a bunch of idiots in martial arts who call themselves 'professor' because they want to indicate probably that they teach and are better than other 'instructors'. One could thus erroneously say there are dozens of such professors in martial arts. As we know very well, the number of people in jûdô who have been bestowed a personal Chair and full professorship by an accredited institution of higher education are far less.

Kanô did bestow a couple of times the title of 'hanshi', but he did so to a couple of people who even did not hold a rank in jûdô, and he appears to have done so via his function in the Butokukai, not directly from the Kôdôkan. Most people though like Isogai, who did obtain the title of hanshi directly received this title from the Butokukai.

As Jon Z usually has sources to back up what he writes I cannot further comment on his post without knowing further specifics. Usually when there is an apparent disagreement between myself and Jon Z regarding such historic issues, it can be explained by semantics. We also should not forget that though that many things we write here have the functional purpose to quickly address something in a way that addresses and immediately concern or a general understanding. It is unfortunate, but we can't for most of our discussions write a dissertation with footnotes. But when someone decides to really dig into something in the Japanese sources, then the previous thread is challenged to a higher level. It then depends on whether the previous respondents are still around and are willing to invest the time to move to that level and continue the discussion there, which then usually implies an exponential increase in time commitment. But no doubt, that many myths to exist. When I first joined the forum my reaction was similar to that of Jon Z, and in the end it probably has been one of the main motivators for what I have contributed to this forum.

I am glad though that we now have people like Jon Z, NBK, close to the sources who take their task seriously. It is a motivator to maintain a certain standard, and it is a reminder not to screw up or to show accountability when we do. Last but not least, their contributions, critiques, challenges may help increase our knowledge and accuracy of facts presented. For me personally, there is an extra perk. I'd rather have someone point out an eventual error about a post of mine, so that I can correct it or redo my research, then to screw up and get the same comments about my book. There will be errors obviously, but I'd like to reduce them to as few as possible. I remember that probably I learnt the most about research through peer reviews. That doesn't mean I always agree with my reviewers. But I always think, if they come up with that concern, then likely other people might come up with it too, and it should be possible for me to rewrite or reprocess so that the concern is no longer a concern. The only main difference I guess is that in science the trolls are easily dealt with while their activity here on the forum, something that is probably best called 'anti-posting' can linger on, and on, and on.

Guys like Teatime or RealJudo kept polluting the forum over and over, often with things disguised as apparent serious questions. This was not a matter of challenging established opinions, no, not at all. We know their techniques, extensive use of fallacies, often after absurd pseudo-dialogues leading to self-conclusions that they have proven their point and we're right. Just look at the TeaTime quote which RITF retained in his signature. It was exactly 'that'. Often they have extraordinary ability to intrigue and start an issued, provoke others here and there, with the issue rapidly evolving into an uncontrollable melt down that often has little to do anymore with the original question.

As we know ... "a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. In addition to the offending poster, the noun “troll” can also refer to the provocative message itself, as in that was an excellent troll you posted.

As described by Robert Bond in The International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, trolls usually exhibit a typical pattern of behavior:

In "The Art of Trolling" published on the web it is suggested that "in Usenet usage", a 'troll' is not a grumpy monster that lives beneath a bridge accosting passers by, but rather a provocative posting to a news group intended to produce a large volume of frivolous responses. The content of a “troll” posting generally falls into several areas. It may consist of an apparently foolish contradiction or common knowledge, a deliberately offensive insult to the readers of the news group or a broad request for trivial follow-up postings.

In academic literature, the practice was first documented by Judith Donath (1999). Donath's paper outlines the ambiguity of identity in a disembodied "virtual community" such as Usenet:

"In the physical world there is an inherent unity to the self, for the body provides a compelling and convenient definition of identity. The norm is: one body, one identity ... The virtual world is different. It is composed of information rather than matter." (...)

Donath provides a concise overview of identity deception games which trade on the confusion between physical and epistemic community:

"Trolling is a game about identity deception, albeit one that is played without the consent of most of the players. The troll attempts to pass as a legitimate participant, sharing the group's common interests and concerns; the newsgroups members, if they are cognizant of trolls and other identity deceptions, attempt to both distinguish real from trolling postings, and upon judging a poster a troll, make the offending poster leave the group. Their success at the former depends on how well they — and the troll — understand identity cues; their success at the latter depends on whether the troll's enjoyment is sufficiently diminished or outweighed by the costs imposed by the group." (...)

Trolls can be costly in several ways. A troll can disrupt the discussion on a newsgroup, disseminate bad advice, and damage the feeling of trust in the newsgroup community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling — where the rate of deception is high — many honestly naïve questions may be quickly rejected as trollings. This can be quite off-putting to the new user who upon venturing a first posting is immediately bombarded with angry accusations. Even if the accusation is unfounded, being branded a troll is quite damaging to one's online reputation." (...)

This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 24 July 2010 - 10:15 AM

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#3 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 11:54 AM

View PostJonesy, on 24 July 2010 - 02:52 AM, said:

Interesting - who else then has enjoyed this designation?

Pretty much everybody who headed a jūdō program at a university was a "shihan". I don't know if this extends elsewhere or not, but at universities, the head instructor was (and in some cases still is) a "shihan".

Keio Gijuku: http://www.mitajuyuk...out/about03.asp Look at (for example) 1889, 1904, and 1906 when Yamashita, Uchida Ryōhei (!), and Iizuka Kunisaburō became "shihan" respectively.

Meiji University: http://www.meiji-jud...hanKantoku2.htm A list of "historical shihan" from Uchida Sakuzō on

Waseda University: http://www.waseda-ju...mber/staff.html Their current instructor list includes both a "meiyō shihan" (i.e. shihan emeritus) and a "shihan".

I don't know the original context for the discussion about this and I was not referring to a specific post (BillC was asking about myths which means sort of nebulous, unauthored discourse) but I've seen this written a lot and I just wanted to point out that this term was (and apparently is) widely used to designate a head instructor. It may be that there has never been a Kōdōkan "shihan" after Kanō and this would make sense since until the current kanchō none were really jūdōka but the term was used both during Kanō's lifetime and afterwards to refer to head instructors.

CK --
I'm not really sure what you mean by awarding as a title. I know that the Kōbusho had "shihan" as a title -- I'd have to look this up but I think this was the highest ranking of their teaching grades but can't remember. It's possible that Kanō adopted this from his lineage with Kōbusho instructors. But I don't think it's right to think of "shihan" as a title awarded in the same way as "hanshi" etc. Unless it was a title specifically awarded by universities themselves (which sort of makes sense) in which case the person awarding the title wouldn't be Kanō but the university. It would be interesting to look at whether the term "shihan" was used elsewhere in universities as a specific rank (either in athletics or other areas). I'm not sure.

And then there is the whole way that "shihan" is used outside of jūdō (and I know this is not what we are discussing). Kanō was, after all, head of the Tōkyō Shihan Gakkō (forerunner to Tsukuba University) and a teacher training college. And, come to think of it, they did have a special track for jūdō (and I believe kendō) instructors. I don't know if these people were "shihan" or not. I would have to look in to that.

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#4 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 01:38 PM

View PostJon Z, on 24 July 2010 - 08:54 PM, said:

Pretty much everybody who headed a jūdō program at a university was a "shihan". I don't know if this extends elsewhere or not, but at universities, the head instructor was (and in some cases still is) a "shihan".

Keio Gijuku: http://www.mitajuyuk...out/about03.asp Look at (for example) 1889, 1904, and 1906 when Yamashita, Uchida Ryōhei (!), and Iizuka Kunisaburō became "shihan" respectively.

Meiji University: http://www.meiji-jud...hanKantoku2.htm A list of "historical shihan" from Uchida Sakuzō on

Waseda University: http://www.waseda-ju...mber/staff.html Their current instructor list includes both a "meiyō shihan" (i.e. shihan emeritus) and a "shihan".

I don't know the original context for the discussion about this and I was not referring to a specific post (BillC was asking about myths which means sort of nebulous, unauthored discourse) but I've seen this written a lot and I just wanted to point out that this term was (and apparently is) widely used to designate a head instructor. It may be that there has never been a Kōdōkan "shihan" after Kanō and this would make sense since until the current kanchō none were really jūdōka but the term was used both during Kanō's lifetime and afterwards to refer to head instructors.

CK --
I'm not really sure what you mean by awarding as a title. I know that the Kōbusho had "shihan" as a title -- I'd have to look this up but I think this was the highest ranking of their teaching grades but can't remember. It's possible that Kanō adopted this from his lineage with Kōbusho instructors. But I don't think it's right to think of "shihan" as a title awarded in the same way as "hanshi" etc. Unless it was a title specifically awarded by universities themselves (which sort of makes sense) in which case the person awarding the title wouldn't be Kanō but the university. It would be interesting to look at whether the term "shihan" was used elsewhere in universities as a specific rank (either in athletics or other areas). I'm not sure.

And then there is the whole way that "shihan" is used outside of jūdō (and I know this is not what we are discussing). Kanō was, after all, head of the Tōkyō Shihan Gakkō (forerunner to Tsukuba University) and a teacher training college. And, come to think of it, they did have a special track for jūdō (and I believe kendō) instructors. I don't know if these people were "shihan" or not. I would have to look in to that.

Jon Z


That is exactly what I meant. You are using the word 'shihan' in its functional sense, namely being the head instructor. In the original post, and that is what Jonesy is referring to, we were talking of the word 'shihan' as a title exclusively attached to the highest rank in jûdô, a rank that therefore can no longer be obtained.

We see something similar in the French language. In French it is normal when you say "My profession is judo instructor" to say "Je suis profésseur de judo de proféssion". Similarly, it is normal colloquial language in French when asking "Who is your judo teacher", to say "Qui est votre profésseur de judo". Yet the French know perfectly well that in this case no one is referring to the word 'professor' as the highest academic title properly bestowed on someone by an accredited university. Yet, they also have no difficulty understanding that Michel Brousse for example is both a "profésseur de judo" (a judo teacher) and a "profésseur" (à l'université de Bordeaux) (a university professor, thus also actually holds the title).

In the examples you give, these people are all exerting the function of shihan without ever having received the actual title of shihan. For example, it is normal to say "Setsuo Sugata was the Shihan at Meiji Dai following Mifune". In its functional sense, there is thus also obviously no minimal rank required. Similarly, Kashiwazaki is the shihan at IBU and Saito at Kokushikan, and Satô at Tokai, etc. None of them however, holds the title of 'shihan'.

When these people's names would appear on a jûdô list, it would say something like "Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, 8th dan", period.

However, in Kanô, who has never held a dan-rank in jûdô, his actual title was 'shihan' THUS IN CONTRAST WITH A DAN RANK.

For example, when you look at the credentials of the 1930 movie of Koshiki-no-kata which required his own permission, it clearly states: "Uke: Kôdôkan hachidan, Yamashita Yoshitsugu; Tori, Kanô Jigorô, shihan". (...)

I would never say: "Saito Hitoshi, 8th dan; Satô Nobuyuki, 8th dan; and then Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, shihan". No way, absolutely not. Thus even though some Japanese, use the functional meaning of 'shihan' to indicate that someone is the head sensei, personally I think that is a very unfortunate thing. I hesitate to use the word 'improper' given that it is up to the people and their cultural value to decide what is proper or not. There are many words in English too of which today the impact is quite different and less shocking than they were 20 years ago. In my view the proper way to refer to their function and thus to avoid the confusion would be: 上席教師.

Yes, the use of the term 'shihan' is different in jûdô than it is in karate and aikidô. Jûdô for example, also does not have the title 'ô-sensei' which Ueshiba was addressed with, though of course we have one '10th' dan in the US who does fancy the title. You should have a look at the ranks and titles of Shôrinji kempô; they are far more complicated.

This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 24 July 2010 - 01:43 PM

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#5 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 07:11 PM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 24 July 2010 - 09:38 AM, said:

That is exactly what I meant. You are using the word 'shihan' in its functional sense, namely being the head instructor. In the original post, and that is what Jonesy is referring to, we were talking of the word 'shihan' as a title exclusively attached to the highest rank in jûdô, a rank that therefore can no longer be obtained.

We see something similar in the French language. In French it is normal when you say "My profession is judo instructor" to say "Je suis profésseur de judo de proféssion". Similarly, it is normal colloquial language in French when asking "Who is your judo teacher", to say "Qui est votre profésseur de judo". Yet the French know perfectly well that in this case no one is referring to the word 'professor' as the highest academic title properly bestowed on someone by an accredited university. Yet, they also have no difficulty understanding that Michel Brousse for example is both a "profésseur de judo" (a judo teacher) and a "profésseur" (à l'université de Bordeaux) (a university professor, thus also actually holds the title).

In the examples you give, these people are all exerting the function of shihan without ever having received the actual title of shihan. For example, it is normal to say "Setsuo Sugata was the Shihan at Meiji Dai following Mifune". In its functional sense, there is thus also obviously no minimal rank required. Similarly, Kashiwazaki is the shihan at IBU and Saito at Kokushikan, and Satô at Tokai, etc. None of them however, holds the title of 'shihan'.

When these people's names would appear on a jûdô list, it would say something like "Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, 8th dan", period.

However, in Kanô, who has never held a dan-rank in jûdô, his actual title was 'shihan' THUS IN CONTRAST WITH A DAN RANK.

For example, when you look at the credentials of the 1930 movie of Koshiki-no-kata which required his own permission, it clearly states: "Uke: Kôdôkan hachidan, Yamashita Yoshitsugu; Tori, Kanô Jigorô, shihan". (...)

I would never say: "Saito Hitoshi, 8th dan; Satô Nobuyuki, 8th dan; and then Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, shihan". No way, absolutely not. Thus even though some Japanese, use the functional meaning of 'shihan' to indicate that someone is the head sensei, personally I think that is a very unfortunate thing. I hesitate to use the word 'improper' given that it is up to the people and their cultural value to decide what is proper or not. There are many words in English too of which today the impact is quite different and less shocking than they were 20 years ago. In my view the proper way to refer to their function and thus to avoid the confusion would be: 上席教師.

Yes, the use of the term 'shihan' is different in jûdô than it is in karate and aikidô. Jûdô for example, also does not have the title 'ô-sensei' which Ueshiba was addressed with, though of course we have one '10th' dan in the US who does fancy the title. You should have a look at the ranks and titles of Shôrinji kempô; they are far more complicated.

CK --
I understand the distinction you are drawing here but I don't think it really holds. I'm not sure what the original post is -- again I wasn't referring to a specific post -- but maybe you could provide a link.

But if you look at the Meiji U. website I linked to you will see not just phrases like 'Mifune became the shihan' etc. but also 'Mifune Shihan" period -- used exactly as a title like "Kanō shihan." My only point is that this term is used to refer to people other than Kanō and it's not a form of sacrilege to do so.

But Mifune is a actually an interesting case because he was officially awarded the title of 'shihan' by the Kōdōkan -- though not by Kanō but by Nangō Jirō.

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#6 User is offline   NBK 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:02 PM

View PostJon Z, on 25 July 2010 - 04:11 AM, said:

CK --
I understand the distinction you are drawing here but I don't think it really holds. I'm not sure what the original post is -- again I wasn't referring to a specific post -- but maybe you could provide a link.

But if you look at the Meiji U. website I linked to you will see not just phrases like 'Mifune became the shihan' etc. but also 'Mifune Shihan" period -- used exactly as a title like "Kanō shihan." My only point is that this term is used to refer to people other than Kanō and it's not a form of sacrilege to do so.

But Mifune is a actually an interesting case because he was officially awarded the title of 'shihan' by the Kōdōkan -- though not by Kanō but by Nangō Jirō.

Attachment mifune 9th dan.jpg

Jon Z

Interesting find - 1945. Where is the doc? I wonder what the occasion might have been.

This would seem to be consistent with Butokukai practice, but is clearly a Kodokan document. I assume that Nango Jiro was a member or leader of the Butokukai, but don't have specific information. As the Kodokan kancho, he may have inherited Kano's position therein; I have seen quite early Butokukai docs that refer to Kano as 'judo shihan'. Also, IIRC, Isogai Hajime is also referred to as 'judo shihan' in Butokukai docs.

There can be some confusion about this because in some of the kobudo styles I know 'shihan' is a rank that carries instructor privileges and responsibilities, while in other places, such as the modern Waseda University Shudokan aikido dojo system, it is used to denote the senior instructors and is not a true rank.

Perhaps incorrectly, I am reminded of the Navy rank of Captain and the captain of a ship. One means an officer of the rank of O-6, comes with a paygrade and a certain insignia designating that rank (usually four stripes); the other is a title indicating the commanding officer of a ship or boat.

There are shihan all over the place, but my impression is that the title is not in as broad usage as in years gone by.

This post has been edited by NBK: 24 July 2010 - 09:09 PM



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#7 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:08 PM

View PostNBK, on 24 July 2010 - 05:02 PM, said:

Interesting find - 1945. Where is the doc? I wonder what the occasion might have been.

This would seem to be consistent with Butokukai practice, but is clearly a Kodokan document. I assume that Nango Jiro was a member or leader of the Butokukai, but don't have specific information. He may have inherited Kano's position therein; I have seen Butokukai docs that refer to Kano as 'judo shihan'. Also, IIRC, Isogai Hajime is also referred to as 'judo shihan' in Butokukai docs.

This is evidently at the Mifune Jūdan Kinenkan in Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture. I've never seen this myself and don't think I'm going to be going to Iwate on this trip but it would be interesting to see.

And I had also thought I had read of Isogai being called shihan as well but wasn't sure so that would make sense to me as well.

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#8 User is offline   Richard Riehle 

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 09:20 PM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 24 July 2010 - 06:38 AM, said:

That is exactly what I meant. You are using the word 'shihan' in its functional sense, namely being the head instructor. In the original post, and that is what Jonesy is referring to, we were talking of the word 'shihan' as a title exclusively attached to the highest rank in jûdô, a rank that therefore can no longer be obtained.

We see something similar in the French language. In French it is normal when you say "My profession is judo instructor" to say "Je suis profésseur de judo de proféssion". Similarly, it is normal colloquial language in French when asking "Who is your judo teacher", to say "Qui est votre profésseur de judo". Yet the French know perfectly well that in this case no one is referring to the word 'professor' as the highest academic title properly bestowed on someone by an accredited university. Yet, they also have no difficulty understanding that Michel Brousse for example is both a "profésseur de judo" (a judo teacher) and a "profésseur" (à l'université de Bordeaux) (a university professor, thus also actually holds the title).

In the examples you give, these people are all exerting the function of shihan without ever having received the actual title of shihan. For example, it is normal to say "Setsuo Sugata was the Shihan at Meiji Dai following Mifune". In its functional sense, there is thus also obviously no minimal rank required. Similarly, Kashiwazaki is the shihan at IBU and Saito at Kokushikan, and Satô at Tokai, etc. None of them however, holds the title of 'shihan'.

When these people's names would appear on a jûdô list, it would say something like "Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, 8th dan", period.

However, in Kanô, who has never held a dan-rank in jûdô, his actual title was 'shihan' THUS IN CONTRAST WITH A DAN RANK.

For example, when you look at the credentials of the 1930 movie of Koshiki-no-kata which required his own permission, it clearly states: "Uke: Kôdôkan hachidan, Yamashita Yoshitsugu; Tori, Kanô Jigorô, shihan". (...)

I would never say: "Saito Hitoshi, 8th dan; Satô Nobuyuki, 8th dan; and then Kashiwazaki Katsuhiko, shihan". No way, absolutely not. Thus even though some Japanese, use the functional meaning of 'shihan' to indicate that someone is the head sensei, personally I think that is a very unfortunate thing. I hesitate to use the word 'improper' given that it is up to the people and their cultural value to decide what is proper or not. There are many words in English too of which today the impact is quite different and less shocking than they were 20 years ago. In my view the proper way to refer to their function and thus to avoid the confusion would be: 上席教師.

Yes, the use of the term 'shihan' is different in jûdô than it is in karate and aikidô. Jûdô for example, also does not have the title 'ô-sensei' which Ueshiba was addressed with, though of course we have one '10th' dan in the US who does fancy the title. You should have a look at the ranks and titles of Shôrinji kempô; they are far more complicated.

So, CK-sensei, perhaps it is best if you do not refer to me as "Professor Riehle" in your comments about my contributions. Although I am a college professor, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am making claims at being a martial arts professor, since I never make such claims.

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#9 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:53 AM

View PostJon Z, on 25 July 2010 - 04:11 AM, said:

CK --
I understand the distinction you are drawing here but I don't think it really holds. I'm not sure what the original post is -- again I wasn't referring to a specific post -- but maybe you could provide a link.

But if you look at the Meiji U. website I linked to you will see not just phrases like 'Mifune became the shihan' etc. but also 'Mifune Shihan" period -- used exactly as a title like "Kanō shihan." My only point is that this term is used to refer to people other than Kanō and it's not a form of sacrilege to do so.

But Mifune is a actually an interesting case because he was officially awarded the title of 'shihan' by the Kōdōkan -- though not by Kanō but by Nangō Jirō.

Attachment mifune 9th dan.jpg

Jon Z


The picture you provided is not that of an award of shihan, but is the rank certificate awarded to Mifune for his promotion to 10th dan on May 25th of 1945. It is kept at the Mifune museum in Kuji City.

That your interpretation is incorrect is proven by the fact that the same language is used in Mifune's 6th, 7th, and 8th dan-certificates, signed by Kanô himself. If the document you are referring to would be an official bestowing of the rank of shihan, then that would be absurd, since the same thing was already done on all the previous certificates. Why bestowing the same title several times. You will clearly see that the dates are precisely the dates of Mifune's promotion. In other words, these are rank promotions, not the "officially awarded the title of 'shihan'" as you suggest. <_<
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"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
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#10 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:56 AM

View PostNBK, on 25 July 2010 - 06:02 AM, said:

Interesting find - 1945. Where is the doc? I wonder what the occasion might have been.

This would seem to be consistent with Butokukai practice, but is clearly a Kodokan document. I assume that Nango Jiro was a member or leader of the Butokukai, but don't have specific information. As the Kodokan kancho, he may have inherited Kano's position therein; I have seen quite early Butokukai docs that refer to Kano as 'judo shihan'. Also, IIRC, Isogai Hajime is also referred to as 'judo shihan' in Butokukai docs.

There can be some confusion about this because in some of the kobudo styles I know 'shihan' is a rank that carries instructor privileges and responsibilities, while in other places, such as the modern Waseda University Shudokan aikido dojo system, it is used to denote the senior instructors and is not a true rank.

Perhaps incorrectly, I am reminded of the Navy rank of Captain and the captain of a ship. One means an officer of the rank of O-6, comes with a paygrade and a certain insignia designating that rank (usually four stripes); the other is a title indicating the commanding officer of a ship or boat.

There are shihan all over the place, but my impression is that the title is not in as broad usage as in years gone by.


NBK, the point is moot. This is not a document of officially awarding the title of shihan; this is his 10th dan certificate, with language (including the shihan thing) being identical to that found on his previous lower rank certificates, which were signed by Kanô. As said, the term 'shihan' is frequently used in a functional sense, but not as a title that was actually awarded. There is and has only been one person in jûdô who has held the title of shihan: Kanô himself.
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
"Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
"I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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#11 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 10:57 AM

View PostRichard Riehle, on 25 July 2010 - 06:20 AM, said:

So, CK-sensei, perhaps it is best if you do not refer to me as "Professor Riehle" in your comments about my contributions. Although I am a college professor, I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am making claims at being a martial arts professor, since I never make such claims.



But my dear friend, you exist by the grace of my reputation. People just KNOW that I would NEVER call you professor if you were a fake martial arts quack. What do you want more ?!! :P :lol:
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
"Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
"I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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#12 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:10 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 25 July 2010 - 06:53 AM, said:

The picture you provided is not that of an award of shihan, but is the rank certificate awarded to Mifune for his promotion to 10th dan on May 25th of 1945. It is kept at the Mifune museum in Kuji City.

That your interpretation is incorrect is proven by the fact that the same language is used in Mifune's 6th, 7th, and 8th dan-certificates, signed by Kanô himself. If the document you are referring to would be an official bestowing of the rank of shihan, then that would be absurd, since the same thing was already done on all the previous certificates. Why bestowing the same title several times. You will clearly see that the dates are precisely the dates of Mifune's promotion. In other words, these are rank promotions, not the "officially awarded the title of 'shihan'" as you suggest. <_<

CK --
You're right that I had read this wrong. I was just looking at the end of the certificate (為師範者也) and didn't pay enough attention to what came before it, namely that with continued dilligent practice he will become a shihan. This is evidently language still used by Kōdōkan certificates for 6th dan and above,

But that still does not change the fact that the term was (and seemingly is) widely used to refer to instructors in jūdō other than Kanō. That was really my only point.

And if you've been to the Kinenkan then you've probably seen Mifune's keikogi with "Mifune Shihan" stitched into it:

Attached Image

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#13 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:14 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 25 July 2010 - 06:56 AM, said:

NBK, the point is moot. This is not a document of officially awarding the title of shihan; this is his 10th dan certificate, with language (including the shihan thing) being identical to that found on his previous lower rank certificates, which were signed by Kanô. As said, the term 'shihan' is frequently used in a functional sense, but not as a title that was actually awarded. There is and has only been one person in jûdô who has held the title of shihan: Kanô himself.

CK-

This really doesn't make sense. Who would have "awarded" Kanō the rank of Shihan? What do you mean "held the title"? The actual "title" of the instructors at universities was "shihan." Presumably this was awarded by the universities themselves -- Nakayama Hakudō was the kendō shihan at Meiji just like Mifune was the jūdō shihan.

I don't think you can have this both ways. Either, in jūdō, the term is reserved for use only with Kanō or it's not. And it's clearly not.

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#14 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:32 AM

View PostJon Z, on 25 July 2010 - 08:10 PM, said:

CK --
You're right that I had read this wrong. I was just looking at the end of the certificate (為師範者也) and didn't pay enough attention to what came before it, namely that with continued dilligent practice he will become a shihan. This is evidently language still used by Kōdōkan certificates for 6th dan and above,

But that still does not change the fact that the term was (and seemingly is) widely used to refer to instructors in jūdō other than Kanō. That was really my only point.

And if you've been to the Kinenkan then you've probably seen Mifune's keikogi with "Mifune Shihan" stitched into it:

Attachment mifune gi.jpg

Jon Z


I was going to write that the gi and the belt also read Mifune-shihan, and that is not exclusive to Mifune. If you reread my first post in this newly started thread, you will remember that I had already written that Yamamoto Shirô, 8th dan, frequently used to wear a belt that read "Yamamoto-shihan", and there are others. So, yes, it is "widely used to refer to instructors in jûdô other than Kanô", at least in Japan, BUT none of these people to whom references are made actually HOLDS the TITLE of shihan. That it why from the beginning I contrasted between the title and the functional use.

There exist even today cases where title and function are separated. Here is another one. I once accepted a job at at university which was only available at the Principle Lecturer level. However, I had been an Associate Professor years. My university contract specified that I was hired at the function of Principle Lecturer, while it addressed me as 'Professor' which title I kept. No one else at the university as far as I know was addressed as professor unless that university had bestowed a Chair upon them, but I was. So, basically I did not hold the function of Professor at that university, but it respected and honored that I had been awarded the title before (at least as Associate Professor). Of course this leads to confusion, but it nevertheless was so. In fact, it also leads to problems if you have a colleague who is jealous and who held the same rank, yet could not be addressed as a professor.

Go find a picture of the 1906 Butokukai meeting with list of names. It will list other exponents of Kôdôkan jûdô such as Nagaoka and Yamashita, but only one person of Kôdôkan jûdô is listed at the rank of 'shihan', since Kanô never held a jûdô dan-rank.
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
"Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
"I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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#15 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 11:35 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 25 July 2010 - 07:32 AM, said:

I was going to write that the gi and the belt also read Mifune-shihan, and that is not exclusive to Mifune. If you reread my first post in this newly started thread, you will remember that I had already written that Yamamoto Shirô, 8th dan, frequently used to wear a belt that read "Yamamoto-shihan", and there are others. So, yes, it is "widely used to refer to instructors in jûdô other than Kanô", at least in Japan, BUT none of these people to whom references are made actually HOLDS the TITLE of shihan. That it why from the beginning I contrasted between the title and the functional use.

There exist even today cases where title and function are separated. Here is another one. I once accepted a job at at university which was only available at the Principle Lecturer level. However, I had been an Associate Professor years. My university contract specified that I was hired at the function of Principle Lecturer, while it addressed me as 'Professor' which title I kept. No one else at the university as far as I know was addressed as professor unless that university had bestowed a Chair upon them, but I was. So, basically I did not hold the function of Professor at that university, but it respected and honored that I had been awarded the title before (at least as Associate Professor). Of course this leads to confusion, but it nevertheless was so. In fact, it also leads to problems if you have a colleague who is jealous and who held the same rank, yet could not be addressed as a professor.

Go find a picture of the 1906 Butokukai meeting with list of names. It will list other exponents of Kôdôkan jûdô such as Nagaoka and Yamashita, but only one person of Kôdôkan jûdô is listed at the rank of 'shihan', since Kanô never held a jûdô dan-rank.

CK-

I'm off to the airport this morning but will get back to this thread!
Cheers
Jon Z
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