The life of Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano and the Olympics

First Asian member of the IOC (International Olympic Committee)

First Asian member of the IOC (International Olympic Committee)

As part of an effort by the IOC to promote interest in the Olympics throughout Asia, the French ambassador to Japan received a request from Baron de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, asking him to search for a suitable Asian candidate to sit on the IOC (International Olympic Committee) committee. Jigoro was immediately seen as the obvious choice. He had all the necessary qualifications: through Judo, he had come to a deep understanding of Japan, he was loved by the Japanese people, and he was capable of working smoothly with an international organization. His unflagging passion and zeal had resulted in the spread of Judo around the world, and, having incorporated foreign sports into his educational program, his knowledge of those sports was extensive.

Moreover, Jigoro's own Judo creed was in full accordance with the Olympic creed which states that "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." Feeling a deep resonance with this creed, Jigoro accepted the invitation to become a member of the IOC committee.