The life of Jigoro Kano

Jigoro Kano and the Olympics

The death of Jigoro

The death of Jigoro

Jigoro did not return to Japan immediately after Tokyo won its hosting bid in Cairo. Instead, he attended the memorial service being held for Baron de Coubertin in Athens. He then traveled to the United States via Italy and France. In the United States, he met with the other IOC (International Olympic Committee) members and thanked them for their cooperation in Japan's bid to host the Olympics, and requested their help in ensuring that as many athletes as possible participate. This was very much in keeping with Jigoro's Judo creed of "beginning and ending with respect (a bow)". Having completed this duty, Jigoro boarded a ship for Japan, and died en route, never to set foot in his homeland again. His advanced age, combined with fatigue from the journey, had brought on pneumonia.

Jigoro's life thus ended without his witnessing the Tokyo Olympics for which he had worked so diligently. His last words show that he was thinking of Judo to the very end: "Photographs are a good way to depict "Kata" (form) ... ".