Kodokan hall of fame

Takeo Hirose

Date of birth: 
May 27, 1868
Place of origin: 
Taketa-cho, Oita Prefecture
6th Dan
November, 1887
Enters Kodokan
August, 1889
1st Dan
November, 1890
2nd Dan
January, 1893
3rd Dan
April, 1899
4th Dan
April, 1904
6th Dan
Takeo Hirose

Takeo Hirose came to Tokyo in 1883 from the town of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. He entered the Kogyokusha naval preparatory school, and subsequently entered the Naval Academy in November of 1885.
He entered Kodokan in November of 1887, having been impressed by the following teaching of Jigoro Kano: "Judo is not simply about learning Waza. It perfects the mind and body, enabling each person to properly select how best to contribute to society, be he a scholar, a government official, a merchant, or a soldier, etc."
He had previously visited the Kodokan before and after classes while a student at the Kogyokusha naval preparatory school and the Naval Academy, and he continued to do so even when assigned to the naval fleet, rising to the top Kodokan group.
During the Russo-Japanese War (1904 to 1905), the Japanese fleet attempted to sink a ship in the mouth of Lüshun port in order to trap the Russian fleet in the port, and Lieutenant Commander Hirose (torpedo chief aboard the Asahi naval ship) successfully participated in the first attack (February 24, 1904) as commander of the HOKOKU-MARU (naval transport ship). During the second attack, however, as commander of the FUKUI-MARU, he was tragically killed by enemy canon fire as he advanced into the mouth of the port (March 27, 1904). He was hailed as a hero and a model for all military personnel, and was enshrined as a military god.
In honor of his service, Jigoro Kano awarded him a posthumous promotion to the rank of 6th Dan on April 8, 1904. The navy also granted him a posthumous promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was 37 years old at the time of his death.

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