"To Honor the Life in Which Men and Women Demonstrate Leadership for the Same Rights in Sports"

Updated: Mar 17

Yesterday, we received a letter written in Japanese from a Senior Sensei at Matsumae Judo Juku located in Tokyo, Japan. His purpose was to let the Kanokogi family know the importance to him to teach his students the story of Rusty Kanokogi, The Mother of Women's Judo.


It was of great importance to let Jean know that the teachings continue although the annual Judo tournament to honor Rusty Kanokogi had to be cancelled this year. As an aside I am so struck by the Japanese culture. Total commitment mind, body and soul for honor, duty, respect this mindset is so needed in today's world.


The sensei shared so the Kanokogi family could rest in knowing the spirit of Rusty lives on in his words. For me, in the memoir Jean also captures this in Rusty's words, Rusty's total self sacrifice for the only purpose to help others.


As Jean worked hard late last night to translate this letter as best she could, by the way, Jean has a lot of the same endearing qualities as her mother. It was so warm to know all the sacrifices were valued by others and continue to be passed on.


I want to share a small excerpt from the letter, but prior let me get to the title of today's post. The Sensei teaches his students that on the back of the medal returned to Rusty reads "to honor the life in which men and women demonstrated leadership for the same rights in sports." I never knew anything was written on the back of the medal and if there is if the translation is even correct. Regardless, It is amazing to me that this teacher of judo half way across the world totally gets the vision of Rusty and continues to positively impact these young lives. Rusty's legend lives on through the words of others, thank you Sensei.


I would like to share this portion of the letter:


What does this judo lecture, Rusty Kanokogi, teach us? We can learn a lot from her judo life. Juku students, let's 心に take it into our hearts and think about it. I want you to keep in mind the following: First, remember that 、楽しみ、試合することが できる よ うになるために 努力し た人がいたことを there were people who worked hard to make it possible for men and women to be able to do judo, sports, fun and matches in the same way. Second, it is important 希望を持ち、希望に向けて not to run into selfishness, to have hope, and to live with all one's might toward hope. And, it is to have courage to never give up even in the difficulty, and to open up the future. Third, people can be connected through judo. What is really strong is that winning a game is not everything, but being respected as a human being is.


I really love that third point. I can't wait to share Get Up & Fight, the Memoir of Rusty Kanokogi with all of you. Rusty was a true visionary and her story continues to inspire all today.