Kōdōkan Shitennō

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Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan
Japanese name
Kanji: 講道館四天王
Hiragana: こうどうかんしてんのう

Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan refers to the four notable judo competitors of the early Kōdōkan: Tsunejiro Tomita, Yamashita Yoshiaki, Yokoyama Sakujiro, and Saigō Shirō.

Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan[edit]

"Kōdōkan Shiten'nō" (講道館四天王) literally translates as Four Heavenly Kings[1] of the Kōdōkan. Shiten'nō refers to four Devarajas, Hindu gods, historically adapted by the Japanese in Buddhism.[2] Traditionally, the Four Heavenly Kings are the guardian gods that are worshipped as the protecting deities of Buddhist sanctuaries.[3]

When Kanō Jigorō began to develop judo from jujutsu, his efforts met with opposition from jujutsu practitioners. However, Kano drew a loyal following that included exceptional fighters. Hence the term "Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan" came into existence referring to Tsunejiro Tomita along with Yamashita Yoshiaki, Yokoyama Sakujiro, and Saigō Shirō.[4]

Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan
Yokoyama Sakujiro
(1864 - 1914) 
Tomita Tsunejiro
(1865 – 1937) 
Yamashita Yoshiaki
(1865 – 1935) 
Saigō Shirō
(1866 - 1922) 

See also[edit]

Shitennō (samurai)
Shitennō (Tokugawa clan)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Ju; Brown, John (2006). China, Japan, Korea Culture and Customs. Ju Brown. p. 93. ISBN 1-4196-4893-4. 
  2. ^ Saroj Kumar Chaudhuri (2003). Hindu gods and goddesses in Japan. India: Vedams. pp. 1, 109. ISBN 81-7936-009-1. 
  3. ^ Charles Alfred Speed Williams (1988). Chinese symbolism and art motifs. Tuttle Publishing. p. 195. ISBN 0-8048-1586-0. 
  4. ^ Takahashi, Masao (May 3, 2005). Mastering Judo. Human Kinetics. pp. iv. ISBN 0-7360-5099-X.