Yoshio Sugino

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Yoshio Sugino
Born(1904-12-12)December 12, 1904[1]
Tokyo, Japan
DiedJune 13, 1998(1998-06-13) (aged 93)
Narutō, Chiba
StyleIaido, judo
Teacher(s)Kunisaburo Iizuka
ChildrenYukihiro Sugino

Yoshio Sugino (杉野嘉男, Sugino Yoshio, December 12, 1904 – June 13, 1998) was a Japanese martial artist and film choreographer.

Early life[edit]

Sugino was born in Naruto village, Chiba prefecture, in December 1904. When he was a child, his family moved to Tokyo. He first encountered martial arts at Keio University, where he enrolled in 1918; here he joined the judo, kendo, sumo and kyudo clubs, among others. In particular, he studied judo under Kunisaburo Iizuka, one of Japan's top collegiate coaches at the time.[2] Discovering a proficiency for judo, he started his own dojo (the Kodokan Judo Shugyojo) in Kawasaki after a brief stint as a bank clerk.[3]

Martial arts career[edit]

Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, introduced Sugino to the Katori Shinto-ryu school of kenjutsu in 1927. Sugino also started studying Yoshin Koryu under Genro Kanaya around this time.[4] He met aikido's founder Morihei Ueshiba in the early 1930s, and studied aikido sufficiently to gain a teaching license and open an Aikikai-affiliated dojo by 1935. By the 1940s he was teaching kenjutsu, aikido, judo and naginatajutsu full-time.[3]

Move to Fukushima[edit]

During World War II, Sugino's home and dojo were destroyed by bombing raids on Kawasaki. Sugino and his family fled to Fukushima, where he spend most of his time in martial arts training and used his medical knowledge (he had run a bone-setting clinic from his dojo in Kawasaki) to help the injured. After the war, the family returned to Kawasaki, where his clinic became very busy treating the war-wounded. By 1950, he had constructed a new dojo.[3]

Film career[edit]

In 1953, Sugino was asked to provide sword instruction for the actors in Akira Kurosawa's film, Seven Samurai.[5] Originally the work was shared between Sugino and Junzo Sasamori of the Ono-ha Itto-ryu, but Sasamori pulled out early in the filming due to teaching commitments abroad. Sugino's choreography for the sword-fights departed from earlier, Kabuki-influenced work and focussed on making the scenes as realistic as possible.[3]


  1. ^ katorishinto.it. "ASSOCIAZIONE ITALIANA KATORI SHINTO RYU". Retrieved 24 June 2015.
  2. ^ Joseph R. Svinth. "Judo: Kunisaburo Iizuka". Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d Tsukasa Matsuzaki. "The Last Swordsman: The Yoshio Sugino Story". Archived from the original on December 4, 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  4. ^ Pranin, Stanley. "Interview with Yoshio Sugino". Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  5. ^ Stuart Galbraith, The Toho Studios story: a history and complete filmography, Scarecrow Press, 2008 p152

External links[edit]