Saturday, July 9, 2016

Yamashita Yoshiaki Photos

Yamashit Yoshiaki visited the USA from 1903 to 1905.  During that time he taught judo to a number of people, including Teddy Roosevelt.  This article and photo album at the Amherst Library is an amazing record.


D Cooling said...

Did you notice that some of the throws are mislabeled? Do you want to contact them, or should I? Just reply to this comment and let me know.

The Budo Bum said...

I did notice that the throws are mislabeled, but since the labels are transcriptions of what is in the original album, I don't think they will change them.

D Cooling said...

Makes me wonder how they got misidentified in the first place. Just for the heck of it, I'm going to email them, and see what they say.

D Cooling said...

I sent them the following email:

Good Day,

I was reviewing the Yoshiaki Yamashita Photograph Album yesterday found at the following link:

As a long time Judo player, I couldn't help but notice that several of the throws are misidentified on the pictures. For instance, the photo with the throw identified as Uchi Mata is more likely Okuri ashi-harai. It is definitely not Uchi Mata, which translates to "inner thigh throw."

The names of Judo throws have been static for some time. Dr. Kano's primary influence on the martial arts was pedagogical, that is, he organized, systematized, and wrote down centuries of Jujitsu knowledge that was previously just passed down teacher to student. I find it hard to believe that Yamashita, a student of his, would get the names of the throws wrong on his photographs.

How were the photo labels for the archive created? Were they from modern Japanese to English translations from notes on the originals? Were they from Japanese to English translations from the turn of the 20th Century? Are the original Japanese characters still there? Were there any Japanese characters, or were they all from English notes?

I am in no ways knowledgeable about the Japanese language, but I am knowledgeable about Judo. I would be more than happy to help you identify the throws properly, or to direct you to another resource. For starters, here are the 67 recognized throws of the Kodokan:


XXX Cooling
Judo Shodan, and Judo Coach at Gurnee Judo Club, Gurnee, IL

The Budo Bum said...

It will be interesting to see how they respond to your offer.

D Cooling said...

They got back to me and are asking for my help in properly identifying the throws. Would you care to collaborate? My email is email me and I will give you my cell number and we can speak. I'm in central time, U.S.

Regardless, I am going to tell them that I am asking you to collaborate with me, and send them a link to your blog so they know this is legitimate, based on your prolific work. I've been lurking on your website for years now.

Here is the text of their email:

Dear Mr. Cooling
Thank you for point out the errors in the photo identification. I have pulled the photo album and have seen that there are some errors. But it is an arduous task to match the photos in the (fragile) album to those online. Still, I would like to correct the errors.

The text for the photos is written in English under the photos.

If it would not be too much trouble, would you be willing to identify the errors and send a list of them, with the photo identification number and the correct title for the throw?
Here is a sample of what I am asking for.
In this photo, which is not identified… if you could give me what heading for the photo (‘Tomoe nage (b), ca. 1904’)with the identifier number (‘muph006-b001-i011) or a link to the photo, that would be very helpful.
As well, if you could identify the unidentified judo throws in 3 photos which are not identified it would be very helpful. These photos are:
Thank you again for helping us post accurate information on our website.
Anne L Moore
Special Collections Librarian
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst

D Cooling said...

This is the email I sent:

Ms. Moore,

I would love to help! I am asking an online colleague to assist, as it is his blog that directed me to the collection in the first place. Here is a link to his blog

You can see that the second most recent entry is about the archive. It would only be fair to ask him to work on this together. We will figure out how to divide the work and double check our efforts so we give you an accurate product. Some throws can look somewhat alike from static photographs. If he declines, then I will move forward and have my instructor, a man who has done Judo since 1973 and trained and competed at a high level, double check my work.

Have a good weekend, and I will get back to you shortly.


XXXX Cooling