Naoki Murata (1949-2020)

Professor Naoki Murata, a Kodokan 8th dan, was born in Saitama Prefecture in 1949. He graduated from Tokyo Kyoiku University in 1973. A prolific writer of essays and several well-researched books on judo, he served as Curator of the Kodokan Judo Institute Museum. He was also highly active as an administrator and served on several committees dealing with Budo affairs.It was in the year 1999 that I first met Murata sensei when working on my first book on Jigoro Kano: The Father of Judo. I was fortunate to have had interesting discussions with Murata in the intervening years, often over lunch following my visits to the Kodokan Library.Murata, a great authority on the history of judo, had this to say of Professor Jigoro Kano: ‘Kano’s educational policies reflected his deep-rooted deference for his country and its traditions. Judo was developed by him as a vehicle for people to consolidate their minds and bodies, thereby becoming ‘robust citizens’ able to play a positive role in the improvement of society. Kano was a forward-thinking educator of the highest calibre. Judo is practiced around the world as a popular sport, but the higher educational principles promoted by Kano should not be ignored in the pursuit of winning medals.’Professor Murata’s demise is truly a sad loss to the world of judo research. Rest in peace, Sensei. 

/Text från FB

Judo, the way of life