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How Kano Jigoro inspired Rabindranath Tagore and Indians to take up judo

Rabindranath Tagore was largely inspired by the works of Kano Jigoro - the founder of judo.

Kano Jigoro Judo Rabindranath Tagore India

Kano Jigoro and Rabindranath Tagore


Abhijit Nair

Published: 28 Oct 2021 6:29 AM GMT

If you happen to open the homepage of Google today, you will be welcomed with a doodle carousel that is highly influenced by the Japanese martial art of Judo. The very first image of the doodle carousel is graced by the picture of a somewhat fatherly figure.

Who is it?

The man in question here is Kano Jigoro – a Japanese educator, athlete and the founder of Judo. Today on Jigoro's 161st birth anniversary, Google is paying him a tribute via a doodle carousel.

While Kano Jigoro is a legendary figure in the world of martial arts, did you know he had a very big impact on the development of Judo in India?

It is the well-known poet Rabindranath Tagore, who is widely credited for bringing Judo to India. Respectfully known as Gurudev, Tagore was largely inspired by the works of Kano Jigoro.

India's first Nobel Prize winner admired the works of Jigoro and took a special interest in the martial art form developed by him.

In order to help develop judo in India, Rabindranath Tagore invited a judo coach by the name of Shinzo Takagaki to his ashram – the Shantiniketan.

Shantiniketan is where the first traces of judo in India is found. Takagaki started teaching the martial art form somewhere in the late 1920s or early 1930s, and judo has since continued to grow in stature in India.

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