Judo

Judo

Two white-clad contestants step, barefooted, onto a large, soft mat. After formally bowing to the judge, audience and the nation’s flag, they face each other and bow. Then, at the command of the judge, they grab each other by the robes they wear and attempt to use balance, leverage and timing to throw and pin each other to the floor. This is Judo … an exciting sport that originated in the orient over one hundred years ago. In 1882, a Japanese sportsman named Jigoro Kano transformed a violent form of self-defense… known as Jujutsu… into the much milder sport of judo. He adopted Jujutsu’s best techniques and eliminated the rough, dangerous ones. He then organized the techniques into an orderly system and also established strict rules of etiquette. He considered judo a form of mental discipline as well as a sport and method of self-defense. Kano emphasized two slogans for this sport: “Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort”, and “Mutual Welfare and Benefit”. Judo rapidly grew in popularity across Japan and eventually around the world. However, it wasn’t until 1964 that Judo gained world recognition as a major sport. For in that year, Judo became a regular event of the Olympic Games. To honor the remarkable events of the Olympic Games, the United States Postal Service issued the stamps that are featured on the front of this First Day Cover.