Reinterpreting the history of women's judo in Japan

Int J Hist Sport. 2011;28(7):1016-29. doi: 10.1080/09523367.2011.563633.


This paper reassesses the role of women in judo in Japan, from its secluded and restricted beginnings in the late nineteenth century to the gradual changes in gender and social paradigms triggered by the influence of Western feminist struggle from the 1960s onwards. Judo has been considered in theory an inclusive martial art because its creator, Jigoro Kano, stressed safety, etiquette and moral teachings irrespective of age, size or gender of its adherents. However, the social and cultural environment in Japan has traditionally discriminated against women both outside and inside the dojo (training place). We treat this issue historically, considering the broader context of the Japanese social, political and cultural developments.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Cultural Characteristics* / history
  • Gender Identity
  • History, 20th Century
  • Japan / ethnology
  • Martial Arts* / economics
  • Martial Arts* / education
  • Martial Arts* / history
  • Martial Arts* / physiology
  • Martial Arts* / psychology
  • Prejudice
  • Social Change* / history
  • Sports / economics
  • Sports / education
  • Sports / history
  • Sports / physiology
  • Sports / psychology
  • Women's Health* / ethnology
  • Women's Health* / history