Toshiro Daigo

Mr. Kodokan Toshiro Daigo died, Judo 10th dan, 95 years old 10/10/2021

Toshiro Daigo, who was called Mr. Kodokan by winning the All Japan Championship twice during his active career at the de facto highest rank of judo, and serving as the Japan national team coach at both the 1976 Montreal and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. (Daigo Toshiro) died on the 10th. He was 95 years old.

Born in Chiba prefecture. He started judo in the old Awa High School (now Awa High School). After graduating from Tokyo Higher Normal School (currently University of Tsukuba), he became a researcher at the Kodokan after working as a faculty member. He won the All Japan Championship in 1952 and 1954 after the war. He was a coach at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. From there, he was at the forefront of the Japanese judo world until he retired as chairman of the strengthening committee in the spring of the following year of the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Toshiro Daigo, , Yoshimi Osawa, Ichiro Abe Asahi Shimbun

With the death of Mr. Daigo, the 10th dan surviving became two people, Yoshimi Osawa (95) and Ichiro Abe (98) - reported by Asahi Shimbun.

One of my favorite stories is of my son, Nathan from the summer of 1995. We were at the Kodokan with a group mostly from Nanka (the SoCal Judo Black Belt Alliance) in 1995 that included the late Hal Sharp. Daigo Sensei came up to the big dojo in his gi to greet him and our group.

Nathan who was 10 at the time, asked me if it would be ok to invite Daigo to randori. So I went over to talk with Hal and see if that would be appropriate, however it was too late. Nathan and Daigo were in the middle of the tatami and everyone there, some 200+ judoka had moved to the side. For the next few minutes Daigo and him traded throws than bowed out to a big roaring round of applauds!

When it was over Nathan said to me 'Dad never give away the (blue) belt I wore when I randori with the head of the Kodokan', (which we still have)!

Daigo teaching

Gary Goltz

Daigo judo

Gary Goltz

Daigo and children judoka

Gary Goltz

Nathan with Daigo and my kids and me with him at the Kodokan in 1995

Daigo Sensei Signature

Gary Goltz

Signature to me from Daigo Sensei

Jerry Hays and Hal Sharp with Daigo Sensei

Gary Goltz

Jerry Hays and Hal Sharp with Daigo Sensei in 2008


Gary Goltz

I'm always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to, thanks.

Gary Goltz

Gary Goltz

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