METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
BIG IN JAPAN
Shizuya Sato
Shizuyo Sato

The world of the martial arts is fraught with mystery, of heroes performing magical feats, famously depicted in movies from Hong Kong to Hollywood. Aside from the glamour of the big screen, there is another, much quieter, side: Individuals and organizations devoted to maintaining and promoting traditional martial arts.

Enter Shizuya Sato, a man who has spent his life working to promote traditional Japanese culture via the martial arts, both in Japan and throughout the world. He began by studying judo and kendo during middle school, and later became an instructor of physical education at Meiji Gakuin University and an instructor of the foreign section at the Kodokan. During the Occupation, Sato was a judo instructor for US military personnel, and in 1957 was invited to establish the Embassy Judo Club at the US Embassy.

Forty-three years later, Professor Sato, eighth dan judo and ninth Nihon jujutsu, continues to serve as chief instructor of the club. Over the years, three generations of embassy personnel and numerous other members of the foreign community have learned judo under his tutelage.

Professor Sato believes judo and the other martial arts are as much a matter of spiritual and personal discipline as they are an athletic activity. There are many benefits to be found in practice, he says, ranging from improved physical conditioning to increased success in the business world, as well as in one' personal and family life. Through judo, says Sato, we learn to maintain both physical and emotional balance, as well as gain insight into when, in the matter of interpersonal affairs, it may be better to hold one's position or give way. His example of grace and gentlemanly conduct suggests the truth of his words.

In 1968 the International Martial Arts Federation (IMAF) sponsored its first international event with a world tour to promote better understanding of traditional Japanese martial arts. Since then, Sato has travelled widely with other renowned Japanese instructors, holding clinics and sponsoring seminars for practitioners of the martial arts worldwide.

Traditional Japanese martial arts are based on the best use of one's energy for the maximum benefit of all. The true test of one's technique or understanding is not proven during competition; rather, it is demonstrated through one's daily actions, and ultimately, by the contributions one makes to society in general. In that sense, Shizuya Sato is a true master. John B. Gage

The annual IMAF all-Japan martial arts exhibition will be held on April 2 at Ota-Kumin Plaza (one minute from Shimomaruko stn on the Mekama line). Opening ceremonies begin at 10:30am, with demonstrations of iaido (sword drawing and cutting), karatedo, kendo, kobudo (ancient styles featuring armed and unarmed techniques), aikido, Nihon jujutsu, and judo throughout the day. The public is welcome free of charge.

BIG IN JAPAN:
349: Toshinobu Kubota
First Japanese man of soul
348: Midori Ito
Ice skater
347: Tomohiro Hoshino
Paralyzed artist and poet
346: Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador
344: Norika Fujiwara
The Japanese "It Girl"
343: Ikebana
Flowers kept alive
342: Hirotada Ototake
Author of "No One's Perfect"
341: Korean food
Hot and popular in Japan
340: Tsuyoshi Kunasagi
Pointy-faced SMAP member
339: Koji Ishizaka
Heavyweight veteran actor
338: Kokichi Mikimoto
Founder of Mikimoto Pearls
337: Warren Cromartie
The "Messiah" of the Yomiuri Giants
335: Bonsai
Japan's dwarfed trees in a pot
334: Salaryman Kintaro
New icon in Japanese pop culture
333: Nagare Hagiwara
Rugged Japanese actor
332: Noboru Takeshita
Kuromaku politician
331: Ihara Saikaku
Radical 17th century writer
330: Ikkokudo
Okinawan ventriloquist
329: Takashi Murakami
The centerpiece of artist
328: Hideki Togi
The Imperial Palace Gagaku Orchestra
327: Konoshiki
Japan's most feared and most successful wrestler
326: Tarepanda
The floppy panda of Japan
325: Suziki Ichiro
Orix Blue Wave right fielder
324: Jakucho Setouchi
Nun re-writes "The Tale of Genji"
323: Otohime
Helping women's bathroom etiquette
322: Dragon Ash
Hip-hop revolutionists
321: Kimiko Date
Tennis player
320: Kan Fukuhara
Flautist
319: Godzilla
Mutant dinosaur movie star
318: Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
Popular punk band
317: Ken Kutaragi
CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment
316: Masahiro Motoki
High-rising entertainer
315: Katada Kikuyu
Japan's premier female taiko player
314: Keizo Obuchi
Prime Minister
313: Booska
The big, orange bucktooth monster
312: Shizuyo Sato
Japanese martial arts master
311: Yujiro Ishihara
Actor, singer and Japanese icon
310: Saburo Kitajima
Japanese enka singer
309: Kaya Yamada
Japan's hippie god
308: L'Arc en Ciel
Japanese pop band
307: Shintaro Ishihara
Governor and author
306: Morita Akio
Sony co-founder
305: Miyazaki Hayao
Film producer
304: Sailor Moon
Girl's comic
303: Hachiko
Shibuya's loyal dog
302: Hayashi Chie
Japanese dancer
300: Kobayashi Sachiko
Enka singer

Issues 350 +
Issues 299-250
Issues 248/9-233