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The above original photograph of Jigoro Kano (October 28, 1860 - May 4, 1938) was given to my father by his Judo instructor Inspector Obata of the Japanese Police as a gift.

In 1950 my father studied Judo in Kokura Kyushu Japan with the Japanese Police. On January 11, 1953 he was awarded a Shodan (first degree) by the Kodokan Institute.


Above is an original letter of recommendation from Jigoro Kano the founder of Judo and the Kodokan Dojo. He wrote this to approve the ranking of a student named Sumita Bunpei. It signed and dated January 8, 1933 by Jigoro Kano. It has his original signature and chop stamps as you can see from the pictures.

It reads:

To Sumita Bunpei,

Your devotion to the practice over Japan Sen Kodokan Judo (one of the Judo association) accomplished to obtain 1st dan (the ranking system in Judo) due to Fukuoka Prefecture judo ranking association’s recommendation. We hope you will continuously devote yourself to the practice and hope to see further progress of your Judo skill.

January 8, 1933

Jigoro Kano, Kodokan Master

English Translation of the below certificate: Shodan certificate number 3262 dated Showa 28 (January 11, 1953) issued to Charles V. Gruzanski signed by Kano Risei Kodokan Chairman.


Kodokan certificate

Kodokan certificate1

Requested a copy of his Shodan from the Kodokan Institute in Japan.

Kodokan Judo Institute envelopeKodokan Judo Institute letter

In 1967 the Chicago Academy of Martial Arts receives a membership certificate from the United States Judo Federation. 

US Judo Federation membership

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