EPISODE 50 The Father of Martial Arts: Jigoro Kano (Part 2)

HOF-50-JigoroKano-Pt02-FatherOfMartialArts.jpg

“I teach Kodokan judo as a way of life.” — Jigoro Kano 

“Even though he was drunker than usual, Saigo came to the driver’s aid. The burly sailors laughed out loud: “Scram, midget!” Much to their great surprise and considerable pain, in a flash, the pocket Hercules subsequently hurled each of them into the river.” — John Stevens 

“I have not been able to transmit my ideals to many students, and there are unfortunately few instructors who can impart proper Kodokan values.” — Jigoro Kano 

“The teaching of one virtuous person can influence many.” — Jigoro Kano 

In the second half of the 1800s, after the United States made Japan an offer it couldn’t refuse, Japan experienced a period of crisis and extremely fast modernization. Swept by efforts to copy everything that made the West powerful, Japan turned its back on much of its traditional culture. Martial arts were considered anachronistic and irrelevant, and looked well on their way to disappear into the dustbin of history—much in the same way as they had done in other parts of the world. In 1882, a small, nerdy man named Jigoro Kano made his stand to reverse this process. Kano was only 22 years old, and had only little over 5 years of martial arts practice. But what 22-year old Kano started in some spare rooms in a Buddhist temple was going to affect the lives of millions of people.

This story is about martial arts, but is also about much more. This story is about the dramatic transformations in Japanese history in the 1800s (and without understanding them, it’s pretty much impossible to understand the role played by Japan in WWII.) It is a story about how one individual can radically impact millions. It’s about how cultural traditions that are seemingly anachronistic can be reinvented to provide value in a modern context. It’s a story about Taoist philosophy, Olympic Games and U.S. presidents, pro-wrestling and helping society, the tension between globalization and nationalism, the role that physical education can play in shaping a person’s character, and a bunch of other things that have only marginally to do with martial arts per se. Among other things, in this episode: 

Shiro Saigo, Kano’s pocket-sized enforcer
Blood oaths
History’s first black belts
The four ‘heavenly lords’ of the Kodokan 
Judo gaining a reputation through challenge fights
Leglocks
Shiro Saigo and his NWA attitude
Akira Kurosawa movies
Kano clashing with nationalism and militarism
Theodore Roosevelt
Mitsuyo Maeda
The origins of pro-wrestling 
The Olympic Games

So, with this in mind, let’s get rolling. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 49 The Father of Martial Arts: Jigoro Kano (Part 1)

HOF-49-JigoroKano-Pt01-FatherOfMartialArts.jpg

“It was a period of stupendous change and immense challenge; the entire social, political, and economic landscape of Japan would be transformed within a few decades. Just as this new era was dawning in Japan, Jigoro Kano was born, on October 28, 1860.” — John Stevens 

“In my childhood, I had heard that there was a thing called jujutsu thanks to which even a weak person could defeat a strong person. I definitely thought about learning it.” — Jigoro Kano 

“Some people believe that Judo means simply practicing at the dojo. This is applying the principle of judo at the dojo when practicing defense against attack, and through it is certainly one aspect of judo, it is only a small part of it.” — Jigoro Kano 

In the second half of the 1800s, after the United States made Japan an offer it couldn’t refuse, Japan experienced a period of crisis and extremely fast modernization. Swept by efforts to copy everything that made the West powerful, Japan turned its back on much of its traditional culture. Martial arts were considered anachronistic and irrelevant, and looked well on their way to disappear into the dustbin of history much in the same way as they had done in other parts of the world. In 1882, a small, nerdy man named Jigoro Kano made his stand to reverse this process. Kano was only 22 years old, and had only little over 5 years of martial arts practice. But what 22-year old Kano started in some spare rooms in a Buddhist temple was going to affect the lives of millions of people.

This story is about martial arts, but is also about much more. This story is about the dramatic transformations in Japanese history in the 1800s (and without understanding them, it’s pretty much impossible to understand the role played by Japan in WWII.) It is a story about how one individual can radically impact millions. It’s about how cultural traditions that are seemingly anachronistic can be reinvented to provide value in a modern context. It’s a story about Taoist philosophy, Olympic Games and U.S. presidents, pro-wrestling and helping society, the tension between globalization and nationalism, the role that physical education can play in shaping a person’s character, and a bunch of other things that have only marginally to do with martial arts per se. So, with this in mind, let’s get rolling. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

EPISODE 46 Enjoying Hell: The Life of Ikkyu Sojun (Part 2)

“Even if I go to Hell, I’ll find a way to enjoy it.” — Ikkyu 

“Watching my four year old daughter dance, I can’t break free of her. Forgetting my duties, I slip into freedom.” — Ikkyu 

"After ten days in this temple, my mind is spinning. Between my legs the red thread stretches and stretches. If you wish to find me in the future, you better look for me in a fish shop, a sake parlor, or a brothel.” — Ikkyu 

“…tasting life and enjoying sex to the fullest.” — Ikkyu 

“Thus the so-called ‘traditional arts of Japan’ all felt his influence: tea, ceramics, Noh drama, rock gardening, and haiku poetry. No historian was keeping track of this cultural movement with Ikkyu the axis of a vortex; but with hindsight one can see how deeply Japanese medieval art forms are indebted to him.” — Jon Covell 

So many History on Fire episodes feature incredibly violent pages from humanity’s past. This is not one of those episodes. The hero of our tale was too busy enjoying life in 15th century Japan to join the civil wars raging around him or to go around killing people. As the illegitimate son of the Emperor of Japan, Ikkyu Sojun experienced the harsh side of life from the moment he was born, but always looked for a way not to let it spoil his good mood. His main passions (in no particular order) were Zen Buddhism, sex and drinking. And in the midst of the endless party that was in life, he managed to have a tremendously powerful impact on Japanese culture. In this episode, we see Ikkyu’s wanderings taking him through torrid love affairs, friendships with pirate-merchants, and clashes with the Zen establishment. Living in an age of shoguns being assassinated, peasant uprisings, and the fury of the Onin War, Ikkyu found the time to save very Zen temple he had criticized throughout his life, and to launch an artistic renaissance that would have a lasting impact on Japanese history. In the course of our journey, we’ll find out how Ikkyu affected the creation of tea ceremony, how he and Lady Mori shared the greatest love story in Japanese history, and Ikkyu can teach about finding joy in the midst of suffering. 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history

This episode is sponsored by MagellanTV - a brand-new streaming service that features the very best collection of historical documentaries available anywhere. The service includes over 1500 documentary movies, series, and exclusive playlists across the major genres, with particular depth in Ancient History, Modern History, War and Military. Check out their curated history playlists, designed with you in mind. Claim your two-month free trial here: https://www.magellantv.com/historyonfire

Big thank you to www.teamevolving.com for sponsoring this episode. Whether you're a startup or a talented engineer, or a recruiter looking to join a rapidly growing team of recruitment professionals, if you’re looking for a personal touch to show you your next opportunity or an elite eye in your next hire, reach out to them. 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

And thank you also to https://www.snowroast.com/ for their delicious coffee. Use the code TAO18 for a 15 % discount. 

A huge thank you to https://www.dynastyforge.com/ for sharing with me their amazing swords. 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ and check out the TOMOE GOZEN RASH GUARD! https://nevertapgear.com/new-products/tomeo 

If you’d like to explore the history of gladiators while in Italy, join me on this tour in 2020! http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-arenas-of-blood-spartacus-and-the-gladiators-of-ancient-rome-2020/ 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

For listeners in US, UK, CA, AU, this episode can be found at Luminary Premium. Sign up here: luminary.link/history . If you are not in these territories, feel free to message us as we try to find a solution for listeners in other countries.

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"
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EPISODE 45 Sex, Sake and Zen: The Life of Ikkyu Sojun (Part 1)

“The autumn breeze of a single night of love is better than a hundred thousand years of sterile sitting meditation.” — Ikkyu 

“Thirsty, you dream of water. Cold, you want fire. Not me: I want the firm warm breasts and wetness of a woman.” — Ikkyu 

"Drinking and lust, no man can match me in these things.” — Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones 

“You will always be wild and strange among men—wild and strange even when they love you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche 

“…to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” — Henry David Thoreau 

"Where can I find the best beer and the prettiest women?" — Drukpa Kunley 

So many History on Fire episodes feature incredibly violent pages from humanity’s past. This is not one of those episodes. The hero of our tale was too busy enjoying life in 15th century Japan to join the civil wars raging around him or to go around killing people. As the illegitimate son of the Emperor of Japan, Ikkyu Sojun experienced the harsh side of life from the moment he was born, but always looked for a way not to let it spoil his good mood. His main passions (in no particular order) were Zen Buddhism, sex and drinking. And in the midst of the endless party that was in life, he managed to have a tremendously powerful impact on Japanese culture. In this episode, we will tackle the odd phenomenon of people being more comfortable with warfare and violence than sex, how Tom Robbins introduced me to Ikkyu, Sovannahry’s Ikkyu painting (the first thing I see every morning), the odd circumstances of Ikkyu’s birth, a history of Zen, Ikkyu’s training and attempted suicide, Ikkyu’s burning of his ‘certificate of enlightenment’, his clashes with the Zen establishment, Jack London’s Call of the Wild, becoming ‘the Crazy Cloud’, Drukpa Kunley and his… ehm… ‘flaming thunderbolt of wisdom’… 

If you'd like to keep following my work on Luminary, please follow my personal link to their platform to sign up. Thank you for understanding that this move is necessary to keep History on Fire viable. luminary.link/history

This episode is sponsored by the investing app robinhood.com. Robinhood is giving listeners a FREE stock like Apple, Ford, or Sprint to help build your portfolio! Sign up at https://referral.robinhood.com/onfire/ 

This episode of History on Fire is brought to you by ForHims.com—a one-stop shop for hair loss, skincare, and sexual wellness for men. Try hims for a month today for just $5 while supplies last. See website for full details. Go to https://www.forhims.com/history5 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get $ 30 off your first order—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

This episode is sponsored by MagellanTV - a brand-new streaming service that features the very best collection of historical documentaries available anywhere. The service includes over 1500 documentary movies, series, and exclusive playlists across the major genres, with particular depth in Ancient History, Modern History, War and Military. Check out their curated history playlists, designed with you in mind. Claim your two-month free trial here: https://www.magellantv.com/historyonfire

Big thank you to www.teamevolving.com for sponsoring this episode. Whether you're a startup or a talented engineer, or a recruiter looking to join a rapidly growing team of recruitment professionals, if you’re looking for a personal touch to show you your next opportunity or an elite eye in your next hire, reach out to them. 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

And thank you also to https://www.snowroast.com/ for their delicious coffee. Use the code TAO18 for a 15 % discount. 

A huge thank you to https://www.dynastyforge.com/ for sharing with me their amazing swords. 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ and check out the TOMOE GOZEN RASH GUARD! https://nevertapgear.com/new-products/tomeo 

If you’d like to explore the history of gladiators while in Italy, join me on this tour in 2020! http://geeknationtours.com/tours_post/signature-battlefield-series-arenas-of-blood-spartacus-and-the-gladiators-of-ancient-rome-2020/ 

PATREON NEWS: If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

For listeners in US, UK, CA, AU, this episode can be found at Luminary Premium. Sign up here: luminary.link/history . If you are not in these territories, feel free to message us as we try to find a solution for listeners in other countries.

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"
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EPISODE 37 The 47 Ronin (Part 2)

“Among other things, the Way of the Samurai requires that he realize that something may occur at any moment to test the depth of his resolution, and day and night he must sort out his thought and prepare a line of action. Depending on the circumstances, he may win or lose. But avoiding dishonor is quite a separate consideration from winning or losing.” — Hagakure

 “It would not befit a samurai wife to shed sorrowful tears, so please be strong. Of course I will miss you, but this is what a warrior must do.” — Kamisaki Norisuke

The tale of the 47 Ronin is one of the most renowned revenge tales to ever come out of Japan. It is the subject of countless books, plays, and movies. It is also a story that has ignited never-ending debates. Some people argue that the 47 Ronin were paragons of virtue—perfect embodiments of the loyalty and honor that should be expected from the samurai. They offered the answer to the riddle that was plaguing the samurai at the beginning of the 1700s: what does being a member of a warrior class at a time of enduring peace? Other people instead look at the same story and walk away feeling like the 47 Ronin were violent thugs animated by questionable motives. In this two-part series of History on Fire, we dive deep into legend & history to find answers. 

In this episode:

  • The conflict between the author of the Hagakure and the 47 Ronin

  • Oishi’s long con

  • Zen master Hakuin and social reputation

  • Cutting family ties and getting ready to die

  • The raid in the snow

  • Giving a pep talk to a guy trying to cut your head off

This episode is brought to you by NordicTrack. NordicTrack has a series of training equipment to give you amazing workouts in the convenience of your home, including treadmills, exercise bikes, incline trainers, etc.  Personally, I’m a huge fan of their products so I am quite excited to let you know about them. History on Fire listeners get $ 75 off your NordicTrack purchase by visiting: https://www.nordictrack.com/history and using the offer code ‘history’ at checkout.  

Today’s episode is supported by “Human Circus Podcast”—a great historical podcast by Devon Field. The Human Circus Podcast tells the tales of medieval travelers leaving their homelands for adventure in distant lands. You can listen and subscribe at https://humancircuspodcast.com/ or on any podcast platform. Please, also add it on twitter at https://twitter.com/circus_human 

This episode is sponsored by www.blueapron.com/onfire For less than $ 10 per meal, Blue Apron delivers straight to your door seasonal recipes along with pre-portioned ingredients to make delicious, home-cooked meals. Get $ 30 off your first order—with free shipping—by going to www.blueapron.com/onfire 

Please, also show some love to my regular sponsors by shopping for supplements, special foods, clothing, and exercise equipment at http://www.onnit.com/history and receive a 10% discount. 

And if you are in the market for backpacks, computer bags and other hemp gear, check out my favorites at http://www.dsgear.com 

History on Fire is brought to you by Kannaway. All CBD products are from organic, non-GMO European HEMP grown on generational family farms. The products all have a triple authenticated process guaranteeing you’re getting exactly what you are paying for. Because all of the CBD is from hemp and NOT cannabis, it is legal to use and possess in all 50 states AND Europe! Now you can get 100% THC-free CBD oil from hemp, delivered to your door in all 50 of the Unites States and the whole of Europe. Please check them out at: https://kannaway.com/2496006 

A huge thank you to https://www.dynastyforge.com/ for sharing with me their amazing swords. 

If you train in Jiujitsu (or any other sport for that matter), check out the knee braces at https://nevertapgear.com/ 

PATREON NEWS: I have just started a Patreon account!!!! If you feel in a generous mood, please, check it out at www.patreon.com/historyonfire 

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My lady (and author of History on Fire logo, plus producer and editor of History on Fire) has a FB public page about her art & fighting: https://www.facebook.com/NahryEm/. Thank you to Onnit, Datsusara, Float Clinic, Shaman’s Simple Solutions, War Fuel, Proven Nutrition, and Fight Chix for sponsoring her for her first MMA fight. If you’d like to check out Fight Chix merchandise, you can get a 20% discount by going to http://www.fightchix.com/ and entering the code Fire20 upon checkout.

This is my public FB page: https://www.facebook.com/danielebolelli1/ 

Here is a link to the audiobook of my “Not Afraid”: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/not-afraid-audiobook/ 

For those of you who may be interested, here is a lecture series I created about Taoist philosophy: http://www.danielebolelli.com/downloads/taoist-lectures/

For listeners in US, UK, CA, AU, this episode can be found at Luminary Premium. Sign up here: luminary.link/history . If you are not in these territories, feel free to message us as we try to find a solution for listeners in other countries.

"For any questions or problems with downloads, please email bodhi1974@yahoo.com"