|Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences|
First published in 2003 by Electronic
Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences, with financial support from King
County Landmarks and Heritage Commission. Trade paper, 300 pages, with
glossary, index, and 53 illustrations. ISBN 0-9689673-0-2
So, when someone puts together a book which obviously took a lot of research, I marvel at the effort.
Joseph R. Svinth produced a book entitled "Getting a Grip." It chronicles the history of judo in the Nikkei communities in the Pacific Northwest circa 1900.
I haven't had the time to read it all but just thumbing through, it indicated to me what a massive project it was for Svinth. It covers all the dojos in the various Pacific Northwest communities as well as the individuals who played key roles in judo in the areas.
Anyone interested in the subject should pick up a copy.
-- George Yoshinaga, in "Horse's Mouth," Rafu Shimpo, August 12, 2003, page 3
-- Graham Noble
-- Bill Hosokawa, author of The Two Worlds of Jim Yoshida
Many articles and books have been written about Pacific Northwest Nikkei (people of Japanese ethnicity) and a few of them have discussed the sports (particularly baseball) that we Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) played. Yet none of these stories have focused on the influence of judo in the lives of young Nisei males in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. That is, until Joseph R. Svinth wrote Getting a Grip: Judo in the Nikkei Communities of the Pacific Northwest, 1900-1950.
But as this book shows, Seattle had a judo club by 1907. By the middle 1920s, even villages in Hood River County, Oregon -- places like Oak Grove, Dee, and Parkdale -- had small gatherings of judo enthusiasts. And by the 1930s, for the Hood River Nisei that I grew up with, the playing of judo was second only to baseball in popularity.
Joseph Svinthís book is deserving of every
support, because not only is it highly readable and meticulously researched,
but also because it fills a void in the history of a people.
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