Brian Kagen pick: “Big in Japan” by John Gage

“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.”

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