The Man who Trained Geesink the Monster
The Conde Koma of Busen Judo
Story of Haku Michigami (2)
Juzen Imada
The turning point of Japanese judo and martial arts.
That was when Geesink defeated Kaminaga in the judo open weight class finals at the Tokyo Olympics.
It is Haku Michigami who trained him.
Michigami is still active in France where he teaches Busen style judo. This moment marked the victory of Europe over Japan, and also the victory of Busen over Kohdohkan. This is the story of Haku Michigami, the Conde Koma of the Showa and Heisei periods.
Disappearance of the 2 Million Yen
About 24, 25 Scottish soldiers came to Yawatahama to dump the ammunitions stored in Sajima deep into the sea. Those soldiers told the police chief that they wanted to learn judo. The chief recommended Michigami, and Michigami agreed to teach the soldiers. The Scots stayed at a large restaurant called Umetsuki. So they decided to have practice at a large room on the second floor.
Michigami was burning with excitement. He was ready to show how Japan was still alive by throwing all the Scottish soldiers. When he screamed out to hurry up and change, they were so intimidated that they couldn't change.
To change the 2 million check into cash, Michigami departed for Kobe.
The city of Kobe was burnt out. When he asked about his check at a little prefab, he was told that all the documents had been burned, and that they will try to contact Shanghai.
However, Shanghai is in China, and there aren't any Japanese banks there. When he talked about this to a senior who worked at the Gojuni Bank in Yawatahama, he was very surprised.
He was so surprised at the amount of money that he called Michigami "teacher" although he was younger.
In the end, because of the McArthur command, all foreign checks were cancelled, and Japanese banks lost all liquidity. If Michigami had received his check, he would have been a very wealthy man.
The Start of Hassei Judokai
When Michigami visited Tokyo in September, everything was burned out. Michigami honestly thought that Japan was going to end.
To fulfill the promise, Michigami heads for the kureha factory in Toyama. He spends his time there with the students, but the biggest problem was the heating system in the large building and food.
Since Michigami was a professor and co-chief of the welfare section of the Dobunshoin University, he negotiated with the government officials for a better environment. During all this, Michigami was moved with the warm heartedness of the people in Toyama.
Despite Michigami's efforts, he was forced to go back to Yawatahama when General McArthur prohibited martial arts. When he arrived there during late November, he met with his comrades from Shanghai and discussed about their future.
After the war, the position as a Dobunshoin professor did not help much in living. So Michigami bought a small ship with a younger man and started a small fishing business.
The birthplace of Michigami in Yawatahama
1948 marked the rebirth of judo, and Michigami was recruited to teach judo by the city and national police chief.
Michigami accepted the offer, thinking that the new generation must train their hearts and minds to rebuild Japan.
Borrowing the second floor of the national police department, Michigami set 16 tatamis on the floor. Very soon, members increased rapidly, and the sound was so loud that people couldn't concentrate in the office on the first floor. So Michigami borrowed the gym which used to be part of an all-girls school, and with the financial help from several individuals, he bought tatamis.
The Hassei Judokai, which started with the help of Muneaki Shimizu(presently with 8 Dan) who was a year below Michigami at Busen, still continues today.
To France