Seattle Dojo and Budokan Dojo received Foreign Minister’s Commendation

On Friday, December 13, Seattle Dojo and Budokan Dojo received the Foreign Minister’s Commendation in recognition of their work in promoting judo in the United States and strengthening ties between the United States and Japan.

(Left to right) Misato Nakamura, Alan Yamada (Seattle Dojo), Patsy Yamada (Seattle Dojo), Mitsuko Terada (Budokan Dojo), Alvin Tereda (Budokan Dojo), Yoichiro Yamada (Consul General of Japan).

Consul General Yoichiro Yamada welcomed the evening’s guests, many of whom were young judo practitioners (judoka) of these two dojos. Consul General Yamada noted that judo in Seattle could be traced back to 1903, when Seattle Dojo was formed, making it the oldest Judo organization in North America. Budokan Dojo marked its 50th anniversary last year and has produced many judoka with national and international titles. He also spoke on judo’s appeal throughout the world. Following his remarks, the Consul General awarded the dojos with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation.

Alan Yamada accepting the award on behalf of Seattle Dojo.

Seattle Dojo geusts.

Mr. Alan Yamada of Seattle Dojo reflected that his father, Kenji Yamada, spent so much time at the Dojo; Kenji Yamada often called it his first home. Mr. Yamada said his late father would be proud of the dojo for receiving the award. Mr. Yamada also recognized other dojos that contributed to Seattle’s success, specifically Budokan Dojo, saying he could not think of any other national or international group that contributed more to the friendship between the U.S. and Japan and said he looks forward to continuing to work with them.
Budokan Dojo guests. 

Alvin Tereda accepting award on behalf of Budokan Dojo.

Mr. Alvin Tereda of Budokan Dojo took to the podium and commented that he remembered growing up with Kenji Yamada’s family, showing how strong the ties are and were between the two dojos.  Mr. Tereda expressed his gratitude for the support by the community and members of the dojo.

Misato Nakamura with her judo-gi and Olympic medals.

Misato Nakamura, Japanese Olympic bronze medalist from the Beijing and Rio de Janerio Olympics and three-time World Judo championship gold medalist, congratulated the dojos on their award. She had been studying in Seattle to learn how judo is taught in the U.S. in hopes to help her build her own dojo in Japan one day, and she expressed her gratitude to both dojos for helping her learn.

Toast by Barbara  Houston-Shimizu, Board Member of USA Judo.

Barbara Houston-Shimizu congratulated the dojos, and commented that the work they have done extended beyond the walls of their dojos through the friendships made. She remarked that the dojos show that we may be led by our past, but are not bound by it, so a new era for judo can be ushered in and that these dojos will be instrumental for future generations of judoka.

We congratulate and look forward to the futures of Seattle Dojo and Budokan Dojo and judo around the world.