Carlos Graña wrote:I was a watching a documentary about Yamashita and Saito. Their last match in the All Japan Championship. Saito trained himself to defend Yamashita's Famous Osotogari. Yamashita fakes an Osoto and goes for Sasae-Tsuri Komi Ashi and gets countered by what by today's standards would be an Ippon or at least a Wazari. The refs give a no score and Yamashita's wins the decision.
There is also a match where Yamashita is injured when his opponet tried a Kani-Basami and the match is forefeited to a draw.
Why did the japanese protect his judo record so much? Every great athlete has suffered a loss his career. Where they usinghim politically?
One can only give an 'opinion'. I don't know and have no idea if there existed a plan or plot. I think these were rather "things of the moment". National heroes are loved, the same with national teams. Just watch any country when their national soccer team wins. They go ballistic. Yamashita was what the Japanese had dreamt of for a long time, the one to wipe away the lethal injury produced 13-16 years earlier by Geesink in the World and Olympic Championships. People are also obsessed by records and superlatives: the most, the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, whatever. So anything that could add to immortalizing Yamashita people probably would contribute to, at least in those days and at a national level. I don't think afterwards it has always been like that Tamura Ryôko did not receive this universal protection, however, towards the end there were several controversies too, after she had been beaten in Japan, if I remember well, in Fukuoka, and she wasn't really the absolute number 1 anymore, and another jûdôka should have been sent out to the Olympics.
There is no doubt that Yamashita really lost that contest against Saitô. But, I don't think that it was "his fault" what the ref. did. Of course, I felt for Saitô, but at least Yamashita was man enough to immediately afterwards retire from competitive jûdô. He knew he had really lost and was getting gassed, so he did the right thing. There exists footage from his workouts in those days and he was starting to struggle with his physical endurance.
I wouldn't really try to impose today's ways of awarding scores as the gold standard though, but yes, it would have been a serious score. As to the broken leg in the kani-basami against Endô, that decision is according to the rules in those days that offered the option to award punishment to the person causing the injury if improper, or victory to the opponent if the person getting injured caused it himself, or a draw if no one could be held responsible for the injury ... the standard example given in those days being be lamp falling off the ceiling injuring one of the opponents and making it impossible for him to continue. In the case of Yamashita, really it was his own fault he got injured. If he would have normally undergone the throw and let himself being thrown on his back, nothing would have happened, but ... he decided to throw himself to the front to avoid ippon, which is why the injury occurred. It's understandable he did that; most people would try to prevent ippon against in anyway they could, but he paid a toll for it. Whether in that context the 'undecided' was proper is another question. Endô in a sense was almost vilified for having injured the great champion, and to some extent we all paid for it by seeing kani-basami being prohibited again, for the second time, after the IJF had prohibited earlier in the 1970s but had then allowed it again after a year or so. Of course, under today's IJF regime, that's a no brainer since now you can't even do some throws anymore that are part of the gokyô and of nage-no-kata ...