Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful
Yuriko Gamo Romer / USA / 2012 / 66 min / English, Japanese with English subtitles / B&W, Color / HDCAM*
Standing less than five feet tall and weighing less than 100 pounds, Keiko Fukuda is one of only four Judo practitioners in the world (and the only woman) to currently hold 10th Dan, Judo’s highest degree black belt; she is also 98 years old. The inspiring Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful chronicles Keiko Fukuda’s seven-decadeslong Judo career, as well as her deep dedication to the practice, the sacrifices she made along the way, and her struggle with the Kudokan’s long history of sexism.
The inspiring story of this remarkable woman and Judo master is eloquently brought to life by director Yuriko Gamo Romer, who uses rare archival footage, intimate interviews, and plenty of on-the-mat action to tell the tale. At a time when women went from childhood home to wife and homemaker, Fukuda made an unpopular choice and took a different path, saying “This [Judo] was my marriage…this is when my life destiny was set.” Mrs. Judo: Be Strong, Be Gentle, Be Beautiful beautifully showcases the life of Keiko Fukuda, presenting her as not only a pioneer for women, but an inspiration to us all.
- Jenn Kolmel
Attending guest (3/11, 3/18): Keiko Fukudo
Co-presenters: Intersection for the Arts (3/11), ChiAm Circle (3/18)
Photo credit: Cathy Cade
- Director: Yuriko Gamo Romer