In 2002 the fiftieth anniversary was celebrated with a book of USJF history. In it were a number of biographies. including this:
At the scene of the first Pan American Judo Tournament at the Havana Club in 1952, a young man from Chicago by the name of John Osako, then a 4th Dan, won the championship in a methodical and colorful fashion, with his spectacular and effective left uchimata. The rest is history. His accomplishments were many as he moved to Detroit and became a legend in training and leadership, including developing the International Judo Federation Referee Program.
Mr. Osaka won the rirst and second Pan American Championships in 1952 and 1956, won the national AAU Judo over-all championships in 1956, was the United States coach at the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro in 1956 and the Pan American Championships at Guatemala two weeks later.
After the completion or his compctitive career, he began a second record-breaking career of teaching at the highest level. He developed outstanding competitors and became one or the most sought after training technicians. His innovations to the referee program are still used internationally.
John Osako was the first recipient of the Michigan Hall or Fame Award and is also one of the first recipients of the USJI Hall of Fame Award.
Konan is proud to recognize John Osako as an outstanding competitor, sensei, international leadcr and referee.