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Shigeo Tashima

Shigeo Tashima

Inducted 1993

After the war, the Norwalk dojo resumed in 1948. Mr. Shigeo Tashima, the head instructor at the Manzanar relocation center camp, and instructor at Gardena, San Gabriel and Hollywood Dojo, was soon to be selected Norwalk’s head instructor.
Tashima sensei would guide and meld the dojo’s philosophy well into the early 1990’s. During the 1960’s Tashima sensei was supported by a highly skilled staff of yudansha (black belts), consisting of Dr. Shigeo Terasaki, Shig Chikami, Jim Nawa and Earl Nishimura.

Shigeo Tashima

In addition, Norwalk sponsored an exchange program with Japan. This brought the introduction of champion level judokas such as Yasuhiko Nagatoshi, Tadashi Hiraoka and Renzo Shibata.

In 1969 Norwalk Dojo became incorporated and Tashima sensei recruited Masao Fukuma to act as assistant instructor. Fukuma sensei was a guest instructor at Venice Community Center and Gardena YMCA, only later to be designated head instructor by Tashima sensei in 1986.

source: Norwalk Judo

In 2002 the fiftieth anniversary was celebrated with a book of USJF history. In it were a number of biographies. including this:


Nanka Yudanshakai

Shigeo Tashima was born in 1915 at Aldanton, Washington State. He was takcn to Japan at age four and spent 13 years in Japan where he finished teachers’ school in Hiroshima. He returned to the U.S. in 1932 and settled in Fresno, where he joined the Kawai Judo Dojo. Mr. Tashima moved to Los Angeles in 1937 and began a produce wholesale business wilh his older brother. After the World War II started in 1941, he was sent to a concentration camp in Manzanar where he taught young men and women judo. Many of his students at that time established their own judo dojos after the war.

In 1945 he returned to Los Angeles and re-established his wholesale business. While teaching at Hollywood dojo and later at Gardena Valley Judo dojo and San Gahriel Judo Dojo, he continued competing in tournaments until he was 44 years old. Tashima sensei founded Norwalk Judo Dojo in 1962. He served as the President of Nanka Judo Yudanshakai for two terms i963-64 and 1967-68. He also served many years on the USJF Board of Directors and the Nanka’s Senior Board of Examiners. Japanese Government recognized his many years’ contributions to American Judo and awarded him the Sacred Treasure, gold and Silver Rays Medal in March 1988.

On March 4, 1993 a giant in the world of judo in the United States, Mr. Shigeo Tashima, passed away at age 77. He was an eighth degree black belt, one of the highest-ranking judo masters in Lhe United States.