Paul Maruyama & Ben Nighthorse Campbell Receive Japanese Imperial decoration “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette”


by Masaaki Tsuruike:

Last Wednesday, May 22nd, Mr. Uchida, servicing SJSU judo coach for 65 years asked me, “Where are you going during the summer?” before judo practice.  I said, I would attend two conferences, one of these was held in Japan.  He said, “Good.”  I asked him, “Are you going to anywhere during the summer?”  He said, “I will go to Colorado to see our alumni, Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Paul Maruyama in June 21st.

He told me Paul Maruyama received “kunsyo,” which means “the decoration” in Japanese, awarded by the Emperor of Japan.  Ben Nighthorse Campbell has also received kunsyo.  So he said, “All of us received kunsyo; then, we would get together and take a picture with medals.”

Mr. Paul Maruyama, named a recipient of Japanese Imperial decoration, “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold rays with Rosette” this year, wrote his father’s story, “Escape from Manchuria.”  His father was the interpreter of General of Army Douglas MacArthur after World War II.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the state of Colorado in the U.S. Senate was also awarded by Emperor of Japan with The Order of the Rising Sun in 2008 as recognition of his contributions to the promotion of friendships between Japan and the United States through the sport of judo.  Mr. Campbell graduated in 1957 with a BA in Physical Education and Fine Arts.

Mrs. Campbell and Maruyama were members of the U.S. judo team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics under the coach of Mr. Uchida.  Mr. Uchida was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure with Golden Rays in 1986 by Emperor Hirohito of Japan.  So, all three graduated from SJSU, practiced Judo, participated in the Olympics and received kunsyo, the decoration awarded by the Emperor of Japan.

An article from USA Judo about the awards can be found here.

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