San Josean spotlight: Yoshihiro Uchida

The legendary judo coach will celebrate his 103rd birthday on Saturday, April 1, and we’re providing you a brief look at this centenarian’s life and legacy in San Jose, CA.

Yoshihiro Uchida surrounded by current and former judo students at his 103rd birthday gala.

Yoshihiro Uchida (pictured sitting in the middle) poses with his current and former judo students at his 103rd birthday gala.

Photo via Kris Nakasone

It’s the season of birthdays for very special San Joseans, and tomorrow, legendary San Jose State University judo coach Yoshihiro “Yosh” Uchida will celebrate his 103rd birthday.

Earlier this month, a gala was held for Uchida at the Signia by Hilton hotel filled with his family, friends, judo alumni, city officials, and even other SJSU figures like Krazy George Henderson.

For those unfamiliar with this centenarian’s impressive legacy, Yosh is SJSU’s claim to fame in the world of judo. He has been the university’s judo coach since 1946, and coached the first US judo team at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics — the first year judo was included in the games.

He has trained 17 Olympians, served as the former president of the United States Judo Federation, and has a building on SJSU’s campus named after him — and that just scratches the surface of his accomplishments.

On his birthday this year, you may find him spending the day at SJSU for the National Collegiate Judo Tournament, of course.

More from SJtoday