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Richard Bowen (Judo) Collection

A collection of archival material and publications relating to the history of judo assembled by Richard Bowen (1926-2005), judoka and sports historian.


Black and white photographic print showing members of the Budokwai at Lower Grosvenor Place, London, UK, 1922 from Bowen Collection
Members of the Budokwai, Lower Grosvenor Place, London, UK, 1922 (Bowen B/65)

Richard (Dicky) Bowen was born in Belgravia, London in 1926. In January 1949 he took up judo and joined the Budokwai, the UK's oldest club, where he received expert instruction from Gunji Koizumi, Percy Sekine and Trevor P. Leggett. In 1956 he was selected to represent Britain at the 1st World Judo Championships held in Japan. He subsequently spent three years training at the Kodokan in Tokyo. On his return to England, Bowen's close association with the Budokwai, both as a judoka and as Vice-President, continued. He also became actively involved with the British Judo Association.

The collection contains a wide range of published and unpublished material relating to Bowen's extensive research into the origins and history of British judo and its early exponents in preparation for a book on the subject. It includes posters, tournament and display programmes, minutes of meetings, rare books and journals, correspondence and photographs assembled from various sources.

The collection was donated to the University of Bath in January 2004 by Mr Bowen. 

Size: 82 boxes of archival material and over 400 published works.

A catalogue providing full details of the archival (unpublished) contents of the Bowen Collection is available in PDF format.

View all books in the collection.


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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