I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. — Og Mandino

po_Fukuda-Keiko3Keiko Fukuda (April 12, 1913 – February 9, 2013) was a Japanese-born American martial artist.

She was the highest-ranked female judoka in history, holding the rank of 9th dan from the Kodokan (2006), and 10th dan from USA Judo (July 2011) and from the United States Judo Federation (USJF) (September 2011), and was the last surviving student of Kanō Jigorō, founder of judo.

She was a renowned pioneer of women’s judo, together with her senpai Masako Noritomi (1913-1982) being the first woman promoted to 6th dan (c.
1972). In 2006 the Kodokan promoted Fukuda to 9th dan. She is also the first and, so far, only woman to have been promoted to 10th dan in the art of judo. After completing her formal education in Japan, Fukuda visited the United States of America to teach in the 1950s and 1960s, and eventually settled there. She continued to teach her art in the San Francisco Bay Area until her death in 2013.