Shortly after Kano Jigoro (1860-1938) founded judo as a martial art by consolidating disparate jujitsu techniques in the late 1800s, he accepted an agile practitioner named Saigo Shiro (1866-1922) as one of his first acolytes.

Decades later, legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (1910-98) based his first film, "Sugata Sanshiro" (1943), on Saigo. It was the story of a rebellious young fighter determined to find glory in judo. Although 17 minutes of footage was cut by government censors, "Sugata Sanshiro" (aka "Judo Saga") was remade five times.

Then, in 1998, along came Sanshiro, the son of Hidetoshi Murao and Deborah Grow, and brother to siblings Mashu and Maya.