Added as an Olympic sport at Tokyo 1964, judo is a bountiful medal generator for the Japanese. The Asian nation has won a record 31 judo golds, triple the number of runner-up France. That’s not surprising given that the Japanese invented the martial art, whose name literally translates as “the gentle way.” But there’s nothing soft about the sport, which employs moves like throws, grapples and strikes. Height often confers no advantage: in 1976, a 5’6″ Japanese judoka as the sports’ athletes are called handily defeated a 7′ North Korean. This time around, the Japanese are again pinning their hopes on 4’11” Ryoko Tani, a two-time Olympic champion in the women’s 48-kg division.