MEI-SHOBU: the ki of Naito vs the waza of Takano 名勝負:内藤高治vs高野佐三郎

Kyoto Butokuden, late Meiji period*. It’s the last tachiai of a long day but the hall is packed. The yobidashi (announcer) steps forward: East side. Tokyo. Takano sensei ! West side. Kyoto. Naito sensei ! With the call the packed audience suddenly goes quiet and an palpable feel of excitement (or perhaps expectation?) fills the … Continue reading MEI-SHOBU: the ki of Naito vs the waza of Takano 名勝負:内藤高治vs高野佐三郎

Saimura Goro

一、剣道は精神が本である。技は精神を体得せんがための手段である。 一、剣道の稽古は竹刀を真剣の考え使い、身を捨てて練磨することが大切です。 一、どの間に入っても、少しもの気が抜けてはいけない。 The words above are attributed to Saimura Goro, one of the the most influential kenshi in the pre-WW2 period, and one of only 5 sensei that were awarded 10 dan after the war. A liberal translation in English reads: * The aim of kendo is to improve the spirit. The means of … Continue reading Saimura Goro

The Sword of the Samurai in the Hands of Americans

“Another new fad has come to New York – Japanese fencing. If you hear the clash of armor and clang of steel as you saunter through the brown stone districts uptown it’s wealthy young men taking lessons in palace stables and studios where the famous two handed swords to the samurai are at work. The weapon always has … Continue reading The Sword of the Samurai in the Hands of Americans

Monna Tadashi 門奈正

(the picture above shows (l-r): Monna Tadashi, Sasaki Masanori, Naito Takaharu) Along with his friend and fellow Tobukan/Hokushin Itto-ryu kenshi Naito Takaharu, Monna Tadashi (1855-1930) was one of the most influential swordsmen in modern kendo’s early period. At Busen they were known as the pair: “Waza Monna” and “Ki Takaharu.” The Monna family were hereditary … Continue reading Monna Tadashi 門奈正

Kendo 1925 – in pictures

I spent a lot of time reading about kendo and of course, preparing scripts and pictures for my own kendo projects and of course this website. By far the most fascinating thing for me is to get my hands on older kendo manuals, the well-worn the better. I especially enjoy looking through those books that … Continue reading Kendo 1925 – in pictures