Naito Takaharu 内藤高治

Naito Takaharu (1862-1929) was one of the most influential kenshi to pick up a shinai. Born as as Ichige Takaharu in Mito in 1862, his Samurai parents were of budo stock: his father an archery instructor for the domain and his mother the daugher of the Hokushin Itto-ryu shihan Watanabe. At the age of 7 … Continue reading Naito Takaharu 内藤高治

The Argument for the Revival of Gekken

Gekken Saikoron – The Argument for the Revival of Gekken Editors note: The Jikishinkage-ryu swordsman Kawaji Toshiyoshi (1834-79) was a Satsuma-han samurai who lived during one of Japans most tumultuous periods. A military man, he took part in many of the battles that happened over the country as it reacted to western encroachment and fell … Continue reading The Argument for the Revival of Gekken

kendo places #12: Ganryu-jima

400 years ago today, on April the 13th 1612, the most famous duel in the history of Japanese swordsmanship took place between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro*. Its so well-known that there is no point in adding any information here, as every single kendo, iaido, or probably practitioner of any Japanese budo knows the story! … Continue reading kendo places #12: Ganryu-jima

Shinai Kyogi

しない競技は、終戦後の廃墟と混迷の中から生い立った新しい競技である。 Shinai kyogi was a new sport that sprung up In the ruin and confusion of the post war period.” … is the first line of the chapter on Shinai-kyogi in the book “How to study kendo” that was published in 1965. It goes on to explain in a bit more detail: To say it … Continue reading Shinai Kyogi

On shinai length 竹刀の長短

Yamaoka Tesshu wrote this small piece in 1883, while kendo (then variously called gekkiken, kenjutsu, shinai uchikomi, etc) was nowhere near the shape it is now. Although the discussion of shinai length might not seem relavant to some nowadays, its a topic that comes up quite a lot if you read kendo commentary from the … Continue reading On shinai length 竹刀の長短