The mystery of the black-hand 黒手の謎

During June last year I was invited to join an open keiko session at the dojo which probably has oldest (kendo-related) tradition in the Kansai region. During the break between the kihon and jigeiko parts of the session I was wandering around the dojo looking at the various pieces of calligraphy and what not that … Continue reading The mystery of the black-hand 黒手の謎

Takano Hiromasa’s keys to improvement in kendo 高野弘正先生の「上達の秘訣」

Takano Hiromasa (1900-1987), kendo hanshi and headmaster of Itto-ryu*, was the the second son of kendo legend Takano Sasaburo. A brief bio: Hiromasa began studying the sword when he was 6 years old in his fathers dojo, Meishinkan. He graduated from Tokyo Shihan Gakko in 1923 and, in 1927, took over the day-to-day running of … Continue reading Takano Hiromasa’s keys to improvement in kendo 高野弘正先生の「上達の秘訣」

Mei-shobu: Oshima Jikita vs Nakayama Hakudo 名勝負:大島治喜太対中山博道

It was a relaxing Sunday autumn morning in Kyoto when the school dormitory’s door was flung open: “Everyone! Nakayama Hakudo and Kawasaki Zenzaburo are practising at the Gojo police station!!!!” The Butokukai’s bujutsu kyoin yoseijo (martial arts training school) was established in 1905 and was the direct forerunner to the legendary Busen. All five of … Continue reading Mei-shobu: Oshima Jikita vs Nakayama Hakudo 名勝負:大島治喜太対中山博道

Tokyo Musha-Shugyo お江戸の武者修行

At the very end of July this year I took some time out of my normal schedule and headed to Tokyo for a Musha Shugyo, that is, I went on a “warriors pilgrimage,” with the aim of polishing my kendo. In the short time I was there (I stayed five nights in Tokyo) I visited … Continue reading Tokyo Musha-Shugyo お江戸の武者修行