Kurai wa Momoi 位は桃井

Edo, December 1865. Momoi Junzo and 8 of his disciples were walking home in the fading evening light after finishing their end of year keiko. Despite the cold and the late hour, the city was still busy preparing for the upcoming end-of-year and new-year celebrations. Coming down the hill at Choenjizaka and tuning into Ichigaya … Continue reading Kurai wa Momoi 位は桃井

Attack from a far distance – be energetic and lively – attack with abandon

I posted this advice from the kendo legend Saimura Goro sensei (斎村五郎) on the kenshi 24/7 facebook page yesterday. As it got so many likes and shares I thought I’d better put it on the main site as well! Here is is: 「剣道の稽古は遠間より飛び込んで大きく伸び伸びと打つ。それが上品な男性的な、そして将来ますます上達する打ち方である。飛び込む、伸びる、思い切る。」 “During keiko you should attack energetically from a far distance with large … Continue reading Attack from a far distance – be energetic and lively – attack with abandon

1934 Tenran-jiai (illustrated)

On the 4th and 5th of May 1934, Saineikan – a budojo located in the grounds of Tokyo Imperial Palace – was the venue of the second of three Showa-period Tenran-jiai (a budo or sports competition held in front of the Emperor). This post was mainly written in order to share some of the pictures … Continue reading 1934 Tenran-jiai (illustrated)

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