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

Takano Shigeyoshi hanshi’s 50 pointers for kendo keiko 高野茂義の稽古心得集

The following is a translation of a collection of things to be careful about during keiko by Takano Shigeyoshi entitled “Keiko kokoro tokushu.” It is a mostly random collection of kendo hints – things to be careful of, things to do, things not to do, comments about waza, etc. Some of the content is a … Continue reading Takano Shigeyoshi hanshi’s 50 pointers for kendo keiko 高野茂義の稽古心得集

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

Some naming guidelines

One of the turning points in a budoka’s lifetime is when he or she is given teaching responsibilities. This is not a sudden thing of-course, and they are expected to continue study under their sensei (and sempai) for years to come. Eventually the budoka becomes a senior teacher and may either take over their sensei’s … Continue reading Some naming guidelines

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