Tenouchi 手の内

The following is a liberal translation of the teachings of Shimatani Yasohachi sensei as told by one of his students. Probably you have never heard this particular sensei’s name before, I hadn’t until quite recently. I had, however, seen his picture very many times, often beside the creators/influencers of the modern kendo style. I was … Continue reading Tenouchi 手の内

Kyoto taikai over the years

With April almost over and May looming ahead, the entire kendo community here in Japan gets ready for the most important season / event of the kendo calendar: the Kyoto Taikai. The first Kyoto Taikai was held in 1895 to celebrate the completion of Heian Jingu (itself a celebration and part copy of the foundation … Continue reading Kyoto taikai over the years

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