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

2015 in review 2015年に振り返る

Another year done! Unlike the end of last year where I basically didn’t stop kendo, this year I am spending the entire holiday period back home in the highlands of Scotland (where I’m posting this from now). This means that, for the first time in who knows how long, I’m actually taking a couple of … Continue reading 2015 in review 2015年に振り返る

Oshima Jikita’s advice for Noma dojo practitioners (1928) 大島治喜太先生のアドバイス(昭和3年)

The following is a translation from a privately published 1928 book entitled “Noma dojo ki.” I assume that a set number of copies were printed and distributed to Noma dojo members only (it was finally re-published publicly in 1996). The book is essentially split into two halves: the first discusses Kodansha founder Noma Seiji’s ideas … Continue reading Oshima Jikita’s advice for Noma dojo practitioners (1928) 大島治喜太先生のアドバイス(昭和3年)

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