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 […]

Takano Shigeyoshi hanshi’s jodan 高野茂義の上段

Takano Shigeyoshi: A very brief bio Takano Shigeyoshi was born in Mito in 1877 (family name Chigusa). When he was 14 he enrolled in Tobukan and began to study kendo under Ozawa Torakichi. His father, himself a renowned swordsman, died the same year and Shigeyoshi ended up being looked after by the dojo. Eventually he […]


Almost 10 years ago, I wrote an article entitled “A brief investigation into the shogo system” which, kind of by accident, also went on to discuss the dan-i (or “dan-kyu”) system as well. Over the years, the topic of gradings has crept up now and again here on kenshi 24/7: sometimes I’d look at a […]

Learning jodan through teaching it 教うるは学ぶの半ば

About 10 years ago a student of mine – a tall 15 year old girl who had only started kendo seven months earlier – approached me in the dojo and suddenly said “please teach me jodan.” Not having thought too deeply about it before but knowing that I wanted to learn myself at some point […]

Kendo: a detailed explanation of its essence and teaching methodology (1935) 剣道:神髄と指導法詳説

A couple of years ago when I was visiting Tokyo for some kendo, I stumbled upon a chunky kendo book from 1935 in a second hand bookstore. What immediately caught my attention was name of one of the most fearsome kenshi of the 20th century on the cover: Takano Shigeyoshi (adopted son of Sasaburo). Another […]