The kendo community is extremely small. I can’t even compute the number of times I’ve been chatting to someone (real life or online) when a connection has been made to a mutual friend. I’ve lived in three countries (U.K., America, and Japan) and have done keiko in 15+ more, so I’ve had plenty opportunity to meet various people. Through this website, Eikenkai, and via people visiting me for keiko in Osaka I’ve met even more.

One night a couple of weeks ago I was reading an article about how the net has changed our sense of community, and how more collaborative we have become, when I remembered trying to calculate my Bacon Number at some point (not being an actor this was the best I could manage: I saw Robert di Nero in Central park one day, and he worked with Kevin Bacon in Sleepers!). This got me to thinking: surely we could do something like this for the kendo community.

I immediately thought of about 2 or 3 people that could be used but decided instead to use someone a little bit more interesting: 6 time All Japan kendo championship winner Miyazaki Masahiro.

The rules are simple. Miyazaki sensei has a Miyazaki number of 0. If you have ever crossed shinai with Miyazaki sensei then you have a Miyazaki number of 1. If you then cross shinai with someone who has has a Miyazaki number of 1, your number is 2 and so on. So If you have never done kendo with him, but a friend of a friend has, your number is 3, etc etc.

btw, I have a Miyazaki number of 2. I actually met him in the mens toilets at the sayonara part of the 12th World Kendo Championships back in 2003. We exchanged business cards and had a mini chat. The next day I queued up to do uchikomi keiko with him but – due to folly of youth – I got impatient and moved to a sensei with a shorter line and keiko-ed there. Oops!!!! So what’s your number?

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Published by George

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14 Comments

  1. My Miyazaki number is 2!

    I have done Keiko with my wife’s senpai, Tachibana Yoshito, who came third in the All Japans, losing in the semi final 2-1 to Miyazaki.

  2. I discounted just meeting him…. like the Bacon number (and the Erdos number from where it came), there should be some sort of “collaboration” for a number to be awarded.

    Although I’m stretching it a bit as keiko isn’t really “collaborative.” In any event, a “sharing” of kendo must have occured !!!!

  3. My Miyazaki number is…drum roll…ONE!!!

    At 12WKC in Glasgow I queued 45minutes for less than two of keiko but felt his kote strike (I couldn’t actually see it!)- absolutely AMAZING!

  4. I lucked out, keiko with both Miyakis @ NYC Kenzen dojo plus sat next to them at dinner. Yes- absolutely amazing, both of them.

  5. I wanted to do it with someone living. If you are talking about great grand-daddies “of them all” then I don’t think Nakayama is appropriate… Takano Sasaburo and/or Naito Takaharu are. I am talking purely kendo here of-course.

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