Miyazaki number

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?

By George

George is the founder and chief editor of
For more information check out the About page.

18 replies on “Miyazaki number”

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.

Six degrees of Miyazaki!!
I met him in Santa Clara, but didn’t have keiko. Does that give me a 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 !!!!

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!

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

You only get a number 1 if you actually keiko-ed with him…. a picture won’t hack it!! I’ve his business card somewhere, but thats not good enough. I’m still a 2 (for the time being!).

I reckon it should be a Nakayama Hakudo number, seeing as he’s the great grand-daddy them all. In that case I’d be a 2, since I keiko’d with his student Nakakura Kiyoshi sensei. b

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.

2. I keiko’d Someya Sensei last month and other Brazilian team members. Still painfull ; )

I had a game of table-football with Eiga (Naoki) sensei back in … 2001 I think it was, in Belgium. I won! I remember drunkenly telling him “your kendo might be good but your table football skills suck!”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.