kendo publications


After over 2 years of editing, translating, reading, more editing, double-checking, re-reading, etc, I’m finally proud to announce the release of my latest book: Noma Hisashi’s KENDO READER.

The original book was published posthumously almost 75 years ago in 1939 (pre World War 2) yet has barely aged a day – it’s jam-packed full of information that is as relevant to the kenshi of the past as it is to us today. Not only that, but as far as kendo information goes, the book is exhaustive. In my opinion (and I’ve read many Japanese kendo books) the Kendo Reader is a true kendo classic.


Some people reading this might say “Hang on, you can find that online!” but I’m afraid to say that the version you can find online is over 30% incomplete with full of transcription errors as well as lots of omissions. i.e. it’s no longer the book as Noma wrote it. Realising the state of the situation, and with an original 1939 copy of the book in hand, I wondered what I could do to make this gem available in its original form to the kendo community.

After some investigation, I got in touch with the initial translator of the version that was floating on the net, and he gave me all his remaining paperwork, as well as his blessings to re-edit, re-translate, and generally complete the project.

What I did

Over the past 2 years I’ve gone through the original Japanese and meticulously re-edited the initial translation into a 100% complete English language version. This included translating large sections (including forewords and whole chapters), discovering and fixing omissions, re-wording sections, etc, as well as all the usual design issues taken on when self-publishing.

I also scanned in all the original inlays and provided translations and background notes on them – something the original Japanese doesn’t have.

What the initial translator started in 1979 I have now – with the release of this new version – brought to a close…. almost 35 years later!

What you get

This new version of the book is – and I don’t say this lightly – almost certainly the most comprehensive kendo book available in the English language.

There are two versions available:

  1. A deluxe print edition (with free digital)
  2. A standard digital edition

For more information on the book, including pictures and differences between the editions, please visit the books dedicated page:

Enough chat, get it!

Preview and purchase the stunning deluxe print version here (with free digital).

Purchase and download the digital version right now here.



Comments and/or questions?

Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments about the book on this site or on facebook. Cheers!!!

By George

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

6 replies on “KENDO READER”

This is epic as there are so few kendo books of this caliber in English. Thank you for your hard work. I will buy this.

Cheers!!! It was a labour of love. Enjoy, and remember and post your comments here after you read and digested it… though that might take a couple of weeks!!

McCall Sensei, thank you so much for bringing this to the English reading kendo public. I bought my copy yesterday and will spend the day reading it today! Your work in bringing this fascinating book to English is really appreciated.

“We understand that Ueshiba Sensei went to instruct at the Noma Dojo of the Kodansha Publishing Company. There were many photos taken at this Noma Dojo which have survived.
Actually, Ueshiba Sensei never went to instruct at the Noma Dojo. The son of Seiji Noma (founder of the Kodansha Company), Mr. Hisashi Noma, used to train at the dojo in Wakamatsu-cho. I think Ueshiba Sensei demonstrated Aikido there rather than taught it. It seems that Seiji Noma practiced Kendo in his youth but he was no longer doing it when we came to know him. He apparently was putting his energy into his son, Hisashi. He didn’t even have his son go to middle school but insisted he would educate his own child by himself. He thought that it would be a problem if his son was educated poorly and so he had tutors come to his house to have him study with them. Therefore, Hisashi Noma only graduated from elementary school.

We understand that Mr. Hisashi Noma participated in the Tenranjiai (tournament in the imperial presence).
He won the event in 1934. He was a student of the Yushinkan Dojo. He went to train there when he was a child and was one year older than me. He died of cancer of the rectum at the young age of 30. He was a great man. If he were still alive he would be the president of the Kendo Federation now.”


Noma Seiji was interested in education and made all the children (boys anyway) of his employees do kendo at Noma dojo as he believed it was an educational activity.

First hand accounts of things are highly valuable, but you have to consider that recollections aren’t always accurate.

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