Year: 2015

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 weeks of keiko…. I may die! Since I’ve nothing to do here except drink whisky, eat (veggie) haggis, toss cabers, and frolic with sheep, I thought I’d do a wee review of the past year in kenshi 24/7 land. Here we go… p.s. the featured …

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 about kendo and education, and the second is messages from the various kendo teachers there at the time to Noma dojo members. These included Nakyama Hakudo, Saimura Goro, Oshima Jikita, Hotta Sutejiro, Yamamoto Chujiro, and Nakayama Zendo (there is also a smaller section where the …

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 Meishinkan. At the same time he started teaching kendo at various universities (Waseda, Tokyo Institute of Technology, etc). Between 1936-41 he lived in America and taught kendo at California State University. After returning to Japan he started becoming involved in kendo publications, first by producing …

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 the future kendo 10th dans came from the initial bunch of students who trained here directly under the father of modern kendo, the very strict but gentlemanly Naito Takaharu sensei. In these early days there was no keiko on Sundays, so the students had free …

Eikenkai November 2015 英剣会

Yesterday (Nov. 29th) was our 6th and last Eikenkai session of the year. Twenty-two people rolled up at Sumiyoshi Budokan for a spirited 3 hour kihon-based keiko session. Participating kenshi came from Europe, north and south America, as well as Japan (of-course). After keiko we popped into our usual restaurant to have some of Osaka speciality food (okonomiyaki) and the odd beer or two. The schedule for next year can be found on the Eikenkai information page. If you are around on one of the days and fancy joining please read the “Points to note before joining a session” before …