For the second year running I took part in the All Japan inter-prefectural competition (kids) in a sort of adviser/helper role to the team running the live stream (actually there were two teams, each looking after four courts; I was helping courts 1-4). I wrote about the job in detail last year, and this year wasn’t that different, so please check out that article.
Random gallery of shiai pics:
There is one picture I want to single out in the gallery above – the one with the competitor falling over after hitting dou but still being awarded the point. This harks back to my discussion on zanshin five or so years ago – what better way to illustrate how zanshin (in modern kendo understanding) is irrelevant to yuko-datotsu in practice.
Some pics from the finals:
Despite the (implied!) criticism above, the level of kendo on display, as last year, was great. Implementation and understanding of the tsubazeriai changes are basically complete, with little or no time wasting at all , and almost all shiai being fought in a positive manner. Watching this shiai alone you would be left with the feeling that the future is kendo is certain but, as I have been explaining a lot recently, this isn’t necessarily a given.
Check out the eight-channel live stream from Osaka Kendo Association here.