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history kendo

Book collection

On the rare occasion I actually get some time to myself I like to engage in my hobby… no, not kendo, but rummaging around second-hand book shops for kendo and kendo related books. In particular I enjoy getting my hands on pre-WW2 books/manuals, or autobiographies/first-hand biographies of kenshi that lived during that period. Over the […]

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dojo eikenkai history kendo

Eikenkai @ Nara Butokuden

UPDATE: note that the building featured in this article was knocked down in the summer of 2017. The reason? Nara prefecture didn’t want to fork out money to modernise the earthquake-proofing. Eikenkai is the kenshi 24/7 led kihon-heavy keiko session that (usually) takes place usually every couple of months in central Osaka. To mark the […]

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dojo history kendo kenshi

Tokyo Musha-Shugyo

At the very end of July this year I took some time out of my normal schedule and headed to Tokyo for a Musha Shugyo, that is, I went on a “warriors pilgrimage,” with the aim of polishing my kendo. In the short time I was there (I stayed five nights in Tokyo) I visited […]

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history kendo publications

Teikoku Kendo Kyohon – The Kendo Textbook of Imperial Japan

The latest kenshi 24/7 publication has been released: a translation of Ogawa Kinnosuke sensei’s Teikoku Kendo Kyohon (The Kendo Textbook of Imperial Japan). I am a bit bias, but I have to say that the book is amazing, not just in content, but in format as well… I’m super excited to release it! When this […]

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history kendo kenshi

Ogawa Kinnosuke

When I think about the sensei that had the most influence over the development of modern kendo the three that immediately come to mind tower above all the rest: Naito Takaharu, Takano Sasaburo, and Ogawa Kinnosuke. As I’ve already done posts on the the first two, it’s time now for one on the last of […]

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dojo history kendo

Kitano Butokuden

Every practitioner of Japanese budo has heard about the legendary Butokuden. Completed in 1899, it served as the HQ dojo for the Dai-Nippon Butokukai from then until the end of World War 2, after which it changed hands a few times, finally coming under the safe ownership and protection of Kyoto city. Despite undergoing a […]

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history kendo kenshi shiai

Asagawa Haruo hanshi

This years All Japan Championships were won by 21 year old Takenouchi Yuya, a 3rd year student at Tsukuba university, one of the top kendo universities in the country (not to mention the direct descendant of one of the most famous kendo establishments that ever existed: Tokyo Shihan Gakko). It’s only the 2nd time in […]

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history kendo kenshi

Kurai wa Momoi

Edo, December 1865. Momoi Junzo and 8 of his disciples were walking home in the fading evening light after finishing their end of year keiko. Despite the cold and the late hour, the city was still busy preparing for the upcoming end-of-year and new-year celebrations. Coming down the hill at Choenjizaka and tuning into Ichigaya […]

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history kendo kyototaikai

Kyoto taikai over the years

With April almost over and May looming ahead, the entire kendo community here in Japan gets ready for the most important season / event of the kendo calendar: the Kyoto Taikai. The first Kyoto Taikai was held in 1895 to celebrate the completion of Heian Jingu (itself a celebration and part copy of the foundation […]

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history kendo

Takano Sasaburo’s Kendo Kyohon: Pre-War Kendo Waza

The following is a translation of waza descriptions from Takano Sasaburo sensei’s book Kendo Kyohon, published in 1930. The translations were done by Kent Enfield and serialised here on kenshi 24/7 back in 2009. During the end of year article clean-up that I usually do, I temporarily archived the series (6 posts) with the aim […]