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history kendo

The Argument for the Revival of Gekken

Gekken Saikoron – The Argument for the Revival of Gekken Editors note: The Jikishinkage-ryu swordsman Kawaji Toshiyoshi (1834-79) was a Satsuma-han samurai who lived during one of Japans most tumultuous periods. A military man, he took part in many of the battles that happened over the country as it reacted to western encroachment and fell […]

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history

kendo places #12: Ganryu-jima

400 years ago today, on April the 13th 1612, the most famous duel in the history of Japanese swordsmanship took place between Miyamoto Musashi and Sasaki Kojiro*. Its so well-known that there is no point in adding any information here, as every single kendo, iaido, or probably practitioner of any Japanese budo knows the story! […]

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equipment history kendo shiai

Shinai Kyogi

しない競技は、終戦後の廃墟と混迷の中から生い立った新しい競技である。 Shinai kyogi was a new sport that sprung up In the ruin and confusion of the post war period.” … is the first line of the chapter on Shinai-kyogi in the book “How to study kendo” that was published in 1965. It goes on to explain in a bit more detail: To say it […]

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history

On shinai length

Yamaoka Tesshu wrote this small piece in 1883, while kendo (then variously called gekkiken, kenjutsu, shinai uchikomi, etc) was nowhere near the shape it is now. Although the discussion of shinai length might not seem relavant to some nowadays, its a topic that comes up quite a lot if you read kendo commentary from the […]

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history kendo kenshi

Kendo no kata creators

In 1906 the Butokukai made its first research into making a set of standardised kata for teaching its students (standardised kata for teaching had already been made in Tokyo shihan-gakko – Takano Sasaburo‘s gogyo-no-kata – and Keishicho – keishi-ryu). 17 members were selected from various ryu-ha, and a set of 3 kata were created called […]

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history kendo kenshi

Takano Sasaburo (1862-1950)

The following is a bio of the person that can be considered one of the fathers (if not the father) of kendo as it exists today. I spend a lot of my time either reading his books, or reading books of others that trained under him or were influenced him in one way or another. […]

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history kendo kenshi

Takizawa Kozo hanshi

“Commencing in a moment, the final of the 70th imperial guards competition. The competitors: Takizawa Kozo kyoshi, Abe Saburo kyoshi; the shinpan: omote shinpan Mochida Seiji, ura shinpan Saimura Goro and Ogawa Kinnosuke.” At the same time that the announcers voice rang out in the packed Saineikan dojo, the two competitors and the three shinpan […]

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history iaido kendo kenshi

A Lineage all but Forgotten: The Yushinkan (Nakayama Hakudo)

Introduction There are few martial artists in history who have been able to influence an entire generation of politicians, military personnel, police, educators, and civilians alike.  Who’s student’s (if only for a day) talked about their experiences with him in detail nearly seventy years after his death.  The first San-Dou-no-Hanshi (三道の藩士) in history. The “God of Kendo”  (剣道の神様) […]

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history iaido

Thoughts on Tameshigiri from Famous Swordsmen

Tameshigiri is a very popular element of swordsmanship today. This is perhaps thanks in part to the spread of Toyama-ryu, a system originally created in the 1920s to teach fundamental sword technique to officers in the Imperial Japanese Military. Tameshigiri forms a central part of training in Toyama-ryu and its derivatives, but traditionally, this form […]

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history

A lineage all but forgotton: the Yushinkan dojo

Editors note: This is the first in a series of articles by Tokyo based budoka Jeff Karinja. In this series, he will introduce Yushinkan dojo and talk about its history, esteemed lineage, and ethos. Enjoy! The Yushinkan Dojo (有信館道場) is perhaps one of the most distinguished training halls in modern budo history. The dojo, once […]