Category: kendo

Kote review (Bushizo) 小手

A couple of months ago, completely out of the blue, I was contacted by a representative of Bushizo, a relatively new online kendo equipment reseller based in Tokyo, and asked whether I would like to review their own brand of kote, called ARM. I had seen the press release about the kote before, and had looked at their website, but it didn’t look like something that was suitable for me or the type of keiko I do. I said I’d accept a set (disclaimer: it was a freebie) if they were happy with me writing an honest review, which they …

Learning jodan through teaching it 教うるは学ぶの半ば

About 10 years ago a student of mine – a tall 15 year old girl who had only started kendo seven months earlier) – approached me in the dojo and suddenly said “please teach me jodan.” Not having thought too deeply about it before but knowing that I wanted to learn myself at some point I replied: “Um, ok. Let’s work something out.” The inspiration behind her sudden request had been the wining of the All Japan Championships (mens) by a young jodan-wielding policeman from Kanagawa prefecture a few days earlier (this was early Nov. 2008). It had been the …

Osaka Kangeiko 2019 寒稽古

Happy new year! As is the norm here in Japan, the year-end/year-start season is a busy kendo one. Amazingly I actually did end up having a handful of non-kendo days over the period (family time), but I managed to make up for the missed keiko days by cramming multiple sessions in a very short time – five in the last two days alone! This year, as normal, I attended both days of the Osaka kendo associations kangeiko (usually it is a three day event). On the first day I participated as a motodachi for pretty much all of it, but …

The end of one era, the start of another 明治・大正・昭和・平成の代表的な剣士とエベント

With the scheduled abdication of the current Japanese Emperor on April the 30th 2019, a new era will begin. Well, not a really a new world-changing epoch or anything so exciting, but a change in the Japanese calendar name that happens along with the succession of a new head to the imperial family. For people outside of Japan the name change has zero impact and, to tell you the truth, apart from filling in forms (which, admittedly, is a favourite pastime of people in this country!) the impact is almost non-existent in Japan as well.