Categories
kendo

Hitorigeiko

With vaccinations rolling out in various parts of the world (not here in Japan though…) and rumour about kendo resuming in some places soon, I think it’s worth looking back and thinking how our non-dojo time was spent during the pandemic. Perhaps you did a lot of suburi? Maybe you took notes? Watched videos? No […]

Categories
gradings kendo

Point of view: female gradings

(Note that I added an UPDATE section at the end of the article) A number of years ago, while on a seminar in Edinburgh (actually, in the pub afterwards), a young female kenshi from Sweden asked me why there were no female kendo hachidan (they exist in iaido and jodo). I slowly quaffed my beer […]

Categories
equipment kendo

What’s in my kendo bag

I read an anecdote many years ago (when, where, and by who by I can’t remember*) that has stuck with me over time. In it a kenshi tells the story about how they would often go to the Nippon Budokan for keiko, walking up a sloped path from the nearest station, Kudanshita. En-route sometimes they […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Shinbu-ken

About three and a half years ago I wrote about the sad fate of one of my dojo here in Osaka. It had been my “second home” for about 15 years, and 2020 would’ve been it’s 50th anniversary. As I wrote in the the linked article above, the disappearance of local dojo in Japan is […]

Categories
kendo theory

Imagining seme

Striking in kendo, for the experienced, is something that occurs at the end of a process, which is usually encompassed in the umbrella term “seme” : through pro-actively applying some sort of pressure on your opponent you “break” their posture (physical and/or mental) and defeat them. This is the theory of-course. The less experience someone […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Yagyu Kaido

“Known as the village of master swordsmen, Yagyu is the birthplace of Yagyu Shinkage School of swordsmanship… Long ago, Japan was a land engulfed in war where the principal objective was slaying ones’ enemies by sword. From this war-torn wold, the mast swordsman Yagyu Muneyoshi was born. He created the school of Yagyu Shinkage where […]

Categories
equipment kendo

Men mask

I have been wearing masks constantly for the last six months (since mid-March. I wear one in the supermarket, on the train to work, at my desk, in class, and, as you know, during keiko. My beard+the humid Japanese summer just makes things worse. But, as things stand at the moment, life might be this […]

Categories
kendo kenshi

Kendo ideology

In the last article I briefly touched on The Concept of Kendo and The Purpose of Practicing Kendo as published by the All Japan Kendo Federation (ZNKR) in 1975. In the piece I referred to Ogawa Chutaro as the principal architect behind both. Now, this is my inference based on the kind of person he […]

Categories
kendo miscellaneous

Crisis?

(Over the past few months I’ve written and re-written, scrapped, dumped, given-up on, and saved-for-later many kenshi 24/7 posts. I had ideas but couldn’t find the motivation, or I had no ideas but felt like I needed to post something. Todays effort is a ramble to be honest, but at least I pushed the “publish” […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Finding Naito

On a boiling hot morning in May 2017 I set off armed with a 50 year old picture to find the grave of the person who I consider the single most influential kenshi in the history of modern kendo: Naito Takaharu sensei. I had known for a while before then the general location of his […]