Categories
kendo

Osaka Kangeiko 2019

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 […]

Categories
history kendo

The end of one era, the start of another

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 […]

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books kendo theory

The knack of acquiring kendo in three charts

A couple of years ago I rolled in to the dojo on a Saturday morning only to have one of my sempai give me a stack of old kendo books. After lugging them all back home I sat down and went through them. Some were not so interesting, others were books I’d seen online but […]

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eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (Nov. 2018)

Last Saturday (10th of November), I held an Eikenkai session at my workplace. 17 kenshi got together for some keiko: about 40 mins of kihon, one hour of jigeiko, and about three hours (or four… I can’t remember!) in the second dojo. Seven countries were represented: Scotland, England, America, Australia, Brazil, Italy, and Japan.

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history kendo kenshi media

Kendo art – a piece of kendo history

Almost exactly a year ago I wrote an article about a wonderful gift I received: a Ukiyo-e print of the first Gekken Kogyo event, held in Asakusa, Tokyo, in April 1873. Here’s a reminder of what it looks like: This was one of three woodblock prints by Utagawa Kunitera the 2nd commissioned to commemorate the […]

Categories
kendo kenshi

27 teachings from past masters

The following is a list of sayings from three well known sensei of the past: Naito Takaharu, Takano Sasaburo, and Nakayama Hakudo. The former two are known as the fathers of modern kendo and were known as rivals. Naito and Takano made for an interesting pair. Naito was a laconic speaker who emphasised the power […]

Categories
kendo

45 points to consider during kendo practise

The following is a loose translation of 45 points to consider during your kendo practise split into three levels. The book that it is from (see Source) was published in 1976, over 40 years ago. Although the book is old-ish, any kendo practitioner today could pick it up and refer to the pictures and text […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Busen and Koshi

Over the last few years I’ve repeatedly mentioned Budo Senmon Gakko (Martial arts vocational school, known as “Busen”) and Tokyo Koto Shihan Gakko (Tokyo Higher Normal school, or “Koshi”) in articles. Their respective kendo head instructors, Naito Takaharu and Takano Sasaburo, have also made appearances all over kenshi 24/7. Despite this I hadn’t really gone […]

Categories
kendo theory

Eighteen ways to improve your kendo

At the moment I am super busy with work, life, and kendo (as usual), but I managed to get some time out this evening to put together a mini-translation. Nothing much really, this short (abridged) translation came from an addendum to a book by the writer Aoki Haruzo, originally published in 1975. I intended to […]

Categories
history kendo theory

Suburi: a brief discussion

A few months ago I was sitting down in an izakaya with Yano sensei discussing the upcoming Edinburgh Kendo Seminar. Over food and beer we discussed this and that, including of-course lots of kendo related things. During the conversation, in a rather off-hand manner, Yano sensei asked (because he knows I am a kendo history […]