Category: kendo

A brief investigation into the SHOGO system 称号

SHOGO (称号) in Japanese translates simply as “title” or “rank,” and the word can be used in many areas, for example formal titles of nobility, military ranks, scholarly ranks, etc, and informally in the sporting world, between friends, etc. The use of the word that I will look at here is of-course that to do with the budo world, and specifically the usage promoted by the Dai Nippon Butokukai (1895-1946), and that continues today in one of its spiritual heirs, the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei (All Japan kendo federation). Please note that the Butokukai information presented here relates to Kendo …

Practise may ingrain bad habits

From “Living with ambiguity” by Sydney J. Harris. Published by Nan’Un-Do You probably know the chestnut about the stranger in New York, carrying a violin case, who stops an old lady on the street, and asks, “Can you tell me how to get to Carnegie Hall?” With a glance at his violin case, she replies, “Practise, practise, practise!” One of the oldest maxims in the world is that “Practise makes perfect.” This, however, is a dangerous half-truth that has betrayed many novices in many fields of accomplishimnent.

Tsubazeria rule changes in high school kendo

The following rule changes will probably not impact your kendo training any time soon nor in the near future. However, implementation of them in competition for young Japanese kenshi ensures that there will be a stylistic change in the kendo leaders of the future and it is also strongly hints at what the kendo leaders of today see as bad style. The changes have been in discussion and trial over quite a while here in Japan (implementation was decided in May 2009, and I have personally seen the rules been applied in shiai), but it is only from this month …

Daily Readings for Kendo Growth and Development

“Motomereba Mugendai” (求めれば無限大) is my favorite Kendo book.  It is a small, easily readable book composed of 100 short essays on Kendo training and leadership topics.  One of the things I like about it (in addition to the uncomplicated, straightforward word choice and sentence structure) is the way the author has divided the book in to chapters based on the themes of the essays.  The first two chapters are devoted to the practitioner’s personal technical and spiritual development.  The third chapter is focused on advice for the kenshi as an instructor.  The last chapter is for parents, both those with …

Fujimoto Kaoru 藤本薫

(Edit: originally published October 2009, updated in July 2015) So, Fujimoto Kaoru… have you heard his name before? Probably not. I hadn’t until quite recently. But like myself, almost everyone reading this website has seen his picture (above). So who was he and – if he was was strong enough to fight in front of the Emperor – why isn’t he more widely known today (in Japanese kendo circles at least) ? Fujimoto took part in the second of three Tenran shiai (competition held before the Emperor) in 1934 as a Kagawa prefecture representative. In the final he fought – …