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kendo kenshi

Kendo judan

In 1952 the Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei (ZNKR) was formed with the object of trying to re-organise kendo on a national level (iaido and jodo would come under it’s aegis in 1956). Kendo was in a sorry state at that time: the Dai Nippon Butokukai (the overarching organisation in control of kendo before WWII) had […]

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history kendo kenshi

Ogawa Kinnosuke

When I think about the sensei that had the most influence over the development of modern kendo the three that immediately come to mind tower above all the rest: Naito Takaharu, Takano Sasaburo, and Ogawa Kinnosuke. As I’ve already done posts on the the first two, it’s time now for one on the last of […]

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kendo kenshi

Even if you are wearing steel sandals, find a good teacher

The first half of this article is a short translation. Enjoy! Up until I was a third year junior high school student (14/15yrs old) I lived in Tottori prefecture. I started kendo in first year but was very weak and lost many competitions. I was so weak that sometimes people would even taiatari me out […]

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history kendo kenshi shiai

Asagawa Haruo hanshi

This years All Japan Championships were won by 21 year old Takenouchi Yuya, a 3rd year student at Tsukuba university, one of the top kendo universities in the country (not to mention the direct descendant of one of the most famous kendo establishments that ever existed: Tokyo Shihan Gakko). It’s only the 2nd time in […]

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history kendo kenshi

Kurai wa Momoi

Edo, December 1865. Momoi Junzo and 8 of his disciples were walking home in the fading evening light after finishing their end of year keiko. Despite the cold and the late hour, the city was still busy preparing for the upcoming end-of-year and new-year celebrations. Coming down the hill at Choenjizaka and tuning into Ichigaya […]

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kendo kenshi

Attack from a far distance – be energetic and lively – attack with abandon

I posted this advice from the kendo legend Saimura Goro sensei (斎村五郎) on the kenshi 24/7 facebook page yesterday. As it got so many likes and shares I thought I’d better put it on the main site as well! Here is is: 「剣道の稽古は遠間より飛び込んで大きく伸び伸びと打つ。それが上品な男性的な、そして将来ますます上達する打ち方である。飛び込む、伸びる、思い切る。」 “During keiko you should attack energetically from a far distance with large […]

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japanese kenshi

The stream of tradition

The building my main dojo is based in is undergoing renovation. Part of the work involved includes increasing the size of an already existing office at the back of the dojo and to so were told that we would lose a little bit of the space in our changing room (luckily the dojo will remain […]

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history kendo kenshi media shiai

1934 Tenran-jiai (illustrated)

On the 4th and 5th of May 1934, Saineikan – a budojo located in the grounds of Tokyo Imperial Palace – was the venue of the second of three Showa-period Tenran-jiai (a budo or sports competition held in front of the Emperor). This post was mainly written in order to share some of the pictures […]

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history kendo kenshi

MEI-SHOBU: the ki of Naito vs the waza of Takano

Kyoto Butokuden, late Meiji period*. It’s the last tachiai of a long day but the hall is packed. The yobidashi (announcer) steps forward: East side. Tokyo. Takano sensei ! West side. Kyoto. Naito sensei ! With the call the packed audience suddenly goes quiet and an palpable feel of excitement (or perhaps expectation?) fills the […]

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history kendo kenshi

Saimura Goro

一、剣道は精神が本である。技は精神を体得せんがための手段である。 一、剣道の稽古は竹刀を真剣の考え使い、身を捨てて練磨することが大切です。 一、どの間に入っても、少しもの気が抜けてはいけない。 The words above are attributed to Saimura Goro, one of the the most influential kenshi in the pre-WW2 period, and one of only 5 sensei that were awarded 10 dan after the war. A liberal translation in English reads: * The aim of kendo is to improve the spirit. The means of […]