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 […]
I recently received a question about kendo tokuren and decided to do this short article explaining what I can about the system. As the information isn’t generally available, I can only give a brief/rough outline about how the system works based on what I know about things here in Osaka, or what I have inferred […]
The top event in the Japanese kendo calendar – the Kyoto Taikai – has finished once again. This was the 14th straight-year I’ve attended but even though the format never changes, it doesn’t get old. Unfortunately this year, due to non-kendo related responsibilities, I was only on the ground for a one full day and […]
Yesterday I joined a 120-person keiko at the Mecca of kendo, the Butokuden (this ancient article needs updating!). The Butokuden was the HQ dojo for the Dai-Nippon Butokukai, the most influential organisation in kendo’s history, and the father of today’s All Japan Kendo Association.
Today’s mini-post is another media one with pics from a couple of University Invitational Shiai that my students and I attended over the last couple of weeks. March is always a busy month shiai-wise (we still have one more next week and another was cancelled) but, as I’ve mentioned before, these university invitationals are my […]
When my alarm went off at 6am this morning (Sunday) I dragged my body out of bed, had a large cup of coffee, grabbed my stuff, then headed over to Kyoto to take part in this years Kyoto University high school invitational competition. By “take part” I of course mean “take my students over to […]
When the Tokugawa-Bakufu was dismantled in 1867/68 budo education was thrown into turmoil: gone were the domain schools as well as the short-lived Kobusho, and with that budo instructors suddenly lost their profession. Many (now ex-) samurai were suddenly jobless and facing destitution. One person that stepped up to help these people was the ex-samurai, […]
As I mentioned in my last post, I spent some time in the beautiful Scottish capital city of Edinburgh earlier this summer teaching a two-day kendo seminar (plus one regular keiko session). It was the fourth time I have been invited by my home dojo, Edinburgh Kendo Club, to teach there.
I’m glad to announce that a project that I worked on with the Japanese kendo magazine “Kendo Jidai” has finally made it to daylight. This is their first ever product aimed specifically at the non-Japanese market, and if everything goes well (i.e. good sales) then hopefully they will go on to produce more English language […]
Whew, another Kyoto Taikai done! Again this year, I’ve tried to add some bonus historical information/insights to my usual Kyoto Taikai rundown, so I hope you enjoy this part as well as the photography.