University invitational shiai 大学招待試合

One of the busiest times of the year for my high school kendo club is in March due to the amount of university invitational shiai we attend. These types of shiai are when university kendo clubs invite a number of high school kendo clubs to come to their university for a day of kendo. These competitions are basically commercials for both the university and it’s kendo club: “Look at our wonderful campus!” – “Our kendo club has a 90 year history!” – etc. The shiai are staffed by current members of the university club with shinpan duties and other senior tasks handled by a combination of current members and graduates (occasionally high school students have to referee).

Since these competitions are not formal there is no official representation by the high school kendo association and as such the refereeing can be a bit more relaxed than normal (university students are generally bad shinpan!!). Due to the invitational nature of the shiai high schools from different prefectures sometimes have a chance to face one another (something that happens less frequently than you may imagine).

The highlight of these types of competition tends to be the (often short, always hectic) godo-geiko session afterwards. These are a free for all: high school students, university students, high school kendo teachers, university kendo teachers, and university graduates all mixed up in a mosh-pit like keiko session.

Since these type of shiai don’t really happen outside of Japan I thought I’d share a little bit of information about them as well as put up a handful of pictures so you can get a feel for it. Also, check the video out at the bottom. Enjoy!

Here is a video clip of the same invitational shiai from back in 2012 (different hall):

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 available of the event, but I’m also using it as an opportunity to bring together related kenshi 24/7 articles.

There’s still a lot more that needs to be written both about the event itself and the people involved, but there’s no point in hoarding all these cool pictures, so here they are… enjoy!!!
Continue reading 1934 Tenran-jiai (illustrated)

Osaka Tokuren demonstration(s) 大阪特練模範演武

This morning I took part in godogeiko session in the suburbs of Osaka city. This is a yearly event and includes a demonstration session plus godogeiko with some of the local kenshi (from children-adults) and a few members of the elite Osaka tokuren police squad.

Last year I had the flu so video-ed and uploaded the kihon session (see below) but this year I was fighting fit so took part as normal.

As a special present to kenshi 24/7 readers, I took and uploaded the light demonstration session between Kiwada Daiki and Teramoto Shoji, both past All Japan Kendo Championship (and WKC) winners.

Below are a couple of other video’s featuring the Osaka tokuren’s kihon geiko… enjoy!

12th January 2014 (jigeiko):

September 2013 (kihon demonstration):

January 2013 (kihon demonstration):

March 2008 (kihon and jigeiko):

16th World Kendo Championships

So, at the 2012 World Kendo Championships in Italy there was a presentation and vote to decide where the next championships would be held. There were two countries in contention: Japan and Korea.

A few weeks before the event I was contacted by a rep of the ZNKR and asked to give my opinion on how to grab the interest of non-Japanese kenshi (I assumed, and still assume now that they asked quite a few people the same questions). i.e. they wanted something that would appeal to the FIK board members to choose Japan over Korea.

One of my ideas was to interview famous kenshi and have them talk about why the Budokan is THE place to take part in shiai… about their experiences there, and about how its often seen as the pinnacle of every (Japanese) kenshi’s dream to compete there.

I was told that this idea was used, but I never saw the result of it until today – here it is (or at least a re-edit). I’m sure other people had the same or similar ideas, but it’s a thrill to see it nonetheless !!!