The ability to read and utilise distance in kendo is paramount. In Japanese this is referred to “Maai” (間合) and “Ma” (間) – “physical distance” and “interval.” Some people use the terms interchangeably or overlapping – though they really are different words, they definitely overlap (a kind of “spatial relativity” as it were) . At any rate, it is important to understand the physical space between you and your partner, and the time it takes to traverse it (with your body or shinai).
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 a couple of hours of a second one, so I was unable to do or see as much kendo as I wouldn’t really liked… but thats life for you I guess!
This year, as usual, the Osaka prefectural gym was the venue for the All Japan Prefectural Championships (mens). What was different from last year is that I am now in possession of a seven month old daughter, which meant I was only able to watch a couple of hours of the competition before heading back to nappy-changing duties! In that couple of hours I took a handful of snaps, some of which I will share with kenshi 24/7 readers today. This shiai, basically the All Japan Championships for teams, has a unique format, which I have introduced here on kenshi …
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.
A few days ago (on the 19th of March to be exact) the ZNKR released a memo regarding changes in stipulations regarding kendo equipment. As it was only written in Japanese, today I’ve decided to briefly translate it so you can know what’s going on. Although the proposed changes are only concerned with Japan, it follows that changes here will naturally affect people living outside of Japan… eventually.