Categories
kendo

Seeking the true way

I think it was about seven years ago but it might have easily been eight or six, a graduate from my kendo club came to my school with a gift. It was an older gentleman, someone who had graduated decades before I arrived, so not one of my direct students. I wasn’t around when he […]

Categories
kendo

Kendo Sanmai

I have large stack of unread, or partly-read, kendo books in my closet. I pick them up from time to time and flick through them. Also in the stack is, I must admit, books I read (some only sort-of) but decided they didn’t contain much useful information. All my really good kendo books don’t live […]

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history kendo kenshi

The iron will of the kendo god Ueda Heitaro

Intro: part one Spring, 1894 (10th-11th of April). To celebrate the building of a new dojo at Saka-no-ue police station in Takamatsu city, Kagawa prefecture, a two day Budo embu-taikai was held. Just a couple of days earlier, on the 8th, another large taikai had been held at the central police station in Takamatsu. Kenshi […]

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updates

2021 Review

Although things haven’t returned to normal yet, this year – at least for part of it – signalled an ease in the restrictions many of us have been facing since the start of the pandemic. Here in Japan we were never under the (what it looked like from our perspective) often draconian rules that many […]

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eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (Oct. 2021)

Today, for the first time in two years, I held an Eikenkai session at my workplace. Up until mid-2017 I had been hosting an open kihon-based session about four-six times per year (since 2008), with attendance getting so crazy at times (over 40 people, hachidans joining, etc.) that I ended up having to limit it. […]

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history kendo kenshi

The three crows of Yushinkan

Late afternoon summer 1930, Hongo-shinmasago-saka (in modern day Bunkyo-ku). A tallish slender young man, about 19 years old, walked up to the entrance of Yushinkan, the dojo of Nakayama Hakudo. Dangling on the shinai bag that was resting heavily on his right shoulder was another bag with his bogu in it. In his left hand […]

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history kendo kenshi

Okumura Nito-Ryu

Tachiai  Early spring 1859. A young 17/18 year old kenshi from Okayama domain, Okumura Sakonta, was nervously standing in the renbujo (an open-air, on earth area used for practicing bujutsu) in the grounds of Tsuyama castle. Facing him was the far more experienced and well known Ikumi Tadaichi. Ikumi, 30 years old, was a Tsuyama […]

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history kendo kenshi

Takayama Minezaburo: the scourge of Keishicho

The political revolution that occurred in Japan across the entire second half of the 19th century brought in a slew of changes in all aspects of life for everyone in the country. The coup d’etat on the 3rd of January 1868 was the principal political event of the Meiji Restoration, but it took decades after […]

Categories
kendo

Kendo saved me

Just over five years ago one of my sempai suddenly said – knowing I am a kendo book addict – that he was cleaning out some of his stuff and would I take a couple of boxes of kendo books from him. “Of course” I replied, and soon after he gave me a trove of […]

Categories
kendo shiai

Pandemic rule changes – mini analysis

While (most of) the rest of the world has been in various stages of lockdown and societies across the world have been facing existential difficulties, things have been going on more-or-less as normal here in Japan. Kendo has faced difficulties of course, for example, with many shiai (todays topic) being postponed or cancelled indefinitely. The […]