Categories
equipment history sword

Katana

Last year my high school kendo club celebrated it’s 60th anniversary. 60 sounds a lot, but the school itself was actually founded in Meiji 19 (1886), over 130 years ago, when the girls department of the Osaka-fu Shihan Gakko (“Osaka Normal High School”), separated itself into a different institution.  Of course, long term kenshi 24/7 […]

Categories
books kendo kenshi theory

One hundred keiko

「小川さん、あなたは私と同じ道を歩いているようですね。」 “Ogawa-san, it seems like you are walking down the same road as me.” Mochida Seiji’s words to Ogawa Chutaro two months before his death in 1974 Following on from my last post I’d like to introduce to readers my favourite kendo (note-like) book: Ogawa Chutaro’s epic “hyaku-kai keiko” = “one hundred keiko.” I have […]

Categories
kendo

Step in, reflect

Very recently I started a “club note” system here at my kendo club here in Osaka. For the benefit of readers who live in countries where schools don’t have active after-school clubs like Japan (my school in Scotland certainly had no such thing) let me explain briefly: I prepared a note book for the club […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

Kyudan

Almost 10 years ago, I wrote an article entitled “A brief investigation into the shogo system” which, kind of by accident, also went on to discuss the dan-i (or “dan-kyu”) system as well. Over the years, the topic of gradings has crept up now and again here on kenshi 24/7: sometimes I’d look at a […]

Categories
history kendo kenshi

The tenth-dan that wasn’t: the story of Oshima Jikita

十段になれた筈:大島治喜太の物語 About four years ago I briefly introduced a kenshi who I have been interested in for a good while via a couple of small articles: Oshima Jikita. In one of those articles I wrote a brief bio, but today I want to look at his life in more detail. This more detailed article is […]

Categories
kendo kenshi theory

Volume, quality, transcendence

The following is a short translation of part of a lecture by Ogawa Chutaro (hanshi, kyudan) in which he discusses the the shugyo process of one of his main teachers, Mochida Seiji (hanshi, judan).

Categories
updates

Decade

Another year is done. 100s of keiko sessions, thousands of kirikaeshi, countless suburi, and a couple of beers. Unlike most years, however, this one seemed to fly by. Probably because this it ushered in some rather significant changes/advances to both my personal and budo life. The main reason for starting kenshi 24/7 a decade ago […]

Categories
history kendo

The end of one era, the start of another

With the scheduled abdication of the current Japanese Emperor on April the 30th 2019, a new era will begin. Well, not a really a new world-changing epoch or anything so exciting, but a change in the Japanese calendar name that happens along with the succession of a new head to the imperial family. For people […]

Categories
books kendo theory

The knack of acquiring kendo in three charts

A couple of years ago I rolled in to the dojo on a Saturday morning only to have one of my sempai give me a stack of old kendo books. After lugging them all back home I sat down and went through them. Some were not so interesting, others were books I’d seen online but […]

Categories
kendo kenshi

27 teachings from past masters

The following is a list of sayings from three well known sensei of the past: Naito Takaharu, Takano Sasaburo, and Nakayama Hakudo. The former two are known as the fathers of modern kendo and were known as rivals. Naito and Takano made for an interesting pair. Naito was a laconic speaker who emphasised the power […]