Categories
eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (July 2023)

Today I held my first Eikenkai since February. Due to this-and-that a lot of regular members weren’t in attendance. Still, 15 people turned up for a just-over three hour session. Nationalities represented included Japan, China, America, Croatia, Ireland, Switzerland, Venezuela, Italy, Germany, and, of course, Scotland. The lack of locals made today’s session feel more […]

Categories
japanese kendo

Slow horse, fast horse

Just the other week a friend was visiting from Tokyo. She popped into the dojo for a couple of keiko, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. To my surprise she also brought with her a gift from my 2022 Kyoto Taikai partner: a tenugui. I of course knew that they were friends, […]

Categories
gradings kendo

A brief comment on rokudan/nanadan gradings (2022)

UPDATED: when I posted this article originally it was about the rokudan tests. When I later went to translate comments for the 2022 nanadan tests I realised that the published comments were the same. Rokudan and nanadan always happen together over two days, and it seems that the same shinsa-in work on both. I have […]

Categories
miscellaneous

2022 Review

Happy holidays! Usually at the end of the year I review what has been happening on kenshi 24/7 but this year has been rather thin pickings again, with only 14 articles published (this being the 15th). This has partly been due to the ongoing pandemic (at least, it seems to be still ongoing here in […]

Categories
eikenkai kendo

Eikenkai (Nov. 2022)

Yesterday, for the first time this year, I held an Eikenkai session at my work dojo. Twenty-one friends gathered together representing something like ten countries (Japan, China, Scotland, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Croatia, America, and New Zealand) for a spirited morning of keiko. A couple of us arrived at the dojo at 7:30am-ish to practice […]

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 […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
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. […]

Categories
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 […]