YOSEIKAI is a large and friendly kendo club that meets in *Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium in Namba, in the heart of the city.
We boast a membership base of over 70, with around 30+ people coming to each practise. Non-Japanese kenshi are resident, and we constantly get people visiting us from abroad.
Yoseikai was born in 1949, and was named Yoseikai in 1955. The first shihan was Ikeda Yuji hanshi, and the second Furuya Fukunosuke hanshi. Both were graduates from Budo Senmon Gakko, the lead kendo institute in the country prior to the war.
The day-to-day teaching in the dojo falls under the leadership of Ota sensei, kyoshi hachidan, and Takagi sensei, kyoshi nanadan. Under these sensei the breadth of experience is large: from adult beginners to a host of 5 and 6dan level kendoka. We have a solid female population as well, ranging up to 5dan, plus a kids club.
If you are interested in joining practise, then please feel free to get in touch. Note that if you wish to learn kendo from zero, we would expect you to be in Osaka for at least 2 years or more. Before you come read through KEIKO IN OSAKA and DOING KENDO IN JAPAN.
During weekdays the class starts at 6pm for beginners and kids, and 7pm for everyone else. If class falls on a weekend or a national holiday then it will begin at 6pm.
Practise days are not set, but are decided well in advance. You can view them by clicking on the following link. The information is in Japanese, but is easily understandable: Practise Schedule.
We are based in the Osaka Prefectural Gymansium in Namba (Osaka furitsu taiikukan). Its a short 4 minute wall from Namba subway station. The nearest exit is number 5. Please have a look at the map.
We are lucky to have a very large and beautiful dojo, complete with air-conditioning. The dojo is also equipped with showers.
Please note that the Sumo spring competition is held in this building. Because of this, for three weeks during March we have to use the basketball court next to the dojo. Note also that during this time you cannot use the main entrance to the building, but the east one (東). Its situated right next to the kendo shop mentioned below.
If you are visiting the dojo, or only come on occassion, a one-off 500 yen fee is charged.
Starting from April 2010 – due to Osaka city policy regarding the use of its facilities (i.e. a tripling of costs) – we have been forced to regrettably increase the membership fees. We have three membership types, and fees are payed yearly, or 4 times during the year (April, July, October, and January).
There is also a one-off low starting member fee. This type of fee is normal in Japan.
Kendo is difficult and is not for everyone. If you are a beginner its best to try out paying the one-time 500 yen fee for a while before paying the starting member and yearly membership fees. If after a while you decide that kendo is the thing for you, and you intend to be in Osaka for a time, then please feel free to join the club!
Beginners and Equipment
If you are a beginner, please come and watch at least one class before you start. Once you start, all you need to bring with you is a SHINAI (bamboo practise sword). Cheap ones can be had from under 2,000 yen. When you buy your shinai please be sure to buy a TSUBA and TSUBA-DOME (handguard) as well. You should also get yourself a bag in which to carry your shinai.
For your first few lessons please take with you a light tracksuit, remove all jewellery and remember that kendo is practised barefoot.
After you have been practising for a short while you will be expected to get the uniform. This consists of the KENDO-GI (jacket) and HAKAMA (divided skirt). These vary in price, but a good set can be had for 8,000 yen.
After a few months of practise you will be expected to get BOGU, or kendo armour. This can be extremely expensive, but doesn’t have to be. Please ask people in the dojo about this when the time comes. A decent beginners set will cost around 80,000 yen and will last you years.
A couple of Yoseikai kenshi run a kendo shop just around the corner called TSURUGI, so you can go and pick up equipment there or even order from the dojo itself. Please ask anyone in the dojo. Alternatively, there are a number of kendo shops in the city which you can research online.
If you plan to come to the dojo you should contact us before hand, especially if you are a beginner. You can get in touch via Facebook.
Other dojo in Osaka
For more information about places to freely practise in Osaka, please check out this Keiko in Osaka article.
* (Note that the gymnasium allows sponsors to alter the name of the facility temporarily. Between 2011-14 the prefectural gymnasium was referred to as ‘Bodymaker コロシアム” and from 2015+ it has been called “Edion Arena Osaka.” What this means is that sometimes the signs – and google maps – sometimes use different names.)