Kendo World


Kendo World is the only English language periodical devoted to Japanese budo (martial arts), and the dissemination of its vast practical, philosophical and historical aspects to the non-Japanese speaking community. Although Kendo World's primary focus is kendo, it also covers iaido, naginata, jodo, jukendo and tankendo, as well as other koryu. In addition to these martial arts, Kendo World also contains articles of cultural and historical significance on various subjects related to budo. The Kendo World Team also visits and reports on many of the major kendo tournaments in Japan and around the world. The articles contained in Kendo World are written by an international network of experienced martial artists spread across Japan and the world. Translations of articles and books published in Japanese, including those of our supporters Kendo Nippon and Kendo Jidai magazines, are also included in Kendo World.

Bunkasha International Corporation
Back issues only

in this issue

9 min

Erai shitsurei shimashita. That’s Kansai dialect for, “Begging your pardon folks…” It has been quite some time since the last issue of Kendo World. The blame rests solely on my shoulders. The past 18 months or so have been characterized by life sort of getting in the way. But KW is back, and we are on the verge of taking it to new heights. More on that later. To start off, the Good Ship Kendo has been navigating choppy seas since we last published. Before commenting on the recent and much anticipated 17th WKC in Korea, I should begin with the “iaido debacle”. By now, details of the shocking revelations involving bribes to examiners in iaido 8-dan gradings have trickled through to the international community. Without going into too much detail, the…

2 min
uncle kotay’s kendo korner

Part 4: Win Before You Strike! Q : Hey Uncle Kotay, I’m sorry to always keep bugging you, but I’ve got another question. In a shiai the other day, I thought I had the perfect opportunity so I tried to strike my opponent’s men. However, my opponent instantly blocked me and scored ippon with men-kaeshi-do! I ended up losing the match, and afterwards one of my senpai said to me, “You need to win before you strike!” That seemed a bit back the front. Surely you strike to win? Can you tell me what he means? (#confusedagain) A : Well, that was actually some very good advice. In Japanese, there is an expression “katte-utsu” (勝って打つ: win and then strike), and. It refers to the work or preparation that you need to do…

11 min
kendo and thehuman condition

“I don’t want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and nothingness washing over me like a sluggish wave. Whatever is happening to me is my own fault. I have done something wrong, something so huge I can’t even see it, something that’s drowning me. I am inadequate and stupid, without worth. I might as well be dead.” Margaret Atwood, “Cat’s Eye” Winter, 2013 Feeling utterly broken, I sit on the edge of my bed, surrounded by the suffocating darkness and silence. The clock reads four in the afternoon, and the winter sun should be about to set soon, but I can only guess. I haven’t been outside in over a week. Looking around the spartan room, I feel utterly detached, though the detachment is better than the…

16 min
takano sasaburō’s kendō

Takano Sasaburō (1862–1950) is considered one of the most influential pioneers of modern kendo. He was instrumental in developing the dan grading system for kendo and was also a key member in the committee that created the Kendo Kata in 1912. His book, simply titled Kendō, was a tour de force in the creation of a uniform style for modern kendo and is still considered a classic by kendoka today. In this series of articles, I will translate Takano’s book, and annotate the text to add context to its ground-breaking content. The following is the last sections of Chapter 3 of Kendō. Kata Kata forms were created by selecting the most fundamental techniques in kendo. Through studying kata, students develop good posture, hone their power of observation, fix bad technical habits, learn…

2 min
know your limits

Hagakure provides a window on life in eighteenth century Japan. We get a sense of the frustrations samurai faced in a time of peace, and the stress that enveloped their existence. Actually, all said and done, they weren’t that different to us. They had their foibles, and many of the passages contained in Hagakure are surprising in their mundane simplicity. For example, more than a few vignettes warn the samurai to know his limits and not overindulge when imbibing. The samurai, it seems, had a penchant for getting their fill of rice wine to drown their sorrows—something that many of us can empathize with, I am sure. The urge to temporarily get lost in a bottle, for fun or through the frustration of having to deal with obnoxious people every day,…

18 min
44th fik foreign kendo leaders’ summer seminar report. kitamoto city, saitama prefecture, japan. july 21–28, 2017

Steven Hsueh, Southern California Kendo Organization (SCKO), 5-dan Zia Uddin, Midwest Kendo Federation (MWKF), 5-dan Introduction An international cohort consisting of 63 kenshi from 45 countries met on July 21, 2017, in Kitamoto City in Saitama prefecture, Japan, to participate in the 44th Foreign Kendo Leaders’ Summer Seminar, an event sponsored by the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF). The grades of the 52 male and 11 female participants ranged from 3- to 6-dan, with a mix of 52 male and 11 female kenshi which included dojo sensei, federation officers, as well as current and previous competitors from the World Kendo Championships. The key objectives of this seminar are to: 1. strengthen practitioners understanding of fundamental kendo principles so that they can become not only better kendo practitioners, but also better instructors in their own federations…