Bunkasha International Corporation

Kendo World

Kendo World No.31_Vol.8.3

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.

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in this issue

4 min.
editorial letting go…

I was lining up for keiko with Shigematsu Kimiakisensei (K8-dan) in Chiba recently, where the KW Team had gathered for the KW Gasshuku to get this magazine ready for print. The person before me who was already engaged in keiko was a KW Team member. He is a serious young man who aspires to do orthodox kendo. As I watched the keiko, trying to prepare my mind for my own impending doom, I found myself muttering about the young fella’s kendo. I could see that he was doing his best to keep it together, but he was totally missing the point in more ways than one. I kept saying to him under my breath, “Go now! Now…! Goddammit! Now… Now!” I was imagining myself in his shoes, and watching how…

21 min.
the 64th all japan kendo championships

The 64th AJKC proved to be another tournament in which the younger generation of kenshi continue to outdo their seniors in the most prestigious kendo tournament in Japan. Before we look at who was there, let us take a look at who was not. The most notable absence was Uchimura Ryōichi, champion in 2006, 2009, and 2013. Between 2005 and 2013, only once did Uchimura not qualify (2008), and only once did he not finish in the medal places (2007; best-8), with three championships, three runner-ups, and one third-place in that period: a fantastic record. He has not fared as well in the last two championships, losing in the third-round in 2014 to Takeshita Yōhei (Oita), and then in 2015 in the second round to Kitaura Yūsuke (Nagasaki). Tokyo takes…

7 min.
kendo as music; music as kendo 

Let me say first that I’m humbled every day by both kendo and music. The more I practise these arts, the more I realise that what I don’t know or understand far outweighs what I do. This piece is about kendo and its relationship to music, and the connections and parallels I’ve been noticing. First is how much kendo looks like a dance when two kendoka are engaged in ji-geiko. One pushes forward and the other steps back, and then vice versa. Sometimes, they are so synchronised that it can look choreographed—like a dance. I started playing the guitar at age 12. Rhythm was difficult for me so I studied it in depth. Rhythm is like the ashi-sabaki of music: It is the foundation. Later, I submerged myself in the Chicago blues…

3 min.
uncle kotay’s kendo korner

Part 3: The Three Initiatives Q : Uncle Kotay, as you possess a savant-like knowledge of kendo, I was wondering if you’d be able to help me out. At the dojo the other night I was fighting a gnarly old sensei who was at least three times my age. I thought, as I was a lot younger, stronger, and faster than him, I’d be able to do well. However, after having all my attacks countered, blocked and snuffed out, and my men, kote and doh being peppered with hits, as well as my throat ending up on the pointy end of his shinai, I was mentally and physically spent! I didn’t manage to land even one strike. When keiko finished and I went over to him to get some advice, all…

17 min.
the philosophy of miyamoto musashi’s gorin-no-sho

UOZUMI Takashi (originally appeared in iichiko intercultural journal, Autumn 2011.) UOZUMI Takashi: Born 1953. Graduated from Tokyo University, Department of Arts and Humanities, with a PhD in Literature. Former Professor at International Budo University, now at Open University of Japan. Principal works include Miyamoto Musashi—The Path of the Japanese (Pelican), The Annotated Gorin-no-sho (Shinjinbutsu Oraisha), Miyamoto Musashi—Living the Martial Path (Iwanami Shinsho), Evaluating the Bushido of Samurai During the Age of Warfare (Shinjinbutsu Oraisha), Basho’s Last Lines (Chikuma Sensho), and others. Although Miyamoto Musashi is extremely famous as a swordsman, for a long time, details of his actual life were not well known. It would also be very difficult to say that the aim and overall meaning of his Gorin-no-sho has been well understood. I have been working to shed light on…

5 min.
kendo for adults

Hatano Toshio-sensei was born in January 1945 in Musashi Murayama, Tokyo. After graduating from Kokushikan High School and Nihon University, he became a salaryman for a few years before establishing the Nanbudō Kendōgu shop in 1971. He passed the 8-dan exam on his second attempt in 1994. He serves as an advisor for the West Tokyo Kendo Federation, and is Suruga University Kendo Club Shihan, Musashi Murayama City Kendo Federation president, and leader of the Kinryūkan Dojo. Part 5: The Importance of Kakari-geiko for Adults There are two objectives in kakari-geiko: the first is building stamina, especially in school-aged kenshi; the second is to learn to strike without using excessive strength. The latter is the most important reason. When you are completely exhausted and have little strength left in your arms and…