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  • 58th All Japan Kendo Championships - Wednesday 3rd November, 2010

    Text: Michael Ishimatsu-Prime, Hamish Robison and Michael Komoto
    Photos: Michael Komoto, Shishikura 'Kan' Masashi, Tyler Rothmar and Jeff Broderick
    Video: Blake Bennett and Love Alm

    The 58th All Japan Kendo Championship was held on Wednesday 3rd November. As usual, the Kendo World team was here in force to keep you updated on what was going on inside the Nippon Budokan, as 64 of Japans top kendoka battled it out to be crowned the 58th All Japan Kendo Champion. Updates have been posted here (see below) and on our Twitter page (see the link on the left) and the tournament ladder (see below) has been completed. We will also be uploading videos of the action to our YouTube channel in the days following the tournament, so please keep an eye out for those.


    Updates follow below
    So, who is there to look out for this time around? Of course there is the two-time winner and current champion, Uchimura Ryōichi of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police (TMP). Looking to make it two in a row, he will first face-off against Hanaki Makoto, a R6-dan police officer from Gifu, who is making his fifth appearance at these championships. It is also Uchimuras fifth outing at the AJKC and he has an incredible fifty-percent success rate winning the competition two out of four times. He still has, however, a long way to go to equal or beat the great Miyazaki Masahiro who won six championships out of twelve between 1990-2001.
    Of course there is Takanabe Susumu, looking to gain his first championship on his eighth attempt. He has previously placed 2nd (2007) and 3rd (2006) but his form leading up to this tournament has been good having earlier this year won both the All Japan Police Kendo Championships (AJPKC) team and individual events on 15th September and 26th August respectively. In the individual competition, Takanabe beat Uchimura in the round of 16.

    Also back for the second time is young Hatakenaka Kōsuke (23) of TMP, who two years ago qualified for the AJKC with Wakayama while a fourth-year university student at the mighty Kokushikan University, with whom he won the university team and individual championships that year. He made it to the quarter-finals eventually losing to Wakō Daisuke of Hokkaido, and after graduating Hatakenaka joined TMP. Last year he did not qualify for the AJKC but this year he did so in style winning the Tokyo qualifying tournament on 4th September at the Tokyo Budokan. If he wins his first round match against Mori Yūsuke of Fukuoka, he could meet 2007 champion, Teramoto Shōji of Osaka, providing that he manages to overcome Nakamura Naoki from Ishikawa

    There is another student in this years AJKC, Osonoi Naoki, a fourth-year student at Tsukuba University in Ibaragi. He has a tricky first round encounter against the hugely experienced R6-dan, Tanaka Takeshi from Kyoto. Despite this only being Tanakas second outing at the AJKC, he has placed in, or entered, all the other major competitions as well as being a silver medalist at the World Kendo Championships in Taipei.

    As usual, police officers make up the bulk of competitors, 56 out of the 64 this year. There are also two teachers, two company workers, a prison officer, a school worker, a student, and for the fourth year running, doctor Norimoto Shikō from Tottori. The All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) has on their championship website compiled some other interesting facts about this years competitors. The average age of the competitors is 29.9 years with the youngest being the aforementioned Osonoi Naoki (22). The oldest and highest graded competitor is 38 year old R7-dan Shigetomi Yūichi of Toyama who is making his sixth appearance. The lowest graded competitor is 24 year-old 3-dan Soma Yū, a school worker from Fukui. 25 competitors are making their first appearance while Teramoto is leading the way with his ninth, Takanabe his eighth, and Yoneya Yūichi (Saitama) and Takasaka Yūsuke (Shizuoka) their seventh.

    On paper it looks like it will be an interesting tournament with plenty of new faces, and also with some notable absences: 2008 Champion Shōdai Kenji (Kanagawa), 2006 Champion Harada Satoru (Tokyo), Koseki Taro (Tokyo) and Furusawa Tsuneomi (Kumamoto). Keep checking the Kendo World website for updates as the day progresses.

    The 58th AJKC Updates
    We're under way. The pre-tournament speeches have been made and last years champion, Uchimura, has handed back the trophy that is the most coveted kendo prize in Japan.

    The kendo kata has just been performed by Ajiro-hanshi and Hamasaki-hanshi. The first round will be under way soon.

    Court 1
    Round 1
    The first two matches were won by Shikano and Kato with single kote strikes in regulation time.

    Amishiro took men and then doh to finish a great encounter with Akao.

    The doctor from Tottori, Norimoto faced off against Fujiyama of Nagasaki. This match went deep into encho, and finshed with a men to Norimoto.

    Teramoto vs Nakamura: Teramoto is a good head taller than Nakamura but had trouble breaking his kamae down. Eventually Teramoto wins with men in encho.

    Hatakenaka is one of the names to watch out for. He took on Mori in the first round. After an aggressive few blows the match settles down. Well into encho, Hatakenaka scores with a strong morote-tsuki to progress to the next round and a meeting with Teramoto.

    Yoneya vs Makiuchi: Right after the shimpan calls hajime Makiuchi tries for tsuki but it is not given. The hugely experienced Yoneya then comes back with a tsuki, an then Makiuchi tsukis Yoneya's mengane. Neither are given. Yoneya then takes doh which is enough to take him into the next round.

    Murata versus Tsuchida is decided in encho with a men by Tsuchida.

    Yasuda takes a kote off jodan Arakawa in encho to go through.

    Matsuwaki vs. Shigetomi is ended by Matsuwaki, the tokyo policeman, with a kote in regulation time.

    Kiwada, 3rd placer a few years ago, takes on jodan-kenshi Nakama from Okinawa. This match is won by Kiwada after 22mins.

    Sasaki vs. Watanabe: Wone by Sasaki with a hiki-men in encho.

    Sasagawa vs. Kimura: One kote strike in regulation time is enough to send Sasagawa through into the next round.

    Next was the 4th year Tsukuba Uni student Osonoi in his debut championships against Tanaka from Kyoto. Tanaka's experience proved to be too much as he wins with a big men strike from chudan.

    Takanabe lived up to his reputation as the fastest kenshi around. When Yamamura moved forward to probably execute a men strike, Takanabe strikes with men afetr about 5 seconds of the match. He then follows up with a sweet kote.

    Kita vs Tsunakawa: This match is won by Tsunakawa with a hiki-men and kote, in one of the few matches so far to be decided by 2 ippons.

    Round 2
    In the first match of the second round on court 1, Shikano takes a men from Kato in encho.

    Doctor Norimoto from Tottori progresses for the first time into the third round after defeating Amishiro with a men well into encho.

    I hoped that this match would happen when I saw the tournament ladder for the first time - Teramoto vs Hatakenaka. It lived up to expectations with Hatakenaka taking the point in an ai-men. Soon after Teramoto executed a big men strike but Hatakenaka's kensen is on his throat. In the end, Hatakenaka goes through. The end of an era and the start of a new one??

    Yoneya vs. Tsuchida: Yoneya goes down to Tsuchida in encho.

    Matsuwaki takes two kote strikes in regulation time to go trough to the third round at the expense of Yasuda.

    Sasaki scores a kote off Osaka's Kiwada in encho.

    Sasagawa beats Tanaka in encho with a kote strike.

    Takanabe scores a trademark men against Sunagawa to progress to the third round.

    Round 3
    Norimoto's good run will continue into the quarter final after beating Shikano in encho with a men strike.

    The impressive Hatakenaka will make it into the quarter final for the second time in his second champs after scoring a doh in encho against Tsuchida.

    Matsuwaki vs. Sasaki: Matsuwaki progresses after beating Sasaki with a single men strike in regulation.

    Takananbe again wins his match in regulation with a men strike against Sasagawa.


    Court 2
    Round 1
    In the first match, Ishizaki won in encho with a big men against Yamshita.

    Right at the death, Shimada levels Hayashi's men strike with a tsuki to take the match into encho. He goes on to win with a kote strike.


    Ogawa had a close fought encounter with 3-dan jodan teacher Soma. Despite his experience, it took a long while for Ogawa to take victory, doing so in encho with a kote strike.

    Uchimura vs Hanaki: The 4th match on this court. Early on Hanaki made a big strike to men that seemed to surprise everyone that it was not given, Hanaki certainly took the fight to Uchimura. There was to be no shock after a close encounter in which it seemed that Hanaki had the upper hand for most of. Uchimura wins deep in encho with a kote strike.

    Shimogawa vs Yamauchi: Shimogawa wins with a men in encho.

    Tsuruga vs. Ebihara: Ebihara wins with a great men strike in encho.

    Takashima vs Ishibashi: Takashima leaves it till late in encho to win with a men.

    Nishimura vs. Koshikawa: Nishimura wins with a men in encho.

    Shishido vs. Komura: Komura progresses to the next round with a hiki-men strike.

    Takasaka previously placed 3rd but this time he will go no further than the 1st round after losing to a kote strike from Ishii.

    Younger brother of Harada Satoru, Harada Kenji loses to a doh strike from Shimura in encho.

    One of the favourites, Hojo of Kanagawa, wraps up his match with Matasuoka in regulation time, 10 seconds before the finish, with a tsuki shortly after being denied a men.

    Imoto vs. Watanabe was one of the more eventful matches, especially for the giant jodan-kenshi Imoto from Saitama. First he drops his shinai after a strong taiatari, then breaks it just below the nakayui. He then has a great gyaku-do that is not give before breaking his second shinai!! Then he scores men. Shortly after he is made to retie his doh, then the match starts again, then is stopped because his tasuki comes unfastened. Then it is time.

    Kawaki vs. Furukawa: Soon after the match starts, Furukawa scores a doh which is enough to send him into the second round.

    Oike progresses past Yokoyama with two men strikes.

    Tokyo's Sato takes a great kote against Toyama and then straight after, a textbook kote-nuki-men to wrap up the 1st round matches on court 2.

    Round 2
    Shimada comes out on top against Ishizaki with an ai-men in encho.

    Defending champion Uchimura takes on Ogawa. He has a couple of close calls for kote in regulation but they are not given. After the start of encho, only one shimpan raises his flag for an Uchimura kote strike. Then Uchimura makes Ogawa raise his hands which is the opportunity he was waiting for, a takes kote.

    Ebihara leaves it late against Shimogawa with a men right before the end of regulation time.

    Takashima's second match goes into encho where he scores with a doh strike to send Nishimura out.

    Ishii beats Omura with a men in encho to send Omura out.

    Hojo leaves it until encho to beat Shimura with a kote strike.

    Osaka's Furukawa scores a tuski against the big jodan kenshi Imoto to progress.

    Oike vs. Sato: Oike progresses.
    Round 3
    Uchimura scores his third kote of the tournament against Saitama's Shimada. All of his victories have come in encho.

    Ebihara overcomes Takashimi in encho with a men strike.

    Ishii beats Hojo in encho with a kote strike.

    Furukawa's impressive debut run continues with a men strike in encho against Oike.

    Quarter Finals
    From this stage onwards, the matches are ten minutes of regulation.

    QF 1
    Norimoto vs Hatakenaka
    After about two minutes Hatakenka takes an ai-kote.
    Hatakenaka has the upper hand although not by much.
    Norimoto has a good go for men but finds Hatakenaka's kensen in his throat.
    A close call for kote but Hatakenaka hits the kobushi.
    Hatakenaka picks up a hansoku - one each for them now.
    The match is over, Hatakenaka goes through to the semis, one better than two years ago on his debut.

    QF2
    Matsuwaki vs Takanabe
    A cagey opening from both, a lot is at stake.
    Takanabe is close with a kote - the first serious attempt of the match.
    A big men from Matsuwaki - not given.
    A brief flurry of strikes.
    An atempt at men from Takanabe but he can't get past Matsuwaki's shinai.
    Things fairly even. Lots of the match so far in isoku-itto-no-maai.
    Another great attempt at kote from Takanabe but not given.
    Matsuwaki goes for kote but misses and Takanabe tries for hiki-men but to no avail.
    Matsuwaki goes for kote again but Takanabe is too quick and counters with kote-kaeshi-men. 1-0 to Takanabe.
    Matsuwaki knows that the clock is against him and steps up his attacks. He has a great shout for men but the shimpan don't agree.
    This final whistle goes and Takanabe is into the semifinals.

    QF3
    Uchimura vs. Ebihara
    A few seconds in and Uchimura goes for kote and Ebihara counters with men. Neither given.
    Uchimura takes kote quite early on.
    Matsuwaki starts to come back.
    Another attempt at kote from the defending champion.
    A big attempt at men from Ebihara. He can't find a way past Uchimura's defences.
    Uchimura has a crack at doh.
    Ebihara goes for men but Uchimura takes the point and the match and books a place in the semifinal with a men-kaeshi-do point.

    QF4
    Ishii vs. Furukawa
    For both of these it is their first AJKC.
    This one opens a quite a pace with Furukawa having the two best chances early on, both men strikes.
    A big kihon men strike from Ishii but it is blocked by Furukawa.
    Ishii's kote attack stalls but Furukawa's men in response fails to connect.
    Another big attempt at men from Furukawa - surely it's only a matter of time.
    It is time - Furukawa takes men!
    He follows up soon after with a kote and he's into the semifinal.

    Semifinal1
    Hatakenaka vs. Takanabe
    This is Hatakenaka's first semifinal but Takanabe has made it this far twice before. The confidence of youth vs experience.
    A good attempt at men from Takanabe.
    A trademark men from Takanabe and it's 1-0.
    Takanabe drops his shinai to lure Hatakenaka in, who takes the bait but neither end up scoring.
    Hatakenaka goes for kote, which seems good. Takanabe then counters with men and one by one the flags go up, much to the surprise of Hatakenaka.

    Semifinal2
    Uchimura vs. Furukawa
    This looks like it will be a good one. Furukawa has done well to make it this far in his first attempt. Uchimura is looking for his third title and needs this victory to make that a possibility. This is his 4th semifinal appearance.
    Uchimura goes for a trademark kote but it results in nothing.
    Uchimura is taking the fight to Furukawa.
    Another missed kote from Uchimura. And another.
    A close kote-nuki-men from Furukawa but not close enough.
    An ai-kote that looked good for Furukawa but not so.
    Furukawa is gradually coming in the match.
    Furukawa probably knows all about Uchimura's kote strikes as he is constantly able to avoid them.
    A great de-kote from Uchimura - one finally lands!
    And it's over. Uchimura is into his second consecutive final looking for his third title.

    Final
    Takanabe's last final was three years ago in which he lost to Teramoto. He must be full of confidence being the current police team and individual champion. None of Takanabe's matches have gone into encho so far, him either getting two points and finishing the match within regualtion time (twice) or one point being sufficient (three times). All but one of his seven points have been men, the other being a kote in the first round. On the other hand, Uchimura has finished three of his matches in encho, all but one of his six points being kote (the other was doh).
    Takanabe has the first attempt of any real threat with a men strike but Uchimura soaks it up.
    Surprisingly it is Uchimura who goes for men.
    Lots of time in tsubazeriai and toma.
    A real good shout for kote from Uchimura but the shimpan do not agree.
    A kote from Takanabe that Uchimura tries to counter with nuki men but his shinai ends up in Takanabe's armpit.
    Uchimura evades a Takanabe men by stepping back.
    A men from Takanabe - first the white flags all go up for Uchimura but then the shimpan raise the red flags for Takanabe.

    TAKANABE WINS!!

    SEE YOU AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!

    Don't forget to check our YouTube channel in the coming days for video of the 2010 AJKC.

    58th AJKC Competitors
    The number before the competitors names corresponds with the number on the tournament ladder (see below). This other information is: Full-name, Age, Grade, Job

    1.Uka Motonori, 35, R6-dan, Police Officer
    2.Shikano Mitsunari, 26, 5-dan, Teacher
    3.Nishikawa Keisuke, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    4.Kato Motoki, 34, R6-dan, Police Officer
    5.Amishiro Tadakatsu, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    6.Akao Kazuhiko, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    7.Norimoto Shikō, 28, 4-dan, Doctor
    8.Fujiyama Kōji, 26, 4-dan, Police Officer
    9.Teramoto Shōji, 35, R6-dan, Police Officer
    10.Nakamura Naoki, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    11.Mori Yūsuke, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    12.Hatakenaka Kōsuke, 23, 5-dan, Police Officer
    13.Yoneya Yūichi, 34, R6-dan, Police Officer
    14.Makiuchi Yoshitake, 31, 5-dan, Police Officer
    15.Murata Hironori, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    16.Tsuchida Keisuke, 29, 5-dan, Police Officer
    17.Yasuda Takumi, 25, 4-dan, Company Worker
    18.Arakawa Takashi, 33, 5-dan, Police Officer
    19.Matsuwaki Shinsuke, 32, 6-dan, Police Officer
    20.Shigetomi Yūichi, 38, R7-dan, Police Officer
    21.Nakama Yōsuke, 31, 5-dan, Police Officer
    22.Kiwada Daiki, 32, 6-dan, Police Officer
    23.Sasaki Shōichi, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    24.Watanabe Tetsuya, 24, 4-dan, Police Officer
    25.Sasagawa Teppei, 27, 5-dan, Police Officer
    26.Kimura Shigeru, 32, 5-dan, Police Officer
    27.Tanaka Takeshi, 35, R6-dan, Police Officer
    28.Osonoi Naoki, 22, 4-dan, Student
    29.Yamamura Takeru, 24, 4-dan, Police Officer
    30.Takanabe Susume, 34, R6-dan, Police Officer
    31.Keta Kazuma, 27, 4-dan, Police Officer
    32.Sunagawa Osamu, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    33.Ishizaki Takeshi, 31, 5-dan, Police Officer
    34.Yamashita Jō, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    35.Shimada Takafumi, 27, 5-dan, Police Officer
    36.Hayashi Toyohiro, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    37.Ogawa Tsunato, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    38.Soma Yū, 24, 3-dan, School Worker
    39.Uchimura Ryōichi, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    40.Hanaki Makoto, 31, R6-dan, Police Officer
    41.Shimogawa Ryōsuke, 30, 6-dan, Police Officer
    42.Yamaguchi Kōshin, 32, 6-dan, Police Officer
    43.Tsuruga Shinpei, 31, 5-dan, Police Officer
    44.Ebihara Hidenori, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    45.Takashima Yūji, 34, R6-dan, Police Officer
    46.Ishibashi Taisuke, 34, 6-dan, Police Officer
    47.Nishimura Takeshi, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    48.Koshikawa Kazutaka, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    49.Shishido Ryoken, 26, 4-dan, Company Worker
    50.Omura Ken, 30, 5-dan, Teacher
    51.Ishii Hiroyuki, 31, 5-dan, Police Officer
    52.Takasaka Yūsuke, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    53.Shimura Keiichi, 28, 5-dan, Police Officer
    54.Harada Kenji, 29, 5-dan, Police Officer
    55.Hōjō Tadaomi, 34, R6-dan, Police Officer
    56.Matsuoka Makoto, 34, R6-dan, Police Officer
    57.Imoto Takeshi, 32, 6-dan, Police Officer
    58.Watanabe Kazuteru, 25, 4-dan, Police Officer
    59.Kawaki Kazuya, 33, 6-dan, Police Officer
    60.Furukawa Kosuke, 31, 6-dan, Police Officer
    61.Yokoyama Takeshi, 30, 5-dan, Police Officer
    62.Oike Tomoyuki, 28, 4-dan, Prison Officer
    63.Satō Norikazu, 31, 5-dan, Police Officer
    64.Toyama Hiroki, 36, R6-dan, Police Officer

    Attached Files

    • ender84567
      #44
      ender84567 commented
      Editing a comment
      its also possible he was too fast even for the high speed and there is a frame missing where he made contact. I would trust the shinpan over tech.

    • turboyoshi
      #45
      turboyoshi commented
      Editing a comment
      Originally posted by ender84567
      its also possible he was too fast even for the high speed and there is a frame missing where he made contact.
      I was considering this also. I wonder if anyone can tell us how many fps is this high speed camera really capturing?

    • ben
      #46
      ben commented
      Editing a comment
      Just guessing, but these super-slo cameras record at 16x so 1 sec real time is stretched to 16 secs. NTSC frame rate is 29.97 so 16 x 29.97 = 479.52 fps. Perhaps. Could be faster depending on the shutter speed. b
    Posting comments is disabled.

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