The 44th All Japan University Women’s Individual Championships were held at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Saturday 3rd July.
88 of the best University kendoka from 44 Universities around Japan competed in the annual knockout tournament. 6 shiai jo of fiercely competitive women’s shiai were held until the quarter and semi finals. To reach the semi finals they had to successfully fight their way through 4 to 5 bouts. The semi finals occurring at the same time lead to an exciting final.
Semi-final 1 was Hashimoto (Kanoya Sports University) vs Yoko ( Waseda Univesity). Hashimoto scored a hiki men first, soon followed by an equalising men from Yoko. The match went into encho and Hashimoto finished her opponent with a slicing nuki do.
Semi-final 2 was Sato (Kokushikan University) vs Yuasa (Ritsumeikan University). Sato scored the first men. She managed to hold Yuasa off until the last 30 secs where Yuasa scored a lighting fast men bringing the match into encho. After over 3 mins of encho Sato cracked a hiki do winning the match.
The final was between Hashimoto and Sato representing two of the top Kendo Universities in Japan, Kanoya Sports University and Kokushikan University. The women’s coach of Kanoya Sport’s University, Shimokawa Sensei (Brazil WKC All Japan Women’s Team member) influenced a high quality tournament final.
One shiai jo was created in the centre of the Budokan staging the final match between rivalling universities. The crowd cheered as the Budokan’s full lights came on to heighten the emotions of the competitors and the audience of over a thousand spectators.
In the final Hashimoto dominated and controlled Sato to score an unquestionably clear tobikomi men half way into the match. Hashimoto’s composure held Sato to the end of the match to win the 44th All Japan University Women’s Individual Tournament. Check out the video for yourself.
1st Place Hashimoto Megumi, 22 yrs old, 4-dan (Kanoya Sports University)
2nd Place Sato Ami, 21 yrs old, 3-dan (Kokushikan University)
3rd Place Yoko Yuko (Waseda University)
3rd Place Yuasa Natsuki (Ritsumeikan University)