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  • Kendo in America

    I'm looking for information on Kendo in America. Its history; when it came to America, who brought it here, how it started to grow, etc. The information is surprisingly difficult to come by. Does anyone have any information on this or know of sources that would?

  • #2
    I'm not sure when the first Japanese immigrants came here.
    I've alwaws thought that the Japaneses ancestry from Canada, United States and Brazil have much to do. And the popularization came after the WW2, specially from the Yankees that were in Japan.

    As for I know in Mexico, the Japaneses colonies (not really bigs though, adn I'm not sure about how many are) didn't do kendou bfore. They are starting to learn it from a few years back.

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    • #3
      I would try contact the AUSKF (All United States Kendo Federation). Maybe they have records or their senior members might be able to give you some information. But if he is still alive Dr. Gordon Warner Sensei would be a valuable source of information.

      http://www.auskf.info/auskf.htm

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      • #4
        There's some discussion of this in the beginning of "This is Kendo" by Sasamori and Warner. Here's the Amazon link.

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        • #5
          You can also check out an article by Dr. Benjamin Hazard Sensei that was posted on the AUSKF site (although I dont know if it's there anymore). He's got some good history about Kendo in the past.

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          • #6
            Do you mean "America" as in United States of ?
            Or the continent?

            I know a guy currently writing a book on the history of Kendo in Brazil. Here's an abstract in english:

            http://www.cenb.org.br/CENB/Ensaios_...Kobayashi.html

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Abramo View Post
              Do you mean "America" as in United States of ?
              Or the continent?

              I know a guy currently writing a book on the history of Kendo in Brazil. Here's an abstract in english:

              http://www.cenb.org.br/CENB/Ensaios_...Kobayashi.html
              There is not other America than the continent

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              • #8
                Here are a few of links with some good information. Since Hawaii was not a state when kendo 1st arrived there, you could argue one way or the other if this is where the 1st American dojo were. The 2nd article references California dojo in the 1920's. The last article has some Pacific Northwest history.

                http://www.hawaiikendo.com/history.html
                http://ejmas.com/jalt/jaltart_Svinth1_1000.htm
                http://www.kendo-pnkf.org/about/history.php
                Last edited by kurisu; 30th October 2008, 01:54 AM. Reason: added a link

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                • #9
                  Kendo in USA appears around 1984 in Seattle and San Francisco. Since the beginning of 20th century as Japanese immigrants came from Japan, Japanese immigrants societies were established in some areas in the mainland. It was a huge booming to teach Kendo in 1930s in California during Japanese immigrant society as aspect of Japanese education to Japanese Americans who were children of the first Japanese immigrants. This boom was caused by one Japanese Kendoka Tokichi Nakamura. During WW2 Japanese immigrants were arrested in the camps and Kendo in USA might be stopped. (Not sure) After WW2 Torao Mori played a important role in American Kendo.

                  I studied Japanese History at University and my final thesis is the Kendo History in U.S mainland, especially California before WW2. I researched with Japanese immigrants' news paper and picked articles about Kendo from 1929 to 1935. I now edit my thesis for publishing and find this thread and can't ignore to reply. I hope to continue my research again in near future and if I find something new I will post it

                  Reference (English)
                  http://www.amazon.com/More-Than-Game.../dp/1881161110

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hisano View Post
                    Kendo in USA appears around 1984...
                    Give or take 100 years.

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                    • #11
                      Our northern California dojo was founded in 1970 but this photo shows that kendo existed around our area long before that, as far back as the 1930's or perhaps earlier. There are other places in California that have an even longer history.

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                      • #12
                        Kendo was very healthy in Southern California in the 1930s and before. We just got a bunch of really great photos from my sensei to scan and archive from that era. Huge panoramic group shots and some 8x10s featuring the Waseda University team who visited at that time. He’s 91 now, and here he is as a kid.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by nebosuke View Post
                          Kendo was very healthy in Southern California in the 1930s and before. We just got a bunch of really great photos from my sensei to scan and archive from that era. Huge panoramic group shots and some 8x10s featuring the Waseda University team who visited at that time. He’s 91 now, and here he is as a kid.
                          Please scan as many as you can! I think this is one thing we need to development, fleshing out the history of Kendo in the US with as many resources as possible (photos like the one you linked, etc.) and testimony recorded either by video or in written form. I hope this opportunity is taken, and thanks for linking that photo!

                          Also one of my Senseis is alumnus of Waseda University, so I'd like to forward those photos of their team visiting in the 30s when available!
                          Last edited by Dervish; 4th July 2012, 08:34 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Contact Tom Bolling at the U. of WA. Joseph Svinth is an authority on history.

                            http://faculty.washington.edu/kendo/PNKFhist.html

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                            • #15
                              Martial Arts the Modern World by Thomas Greene & Joseph Svinth, ISBN-13: 978-0275981532
                              - Kendo in North America, pages 149-166

                              1978 Jeffrey Lewis Dann "Kendo" in Japanese Martial Culture: Swordsmanship as Self-Cultivation. Ph. D. dissertation. Department of Anthropology: University of Washington.
                              - contains an enormous amount of history from early US kendo, you can order this thesis the print-out is about 3/4 of an inch thick.

                              Although in Japanese language only. The following book contains an enormous amount of information from the Mori sensei period in our kendo history.
                              タイガー・モリと呼ばれた男―幻の剣士・森寅雄の生涯 [単行本]
                              "A Man called Tiger Mori, The Life of the Phantom Swordsman, Mori Torao"
                              http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/i...465392&s=books

                              General Post WW2 kendo history
                              http://www.auskf.org/archives/articles/hazard.htm
                              http://www.auskf.info/main/articles.htm

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