Of the handful of books on Naginata that do exist, most are prewar Japanese textbooks that are for the most part irrelevant to the popular form of Atarashii Naginata developed in the post-war period. Post-war Naginata books are scant, and usually only cover the same basic techniques. Very little information is offered in regards to the cultural, historical, and mental aspects of Naginata. It requires a concerted effort to find such information in Japanese books, and to date, apart from a few journal articles, there has been virtually no work done in these areas in English or any other language. Until now, Naginata practitioners around the world have been left almost completely in the dark with regards to how the modern art that we practise today actually evolved and took its current form, in a process that spanned over one thousand years.
The purpose of this book is two-fold. Firstly it is an attempt to start filling the gap of knowledge concerning the history and philosophical aspects of Naginata. The information contained in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 is by no means exhaustive, and it is hoped by the author that it will provide impetus for other researchers of budo culture and history to build on and improve what little has been written to date.
Secondly, it will serve as a reference for instructors and beginners alike in the techniques of Naginata. Much of the technical information is based on my previous translation of Sports V Course Naginata published by the INF. I have also added more detail to the original text, including explanations of concepts found in the Naginata Handbook, a pamphlet published by the All Japan Naginata Federation for the benefit of people sitting grading examinations. Furthermore, the appendices at the end were included to assist middle to high ranked practitioners for reviewing refereeing, grading examinations, Kata, vocabulary, and so forth.
Chapter 1: The History of Naginata
Chapter 2: Form and Theory
Chapter 3: Practical Drills Without a Partner
Chapter 4: Practical Drills With a Partner
Chapter 5: Drills With Bogu
Appendix 1 — Naginata Match Regulations
Appendix 2 — Naginata Shinpan Regulations
Appendix 3 — Handbook for Administering Tournaments
Appendix 4 — Kata Outline
Appendix 5 — Examination Questions
Appendix 6 — INF Constitution
Appendix 7 — Glossary