Originally published in Kendo World Issue 3.1, 2004 The Meiji Restoration and Kendo The modern art of kendo, now practiced by millions of people in Japan and around the world evolved from tried and tested battlefield techniques. With the advancement of tenka taihei, or “peace throughout the realm” during the Tokugawa period (1600-1868), the martial arts took on new a role for the ruling samurai class. With no more wars to demonstrate martial valour, the military arts were studied as vehicles for self-development, with increasing emphasis placed on aesthetic and spiritual values rather than just as a means to kill. The Tokugawa period saw theRead More →

By Frode Naerland Another European Kendo Championships is over, and what a good championships it was. I have been to a couple of these over the last years as a member of the Norwegian team, and I must say that this had to have been be the most smoothly run event to date. The Hungarian Kendo Federation have got the code on how to sucsesfully hold a well organized championship, that’s for sure!For 3 days 37 nations and over 700 Kendoka fought hard with a lot of heart, to get to the finals. The first part of a long Friday was the juniors team andRead More →

Following the huge success of the 2007 novel by Honda Tetsuya, which was made into a manga illustrated by Ando Jiro recently, this story about a teenage lass and her journey in the world of kendo has been made into a movie. Kaori has been training in kendo since the age of 3, and is well-known as an elite shiai machine. To her absolute shock and horror she ends up losing a match to an opponent nobody has even heard of. Greatly perplexed by her loss, Kaori gets to know this happy-go-lucky kendo hobbyist, and discovers a side of kendo she had never been awareRead More →

By Blake Bennett Hosted in a surprisingly small gymnasium at the Osaka Sangyo University campus, the “Osaka Student Championships (Osaka Gakusei Taikai)” was conducted and completed on Sunday 18th April, 2010. The 49th year running for the male competitors and the 60th year for the women, (one of few student kendo events where the female division has a longer history than the males) representitives from approximately twenty universities from Osaka-Fu crammed in to watch 8 shiai-jo running full time from 9:30am until 4pm on a beautiful Osaka spring day. The levels of the competitors varied considerably as did that of the shimpan, however positioned asRead More →