book of five rings

Gorin no Sho – Book of Five Rings The last six months of my life has been pretty much all about Miyamoto Musashi. When I’m not doing my real job, Musashi is sure to be there giving me a hard time. He has even been haunting my dreams of late. The reason for this obsessiveness is a recent book project that, in a fleeting moment of madness, I decided to take on. Yes folks, the world’s bookshelves are about to be adorned with yet another translation of Musashi’s classic, Gorin no Sho a.k.a the Book of Five Rings. As if we need another one, right? TrueRead More →

kendo

Each year, the Nippon Budokan Foundation dispatches a “Budo Delegation” (Japanese martial ways) to a different country to perform demonstrations, hold workshops, and facilitate greater international understanding of the traditional Japanese martial arts. This is a government-sponsored event sanctioned by Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sports Agency of MEXT. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the “Basic Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation” (1976) between Australia and Japan, the 2016 International Budo Delegation consisting of 78 martial arts masters will visit Sydney from November 9~16. The nine modern budo disciplines that will be demonstrated are judo, kendo, karatedo, shorinji kempo, naginata,Read More →

Examiner’s Report on Alexander C. Bennett’s Ph.D. thesis: “The Cultural Politics of Proprietorship: The Socio-historical Evolution of Japanese Swordsmanship and its Correlation with Cultural Nationalism” This is an excellent thesis, well-written, well-argued and well-structured, and it makes an important new contribution to scholarly knowledge about its subject. The author, Alexander Bennett’s, mastery of the subject is obvious on every page — clearly he has studied it and thought about it over many years, far more so than the average PhD candidate. It is also important to note that the author proves his ability to read the Japanese language at an advanced educated level and toRead More →

Blooming heck. Six years it took, but I finally finished my second PhD thesis, and submitted it yesterday to the University of Canterbury. The title: “The Cultural Politics of Proprietorship: The Socio-historical Evolution of Japanese Swordsmanship and its Correlation with Cultural Nationalism”. I finished my first one at Kyoto University about “bushido” in 2001 which can be bought here if you can read Japanese. The one I just finished is all in English (much easier to write) and is a detailed socio-historic analysis of kendo. The TOC is as follows. Hopefully I can find a publisher for it… Actually, before that, I hope it passes!!!Read More →

The Chuseikan Dojo in Christchurch, New Zealand See Chuseikan Video Here!! The earth didn’t rock, it exploded under our feet. That was the February 22 earthquake in Christchurch last year. Not long after that, when I had arrived back in Japan, the March 11 Great Tohoku Earthquake happened, followed by a massive tsunami and the unnerving nuclear disaster. In terms of scale, the Japanese earthquake was far bigger, and the casualties inconceivable. How do you come to terms with entire villages being swept away, thousands of casualties, and then the on-going menace of radiation? Well, you can’t really, but life goes on for the living.Read More →