The 2nd Kendo World Tokyo Keiko-kai

Keiko-kai groupSaturday July 20, 2013 – Meiji University

The 2nd Kendo World Tokyo Keiko-kai was held on Saturday July 20, 2013, at Meiji University’s Izumi Campus in central Tokyo. It was attended by 37 participants representing 19 different countries. There were also seven 8-dan and one 7-dan sensei that came to participate in the event.

The first hour of practice was led by H8-dan Inoue Yoshihiko-sensei. In this session he emphasised the importance of the correct mindset for kendo. Kendo is derived from a ‘life and death’ situation and as such, we should treat it that way in our training. Kendo should not be thought of a quest to score points.

keiko-kai participantsWhen Inoue-sensei’s instruction had finished, the other 8-dan sensei put on their men to line up as motodachi for the participants. The venue this year was much bigger than before which meant that participants had more room to practice and they were also able to pair off.
Keiko-kai practiceAfter keiko finished, everyone moved to the university dining hall for a party. The university put on a magnificent spread of food that included sushi, fried rice and noodles, dumplings, fried chicken and a lot of fruit. Of course, there were many bottles of beer and wine to help wash down the food.

K8-dan Nagao Susumu-sensei who is also the Meiji University vice-principal made a short speech welcoming everyone to the university. Then K8-dan Hirakawa Nobuo-sensei, a former Meiji University professor, did a ‘kanpai’ to start the imbibing.

About half-way through the party, it was time to give away some presents. First, Honda Sotaro-sensei’s book was given to the participant who registered for the keiko-kai first. Then two shinai from Kenbudo in Chiba were given to the two participants who came from the furthest away – Belgium and New Zealand. Then the Kendo Grading Book was given to the youngest participant, a 16-year-old Danish national junior team member. After those gifts were handed out, the raffle began. Kendo World gave away some magazines and books, but also there were many gifts that were given to Kendo World to be raffled off. These were several copies of two of Inoue-sensei’s book, two DVDs of One Shot, One Life (Jon Braeley’s new documentary on kyudo), and a pair of kote and a couple of goodie-bags from Andy Fisher at All Japan Budogu. The last prize to be given away was the “Kiwada Package”.This consisted of a signed shinai from Kiwada Daisuke (the current All Japan Champion), a waffle-gi and a tare. All of these were products that Kiwada himself uses, and were donated by Blake Bennett of Shogun Kendogu.

During the jigeiko session, Inoue-sensei was keeping an eye on the participants and picked two that he thought did especially well. They were each awarded a Kendo World shinai bag madefrom old kimono obi by the mother of Shishikura Masashi (Kendo World’s designer).

When the raffle finished, it was back to the festivities. These finished at 1415 with a traditional Japanese song sung by Inoue-sensei, and then Mochizuki-sensei did an ippon-jime (a Japanese way of clapping that is used to endparties). Many participants ended up in the Dubliners Irish pub in Shinjuku to continue partying.

Thank you from the Kendo World team to all the sensei and participants for making this a fantastic event. We hope that you’ll be able to join us next year!