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19th All Japan Invitational 8-dan Kendo Championships



The 19th All Japan Invitational 8-dan Kendo Championships

Sunday April 18, 2021 – Nakamura Sports Center, Nagoya


The 19th All Japan Invitational 8-dan Kendo Championships will be held tomorrow at Nakamura Sports Center in Nagoya. The 18th edition was scheduled to be held in April 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that event was cancelled, not postponed like the 68th AJKC and the 59th AJWKC, which were contested in March instead of November and September respectively. Due to the safety of competitors and officials and the prevent the spread of infections, spectators are not allowed to attend the 8-dan championships. Also like both the AJKC and AJWKC, no police officers are taking part. Teachers make up the majority of competitors (18), with a few more that work in schools in some capacity. Even though there are no police officers, there are several former officers, most notably Funatsu Shinji (65) of Osaka. Funatsu-sensei, who is making his 12th appearance in this tournament, won the 5th and 8th editions and has also finished third once. As an Osaka police officer he won the Police Team Championships twice and finished third in the individual championships. In addition to those titles, Funatsu-sensei has also won the Todofuken and WKC. At 65 he is one of the oldest competitors, but he will surely be one of the favourites. Funatsu-sensei is also one of three Hanshi, the other two being Migita Shigeaki (65, Tokyo), a professor at kendo powerhouse Kokushikan University, and Kurita Waichiro (64, Tokyo), a former police officer who finished in third place in the 17th edition of this tournament.


Another former police officer to look out for is recently retired Terachi Tanetoshi (61, Tokyo). Terachi-sensei is making his third appearance in this championship but has in the past won the WKC three times, National Sports Meet twice, Police Team Championship eight times, and the Police Individual Championships twice.


Because there are no actively serving police officers taking part this year, it means that we do not get to see the likes of Miyazaki Masahiro, Ishida Toshiya, and Eiga Naoki, winner of the 17th 8-dan championships in 2019. However, there are many more teachers taking part this year. Eiga-sensei’s older brother Hideyuki (56, Hokkaido) is making his second appearance. He has finished runner-up and third twice in the AJKC, as well as winning the Todofuken twice and the Teacher Team Championships. Perhaps the most successful teacher is 62-year-old Tsuchiya Masaru from Fukushima who has won both the team and individual championships three times each. He is one of the older competitors but is making his debut in this competition. There is also Sakata Hideharu (59, Yamanashi) who has won both the team and individual teacher championships and the National Sports Meet, as well as finishing second and third in the WKC Individuals, Yoshida Kazuhide (57, Osaka) who has also won the team and individual teacher championship. Perhaps the teacher that all eyes will be on is Nabeyama Takahiro (52, Ibaraki). Nabeyama-sensei, a graduate of, and teacher at, the University of Tsukuba, is making his debut in this competition. He has placed in the Todofuken three times, won the National Sports Meet, and won the Teacher Championships three times. Nabeyama-sensei is also the youngest competitor this year.


Takeuchi Tsukasa, a health and welfare councillor, was defeated in the semifinal by Eiga Naoki in 2019 and he is back this year in his third championships


So, even though 14 of the 32 sensei are making their first appearance in this championships, the field is still looking extremely strong. We will there as usual and will be bringing you updates during the day and photos, and videos in the days that follow.


Competitor Profiles

Name, Age, Shogo, Prefecture, Occupation, Appearance Number

Major Competition History


1. MATSUSHITA Etsuro, 65, Kyoshi, Kagoshima, Kagoshima Kendo Federation Chairman, 2nd app.

National Sports Meet: 2nd place

Police Team Champs: 2nd div. Winner

Student Champs: Winner; 2nd place


2. INOUE Takashi, 62, Kyoshi, Kagawa, School Staff, 1st app.

Teacher Team Champs: Winner


3. FUNATSU Shinji, 65, Hanshi, Osaka, University Kendo Club Shihan, 12th app.

8-dan Champs: Winner x2; 3rd place

WKC Team: Winner

Todofuken: Winner; 2nd place x3

National Sports Meet: 2nd place x3

Police Team Champs: Winner x2

Police Ind. Champs: 3rd place


4. SATO Katsunobu, 63, Kyoshi, Tokyo, Company Advisor, 3rd app.

Todofuken: 2nd place

National Sports Meet: Winner

Police Champs: Winner

Prince Tomohito 8-dan Cup: Winner


5. SAKATA Hideharu, 59, Kyoshi, Yamanashi, Teacher, 5th app.

WKC Ind.: 2nd, 3rd

National Sports Meet: Winner

Teacher Team Champs: Winner

Teacher Ind. Champs: Winner


6. EIGA Hideyuki, 56, Kyoshi, Hokkaido, Teacher, 2nd app.

AJKC: 2nd place, 3rd place x2

Todofuken: Winner x2; 2nd place; 3rd place

Teacher Team Champs: Winner; 2nd place


7. URA Kazuto, 63, Kyoshi, Hyogo, Teacher, 3rd app.


8. IJIMA Akira, 63, Kyoshi, Chiba, University Professor, 1st app.


9. YAMAZAKI Masaru, 63, Kyoshi, Aichi, Teacher, 6th app.

Todofuken: 2nd place

National Sports Meet: Winner x2; 2nd place

Police Team Champs: 1st div. 2nd place

Police Ind. Champs: 2nd place


10. HONNA Kazuhiko, 57, Kyoshi, Ibaraki, Corporate School Vice Principal, 1st app.

Todofuken: 3rd place

National Sports Meet: Winner

Corporate Ind. Champs: Winner


11. YAMAMOTO Masahiko, 62, Kyoshi, Osaka, Education Committee Member, 4th app.

WKC Ind.: 3rd place

Todofuken: Winner x4

Police Champs: Winner x2


12. KUNITOMO Shuzo, 57, Kyoshi, Fukuoka, School Principal, 1st app.


13. TAKEUCHI Tsukasa, 54, Kyoshi, Okayama, Health and Welfare Councillor, 2nd app.

8-dan Champs: 3rd place

Todofuken: Winner x2; 3rd place x3

National Sports Meet: 3rd place


14. MIGITA Shigeaki, 65, Hanshi, Tokyo, University Professor, 2nd app.

Todofuken: Winner, 3rd place

Teacher Team Champs: Winner x3; 2nd place

Student Team Champs: Winner

Prince Tomohito 8-dan Cup: 3rd place


15. YOSHIMURA Tetsuo, 62, Kyoshi, Kanagawa, University Professor, 1st app.

Prince Tomohito 8-dan Cup: 3rd place


16. TSUCHIYA Masaru, 62, Kyoshi, Fukushima, Instructor, 1st app.

Teacher Team Champs: Winner x3

Teacher Ind. Champs: Winner x3


17. SAEKI Hiromi, 58, Kyoshi, Miyazaki, School Principal, 3rd app.

National Sports Meet: Winner

Teacher Champs: Winner; 2nd place; 3rd place x2


18. NAKASHIMA Haruhiko, 62, Kyoshi, Kanagawa, University Professor, 1st app.


19. ISHIKAWA Kaoru, 63, Kyoshi, Kyoto, University Kendo Club Shihan, 2nd app.


20. KURITA Waichiro, 64, Hanshi, Tokyo, AJKF Committee Member, 6th app.

8-dan Champs: 3rd place

National Sports Meet: Winner; 2nd place x2

Police Team Champs: Winner x5


21. YOSHIDA Kazuhide, 57, Kyoshi, Osaka, Teacher, 1st app.

Todofuken: 2nd place, 3rd place

Teacher Team Champs: Winner

Teacher Ind. Champs: Winner


22. SEKIKAWA Tadaaki, 61, Kyoshi, Chiba, Teacher, 1st app.


23. TANAKA Hiroaki, 62, Kyoshi, Saitama, Dojo Head, 1st app.

Todofuken: Winner; 2nd place


24. YUZAWA Hiroshi, 57, Kyoshi, Akita, School Vice-Principal, 3rd app.

Teacher Champs: 2nd place; 3rd place


25. NAGANO Kenji, 59, Kyoshi, Hyogo, Teacher, 1st app.

Todofuken: 3rd place


26. HAYASHI Satomi, 60, Kyoshi, Chiba, Teacher, 2nd app.

Todofuken: 2nd place

National Sports Meet: 3rd place

Teacher Team Champs: Winner

Interhigh Team: Winner


27. SAGA Yutaka, 57, Kyoshi, Hokkaido, School Vice-Principal, 3rd app.

Todofuken: 2nd place, 3rd place

National Sports Meet: Winner; 2nd place; 3rd place

7-dan Champs: 2nd place


28. KIYONO Shinobu, 56, Kyoshi, Yamanashi, Government Association Worker, 3rd app.


29. KUWAHARA Keiji, 60, Kyoshi, Kagawa, Prison Officer, 1st app.


30. NABEYAMA Takahiro, 52, Kyoshi, Ibaraki, University Teacher, 1st app.

Todofuken: 2nd place, 3rd place x2

National Sports Meet: Winner

Teacher Champs: Winner x3; 2nd place x2; 3rd place


31. EJIMA Ryosuke, 65, Kyoshi, Saga, Sports Advisor, 1st app.

Teacher Team Champs: 3rd place

Teacher Ind. Champs: 2nd place x2


32. TERACHI Tanetoshi, 61, Kyoshi, Tokyo, 3rd app.

WKC Team: Winner x3

Todofuken: Winner

National Sports Meet: Winner x2

Police Team Champs: Winner x8

Police Ind. Champs: Winner x2

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