News

PNKF Coronavirus Updates

The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected organizations across the world and the PNKF is no exception. Below is an list of known dojos/events so far affected.

Dojos

  • Aishinkai – Northgate Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Alaska – ??
  • Bellevue – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Cascade – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Edmonds – Practice Cancelled Until 04/27
  • Everett – Practice Cancelled Until 04/01
  • Federal Way – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Highline – Practice Cancelled Until 04/24
  • Hoshu Portland – ??
  • Hoshu Seattle – ??
  • Idaho – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Kent – Practice Cancelled Until 03/31
  • Meadowbrook – Likely Practice Cancelled (Seattle Parks Closure)
  • Musokai – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Northwest – Practice Cancelled Until 04/22
  • Obukan – Practice Cancelled Until 03/31
  • OSU – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Pocatello – ??
  • Portland – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Seattle – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Sno-King – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Spokane – Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Tacoma – Practice 03/15, then Practice Cancelled Until Further Notice
  • Tonbo – ??
  • University of Washington – Practice Cancelled Until Start of Spring Quarter

Events

  • 03/21 – Highline Taikai – Postponed – Tentative New Date 06/06
  • 03/28 – PNKF Kata Seminar – Cancelled
  • 04/18 – UW Taikai – Cancelled
  • 05/02 – Rose City Taikai – Cancelled
  • 05/30 – Vancouver Taikai – Cancelled
If you have an update that belongs on this list, please visit the PNKF Facebook page and reply to the ongoing thread. Please stay healthy!

Posted in Announcements

Kenyu – January/February 2020

Volume 34, number 1/2
January/February 2020

PNKF DATEBOOK

March 2020
* 3/14: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 3/21: Highline Kendo Taikai, Sat, doors open 8:30am, opening ceremonies 9:30am, White Center Community Center, 1321 SW 102nd Street, Seattle, POSTPONED. TENTATIVE NEW DATE: Saturday, June 6, 2020.
* 3/21-22: 24th Annual Harvard Shoryuhai Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament, Sat/Sun, Malkin Althletic Center (MAC), 4th floor basketball courts, on Holyoke Street, Boston. CANCELLED
* 3/28: PNKF Nippon Kendo Kata and BKKR Seminar, Sat, 9am-1pm, Chinook Middle School, 18650 42nd Avenue S., SeaTac, WA 98188. CANCELLED
* 3/28: PNKF Iaido Seminar and Shinsa, Sat, CANCELLED.
* 3/28: 32nd Cleveland Kendo Tournament/GNEUSKF Championships, Sat, CANCELLED.
April 2020
* 4/4: AUSKF Junior Open Championships, Sat, Marina High School, 15871 Springdale Street, Huntington Beach, California 92649. http://auskf-jrnationals.com/ POSTPONED
* 4/18: UW Taikai, Sat, Intramural Activities (IMA), UW campus, Montlake Boulevard NE.CANCELLED
* 4/26: Cherry Blossom demo, Sun, Seattle Center.
May 2020
* 5/2: Rose City Kendo Taikai, Sat, Portland, CANCELLED.
* 5/9: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 5/16: Bellevue Junior Kendo Taikai, Sat, 9:30am start time, Highland Park Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue CANCELLED.
* 5/30: 55th Annual Vancouver Kendo Tournament, Sat, 10am-6pm, doors open 9am, Byrne Creek Secondary School, 7777 18th Street, Burnaby, B.C. V3N 5E5. CANCELLED.
June 2020
* 6/6: Highline Kendo Taikai, Sat, doors open 8:30am, opening ceremonies 9:30am, White Center Community Center, 1321 SW 102nd Street, Seattle, PROBABLE NEW DATE, TENTATIVE. * 13th Annual US Nito Kendo Summer Camp, CANCELLED.
July 2020
* 7/17-19: AUSKF 2020 National Kendo Championships, Fri-Sun, PROBABLE DATE, TENTATIVE.
* 7/18: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
August 2020
* 8/15: PNKF Kendo Shinsa, Sat, Kent Commons Recreational Center, 525 4th Avenue N., Kent.
September 2020
* 9/12: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 9/25-9/27: PNKF Iaido Seminar, Tournament, and Shinsa.
October 2020
* 10/3: Kent Kendo Taikai, Sat, TBD, Kent Commons Recreational Center, 525 4th Avenue N., Kent.
* 10/17 or 10/24: Tacoma Kendo Taikai, Sat, TBD.
November 2020
* 11/7: PNKF Taikai, Kent.
* 11/14-15: AUSKF Board meeting.
* 11/15: AUSKF Kodansha Shinsa.
* 11/21: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
March 2021
* 3/20-21: 25th Annual Harvard Shoryuhai Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament, Sat/Sun, Malkin Althletic Center (MAC), 4th floor basketball courts, on Holyoke Street, Boston (TENTATIVE).
May 2021
* 5/27-30: 18WKC, Thu-Sun, Paris, France.

15th ANNUAL PACIFIC INTERCOLLEGIATE KENDO TOURNAMENT – January 11, 2020, University of British Columbia

Non-Bogu                             Women’s
1st place - Brenna Short, Langara    1st place – Tamana Koike, UBC
2nd place - Feifei Yang, UBC         2nd place – Betty Park, UW
3rd place - Alex Golab, UBC          3rd place – Sara Lowes, UBC
3rd place - Viet Hoang, UBC          3rd place – Becca Hsu, SFU

Men’s Kyu                            Men’s Dan
1st place - Rory Long, UBC           1st place – Masachika Ando, UVic
2nd place - Brian Hong, UW           2nd place – Tiarnan Marsten, UW
3rd place - Jason Tang, Langara      3rd place – Minh Dao, UVic
3rd place - Brian Wong, UW           3rd place – Mitsuki Yoneda, UW

Men's Alumni
1st place - Ellis Cheng, UBC
2nd place - John Magaling, SFU
3rd place - Michael Hong, SFU
3rd place - Pat Hung, UVic

Team Match
1st place - UW A (Betty Park, Andy Yuen, Brian Hong, Connor Mulcahy, Masataka Murakami)
2nd place - UW C (Jane Higa, Juno Lee, Brian Wong, Mitsuki Yoneda, Tiarnan Marsten)
3rd place – SFU (Sean Lu, Gina Gu, Gene Ju, Michael Hong, Becca Hsu)
3rd place – UVic (Masachika Ando, Minh Dao, Matthew Pomeroy, Pat Hung, Tiffany Huang)

Fighting Spirit
Brian Wong, UW
Kanami Suzuki, UBC

Special Fighting Spirit
Tamana Koike, UBC

Bogushop sponsored the prizes

58th ANNUAL STEVESTON KENDO TOURNAMENT – February 8, 2020, Hugh McRoberts Secondary School, Richmond, BC

10 Years and Under                   11 to 13 Years                       14 to 15 Years
1st place – L. Ido, Butokoden        1st place – T. Ariga, Butokuden      1st place – K. Squance, Renbu
2nd place – K. Yoshimura, Renbu      2nd place – A. Mabale, Seattle       2nd place – C. Robillard, Steveston
3rd place – V. Chen, NCKF            3rd place – I. Hwang, Renbu          3rd place – Y. Lee, Renbu
3rd place – S. Ara, Renbu            3rd place – J. Yu, Northwest         3rd place – M. Hong, NCKF

0-4 Kyu                              1-3 Kyu                              Women 1 Dan and Under
1st place – B. Staub, NCKF           1st place – B. Miki, Steveston       1st place – K. McIntosh, Federal Way
2nd place – K. Kim, Chinook          2nd place – B. Wong, UW              2nd place – J. Lee, UW
3rd place – A. Lee, Langara          3rd place – N. Shimabukuro, Hawaii   3rd place – M. Matsuno, Hawaii
3rd place – R. Ang, UBC              3rd place – D. Wu, Langara           3rd place – K. Acoba, Everett

Women 2 Dan and Over                 1-2 Dan                              3 Dan
1st place – H. Yamada, Vancouver     1st place – B. Pae, Northwest        1st place – T. Marsten, UW
2nd place – A. Fukushima, Vancouver  2nd place – R. Kim, Renbu            2nd place – M. Price, Seattle
3rd place – W. Robillard, Steveston  3rd place – J. Kim, Federal Way      3rd place – P. Lee, Steveston
3rd place – K. Arai, Butokuden       3rd place – K. Higo, Renfrew         3rd place – M. Ando, UVic

4 Dan and Above
1st place – K. Unzei, Tozenji
2nd place – K. Hamayama, NCKF
3rd place – G. Suzaka, Seattle
3rd place – R. Asato, Vancouver

Junior Team
1st place - NCKF (I. Lancelot, M. Hong, Y. Onitsuka, J. Huang, A. Delgado)
2nd place - Renbu B (I. Son, E. Cho, Y. Kawabe, K. Yoshimura, H. Tominaga)
3rd place - Steveston A (A. Iwai, J. Hung, C. Robillard, R. Nakano, D. Chui)
3rd place – Butokuden (L. Ido, L. Yang, T. Miyamoto, F. Ido, T. Ariga)

Senior Team
1st place – NCKF (D. Williams, M. Uto, S. Park, K. Hamayama, K. Fujimoto)
2nd place – Hawaii (R. Umetsu, M. Matsuno, B. Fukutomi, ,Y. Goya, L. Hancock)
3rd place - Youshinkan (K. Takeuchi, J. Chien, A. Xie, J. Schmidt, K. Kobayashi)
3rd place – Vancouver (G. Gao, S. Jung, R. Asato, N. Fukushima, H. Yamada)

Moment of Silence – in remembrance and thankfulness for Kendo Hanshi 8th Dan Mitsuru Asaoka of Youshinkan Dojo, who passed away on December 27, 2019 at age 74.
Introduction and Congratulations for Toshio Murao, Ray Murao Sensei’s father, whose 100th birthday was on January 23, 1920.
Sportsmanship Pledge – Emily Chui, Steveston.
Head Judge – Ray Murao.

2020 EAST COAST IAIDO TAIKAI – February 16, 2020, Jersey City, NJ

4 Dan Kishimoto Cup
1st place - Hanna Ikeda-Suen, Etibicoke
2nd place - Keiko Miyamori, Ken Zen
3rd place - JiYou Ni, Nichibukan
Fighting Spirit - Kevin Thibedeau, Ken Zen

5 Dan Nakanishi Cup
1st place - Takanori Furuta, Itto Kai
2nd place - Patrick Suen, Tokushikai
3rd place - Barry Poitras, Doshikai
Fighting Spirit - G. Ronald Beck, Sei Zan

Teams Haga Cup
1st place - “Sweet Sixteen” (Robert Shin, Shidogakuin; Paul Maeda, Idaho; Michael Buanadonna, Shidogakuin)
2nd place - “Musashi” (Curtis Lu, Cherry Hill; Phillip Markunas, Ken Zen; Noriko Ambe, Ken Zen)
3rd place - “Tonbo” (Sarah Cherr Agassiz; Danny Chau Mu Mon; Dave Dudek, Ken Zen)
Fighting Spirit - “The Beans” (Collin Lu, Cherry Hill; AoJie Zheng, Ken Zen; Francis Domingo, Tokushikai)

PASSAGE

Mitsuru Asaoka

It was shocking – devastating – when we learned that the teacher who had befriended us at UBC’s gasshuku on April 28, 1979, essentially the first day we ever put on bogu, had suddenly died.

Kendo Kyoshi 8th Dan and Iaido Kyoshi 7th Dan Mitsuru Asaoka was born September 13, 1945 in the small port town of Fushiki on the edge of Toyama Bay, having a famous view of the Tateyama mountain range across the bay. He grew up playing baseball and swimming at nearby sandy beaches, and skiing in the mountains, while helping with the family meat business owned by his father Nishida Ninsako and mother Asaoka Taki. At the age of 10 he started Kendo, and by the time he was in high school he was captain of the school Kendo club. His plan to attend Kokushikan University became impossible with the sudden death of his father. His Kendo development was postponed as he worked full time in the family business, and at night played drums professionally.

In August 1968 he married his childhood friend from nearby Hime City, the beautiful and gracious Maki Ryoko. They were both 22 years old and had met in elementary school in the 4th grade, continued as classmates, and then had been dating in their last year in high school. The two of them opened their first meat store in Toyama City.

Soon after, Asaoka Sensei began his study of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido under Masaoka Katsutone Ikkan in Toyama, and resumed his Kendo.

Two sons were born, Motoki in December 1972, and Suguru in April 1974.

In 1978 the ham company Ito Ham hosted a tour to San Francisco, Disneyland, Denver, Niagra Falls, and New York City, and this trip gave Asaoka Sensei the idea of moving to North America for a life of better opportunities for his family. One day he saw and ad in a Kendo magazine recruiting Kendo people to Canada, whereupon he sold his stores and rented out his home, and in January 1979 arrived in Vancouver.

At first he assisted with Kendo instruction at Renbu Dojo and UBC. After three years, he was considering moving back to Japan, but Uegaki Takuo Sensei and Mr. John Schwermer convinced him to stay and continue teaching the children he’d been working with. So in 1982 these three families separated from Renbu and started Sunrise Dojo at the Hastings Community Centre. As Asaoka Sensei was often absent with trips to Japan, Uegaki Sensei took over instruction at Sunrise.

After passing 6th Dan in Japan, Asaoka Sensei felt he needed an ongoing mentor, so in the summer of 1986 he invited Kendo and Iaido Hanshi 8th Dan Haga Tadatoshi from Shizuoka to come. He had originally been introduced to Haga Sensei by his earlier teacher in Toyama. Asaoka Sensei continued to invite Haga Sensei every summer for 13 years, and they developed a strong father and son relationship.

Every summer, Asaoka Sensei very generously shared Haga Sensei with the PNKF, sending him down to stay at Koike Shinichi Sensei’s home in Seattle, so that everyone in this area would have the benefit of extended opportunities to study with this incredible teacher. Many fortunate among us studied with Haga Sensei, and through him met such greats as Narasaki Masahiko, Nakanishi Yasushi, and Yamazaki Takashige Sensei, who attended the opening of Asaoka Sensei’s Unison Dojo in North Vancouver. In the fall of 1998 when Asaoka Sensei’s Dojo had to move, Haga Sensei bestowed the name of his own Youshinkan Dojo on it, thus permanently signalizing the direct transmission from Nakayama Hakudo, whom Haga Sensei had learned from. For the 1991 8th World Kendo Championship in Toronto, we accompanied Haga Sensei’s entourage, and sat with him in the VIP section, learning from his rich commentary. All those who have known and studied with Haga Tadatoshi Sensei count themselves among the most fortunate kenshi in the world.

The two sons, Motoki and Suguru, gradually moved into the role of main instructors, and they also became world famous for their powerful performances on Team Canada at several World Kendo Championships.

On December 11, 2019, Asaoka Sensei had been rushed to the hospital when he complained of pain in the abdomen. The following day the pain continued so he received emergency surgery after another CT scan revealed that the small intestine was getting tangled with the scar tissue from the large intestine cancer surgery he’d had back in September 1997. Matters were further complicated by the fact he had not yet fully recovered from the triple bypass surgery in July. On December 15 he was transferred to Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre since Burnaby General did not have a kidney dialysis machine. After the dialysis treatments, his condition improved, but on December 27 bleeding from the large intestine recurred which resulted in deteriorating blood pressure and eventual heart failure.

Asaoka Sensei is survived by his second wife Miyuki and daughter Yuzu, and also by his son Motoki, (wife Anda, granddaughters Nozomi and Hikari) and son Suguru. We continue in mourning, and offer our deepest condolences to everyone in the family, and in Youshinkan Dojo.

SHINKYU SHINSA

CKF KENDO KODANSHA AND SHOGO, November 10, 2019, Toronto
6TH DAN: Hyoung (Bill) Kim (U of Toronto), Kyle Eun Seob Lee (Chinook), Inseo Park (Jung Ko).
7TH DAN: Samuel Cappiello (U at Buffalo), Hyun-June Choi (Jung Ko), Tony Davidson (U of Toronto).
RENSHI: Junko Ariyama (Montreal), Neil Gendzwill (Saskatoon), Paul Nakamura (Toronto), Francis St. Germain (McGill U).
KYOSHI: Brian Asa (JCCC), Shigemitsu Kamata (Etobicoke), Jin Whan Lee (Jung Ko), Matthew Raymond (U of Toronto), Julio Kenji Toida (Montreal), Gabriel Weitzner (JCCC).

2020 EAST COAST IAIDO SHINSA, February 16, 2020, Jersey City NJ
4TH KYU: Curtis Lu (Cherry Hill), Fausto Rodriguez (Baltimore-Annapolis).
3RD KYU: Naomi Okubo (Ken Zen), Marie Lawson (Seidogakuin DC Fudokan), Paul Spencer (Yama Kawa), Dennis Verzi (Ken Zen), Joseph Kwak (Cherry Hill), Sky Kwak (Cherry Hill), Eun Ju Kwak (Cherry Hill).
2ND KYU: Robert Shin (Shidogakuin NY Shidokan), Curtis Lu (Cherry Hill), James Jihyuk Kwak (Cherry Hill), Aleksandr Fromzel (Shidogakuin CT Genbukan), Tom Wendling (Ken Zen), John Burton (Washinkan).
1ST KYU: Peter Kim (Cherry Hill), Dmitriy Ovsyannikov (Nichibukan), Sara Scherr (Musoshindenryu Agassiz), Irina Kuznetsova (Shidogakuin CT Genbukan), James Kwak (Cherry Hill), Jefferson Svengsouk (Ittokai), Todd Christenson (Washinkan).
1ST DAN: Sean Hess (Ken Zen), Joseph Wong (Shidogakuin NJ Hakushikan), Kevin Ng (Sei Zan), Danny Chan (Mu Mon).
2ND DAN: Chris Kim (Cherry Hill), Joshua Stadtlander-Miller (Ken Zen), Philip Markunas (KenZen), Louis Thauvin (KenZen), Nathalie Jaspar (KenZen), Charlie Colbert (Ittokai), Soo Chul Bang (Shidogakuin CT Genbukan).
3RD DAN: Oscar Mendez (Associacion de Iaido y Kendo del Instituto Politecnico Nacional), Veronica Taylor (Baltimore Annapolis), Noriko Ambe (KenZen).

PNKF KENDO SHINSA, February 29, 2020, Tyee Educational Complex, 4424 S. 188th Street, SeaTac, Washington
6TH KYU: Mylo Cox (Bellevue), Yuken DeBlieck (Sno-King), Evan Dong (Northwest), Andrew Hsu (Northwest), Strummer Maxfield-Matsumoto (Highline), Marco Messah (Northwest), Danilo Murata (Northwest), Sean Wales (Northwest), Ryan Yasuda (Northwest).
5TH KYU: Kaito Ayers (Sno-King), Jaxon Cox (Bellevue), Saiichi Johnson (Seattle), Louis Liang (Northwest), Yuanchang Liang (Northwest), Aidan Santon (Seattle), Kalliope Santon (Seattle), Mifune Tanimura (Seattle), Koh Tapang (Highline).
4TH KYU: Ezra Corcoro Marx (Federal Way), Kenjiro Maxfield-Matsumoto (Highline), Kira Pierce (Kent), DongYun Ryu (Cascade), Braeden Tapang (Highline), Amy Vier (Federal Way), Jonathan Yu (Northwest).
3RD KYU: Zachary Armstrong (UW), Masazo Ayers (Sno-King), Derrik Best (Everett), Mitchell Booth (UW), AJ Chau (UW), Cian Chu (UW), Issei DeBlieck (Sno-King), Jeramy Gee (Tacoma), Harrison Hu (UW), Ajay Kristipati (UW), Shane Lyu (UW), Emily Mather (UW), Drew Migita (Seattle), Camille Miller (UW), Jinny Moon (Bellevue), Welson Nguyen (UW), Yin Ouyang (Seattle), Denise Quach (Seattle), DongHyun Ryu (Cascade), Brian Shin (Tacoma), Maolin Tu (Seattle), Mutsuko Wichman (Cascade), Shoko Wichman (Cascade), Joe Xie (UW), Lucy Yang (UW), Rina Yuan (Bellevue), Yiwei Zhang (UW).
2ND KYU: Nicholas Chu (Bellevue), Devin Chung (Cascade), Ashley Garr (Cascade), Daniel Kao (Tacoma), Anthony Kelsey (Edmonds), Jason Kuo (UW), Maoyang Li (Bellevue), Juah Paik (Tacoma), Rebecca Roland (Portland), Shen Ru (Everett), Hui Shen (Tacoma), Daniel Shilov (Highline).
1ST KYU: Matheus (Kai) Bandur (Honda) (Cascade), Aaron Fung (Seattle), Juno Lee (UW), Aneurin Mabale (Seattle), Conrad Slater (UW), Neo Smith (Bellevue), Abigail Tan (Cascade), William Wellborn (Bellevue), Brian Wong (UW).
1ST DAN: Yue Chen (Seattle), Aidan Chervin (Portland), Espen Hellevik (UW), Brian Hong (UW), Raymond Kao (Tacoma), Gen Li (OSU), Ffion Mabale (Seattle), Krystal McIntosh (Federal Way), Connor Mulcahy (UW), Nagato Orita (Seattle), Catherine Park (Bellevue), Michael Rea (Spokane).
2ND DAN: Josh Kim (Federal Way), Daniel Lee (Tacoma), Victor Blancarte (Sno-King), Chi Pak (Portland), Jin Ho Jeon (Bellevue), Kengo Underhill (Northwest), Victor Whitman (Seattle).
3RD DAN: Jeffrey Lundell (Kent), Gregory Vielhaber (Portland), Masako Wright (RMKIF).
4TH DAN: Jaered Croes (Portland), Tiarnan Marsten (UW), Masataka Murakami (UW), Hogyun Park (OSU), Matthew Price (Seattle), Mitsuki Yoneda (UW).

THE LAST WORD


At Busen, senior students would “shape up the underclassmen.” The head of the senior class, obtained permission from the principal, gathered the underclassman on the roof of the classroom building and would lecture to the junior, sophomore, and freshman. We would have to listen, sitting in seiza position for two or more hours. Then each of the seniors would pick on an individual student, who had not bowed to the Sempai on a particular day, and Wham! The student would get a kiai or punch to wake him up. It hurt. But he would not be repeatedly beaten, day after day or with shoes and sticks, like the Japanese Army. The whack was not considered mean, but a compassionate strike to remind you that you were at Busen, so you had to shape up. And be alert. You must have “sen”, one step ahead. Always, one step ahead in Kendo and in life.


Naito Sensei, the first Sensei at Busen, exemplified the life of Kendo as the ethical principles of Budo. Naito Sensei lived simply in an old house that he stubbornly refused to repair. A student, seeing the leaking roof, decided to help him and repair his house. Naito Sensei refused, acknowledged the student’s attention and then sent him away. During the freezing Kyoto winters, Ogawa Sensei brushed his teeth in the snow and held winter practice or kangeiko in the unheated Dojo. The true warrior (Bushi) is selfless. There is story of a Samurai who was hungry, but he gave his food to save a starving person. Then he pretended he had had a filling meal by picking his teeth with a toothpick. The life of Kendo is to be tough but live kindly; to be fearless in battle; to be trustworthy; to polish yourself both by taking care of the body and the spirit; to not be a burden to others but rather to be of service to others in the community. If you want to be rich, don’t bother with Kendo. My grandfather was not a kendoist, but he set an example of perseverance, kindness and humility. He never complained, nor did I complain or feel anger while I lived with him.</p.

I thought often during these bleak times of Ogawa Sensei’s commentary on seppuku: “Live, don’t die. Live long to contribute to others.” Of course I never went so far as contemplating suicide and reminded myself often how lucky I had been to escape death so many times in the army and in Hiroshima. Everything after was a bonus. Nonetheless, negative emotions were hard to control, especially when I lived daily in an unhappy marriage.


So I worked. I was still clearing rice fields when an American walked by. I greeted him in English and thus he discovered I was bilingual. In those days, interpreting jobs were in high demand. Captain Parker of the American Occupation Forces then hired me, initially as a translator-interpreter. When he learned I could type, I was even more valuable as an employee because I could type the Japanese information directly. I never would have thought that learning to type, which was a class I hated in the ninth grade at Leilehua High School, would become one of my assets for survival. Not only did I receive small payments from the Japanese Government, but also, much more importantly, Captain Parker gave me food.


The rice from my marriage was no longer critical. That was lucky because my wife’s mother had a sharp eye and a sharper tongue and resented anything I gave to my family. She brought the rice from their farm in the country to our house and thereby controlled exactly how much we received. She was much more my boss than the American soldiers. My wife obeyed her mother and bossed me too. Neither respected me. I came from a farmer’s family, but I wasn’t a peasant! I was a student at Busen. I had assimilated the samurai culture, but the War had prevented any positive recognition of the status I had worked so hard to achieve. I was no longer hungry, but I was still seething with anger and resentment.


This all came to a head one hot summer day. While I was working for Captain Parker, I was tearing down the barracks and hauling the wood uphill. This was exhausting work, and dangerous. I fell through the second floor once, but only had a few scrapes and bruises and continued working. My relatives wanted me to build them a large two-story house. Remembering my grandfather’s help to me, I agreed to continue to help my relatives as he surely would have done were he still alive.


One day when I was hauling the old lumber up the hill in preparation for construction, my wife called out and demanded to know what I was doing. When I told her it was for my aunt and uncle, she told me that I couldn’t make a house for my relatives. Instead, the house had to be built for us alone. That was the breaking point! “Go home,” I shouted and pointed at the door. “Go home to your mother! Now!!” We never saw each other again, although her brother did search for me to right the wrong I had done to his sister and to restore the family honor. He caused me to move more than once. I added the divorce clause to the Koseki Tohon”. Thus, we were divorced. I had no regrets. My mother had spent about two weeks at my grandfather’s house, and didn’t like the way my wife and her mother bossed me. She did not criticize me for divorcing my wife. Her focus was on “Mishiya Kyo”, a religious sect she had joined in Hawaii and followed to Japan. But that was not the case with my father.


Shortly before the divorce, my father had returned to his beloved Japan and also stayed in my grandfather’s house. But I had stubbornly asserted my will and ignored custom. He was a stubborn man who renounced me. His rejection was more painful than my divorce.


The respect and duty, “Oya Ko Ko,” owed to parents is one of the traditional bonds in Japanese society. We are given life and receive our bodies from our parents, and their parents before. Our parents and our ancestors live within us. Therefore, our bodies are gifts that we must care for, to put to good use and respect. It is our duty to stay healthy and be careful so our parents do not need to worry. With this life we are given, we owe it to our parents to leave a good name for the next generation, to do well in school so that we can successfully contribute to the community. In brief, it is our duty to make our parents proud and honor our ancestors. Of course, when the parents age, the duty is reversed. Old people must take the initiative to be healthy and continue to contribute. But if that is not possible, we care for our parents just as they care for us as babies.


–Rod Nobuto Omoto, Autobiography, edited by Charlotte Omoto, 2014, p. 43-45. Available as free download at lulu.com.


Kenyu – Monthly Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation PLEASE NOTE: Kenyu Online IS THE EDITION OF RECORD FOR THIS NEWSLETTER – http://www.pnkf.org/ Tom Bolling, Editor – 7318 23rd Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98115

Posted in Kenyu

PNKF Kendo Shinsa Results, Kent, WA 02/29/2020

PNKF KENDO SHINSA, February 29th, 2020, Seatac, WA
6 KYU: Strummer Maxfield-Matsumoto (Highline), Yuken DeBlieck (Sno-King), Andrew Hsu (Northwest), Mylo Cox (Bellevue), Evan Dong (Northwest), Ryan Yasuda (Northwest), Danilo Murata (Northwest), Marco Messah (Northwest), Sean Wales (Northwest) 5 KYU: Mifune Tanimura (Seattle), Kalliope Santon (Seattle), Saiichi Johnson (Seattle), Louis Liang (Northwest), Koh Tapang (Highline), Kaito Ayers (Sno-King), Jaxon Cox (Bellevue), Aidan Santon (Seattle), Yuanchang Liang (Northwest) 4 KYU: Ezra Corcoro Marx (Federal Way), Kenjiro Maxfield-Matsumoto (Highline), Braeden Tapang (Highline), DongYun Ryu (Cascade), Kira Pierce (Kent), Jonathan Yu (Northwest), Amy Vier (Federal Way) 3 KYU: Issei DeBlieck (Sno-King), Rina Yuan (Bellevue), Masazo Ayers (Sno-King), Jinny Moon (Bellevue), Drew Migita (Seattle), DongHyun Ryu (Cascade), Shoko Wichman (Cascade), Harrison Hu (UW), Emily Mather (UW), AJ Chau (UW), Zachary Armstrong (UW), Cian Chu (UW), Camille Miller (UW), Ajay Kristipati (UW), Mitchell Booth (UW), Shane Lyu (UW), Joe Xie (UW), Lucy Yang (UW), Derrik Best (Everett), Yiwei Zhang (UW), Welson Nguyen (UW), Maolin Tu (Seattle), Denise Quach (Seattle), Yin Ouyang (Seattle), Brian Shin (Tacoma), Jeramy Gee (Tacoma), Mutsuko Wichman (Cascade) 2 KYU: Nicholas Chu (Bellevue), Devin Chung (Cascade), Juah Paik (Tacoma), Daniel Shilov (Highline), Daniel Kao (Tacoma), Ashley Garr (Cascade), Anthony Kelsey (Edmonds), Jason Kuo (UW), Shen Ru (Everett), Maoyang Li (Bellevue), Hui Shen (Tacoma), Rebecca Roland (Portland) 1 KYU: Aneurin Mabale (Seattle), Aaron Fung (Seattle), William Wellborn (Bellevue), Matheus (Kai) Bandur (Honda) (Cascade), Neo Smith (Bellevue), Juno Lee (UW), Brian Wong (UW), Abigail Tan (Cascade), Conrad Slater (UW) 1 DAN: Ffion Mabale (Seattle), Catherine Park (Bellevue), Nagato Orita (Seattle), Espen Hellevik (UW), Aidan Chervin (Portland), Connor Mulcahy (UW), Gen Li (OSU), Krystal McIntosh (Federal Way), Yue Chen (Seattle), Michael Rea (Spokane), Raymond Kao (Tacoma), Brian Hong (UW) 2 DAN: Josh Kim (Federal Way), Kengo Underhill (Northwest), Daniel Lee (Tacoma), Victor Blancarte (Sno-King), Chi Pak (Portland), Jin Ho Jeon (Bellevue), Victor Whitman (Seattle) 3 DAN: Gregory Vielhaber (Portland), Jeffrey Lundell (Kent), Masako Wright (RMKIF) 4 DAN: Masataka Murakami (UW), Tiarnan Marsten (UW), Mitsuki Yoneda (UW), Matthew Price (Seattle), Jaered Croes (Portland), Hogyun Park (OSU)

Posted in Announcements

Kenyu – September/October/November/December 2019

Volume 33, number 9/10/11/12 September/October/November/December 2019

PNKF DATEBOOK

January 2020
* 1/11: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, Sat, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 1/25-1/26: FIK Kendo Referee Seminar for the American Zone (FY 2019), Sat-Sun, British Columbia Institute of Technology Athletic Gymnasium, 3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2 Canada. Accommodation: Delta Hotel by Marriott Burnaby Conference Center, 4331 Dominion Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 1C7. – Participants should be members of FIK affiliated organizations in principle. – Kendo 5 Dan or higher, and practice Kendo regularly. – No age limit to participate.
February 2020
* 2/8: Steveston Taikai, Sat, 9am, McMath High School, 4251 Garry Street, Richmond BC.
* 2/14-16: East Coast Iaido Winter Seminar, Fri, Ken Zen in NYC, and Sat-Sun, CERC Indoor Gym in Jersey City, NJ.
* 2/29: PNKF Kendo Shinsa, Sat, doors open at 11am, end after godo keiko, out the door by 5pm, Tyee Educational Complex, 4424 S. 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188.
March 2020
* 3/14: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 3/21: Highline Taikai, Sat, doors open 8:30am, opening ceremonies 9:30am, White Center Community Center, 1321 SW 102nd Street, Seattle.
* 3/21-22: 24th Annual Harvard Shoryuhai Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament, Sat/Sun, Malkin Althletic Center (MAC), 4th floor basketball courts, on Holyoke Street, Boston.
* 3/28: PNKF Nippon Kendo Kata and BKKR Seminar, Sat, 9am-1pm, Chinook Middle School, 18650 42nd Avenue S., SeaTac, WA 98188.
* 3/28: PNKF Iaido Seminar and Shinsa, Sat, CANCELLED.
April 2020
* 4/4: AUSKF Junior Open Championships, Sat, Marina High School, 15871 Springdale Street, Huntington Beach, California 92649. http://auskf-jrnationals.com/.
* 4/18: UW Taikai, Sat, Intramural Activities (IMA), UW campus, Montlake Boulevard NE, Seattle.
* 4/26: Cherry Blossom demo, Sun, Seattle Center.
May 2020
* 5/2: Rose City Taikai, Sat, Portland, time and venue TBD.
* 5/9: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 5/16: Bellevue Junior Taikai, Sat, 9:30am start time, Highland Park Community Center, 14224 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue.
* 5/30: 55th Annual Vancouver Kendo Tournament, Sat, 10am-6pm, doors open 9am, Byrne Creek Secondary School, 7777 18th Street, Burnaby, B.C. V3N 5E5
June 2020
* Probable 13th Annual US Nito Kendo Summer Camp, venue, date, and time TBD.
July 2020
* 7/18: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
August 2020
* 8/15: PNKF Kendo Shinsa, Sat, Kent Commons Recreational Center, 525 4th Avenue N., Kent.
September 2020
* 9/12: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
* 9/25-9/27: PNKF Iaido Seminar, Tournament, and Shinsa, TBD.
October 2020
* 10/3: Kent Taikai, Sat TBD, Kent Commons Recreational Center, 525 4th Avenue N., Kent.
* 10/17 or 10/24: Tacoma Taikai, Sat, TBD.
November 2020
* 11/7: PNKF Taikai, Kent Commons Recreational Center, 525 4th Avenue N., Kent.
* 11/14-15: AUSKF Board meeting.
* 11/15: AUSKF Kodansha Shinsa.
* 11/21: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, Peter’s Episcopal Church, 1610 S. King Street, Seattle.
May 2021
* 5/27-30: 18WKC, Thu-Sun, Paris, France.

PNKF BOARD NEWS

At their November 16, 2019 meeting, the 2019/2020 Board was seated, and Officers were elected. President – CJ Chaney (Sno-King), Vice President – Doug Imanishi (Seattle), Treasurer – Mary DeJong (Highline), Secretary – Tom Bolling (Bellevue), UW Advisor – CJ Chaney.

Other Board members are: Masa Ando (Alaska), Jonathan Bannister (AiShinKai), Sean Blechschmidt (Bellevue), Steve Choi (Portland), Karin Fedderson (Tacoma), Mark Frederick (Northwest), Jane Higa (UW), Trinh Ho (Northwest), Bryan Imanishi, Michael Mabale (Seattle), Curtis Marsten (Kent), Tiarnan Marsten (Kent), Vicki Marsten (Federal Way), George Nakayama (Portland), Ed Olson (Tonbo), Chris Ruiz (Spokane), Russ Sinclair (Spokane), Blake Sprenger (Obukan), Stephen Ting (Northwest), Mark Verrey, Frank Wessbecher (Highline), David Yotsuuye (Bellevue).

The PNKF has been notified by M. Kajitani, AUSKF Vice-President for Promotion, that the AUSKF will require Bokutoni Yoru Kendo Kihonwaza Renshuho (BKKR) 1-9 be added to the Shinsa for 2nd Kyu. Official starting date is April 1, 2020, so this requirement will be added to our August 15, 2020 Kendo Shinsa. At the Shinsa, we are allowed to provide assistance to the candidate during the test, and this is not intended to fail anyone. The whole purpose is to integrate BKKR into regular Kendo practice. We plan to do a demo of this BKKR 1-9 at our February 29, 2020 Shinsa.

2019 PNKF IAIDO TAIKAI – September 29, 2019, Rain City Fencing Center, Bellevue, Washington

Sportsmanship Pledge – Derek Reynolds, Alaska
Mudansha 0-1 Kyu                          Yudansha 1-2 Dan 
1st place – Brian Burton, AiShinKai       1st place – Alden Vanderspek, AiShinKai
2nd place – Derek Reynolds, Alaska        2nd place – Thane Mittelstaedt, AiShinKai
3rd place – James Thorne, AiShinKai       3rd place – Nikhil Varma, Seattle
3rd place – Abigail Benoit, Tonbo         3rd place – Sean Horita, Musokai

Yudansha 3-4 Dan (Noguchi Cup)
1st place – Lynn Miyauchi, Musokai
2nd place – Hans Andersen, AiShinKai
3rd place – Loren Nishimura, Spokane
3rd place – Christopher Parkins, Ren Ma
Fighting Spirit – Loren Nishimura, Spokane

2019 HAWAII STATE KENDO CHAMPIONSHIPS, September 29, 2019, Halawa Gym

Yonenbu                                   Shonenbu
1st place – Shu Etsumi, Kenshikan         1st place – Noa Mulder, Wahiawa
2nd place – Maiki Uda, Kenshikan          2nd place – Gavin Ushio, Lihue
3rd place – Hayato Matsuda, Kenshikan     3rd place – Malia Stachiewicz, Kenshikan
3rd place – Blair Musashi, Daijingu       3rd place – Junsei Tanizaki, Kenshikan

Seinenbu                                  Women’s Open
1st place – Gabriel Hart, Lihue           1st place – Zidi Hiramoto, Kenshikan
2nd place – Neil Shimabukuro, Aiea        2nd place – Megan Kirk, Wahiawa
3rd place – Jacie Matsumoto, Kenshikan    3rd place – Tina Kaku, Kenshikan
3rd place – Mari Shimabukuro, Aiea        3rd place – Jacie Matsumoto, Kenshikan

Yudansha 1-3                              Yudansha 4 and Above
1st place – Yuta Shimohara, Kenshikan     1st place – Makio Koga, Myohoji
2nd place – Vincent Koyo Yancey, Daijingu 2nd place – Bert Shibuya, Seibukan
3rd place – Nicklas Matsumoto, Kenshikan  3rd place – Carl Nakamura, Mililani
3rd place – Daiki Miura, Myohoji          3rd place – Dan Liu, Meikyokan

Grand Championship Winner
Hyun Kim, Kenshikan

18th LONGHORN INVITATIONAL TEAM KENDO TAIKAI – October 12, 2019, Austin, Texas

 
1st place – New York Kenshinkai A (N. Alcorn, Mat. Schultzel, M. Hamasaki, P. Winters, CH Huang)
2nd place - Asociacion de Kendo Nuevo Leon (A. Wong, R. Sevilla, I. Rodriguez, M. Gonzales, C. Martinez)
3rd place – Houston Kendo Kyokai A (Y. Kimura, A. Darrah, J. Kan, D. Choe, T. Nguyen)
3rd place – Dallas/Ft. Worth A (Y. Cho, K. Yamamoto, A. Navarro, R. Solitano, JK Kim, Z. Gonzales)

Longhorn Awards
Takashi Yabuta, 2D, San Diego Kendo Bu/UCSD, San Diego, California 
Carlos Martinez, 2D, Asociacion de Kendo del Estado de Nuevo Leon, Monterrey, Mexico

20th INVITATIONAL TACOMA KENDO TAIKAI – October 26, 2019, Curtis High School, University Place

9 and Under                               10-12 Years Kyu
1st place – Saiichi Johnson, Seattle      1st place – Juah Paik, Tacoma
2nd place – Nicklas Frederick, Tacoma     2nd place – Nicholas Chu, Bellevue
3rd place – Strummer Maxfield-Matsumoto,  3rd place – Nina Underhill, Northwest
              Highline
13-15 Years Kyu                           16 Years and Up Round Robin
1st place – Jonathan Yu, Northwest        1st place – Danny Chung, Cascade
2nd place – Devin Chung, Cascade          2nd place – Aaron Fung, Cascade
3rd place – Sean Kim, Seattle             3rd place – Catherine Park, Bellevue

1st Dan
1st place – Keichi Underhill, Northwest
2nd place – Josh Kim, Federal Way
3rd place – Kyle Hale, Seattle

Junior Teams
1st place – Cascade A (John Ryu, Ai Fukuda, Devin Chung)
2nd place – Northwest 1 (Nina Underhill, Isabella Lee, Jonathan Yu)

Senior Teams
1st place – Mixed Senior (Joshua Paik, Josh Kim, Danny Chung)
2nd place – Northwest (Keiji Underhill, Simon Lee, Koki Takamatsu)

National Anthem Singer – Juah Paik
Sportsmanship Pledge – Daniel Kao
Shinpan Cho – David S. Yotsuuye

45th ANNUAL PNKF KENDO TOURNAMENT – November 2, 2019, Kent Commons Recreation Center

4 Dan and Above                           10 Years and Under
1st place – R. Asato, Vancouver           1st place – KA Yoshimura, Renbu
2nd place – B. Imanishi, Cascade          2nd place – M. Ishizuka, Youshinkan
3rd place – K. Chun, Hawaii               3rd place – Y. Asaoka, Youshinkan
3rd place – T. Hamanaka, Tozenji          3rd place – A. Kobayashi, Youshinkan

11-12 Years                               13-15 Years
1st place – N. Son, Renbu                 1st place – K. Squance, Renbu
2nd place – KE Yoshimura, Renbu           2nd place – Kei. Underhill, Northwest
3rd place – J. Paik, Tacoma               3rd place – S. Tominaga, Renbu
3rd place – F. Benson, Youshinkan         3rd place – Y. Lee, Renbu

Women Kyu                                 Women Dan
1st place – K. McIntosh, Federal Way      1st place – T. Koike, UBC
2nd place – C. Park, Bellevue             2nd place – C. Takeuchi, Youshinkan
3rd place – J. Oh, Highline               3rd place – Z. Hiromoto, Hawaii
3rd place – J. Lee, UW                    3rd place – B. Park, UW

0-4 Kyu                                   3-1 Kyu
1st place – M. Tu, Seattle                1st place – A. Kim, Bellevue
2nd place – R. Long, UBC                  2nd place – D. Chung, Cascade
3rd place – C. Chu, UW                    3rd place – B. Wong, UW
3rd place – A. Yang, Bellevue             3rd place – C. Slater, UW

1-2 Dan                                   3 Dan
1st place – K. Higo, Renfrew              1st place – K. Yancey, Hawaii
2nd place – K. Fukuda, Cascade            2nd place – F. Wessbecher, Highline
3rd place – B. Sprenger, Obukan           3rd place – M. Murakami, UW
3rd place – D. Yao, Steveston             3rd place – M. Price, Seattle

Junior Team
1st place - Renbu A (N. Son, K. Squance, H. Homma, C. Liao, Y. Lee)
2nd place - Steveston A (J. Hung, C. Robillard, L. Takahae, R. Nakano, D. Chui)
3rd place - Steveston B (J. Lam, T. Kwong, E. Chui, E. Nakano, D. Lam)
3rd place - Northwest (I. Lee, N. Underhill, J. Yu, Kei. Underhill, E. Dong)

Senior Team
1st place – Youshinkan (A. Kobayashi, Y. Asaoka, F. Benson, T. Okurano, O. Benson)
2nd place - Renbu (A. Son, F. Yoshimura, R. Kim, O. Young, E. Kita)
3rd place - Hawaii (K. Chun, K. Yancey, D. Miura, Z. Hiromoto, A. Fujimoto)
3rd place - Bellevue (N. Smith, M. Blechschmidt, L. Tsybert, A. Samkange, B. Lee)

Taikai Co-Chairs – CJ Chaney and Taryn Imanishi
Shinpan Cho – Jeffrey Marsten
Court Manager - David S. Yotsuuye
Sportsmanship Pledge – Josh Kim, Federal Way
Shoji Trophy – Keiji Underhill, Northwest

PASSAGE

Terrance Allan McManus finally lost his protracted and extremely painful battle, first with throat cancer, and then with acute myeloid leukemia on September 8, 2019. Born July 22, 1961 at Madigan Army Medical Center, Terry had recently celebrated his 58th birthday with an enthusiastic spirit of optimism in anticipation of a bone marrow transplant. Terry’s older daughter Keeley Noel started Kendo at Kent when she was seven, and Terry became frustrated because she wouldn’t do what he told her, so finally when she was twelve he gave in and started Kendo himself. We soon saw in him clear reflection of Keeley’s characteristically tough, stubborn, resilient, never-say-die kind of Kendo. Jolly, in-your-face, full-tilt streetfighter type of Kendo which took no prisoners, and done with a laugh, he didn’t cut himself any slack either, frequently dislocating his right shoulder and then just popping it right back in, and continuing the match without missing a beat. After a stint in the Marines right out of high school, Terry became a widely-admired airline purser flight attendant, first with Northwest, and then for many years with Delta, it was in this profession where he met his beloved beautiful wife Niki, who also shared that calling. Keeley was soon followed by a second beautiful daughter, Kylee Alaina, currently a star athlete with the BOOST Volleyball Club. Based all his life in Tukwila, Terry traveled extensively in the Kendo world, as far as Osaka, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Amsterdam, Mexico, Texas, California, Canada, making friends everywhere in our global Kendo community. Our deepest condolences to the family.

SHINKYU SHINSA

     PNKF KENDO SHINSA, September 22, 2019, Conestoga Recreation and Aquatics Center, Beaverton, Oregon
5TH KYU:  Owen Kaufman (Portland), Iori Ohashi (Obukan).
4TH KYU:  Akio Freauff (Portland), Christopher Kocurek (Portland), Marina Wain (Portland), Brandon Yep (OSU).
3RD KYU:  Liqiang Huang (OSU), Eamon Nyiri Klein (Portland), Daniel Theophanes (Obukan), Megan Vinkemulder (Portland), Qi Wei (OSU), Zhongliang Xie (OSU). 
1ST KYU:  Sanae Anderson (Portland).

     PNKF IAIDO SHINSA, September 29, 2019, Rain City Fencing Center, Bellevue, Washington
2ND KYU:  Maurice Benas III (Tonbo).
1ST KYU:  Derek Reynolds (Alaska), James Thorne (AiShinKai), 
1ST DAN:  Abigail Benoit (Tonbo), Brian Burton (AiShinKai), 
2ND DAN:  Nikhil Varma (Seattle).
3RD DAN:  Thane Mittelstaedt  (AiShinKai), Garrit Pillie (AiShinKai), Ken Tawara (Idaho). 

     AUSKF KENDO KODANSHA SHINSA, November 10, 2019, Griffin Elite Sports and Wellness, Erlanger, Kentucky
5TH DAN:  John Beaty (GNEUSKF), Brian Beckford (MWKF), Lewis Chi (SEUSKF), Tracey Choi (EUSKF), Taishi Kato (GNEUSKF), Manabu Matsunaga (ECUSKF), 
Kentaro Nagao (SWKIF), Yongki Ryu (AEUSKF), Ryoko Sato (SCKO), Paul Winters (AEUSKF), Norio Yasui (SEUSKF), Kazuto Yasuda (SEUSKF).
6TH DAN:  Shinichiro Fukui (AEUSKF), Mark Kerstein (SUSKIF), Satomi Lane (ECUSKF), Hiroyuki Morobayashi (ECUSKF), Takaya Zembayashi (SCKF).
7TH DAN:  Daniel Nobutatsu Yang (SCKF).
 RENSHI:  Jin-Kee Hyun (SEUSKF).

THE LAST WORD

But nothing was the same. My grandfather had always been a poor farmer, but now he had only a small garden where he grew potatoes, yam, soybeans and turnips. His rice field had been filled in by the Japanese army to construct a two-story barracks for the soldiers. Hastily built, unlike the little two-room house built by my great grandfather more than one hundred years ago, the building had already started to fall apart. The building was useless now, but even more significant, the rice field was also destroyed. This field not only supported my grandfather, but also helped to provide food for eight other relatives and their families living next door and throughout the hills surrounding my grandfather’s house. My father used to say that if you put energy into planting seeds, probably you’d have a harvest. But if you’re lazy and don’t plant anything, there won’t be any possibility of a harvest. Every day I worked to reclaim the rice field. First I moved the old building wood into a pile, and then the long task of clearing the dirt began. The army had covered the low wet field with about 3 feet of hard packed sand and dirt. There were no tools for dirt clearing, so I used garden tools. I filled an old wheelbarrow, pushed it up the hill, dumped it and started again. Every day I hauled until there was a small area restored to plant a little rice. This was a start, and after a few months, I had cleared about an acre. But seeds were scarce, and what seeds we could find seemed to grow very slowly. Meanwhile, hunger didn’t wait; everyone needed more rice. There was a salt shortage in Japan, so we made our own salt from the sea. First I found a sheet of galvanized tin, and made a square frying pan out of it, by bending the four sides. Then put it on some rocks to create a hole underneath it. Then I hauled the sea water, about 30 yards away with a clean new honey bucket on each end of a pole. I had to make several trips with it on my shoulder. Fortunately I had ample wood to burn from the old Japanese Army barracks. But it took quite a while to boil sea water to make some salt which we ate but also bartered and sold. We had food, but not enough. My aunts and uncles, the whole family, shared whatever was available. Sometimes there was only one bowl of rice for each person for an entire week. We added the vegetables from the small garden. Sometimes some of our vegetables would be traded for barley. Most of the time we added weeds to the rice. Most of the fishermen had been drafted and were dead; the sea had been contaminated by fuel oil and war debris. The small fish that had been left for my grandfather before the war now were rare. There was little difference between gathering food in Hayashi Yama and when I walked to Kure, when anything that moved in the sea or on land became food. My aunts traded their silk kimonos and obis for rice. Often they walked miles to barter, but returned with cupfuls of rice at best. We were hungry, but we didn’t starve. Despite our condition, my grandfather continued to save rice to place into the three cone shaped containers for the butsudan. Now, however, he placed only a few grain of rice in each container and with a shaking hand, slid the containers into the curved slots in the center and carefully placed them on each side of the altar. As he had always done, he then took out the lacquered black box from the altar drawer which contained his one book, opened to the “Sho Shin Ge” page and began to chant. He had the whole book memorized, but to learn, I would follow the words as he turned the pages of the book. I noticed that often he was not chanting from the opened page. When I asked him about this, he nodded and said, “kamawan” “That’s okay,” and continued chanting. I realized from him that intent is as important as correctness; it is not the practice of reading, but the quality of the practice that gives energy to the spirit by doing it every day. It is not just “what” you do as much as “how” you do it. We worked side by side. He worked as hard as I did – maybe harder because he was at least 80 years old. To cultivate the land, he tied the end of the wooden pick with a straw rope and then tied the other end across his back. Then he pounded the pick into the ground and pulled it with his body. He did not have enough strength to pull it with his hands. Every evening after work he cooked whatever we had in a kettle of water over a small fire heated by the wood he gathered nearby. He didn’t want help cooking and told me to sit near the hearth and watch. My jobs were mostly about carrying dirt, water and “honey.” I carried cold spring water in a clean water buckets on my shoulders from the well and poured it into a 5 gallon ceramic tub in the kitchen. The well was about one block down the steep hill. It was easy going down but exhausting coming up. And a lot of water was needed, not only for cooking but also bathing. The water would be poured into a cast iron, one-person tub, and then heated with wood, leaves and twigs gathered from the forest or wood from the debris of the barracks. Everyone bathed before me, and by the time it was my turn, the water was neither warm nor clean. But it didn’t matter; the only clothes I had were my Japanese army uniform, which by then was permanently soiled. I also collected the filled honey buckets from the outhouse and carried them on a wooden pole across my shoulders down the slope to the rice field. I recalled the man who collected “honey” in Kyoto. He was more skilled than I, but then I never thought I would do this job. The hill was slippery, and sometimes I had to jump from one tier to the lower tier. Balance was difficult. When my bucket tilted, I was showered with raw honey. I still wore my tattered military uniform, and despite rinsing in salt water, I smelled down to my bones for days. Labor hard, eat little, and fall into bed exhausted and sleep – life now was not much different than it was at Busen or when I was in the army. Actually, the army was more difficult because I didn’t agree with the training. It was brutal. Beating as a means of indoctrinating the recruits with the military spirit was a mistaken interpretation that perverted the samurai tradition. Without the Budo spirit, routine beatings, if survived, merely instilled greater brutality in the trainees. War is apt to bring out the worst qualities in men. Kendo training was tough, but part of a long tradition of training to be of service, not the training of several months in boot camp. Miyamoto Musashi’s teaching requires: “A thousand days of practice is forging and tempering your body and soul, and ten thousand days of practice is polishing the forged and tempered body and soul, while continuing to forge and temper.” –Rod Nobuto Omoto, Autobiography, edited by Charlotte Omoto, 2014, p. 43-45. Available as free download at lulu.com. Kenyu – Monthly Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation PLEASE NOTE: Kenyu Online IS THE EDITION OF RECORD FOR THIS NEWSLETTER – http://www.pnkf.org/ Tom Bolling, Editor – 7318 23rd Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98115

Posted in Kenyu, Uncategorized

PNKF Iaido Shinsa 09/29/2019

PNKF IAIDO SHINSA, September 29th, 2019, Bellevue, WA
2 KYU: Maurice Benas III (Tonbo) 1 KYU: James Thorne (AiShinKai), Derek Reynolds (Alaska) 1 DAN: Brian Burton (AiShinKai), Abigail Benoit (Tonbo) 2 DAN: Nikhil Varma (Seattle) 3 DAN: Thane Mittelstaedt (AiShinKai), Ken Tawara (Idaho), Garrit Pillie (AiShinKai)

Posted in Announcements