Volume 36, number 1/6
- 7/16: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, Sat, via Zoom.
- 7/??: US Kendo Nito Seminar TBD.
- 8/13: PNKF Kendo Shinsa, for 4 Dan and below, doors will open about 11:00. Registration/Check-in will begin at 11:30am. Registration will close at 12:00. All participants should be changed and ready to begin at 12:30pm sharp. Location: Kent Commons 525 4th Ave N, Kent, WA 98032
- 8/26-28; AUSKF Kendo Summer Camp and Shinsa, YMCA Bill & Lillie Heinrich 4141 Meadows LAne ,Las Vegas, NV 89107; headquarters will be at Golden Nuggets in Las Vegas.
- 9/9-10-11: SWKEIF Iaido Seminar, Shinsa, and Taikai, Dalas, Texas. Shinsa up to 3rd Dan, Taikai 3rd Dan and below.
- 9/17: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, Sat, via Zoom.
- 9/24: PNKF Kendo Shinpan Seminar, Sat, location and time TBD.
- 10/2: 8th PNKF North American Women’s Kendo Tournament, Sun, time TBD, UW Intramural Activities (IMA), Montlake Boulevard N.E.
- 10/7-9: Fall PNKF Iaido Seminar and Shinsa (Up to 4 Dan) and AUSKF Iaido Shinsa (up to 5 Dan), Rain City Fencing, 1776 136th Place NE, Bellevue.
- 11/5 or 11/7: PNKF Taikai. place, date, and time TBD
- 11/12-13: AUSKF Board meeting TBD.
- 11/19: PNKF Board meeting, 9-11am, Sat, via Zoom.
- 12/3: PNKF Iaido Godo Keiko, location and time TBD.
PNKF BOARD NEWS – NEW CLUBS ADDED
In recent months several new Dojo have been approved to join the PNKF, including Kenchikai Kendo Club, Lewis & Clark Kendo Club, Redmond Kendo Club, all in Oregon, and Kirkland Kendo Club, in Washington.
30th ANNUAL BELLEVUE JUNIOR KENDO CHAMPIONSHIPS – May 21, 2022
10 and Under 11 - 12 1st place – K. Yuan, Bellevue 1st place – S. Johnson, Seattle 2nd place – J. Kwon, Kirkland 2nd place – I. Ohashi, Obukan 3rd place – S. Lee, Bellevue 3rd place – M. Tanimura, Edmonds 3rd place – T. Tanimura, Edmonds 3rd place – O. Kaufman, Portland 13 - 14 15 and Above Girls 1st place – N. Underhill, Northwest 1st place – Ju. Paik, Tacoma 2nd place – E. Lau, Bellevue 2nd place – C. Park, Bellevue 3rd place – M. Day, Highline 3rd place – S. Jeon, Bellevue 3rd place – S. Faso, Bellevue 3rd place – T. Nishida, Cascade 15 and Above Boys 1st place – J. Yu, Northwest 2nd place – N. Chu, Bellevue 3rd place – A. Yuan, Seattle 3rd place – A. Mabale, Seattle Junior Teams 14 and Under 1st place - Bellevue (S. Lee, K. Yuan, R. Kawamoto, E. Lau, S. Faso) 2nd place – Northwest/Cascade (N. Kim, M. Honda, C. Kim, J. Lee, N. Underhill) Senior Teams 15 and Above 1st place – Tacoma (Ju. Paik, D. Kao, Jo. Paik) 2nd place – Cascade (B. Wang, D. Terao, D. Chung) Awesome Spirit Award – Josh Paik, Tacoma Centurion Youth Leadership Award – Nicholas Chu, Bellevue Head Shinpan – H. Samkange Taikai Chair – Jinho Jeon and Hide Iba Head Record Keeper – T. Bolling Competitors’ Pledge – Catherine Park
44th UW TAIKAI – May 14, 2022, UW IMA.
Women 0 - 4Kyu 1st place – J. Frazier-Day, Highline 1st place – K. Soetamin, UW 2nd place – N. Grimes, Kirkland 2nd place – V. Hoang, UBC 3rd place – E. Marsten, Highline 3rd place – S. Cunningham, UW 3rd place – J. Higa, Cascade 3rd place – S. Lim, UW 1 - 3 Kyu 1 – 2 Dan 1st place – B. Wong, UW 1st place – K. Underhill, Northwest 2nd place – T. Miyamoto, Northwest 2nd place – J. Paik, Tacoma 3rd place – A. Kim, Bellevue 3rd place – D. Imanishi, Seattle 3rd place – N. Smith, Bellevue 3rd place – B. Liao, UW 3 Dan 4 Dan 1st place – S. Nicolas, Renfrew 1st place – T. Tsuchiya, Renfrew 2nd place – K. Muramatsu, Renfrew 2nd place – T. Hamanaka, Tozenji 3rd place – M. Rose, Renfrew 3rd place – K. Hiwatakari, Northwest Team 1st place – Renfrew (K. Muramatsu, S. Nichols, T. Tsuchiya, W. Blades, M. Rose) 2nd place – Tozenji (E. Cheng, S. Kim, C. Chiang, Y. Chen, T. Hamanaka) Shoji Award – TJ Okamura Sportsmanship Pledge – Cian Chu Head Shinpan – David S. Yotsuuye
15th ANNUAL INTERCOLLEGIATE YUHIHAI KENDO TOURNAMENT – May 1, 2022, UCLA Student Activities Center
Non-Bogu Individuals Women’s Individuals 1st place – Bryce Wu, UCI 1st place – Seyeon Park, UCSD 2nd place – Zichu Zhou, UCLA 2nd place – Rika Watanabe, Soka 3rd place – Adrian Tong, UCSD 3rd place – Betty Park, UW 3rd place – Derek Hung, UCLA 3rd place – Joylyn Tran, UCR Kyu Individuals Dan Individuals 1st place – Viet Nguyen, UCSD 1st place – Keita Tanabe, UC Berkeley 2nd place – Joenha Yoon, UCR 2nd place – Gen Takahashi, UCLA 3rd place – Amara Chou, UC Berkeley 3rd place – Noah Nakayama, UCI 3rd place – Ryan Komori, UCR 3rd place – Kento Koguchi, UCLA Kyu Team 1st place – UW (Kodee Soetamin, Elizabeth Choi, Shay Cunningham) 2nd place – UCSD A (Timothy Liao, Chelina Wong, Daisuke Nishioka) 3rd place – UCSD B (Grant Liu, Evan Smith, Jonathan Klingspon) 3rd place – UCD A (Sarah Cordingly, Cindy Chen, Kai Nakamura) Co-ed Team 1st place – UCLA (Akira Suzuki, Daichi Sakai, Kento Koguchi, Yoshikazu Hirose, Gen Takahashi) 2nd place – UW (Andy Yuen, Betty Park, Harrison Hu, Ryotaro Hayashi, Kyle Fukuda) 3rd place – UCSD A (Takashi Yabuta, Heidi Shin, Seyeon Park, Viet Nguyen, Gabriel Ikezaki) 3rd place – UC Berkeley (Keita Tanabe, Mateus Ikezaki, Insup Shin, Taisei Iro, Vrishab Madduri)
HARVARD INTERCOLLEGIATE RYUKO TAIKAI – March 20, 2022, Malkin Athletic Center, Cambridge, MA
School Teams Round Robin 1st place – UW (Andy Yuen, Cian Chu, Harrison Hu, AJ Chau, Kyle Fukuda) 2nd place – UC Berkeley (M. Ikezaki, S. Yun, S. Enomoto, V. Madduri, T. Ito) 3rd place – NYU A (A. Lee, B. Won, H. Burke, Y. Yang, S. Small) 3rd place – Boston A (D. Zhu, J. Paris, K. Nguyen, C. Lee, D. Gruspier) Mixed Friendly Teams Round Robin 1st place – Luke’s Tauntaun (N. Reza, E. Convocar, B. Wen, E. Tong, T. Iro) 2nd place – Boba Fett (M. Ferroni, N. Mitran, A. Lee, A. Foley,S. Enomoto) 3rd place – Jar Jar Binks (D. Zhu, P. Young, J. Sung, Z. Dong, K. Hu) 3rd place – Jabba the Hutt (Y. Lin, M. Smith, J. Moore,W. Ting, K. Fukuda)
PNKF KENDO SHINSA, June 12, 2022, Meridian, Idaho
3RD KYU: Caleb Foster (Redmond), Wendy Graham (Idaho), Jordon Phelps (Pocatello).
2ND KYU: Jackey Cai (SWKIF), Taisei Summerhays (Lewis and Clark).
PNKF IAIDO SHINSA, April 9, 2022, Rain City Fencing, Bellevue, WA
3RD KYU: Wrennik Andrus (AiShinKai), Yuichiro Baba (Idaho).
2ND KYU: Zhisong Chen (Seattle), Shudi Greko (Seattle), Peter Greko (Seattle), Yuriko Lee (Obukan), Wakako Maeda (Idaho), Camille Miller (UW), Lucy Yang (UW).
1ST KYU: Zachary Armstrong (UW), Teodoro Jose Boado (Musokai), Thomas Laha (Musokai), Marek Nelson (Spokane), Rae Podrebarac (AiShinKai).
3RD DAN: Jorge Morentín Covarrubias (MKF).
THE LAST WORD
The next day the head of the Yakuza called me and invited me to join him at a party. Now I thought I really was dead. But decided to go. Revenge would continue until it was satisfied, and the Yakuza memory was indeed long. So, as we said in Hawaii, “Go for broke!” There is another saying: “If you don’t go into the tiger’s den, you won’t get the cub.” (Ko Ketsu Ni Ira Zumba Koji Wo Ezu) If you can’t avoid danger, and if you think it’s necessary, put your life on the line and go. So I set my mind and body, accepted the invitation and went to the party.
I walked in and we both bowed. “I’m surprised you came,” he said and called for sake. “I came to die,” I replied, “but if I’m going to die, I’ll drink your sake first!” “Ha!” he laughed. “So you have found the perfect place of existential freedom – don’t give a damn! That is a most dangerous man.”
We sat and he poured sake. “I like you,” he said, and laughed deeply. “Kampai!”
He thought maybe I was a kendoist when his men reported their unsuccessful encounter with me. Now, he knew for sure and told me, “You have a strong hara; I could use you.” We both knew, of course, that my working for the Yakuza was not a possibility. We drank more sake, then Shochu, a powerful home made distilled spirit. Kendo spirit had changed a bad situation to a good situation. But I drank too much. I started to go home, refusing any help from his men, but took only one step from the second floor and landed in the koi pond across the hall. I think his men carried me home.
We became good friends. He had great respect for kendo, but I don’t think any of the members of the Yakuza had formal kendo training. After the War, they did run much of the black market, but many thought of themselves as the West thinks of Robin Hood. They were conservative Japanese who did not accept the Occupation Forces. Food was for the Japanese, not the Western military. They would steal the food and other goods and give them to the people. The Yakuza revered the old ways of the Samurai, and were angry when the Occupation forces outlawed kendo and confiscated swords. Later, when carrying a gun carried a long jail sentence, waving swords became a favored way to intimidate. Therefore, the Yakuza leader could not comprehend what I was protecting. I was a kendoist, rooted in traditional Japan, wasn’t I? Why help the Occupation? To steal from the enemy and kill them was acceptable, and if goods were distributed for the good of the Japanese people, that was fine, too.
Taking from the rich and giving to the poor was a philosophy similar to the Communist Party line, but politically they were almost directly opposite. The Yakuza were considered right wing nationalists, and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) left wing threats; the Japanese Socialist Party (JPS) organized labor strikes. The Yakuza helped to break strikes. All three organizations were tracked with keen interest by Occupation intelligence forces and the Japanese police, but the Yakuza were not seriously pursued, especially since they broke up strikes and harassed the JPS and the JCP. The Cold War was in its formative stage, and the Communists were the common enemy. I never had reason to betray my Yakuza friend because the main focus of my intelligence activities concerned the JCP. These days, the Yakuza is considered like the Mafia and are not compared to Robin Hood.
Theft at the Empire Club included more than food. Employees were also taking money. It was relatively easy as the currencies were confusing and bookkeeping was sloppy. I watched carefully, and generally only reprimanded on the first offense. I tried to improve policies to correct internal management problems. That seemed the best solution instead of firing everybody. Because it seemed that everyone was a thief. Except one: Mutsuko.
I watched her, probably because she was pretty and didn’t seem to like me. I was the boss, so many employees were friendly to me, perhaps hoping for special favors. She did her job. She never took food, and even though she was a cashier and had many opportunities to steal money, she never took a yen. She was calm and never complained. At the end of the evening shift, I took all the lady employees home in the company car, a weapons’ carrier truck. I would create a route so I was sure to drop Mutsuko off last. Maybe that was our courtship ritual. I don’t know but she eventually grew to like me, and of course, I respected and really liked her. I took her home with me and we were married with only her parents in attendance. Our wedding was entered into the family register.
My last year in Kure I was employed for a short time by the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) as a dispatcher. From the 1945 bombings to the First World Conference in 1955, the Occupation forces repressed as much information as possible related to the atomic bomb. But political forces, if not the conservative Japanese government, would not let them forget Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Medical problems among survivors, reconstruction, government assistance programs, plans for conferences, both in Japan and internationally, were perceived as a potential threat by the Americans. Both the JCP and the JSP were involved. Reorganization of labor and recruitment were major agendas. The JSP already had support from the General Council of Trade Unions of Japan. It was feared that the JCP would gain members because from the beginning they had denounced the Pacific War. Not only the defeat of Japan but especially the use of the atomic bomb strengthened their position. The JCP politically leaned toward China and the JSP toward the Soviet Union. Both alliances were carefully monitored, by the Occupation Forces.
While I was working for CIC in Kure, Captain Parker called, offering me a job at CIC in Matsue. My reply was immediate. I quit that job and my whole family moved to Matsue. I think it was about 1949. The Occupation Forces were now called the Security Forces. I functioned as liaison between the Prefecture Police, City Police and the CIC. One day I noticed some kendo equipment at the Matsue City Hall. When I asked the police captain if we could play kendo, he replied that kendo was prohibited by the Occupation forces. So I asked the commanding officer at CIC if we could play kendo. Because he had known me, he gave me permission. The police captain was surprised that permission was granted, then looked at me and grinned. A translator wanting to participate in sword practice? I think he thought it would be a big joke. His men could teach me a few things. But I saw them coming and was a little better with the sword, so beat them all, easily.
–Rod Nobuto Omoto, Autobiography, edited by Charlotte Omoto, 2014, p. 49-51. Available as free download at lulu.com.
– Monthly Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation PLEASE NOTE: Kenyu Online IS THE EDITION OF RECORD FOR THIS NEWSLETTER – https://www.pnkf.org/ Tom Bolling, Editor – 7318 23rd Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98115