Kenyu – December 2011

Kenyu logo

Volume 25, number 12

December 2011


  1. Jan 14, PNKF Kata Seminar, Sat, 12noon-4pm, open keiko 4-5pm, Rain City Fencing, 1776
    136th Place NE, Bellevue, WA 98005.

  2. Jan 28, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  3. Feb 25, PNKF Shinsa, Sat, Iaido 9am-12noon; Kendo 12:30-4pm, open keiko 4-5pm, Tyee
    Educational Complex, 4424 S. 188th Street, SeaTac, located right off I-5 at S. 188th Street.

  4. Mar 3, Highline Taikai, Sat, 10am, White Center Community Center.
  5. Mar 17, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  6. Mar 31, PNKF Shinpan Seminar, Sat, 9am-1pm, open keiko 1-1:45pm. Seminar 9am for
    those judging; 10am start for those participating in matches. South Park Community
    Center, 8319 8th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. The South Park 14th Avenue S. Bridge is now
    closed. You cannot come from the North through South Park to get to the Center. You must
    use the 1st Avenue South Bridge. There is limited parking in the lot. Lots of
    on-street parking.

  7. Apr 7, UW Taikai, Sat, 10am, IMA (tentative).
  8. Apr 14/15, Cherry Blossom Festival, PNKF demo, Seattle Center.
  9. May 5, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  10. May 12, PNKF Iaido Shinpan Seminar and Taikai, Sat, 9am-3pm, Spartan Recreation Center,
    202 N.E. 185th Street, Shoreline.

  11. May 19, Bellevue Junior Taikai, Sat, 9:30am-3pm.
  12. Jun 2, Rose City Taikai, Sat, 10am (tentative).
  13. Jul 14, PNKF Junior Seminar (tentative).
  14. Jul 14, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  15. Aug 11, PNKF Shinsa, Sat, Iaido 9am-12noon; Kendo 12:30-4pm, open keiko 4-5pm, Kent.
  16. Aug 18 or 25, Spokane Seminar and Taikai (tentative).
  17. Sep 15, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  18. Oct 6, PNKF Shinpan Seminar, 12noon-4pm, open keiko 4-5pm, Kent.
  19. Oct 20, Tacoma Taikai, Sat, 10am-4pm, Washington High School, 12420 Ainsworth Avenue
    South, Tacoma, WA (tentative).

  20. Nov 3, PNKF Taikai, Sat, 9:30am, Kent.
  21. Nov 10, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  22. Nov 17, Kent Taikai, Sat, report time 9am, start 9:30am, Kent.


  1. Jan 22, Mori Hai Memorial Tournament, Sun, 8am-5pm, Wilson Park Gym, Torrance,

  2. Jan 28/29, FIK Referee Seminar for the American Zone, Sat/Sun, McGill
    University Athletic Center, Montreal, Canada.

  3. Feb 11, Steveston Taikai, Sat, 9:30am, McMath High School, 4251 Garry Street,
    Richmond BC.

  4. Feb 18/19, 14th Annual Detroit Open Kendo Tournament, Sat/Sun; Seminar and Godo
    Keiko Saturday 6pm with Kendo Hanshi 8th Dan Futagoishi Takashi; Tournament Sunday 8am,
    Novi, Michigan.

  5. Mar 24/25, 16th Annual Harvard/Radcliffe Shoryuhai Kendo Tournament, Malkin
    Athletic Center, Cambridge.

  6. Mar 30/Apr 1, 24th Annual Cleveland Kendo Tournament/GNEUSKF Championships,
    Fri/Sun, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

  7. Apr 14, AUSKF Board meeting.
  8. May 25-27, 2012, 15WKC, Novara, Italy.

  9. Jun 20-23, AUSKF Iaido Seminar (tentative).

2nd LATIN AMERICAN KENDO CHAMPIONSHIP – November 10-12, 2011, Mexico City

125 competitors, from 16 countries within the Latin American region, participated. 
Brazil lead in total medal count with 12 medals in all, 5 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze, 
out of the 21 awarded to the competitors in the 7 divisions. Participating Countries 1. 
Argentina 2. Peru 3. Guatemala 4. El Salvador 5. Aruba 6. Republica Dominicana 7. 
Uruguay 8. Colombia 9. Honduras 10. Costa Rica 11. Venezuela 12. Panama 13. Brasil 
14.Chile 15. Ecuador 16. Hosted by Mexico. The host country Mexico had the second most 
visits to the winners' podium, with 5 medals in all, 1 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze. They 
were followed by the Chilean team with a 1st Place in the Women's Team, and a 2nd in the 
Men's Team divisions. Ecuador obtained a 2nd Place, and the head of the Aruba delegation 
placed 3rd, in the Masters division.

Men's Team                                 Women's Team
1st place - Brasil                         1st place - Chile
2nd place - Chile                          2nd place - Mexico
3rd place - Mexico                         3rd place - Brasil

Men's Individuals                          Women's Individuals
1st place - Julio Kenji Toida, Brasil      1st place - Lilian Natsumi Miyazawa, Brasil
2nd place - Paulo de Tarso Leite, Brasil   2nd place - Tabita Saez Tayakama, Brasil
3rd place - Carlos Flores, Mexico          3rd place - Mariana Hernandez, Mexico

Junior Boys Division                       Junior Girls Division
1st place - Hector Toshio Ueda, Brasil     1st place - Karen Mejumi Anraku, Brasil
2nd place - Victor Kenzo Fujikura, Brasil  2nd place - Amanda Miyuki Nakao, Brasil
3rd place - Rodrigo Ryuiti Hayashi, Brasil 3rd place - Caroline Naomi Ueda, Brasil

Masters Division
1st place - Vidal Briones, Mexico
2nd place - Fernando Benavides, Ecuador
3rd place - Sergio Velazquez, Aruba

ANNUAL JCCC KENDO TOURNAMENT – November 26, 2001, Toronto

Women                                   Mudansha and Shodan
1st place - Hanaka Yamada, Vancouver    1st place - Justin Lee, U Waterloo
2nd place - Tania Delage, McGill U      2nd place - Ryan Lee, Etobicoke
3rd place - Ayaka Sugiyama, Etobicoke   3rd place - Steven Park, Etobicoke
3rd place - Man Sa Ma, U Guelph         3rd place - Vincent Lai, Etobicoke

Nidan and Sandan                        Yondan and Up
1st place - Kunhee Kim, McGill U        1st place - Eddie Yamashita, Etobicoke
2nd place - Kevin Lee, York U           2nd place - Elliot Altilia, JCCC
3rd place - Simon Choe, York U          3rd place - Shigematsu Kamata, Etobicoke
3rd place - Tim Samios, Mississauga     3rd place - Hyun Jun Choi, Jungko

Teams                             Best Match
1st place - Men's Team Canada     Bree Yang, Jungko vs. Yoshimi Matsuzaki, Etobicoke
2nd place - Jungko
3rd place - Toronto "A"           Fighting Spirit
3rd place - U Toronto "A"         Bora Choi, Jungko


Dick Okaji

The Hawaii Kendo Federation lost an immensely kind and friendly senior sensei on
May 31, 2011 with the passing of Kendo 5th Dan Dick Okaji following a long and painful
illness. Born February 13, 1922 in Hakalau, Island of Hawaii, Okaji Sensei practiced
Kendo as a young child and continued on in high school, achieving 2nd Dan before moving
to Honolulu to attend the University of Hawaii. He then went on to the University of
Missouri where in 1957 he wrote a master’s thesis, “The Legislature of the Territory of
Hawaii: Its Organization, Structure, Procedure, Powers and Functions.” Returning to
Oahu, he had a long, proud, and distinguished career as Administrator, Professional and
Vocational Licensing Division, State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer
Affairs. He loved this work and his interactions with many politicians.

He had put Kendo on hold when he went to college and while he worked. He returned
to Kendo at the age of 68. He was with the YBA Kendo Club. Some years back he told the
Kenyu Editor he was retiring from Kendo, but in fact he continued to be very active, and
in 1995 opened his own Dojo, the Ken Yu Kai. Okaji Sensei and the Editor were both
immensely relieved when the beautiful facilities at the new Japanese Cultural Center
were saved. On December 10, 2000, at Kaimuki Honbu, Okaji Sensei was among those honored
at a special Senior Sensei Taikai recognition day.

Okaji Sensei loved his lofty retreat with his wife Lenora high in the tradewinds up
on Round Top, where many birds, fish, and kitties found refuge with him. An accomplished
musician, his house was crowded with beautiful musical instruments. An avid
historian, he gathered many fascinating artifacts. In this retreat he trained himself
diligently in both Kendo and Iaido kihon. Okaji Sensei was an exceptionally generous
person who truly loved all of his students, frequently helping them purchase their bogu,
and endlessly encouraging them in their training. An exemplary kenshi has gone to his

Bob Takagaki

We were profoundly stunned and devastated to learn of the horrifying last illness
and death of our dear friend Kendo 5th Dan Bob Takagaki. Less than a year ago, he had
learned of the sudden onset of a terrifying disease, Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). MDS
is a bone marrow disorder which results in abnormal blood cells, and the only cure is a
bone marrow transplant. A match with a donor was actually found, however in April the
MDS progressed to an aggressive form of leukemia, and although he underwent a few of
rounds of chemotherapy, he was never in remission long enough to receive the bone marrow
transplant. He was given intense supportive care, but slowly declined as his immune
system was deeply compromised. He understood his fate with great clarity, and calmly
wrote a simple but extremely moving farewell message to be sent to friends upon his
death. On December 4, 2011 he passed away surrounded by his grieving family.

Takagaki Sensei was born in Kamloops in July 1951. He grew up in Toronto, moved to
Japan in the mid-70s, and returned to Vancouver after about five years, where he
started his own company shortly after. He studied at the University of British Columbia
where received his master’s degree in 1985 with his thesis on “The Acquisition of the
English System of Pronominalization by Adult Second Language Learners.”

Takagaki Sensei was a loyal member of the Steveston Kendo Club. He was also
instrumental in the establishment and ongoing support of the UBC Kendo Club. He was
well-known throughout the Canadian Kendo Federation, often traveling to help out
generously with Kendo training in the Canadian prairies many times, seldom missing
seminars held in Saskatoon, Winnipeg or Edmonton.

Takagaki Sensei had a very casual and unpretentious manner, never pushed himself
forward or imposed on anyone. He had a very observant but kindly sense of humor and
could always see the easy-going fun in everything. At the same time he had very high
ethical standards. His business, Van Rice Products Ltd., was committed to healthy,
wholesome, environmentally-friendly food, and he often shared the very delicious organic
rice cakes with friends.

There is no doubt that Kendo was his greatest extracurricular passion. He never
married but was very close to his brother Ken’s three sons and his sister Cathy’s two
daughters. He also has a younger brother, Cary. Takagaki Sensei’s life, and especially
the way he faced and bore his death, embodied the very noblest ideals of Kendo.


Tesshu started his training in the way of the sword when he was nine years old. From
an early age he was known as ‘Boro-Tetsu’ (Tetsu the scrapper) and ‘Oni-Tetsu’ (Tetsu
the demon) for the crazed way in which he trained. On March 30, 1880, he was enlightened
to the notion ‘Because I exist, my enemy also exists. If there is no self, then there is
no enemy.’ His epiphany was reminiscent of the wise old cat’s wisdom in Issai Chozan’s
famous book on swordsmanship and the mind – Neko-no-Myojutsu (The Cat’s
Eerie Skill). This realization is abstract, and difficult to comprehend. Nevertheless,
it is by no means empty theory, and represents a profound awareness of the higher
secrets of swordsmanship, gleaned through relentless training and dedication.

Tesshu created the Muto-ryu – the school of the ‘sword of no sword’. This alludes
to the idea that there is no sword other than that of the heart (shingai-muto). He later
built a Dojo called the Shunpukan where he taught his disciples with almost unimaginable
harshness. One of his famous training methods was tachikiri-shiai, in which one person
fought challenger after challenger with no rest. This meant engaging in two-hundred
matches in a single day. As a part of his training syllabus, advanced disciples
participated in six-hundred matches over three days, or 1,400 in seven days. –Sakai
Toshinobu, A Bilingual Guide to the History of Kendo, Alexander Bennett,
trans., Kendo Nippon Books, Heisei 22 [2010], p. 205-207.

Kenyu – Monthly Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation

Kenyu Online –

Tom Bolling,
– 7318 23rd Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98115

This entry was posted in Kenyu. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.