Kenyu – September/October 2011

Kenyu logo

Volume 25, number 9/10

September/October 2011


  1. Nov 5, PNKF Taikai, Sat, 9:30am, Kent.
  2. Nov 12, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  3. Nov 14-15, All-Japan Champion Takanabe Susumu Sensei visit to Portland, Mon-Tue.
    We in the Portland area are looking forward to Takanabe Sensei's visit to the Northwest region.
    This will be a Portland Area Kendo event. As such, Obukan Kendo Club, Portland Kendo Club, and 
    Ren Ma Dojo will be contributing to its success.
    We hope that many of our Kendo friends from the region will be able to join us.
    Here are the seminar locations and times as scheduled (confirmed as of November 1)
    Monday, November 14, 2011  7:40pm - 9:15pm
    Conestoga Recreation Center
    9985 SW 125th Ave.
    Beaverton, Oregon 97008
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011  6:00pm - 9:00pm
    Hillside Community Center
    653 NW Culpepper Ter.
    Portland, OR 97210
  4. Nov 19, Kent Taikai, Sat, report time 9am, start 9:30am, Kent.
  5. Jan 14, PNKF Kata Seminar, Sat, 12noon-4pm, open keiko 4-5pm, Rain City Fencing, 1776
    136th Place NE, Bellevue, WA 98005.

  6. Jan 28, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  7. 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.

  8. Mar 3, Highline Taikai, Sat, 10am, White Center Community Center.
  9. Mar 17, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  10. Mar 31, PNKF Shinpan Seminar, Sat, 12noon-4pm, open keiko 4-5pm, Kent.
  11. Apr 7, UW Taikai, Sat, 10am, IMA (tentative).
  12. Apr 14/15, Cherry Blossom Festival, PNKF demo, Seattle Center.
  13. May 5, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  14. May 12, PNKF Iaido Shinpan Seminar and Taikai, Sat, 9am-3pm, Spartan Recreation Center,
    202 N.E. 185th Street, Shoreline.

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

  24. Nov 3, PNKF Taikai, Sat, 9:30am, Kent.
  25. Nov 10, PNKF Board, Sat, 3-5pm, Renton.
  26. Nov 17, Kent Taikai, Sat, report time 9am, start 9:30am, Kent.


  1. Nov 10-12, Latin American Kendo Championship, Thu-Sat, Mexico City, Mexico.
  2. Nov 12, AUSKF Board.
  3. Nov 19/20, 4th US Nito Kendo Seminar, NoVA Budokai Kendo Club, Alexandria, VA.
  4. Feb 11, Steveston Taikai, Sat, 9:30am, McMath High School, 4251 Garry Street, Richmond BC.
  5. Apr 14, AUSKF Board meeting.
  6. May 25-27, 2012, 15WKC, Novara, Italy.

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


This year the number of candidates for the PNKF Board of Directors did not exceed the number of positions
available so all candidates are seated on the Board. At their November 10, 2011 meeting, the officers will be
elected. The Board members are: Tom Antush (Federal Way), Amy Arsenault (Highline), Jonathan Bannister (AiShinKai),
Brian Blomquist (Everett), Thomas Bolling (Bellevue), Jared Burns (Obukan), Brian Edwards (Everett), Daniel Ichinaga
(Seattle), Shinichi Koike (Northwest), Charles Kwon (Cascade), Curtis Marsten (Kent), Iraj Mohebalian (Seattle),
Mike Rigler (Sno-King), Jon Scherer (Highline), Russ Sinclair (Spokane), Glenn Walker (Ren Ma), Frank Wessbecher
(UW), Moki Yoshikawa (Tacoma), and David Yotsuuye (Bellevue). Jeff Marsten (Bellevue/Highline/Sno-King) and Kiyoshi
Yasui (Seattle) continue as Advisors. Shinichi Koike and Jeff Marsten are members of the AUSKF Board.


At their September 17 meeting, the PNKF Board accepted two new Dojo with probationary status.

Portland Kendo/Kumdo Club is practicing at the Sunnyside Grange, 13289 S.E. 132nd Avenue, Clackamas, Oregon, on
Tuesdays from 8-10pm. They are looking for a location to practice on Thursdays. Head Instructor is Kendo 4th Dan
Steve Choi, and Advisor Instructor is Kendo 4th Dan Scott Fujimoto.

Ren Ma Kendo and Iaido Dojo is practicing at Fulton Park Community Center, 68 SW Miles Street, Portland. Iaido
is Wednesdays 7-9pm, and Kendo is Fridays 7-9pm. Head Instructor is Kendo 3rd Dan Steve Uchida, Iaido Instructor is
Kendo and Iaido 3rd Dan Glenn Walker, and Advisor is Kendo Kyoshi 7th Dan and Iaido 6th Dan Robert Stroud.


Northwest Kendo Club will continue to practice Fridays, 7-9pm at the Northgate Community Center, 10510 5th
Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98125-7202. This venue is working out well for them, and they will not be returning to the
Magnolia Community Center.

IDAHO KENDO SEMINAR – September 9/10/11, 2011, Boise, Kuna, and Nampa, Idaho

Successful and fun Idaho Kendo Seminar was enjoyed by a great group from Pocatello, University of Washington,
Salt Lake, Portland, Ontario, Nampa, and Boise Clubs. Thanks to all the kenshi who came to support this event, and
make it such a success.

IDAHO KENDO TAIKAI – September 11, 2011, Kuna, Idaho

Juniors                             Women
1st place - Jake Wilson, Ore-Ida    1st place - Masako Wright, Zen Bu Kan
2nd place - Kat Plummer, Ore-Ida    2nd place - Kat Plummer, Ore-Ida
3rd place - Mick Lannigan, Ore-Ida
3rd place - Noelle Bruce, Idaho

Mudansha                            Yudansha Umemura Hai Trophy
1st place - Steven Le, Idaho        1st place - Frank Wessbecher, UW
2nd place - Ken Tawara, Idaho       2nd place - Adam Hogan, Ren Ma

12th INVITATIONAL TACOMA KENDO TAIKAI – October 22, 2011, Washington High School, Tacoma

9 Years and Under                   10-12 Years
1st place - H. Allen, Bellevue      1st place - M. Blechschmidt, Bellevue
2nd place - H. Kuida, Seattle       2nd place - W. Wee, Bellevue
3rd place - T. Gould, Federal Way   3rd place - K. Toyokawa, Tacoma
4th place - S. Bishop, Cascade

13-15 Years                         16-18 Years
1st place - A. Sinclair, Spokane    1st place - D. Sinclair, Spokane
2nd place - Y. Sandberg, Spokane    2nd place - S. DeNardi, Spokane
3rd place - M. DeJong, Highline     3rd place - J. Duplain, Spokane

Adult Kyu
1st place - T. Patana, Sno-King
2nd place - H. Christianson, UW

Junior Youth Team
1st place - Spokane (A.Sinclair,T.Kuida,Y.Sandberg)
2nd place - Kent (K.McManus,T.Marsten,J.Mills)

Senior Youth Team
1st place - Spokane (S.DeNardi,J.Duplain,D.Sinclair)
2nd place - Kent (A.Melton,S.Cresse)

Adult Kyu Team
1st place - UW A (H.Christianson,S.Stern,H.Kim)
2nd place - Kent (Y.Shinoda,T.Patana,T.McManus)

National Anthem Singer - Alisa Yoshikawa
Sportsmanship Pledge - Anna Neshyba
Shinpan Cho - Shinichi Koike


IAIDO KODANSHA SHINSA, September 19, 2011, Ayase, Tokyo Budokan

5TH DAN: Jonathan Bannister (AiShinKai).

KENDO SHINSA, October 2011, Omiya Budokan

3RD DAN: Nancy Ton (Seattle/Yadokari Kenseikai).


Naganuma Shirozaemon Kunisato and ‘Shinai Uchikomi-geiko’

Naganuma Shirozaemon Kunisato of the Jikishin Kage-ryu was instrumental in popularising shinai-sparring with
bogu. His name is so well-known that some people are apt to think it was entirely his creation, but in actuality
there were a number of precluding factors. Kunisato’s father, Yamada Heizaemon Mitsunori, was injured in his youth
while fencing with a bokuto. At the age of thirty-two, he entered the tutelage of Takahashi Danjozaemon who employed
the use of protective facemasks and gauntlets for training. The Jikishin Kage-ryu was created by Matsumoto
Bizen-no-Kami who was an expert of Kashima kenjutsu, and was succeeded by the founder of Shinkage-ryu, Kamiizumi
Ise-no-Kami. This tradition of swordsmanship continued with a number of name changes through the generations.
Takahashi Danjozaemon studied the techniques of the school and called it the Jikishin Seito-ryu. Yamada Heizaemon
then inherited the ryuha. He established training methods with protective equipment, and renamed the style the
Jikishin Kage-ryu. After taking over the ryuha from his father Yamada Heizaemon, Naganuma Shirozaemon Kunisato
further refined the various items of training equipment, and is attributed with completing the set of men, kote, do,
and tare between 1711 and 1716.

Nakanishi Chuzo Tsugutake’s Contribution

Approximately fifty years after shinai uchikomi-geiko was introduced into the Jikishin Kage-ryu, Nakanishi
Chuzo Tsugutake of the Itto-ryu made some more improvements, and introduced full-contact sparring into his school
around 1751-1772 to accompany kata training. There were conflicting opinions on the validity of fencing with shinai,
and some within the Itto-ryu (including the headmaster) were openly opposed to the innovation. Still, many saw this
method of competitive fencing with bamboo swords as an interesting way of overcoming the shortcomings of engaging
only in kata training. The Itto-ryu was one of the most important fencing schools of the Tokugawa period, and the
full-contact approach spread far and wide via Nakanishi Chuzo’s dojo. Kenjutsu continued to evolve rapidly

The Rise of New Schools and the ‘Three Great Dojo of Edo’ The Success of Shinai-uchikomi Kenjutsu

The invention of shinai-uchikomi kenjutsu was epochal. It developed in the Tokugawa period, and formed the
prototype of kendo practiced today. It has remained virtually unchanged, making it an undeniably revolutionary
occurrence in the course of budo history. Warriors could learn about the principles of swordwork with combat
realism, but without hurting or killing training partners, or being injured or killed themselves. With elements of
competition, full-contact sparring was exhilarating, and also served as an efficient way to increase and maintain
physical fitness. The transition from kata-centric training to sparring with shinai was not instantaneous.
Initially, it was included as supplementary training, but gradually became the principal method over time. Shinai
kenjutsu revitalized the art of swordsmanship which had fallen into a state of decline after kata had become
increasingly flamboyant.

The Rise of New Schools

As shinai kenjutsu became progressively popular from the middle to the end of the Tokugawa period, new schools
that excelled technically began to emerge. The pioneers of shinai kenjutsu such as Naganuma Shirozaemon Kunisato of
the Jikishin Kage-ryu, and the Nakanishi-ha Itto-ryu are good examples.

The Jikishin Kage-ryu evolved from the swordsmanship of Matsumoto Bizen-no-Kami and Kamiizumi Ise-no-Kami.
Kunisato’s father, Yamada Heizaemon Mitsunori, was the progenitor of the ryuha. The Jikishin Kage-ryu boasted many
renowned swordsmen such as Odani Seiichiro, Shimada Toranosuke, and Sakakibara Kenkichi. The Nakanishi-ha Itto-ryu,
created by Nakanishi Chuta Tanesada has its roots in the Ono-ha Itto-ryu. Tanesada’s son, Chuzo Tsugutake, inherited
the school, and it rapidly grew in size when he incorporated shinai training. Famous students from this style of
swordsmanship include Asari Matashichiro and Shirai Toru.

Of the Itto-ryu stream schools, Chiba Shusaku’s Hokushin Itto-ryu is particularly well-known. Other notable
schools include: Henmi Tashiro Yoshitoshi’s Kogen Itto-ryu; Iba Zesuiken Hideaki’s Shingyoto-ryu; Fukui Hyoemon
Kahei’s Shinto Munen-ryu; and Momonoi Hachirozaemon Naoyoshi’s Kyoshin Meichi-ryu. Another prominent school was the
Tennen Rishin-ryu studied by the Shinsen-gumi leader Kondo Isami, and his lieutenant Hijikata Toshizo during the
Bakumatsu period.

–Sakai Toshinobu, A Bilingual Guide to the History of Kendo, Alexander Bennett, trans., Kendo
Nippon Books, Heisei 22 [2010], p. 161-171.

Kenyu – Monthly Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation

Kenyu Online –

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

Please click here to go to the
PNKF Official Home Page.

Tom Bolling’s home page

This entry was posted in Kenyu. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.