The Iaido Journal  Feb 2010
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Culture Day

copyright 2010 Jeff Broderick, all rights reserved

Culture Day came and went; this means the Kobudo Demonstration at the Meiji Shrine, and also the All-Japan Kendo Championships at the Nippon Budokan. I followed my usual routine: fail to get up as early as I would like, show up mid-morning at the Shrine, take a few pictures, and then head over to catch the exciting matches at the Budokan (and also get my face on NHK - very important!)

As I arrived at the Meiji Shrine at almost exactly the same time this year as I did last year, I'm a bit sad to say that the same koryu groups were demonstrating as were last year. I was hoping that they might mix the schedule up somewhat from year to year, but it seems they are very rigid, and that basically the same koryu demonstrate in basically the same order. 

Toyama Ryu came and did a lot of nice tameshigiri. I think it is interesting that they are considered a koryu when they are not very old.


Kyoso Sensei did the iaijutsu component of the Katori Shinto Ryu demonstration...


I love to pick on these guys because their techniques are just so ... inscrutable. Shin Muso Hayashizaki Ryu.

Iaido, right? No, smart guy, it's jujutsu! That's what they said, anyway: Shibukawa Ichi ryu. I guess that the school has a batto component. I wonder if this gentleman did the iai because he had nobody to demonstrate the jujutsu with. Some of these schools are literally down to one or two people.

There were a lot of other good opportunities for photos, but my impeccably bad sense of timing meant that I missed 99% of the good shots. But my favourite shot of the day is this next one. Sing along everybody ... "Today's the day the samurai have their piiiiiic-nic!"


Oh, yabusame too. I couldn't stay to watch them shoot, unfortunately, but the pageantry is really wonderful.


And it was off to kendo. This shot looks quite similar to the one from last year, strangely enough...


Mr. Harada after a hard match ...


And Mr. Teramoto, who has been having a fantastic year, but couldn't quite scrape together an All-Japan championship (although he came close).


As usual, this event had nothing to do with me directly - I don't practice kendo, and I don't do any of the arts demonstrated at the Meiji Shrine (or at least, not while I was there to see them) - but I still felt a great "recharging" of my budo batteries. If only I could get recharged a bit more often. Once a month or so would be nice...

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