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Traditional Culture

Golden Week – Constitution Memorial Day and Greenery Day

Continuing our feature about Japan’s Golden Week, this post will feature the second and third holidays, the Constitution Memorial Day and Greenery Day. Constitution Memorial Day The Constitution Memorial Day, or Kenpō Kinenbi (憲法記念日) as it is known in Japan, is a national holiday in Japan that is celebrated every May 3.…

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Golden Week – Shōwa Day

Tomorrow in Japan is Shōwa Day. It is the start of the so-called Golden Week (ゴールデンウィーク, Gōruden Wīku). Often abbreviated as GW, Golden Week is a term applied to a series of public holidays between April and May. Golden Week The current holidays celebrated during this period are: April 29 – Shōwa Day (昭和の日, Shōwa no Hi) May 3 – Constitution Memorial Day (憲法記念日, Kenpō Kinenbi) May 4 – Greenery Day (みどりの日, Midori no Hi) May 5 – Children’s Day (こどもの日, Kodomo no Hi) When a public holiday lands on a Sunday, the next day that is not already a holiday becomes a holiday for that year.…

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Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Sword Masters

Kendo has a very long and rich history of development in Japan. Some of the legendary sword masters of ancient Japan left writings to explain their philosophy and methods. Even though they are not really practitioners of the modern kendo, nevertheless, their philosophies and methods became a part of it.…

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Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Kata

Kendo kata are fixed patterns that teach kendoka the basic elements of swordsmanship. The kata include fundamental techniques of attacking and counter-attacking, and have useful practical application in general kendo.…

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Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Grades

Just like other martial arts, practitioners also are ranked by kendo grades.…

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Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Rules

As the concept of kendo states that kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principle of the katana, there are kendo rules and regulations followed in a match (or in Japanese 試合, shiai). Kendo Match Rules A kendo match is herein defined as a contest between two contestants for a scorable point (有効打突 yūkō-datotsu) using kendo equipment and conducted in an area as stipulated in accordance with the Regulations of Kendo Shiai and Refereeing.…

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Osafune in Okayama: Sword learning centre – Part 2 –

Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 2 - Through a plastic screen - Information I got from the swordsmiths [Swordsmithing] There are two sizes of hammers to beat iron. The lighter one weighs 5 kg (approx. 11 lb / 176 oz).…

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Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Techniques

Kendo techniques are divided into shikake-waza (to initiate a strike) and ōji-waza (a response to an attempted strike). Kendoka who wish to use such techniques during practice or competitions, often practice each technique with a motodachi. This is a process that requires patience.…

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Osafune in Okayama: Sword learning centre – Part 1 –

Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 1 - From upstairs - Here, you can see swordsmithing on Saturdays, Sundays and National holidays for free. Note that they don’t demonstrate in summer because it is too hot for swordsmiths to forge.…

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Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Practices

In our previous posts, we learned about the history and equipment used in kendo. In this post, we will learned about kendo practices. It’s estimated that somewhere around 14 million people world-wide are Kendokas, or active practitioners and students of Kendo.…

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