On the Occasion of the Publication


Sumi Masatake, Kendo Hanshi 剣道範士 角 正武

I am delighted to see the launch of a new magazine aimed at women kendo enthusiasts. I am sure that many women, kendoka, have been looking forward to it for a long time.

In Japan, since the establishment of the All Japan Kendo Federation in 1952, school kendo has been revived and mixed-education has become more common. It was not until the 1960s that women’s kendo competitions started throughout the country. The rapid increase in the number of kendo clubs for children and young people throughout the country as part of the post-war reconstruction effort was also an undeniable factor in encouraging girls’ kendo participation.

 The first All Japan Women’s Kendo Championship was held in Japan in 1962 and although only eight women participated, it was the first-ever national women’s kendo tournament.

In 1963 the High School Women’s Individual Kendo Championship and in 1969 the Women’s Team Championship were held, while the University Students Union started the Women’s Individual Championship Tournament in 1967 and the Women’s Team Championship Tournament in 1982.

The number of adult women kendoka has also continued to increase over the years, with the first All Japan Housewives’ Kendo Championship (team competition) for married women in 1984 and a women’s team section of the All Japan Works Team Kendo in 1997.

The first World Kendo Championships took place at the Nippon Budokan in 1970, and the Women’s Individual Championship became an official event in 2000 (11th) and the Women’s Team Championship in 2003 (12th).

The above is an overview of women’s kendo development as seen in the various tournaments’ inauguration, but it should not be the sole focus of attention.

The history of kendo is well known, from its origins as a martial art for fighting and killing with weapons (swords) to its development as a cultivation of the mind that seeks to develop character through training in techniques, including spirituality. It is quite clear that kendo has been influenced by Japan’s unique culture, customs, and politics, which is very different from other martial arts worldwide. Importantly kendo enthusiasts need to be aware that competing against each other is only a small part of kendo and not the main part of the training.

Rather than trying to practise like young men using physical strength, I would like to see women kendoka practising kendo more flexibly and gracefully, based on the mind and spirit’s interaction.

As women’s role as members of society becomes more and more important, I hope that many women kendoka will understand the spiritual and cultural aspects of kendo and develop their spirit through autonomy and mutual respect playing an active role in society. I hope this magazine will contribute to the mutual understanding and enlightenment of women kendoka around the world. I want to conclude by saying, “Winning and losing is a game of a moment. Promotion is a sign of a temporary start. Plain practice is the bread of life.”

January 1, 2021











『勝ち負けは一瞬(ひととき)の戯れ、昇段は仮初めの証、平素の稽古こそ生涯の糧』 を贈り結びとします。


Sumi Masatake 角 正武
Sumi Masatake 角 正武

Sumi Masatake is a Kendo Hanshi 8-dan

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