Luísa Lourenço

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  • in reply to: March 2021 Question:2021年 3月のアンケート #2841
    Luísa Lourenço

    I’m honestly not surprised given the culture embodied in Kendo – it is still very traditional and japanese culture is very patriarchal, as pointed out in this article linked in the latest post of kenshi247.

    I believe the numbers would fare a bit better in the workplace environment but that really depends on the country and type of work/company you work for.

    One thing that always baffled me is how close minded Kendo culture can be. You are not allowed to question or challenge (in a constructive way) anything because there is an hierarchy and your opinion doesn’t matter unless you are a sensei (note: I don’t mean questioning during a kendo class where it can be disruptive and even disrespectful to the teacher).

    Also if something goes against some sensei’s vision of how things should be then you are pretty much stuck with that vision no matter how outdated it can be. Of course this will depend on the kendo club but I don’t think it’s unique to a couple of places, the more you try to be “traditional” the more you can fall into this close-minded trap.

    Just to be clear here: I have nothing against hierarchy or tradition itself, I respect that and to some point it makes sense. It’s when it becomes a block to new ideas and critical thinking because “this is the way it’s always been” that I have a problem with. And this is especially true when it comes to women in kendo and how they are treated.

    With that said, I believe the new generations don’t have this vision so much and things will improve once the older senseis (the ones with this bias) retire and give way to the new generation. Also as the number of female practitioners increase, even if marginally, and become more ranked this will open the door to more inclusive dojo environments and more female practitioners.

    So to me it is very important that we have more ranked female practitioners, they become involved in their clubs organization, try to become teachers/instructors, participate as much as possible in events. This is very challenging but with time, perseverance and with the support of communities like this one I’m sure we will see a rise in female kendo.

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