Kendan: Conversations on Kendo and Life with Yamanouchi Tomio-sensei

By Ozawa Hiroshi (Author) and Matsuda Kazuyo (Translator)

Kendan” describes the lessons in kendo and life that were imparted to Kendo Kyoshi 8-dan Ozawa Hiroshi by his mentor, Kendo Hanshi 8-dan Yamanouchi Tomio.

Ozawa-sensei studied kendo under Yamanouchi-sensei while a student at Nippon Sports Science University, and also at the internationally famous Kodansha Noma Dojo. Then, in 1979 when Ozawa-sensei’s father became ill and could no longer teach him kendo, his father told him to study kendo under Yamanouchi-sensei. From that moment Ozawa-sensei practised kendo under the watchful guidance of Yamanouchi-sensei until he stopped practising at 85 years old. Ozawa-sensei remained his student until Yamanouchi-sensei passed away in 2005 at the age of 92.

Kendan contains Ozawa-sensei’s conversations with Yamanouchi-sensei over 13 years from 1980 to 1993. These conversations were largely had after training at Noma Dojo in the car on the way to the train station, and consisted of advice on different aspects of kendo. In addition to the technical side of kendo, many of the conversations were philosophical in nature and were about life as much as kendo. At times Yamanouchi-sensei would hand Ozawa-sensei long reports written on paper about different topics on kendo. Ozawa-sensei then collated this information and published Kendan on July 30, 1993, to celebrate Yamanouchi-sensei’s 80th birthday.

Now expertly translated by Matsuda Kazuyo in the UK, the knowledge and lessons on kendo and life found in Kendan are available in English.


Posted on

4 May 2024