Volume 30, number 7/8/9
Dangai Shikake-Oji Yudansha Shikake-Oji 1st place - CL Chen/M.Martinez (1st); 1st place - S. Lew/J.Tuazon 2nd place - M.You/N.Shamrell-Harrington 2nd place - K. Tsukamaki/Karen Schmucker 3rd place - X.Lai/T.Ott 3rd place - C. Coppeans/B.Harrop Zen nihon no kata Dangai Women's Individuals 1st place - J.Hernandez/R. Ramirez 1st place - Michelle You 2nd place - T.Monji/K. Shamrell-Harrington 2nd place - Lily Hsin 3rd place - Kei Tsukamaki/Karen Schmucker 3rd place - Michelle Young Dangai Men's Individuals Yudansha Women's Individuals 1st place - CL Chen K. Roche 2nd place - James Maestas K. Tsukamaki 3rd place - Aaron Tierney S. Lew Yudansha Men's Individuals Women's Team 1st place - Martin Nobida 1st place - Greater NY 2nd place - Anthony Bernot 2nd place - Southern California 3rd place - Saiyou Ohshima 3rd place - Pacific Northwest Men's Team 1st place - Northern California 2nd place - East Coast 3rd place - Southern California
Team 1st place - PNKF-1 (J.DeJong, E.DeJong, N.Grimes, E.Marsten, A.Takado-Nakayama) 2nd place - SWKIF-1 (H.Dang, A.Darrah, D.Verastigue, N.Arnal, A.Adachi) 3rd place - SCKO 1 (Y.Saito, J.Kuo, I.Lorimer, N.Harigai, H.Hsueh) 3rd place - PNKF-2 (M.Blechschmidt, M.DeJong, J.Frazier-Day, J.Chen, M.Rinaldi) Individual Mudansha Individual Yudansha 1st place - Maya Blechschmidt, PNKF 1st place - Yuko Saito, SCKO 2nd place - Binah Yeung, PNKF 2nd place - Ai Takado-Nakayama, PNKF 3rd place - Sizhou Zou, SCKO 3rd place - Wendy Robillard, CKF 3rd place - Lucy Tan, SWKIF 3rd place - Minako Harigai, SCKO 4th place - Isabel Lorimer, SCKO 4th place - Noelle Grimes, PNKF 4th place - Juneko Kurahashi, CKF 4th place - Elizabeth Marsten, PNKF Shinpan Cho - Jeff Marsten Sportsmanship Pledge - Ai Takado-Nakayama
Maki Hiroyuki Miyahara. One of the greatest legacy teachers and a giant in the post-War resurgence, development, and flourishing of Kendo, Kendo Hanshi 8th Dan Maki Miyahara, whose roots ultimately extend deeply back into the early 20th century, passed to the Great Dojo on July 28, 2016. Born May 8, 1921, in Montebello, California, he said he really began Kendo the day he was born because he was taken along to each of the six Dojo where his father, Hiroji Miyahara, taught, Pomona, Baldwin Park, El Monte, San Bernardino, Riverside, and Coachella. Through his father he met the legendary Kendo Hanshi 8th Dan Torao Mori Sensei, first in 1938 for about two or three years, and again in 1950. Mori Sensei wore the hakama so long no one could see his feet, and told him "Do Suriashi. Don't stomp your feet", and "No matter what you do, your toes should be facing toward your opponent." When the War came, he was about to test for 4th Dan, but all that was put on hold. He was interned in Pomona Assembly Center and Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, and served in the MIS. After the War ended, he was drafted and sent to Japan, where he was stationed in Tokyo and started working out of Camp Zama in Kanagawa. One day after he had been there for three months or so he was walking by the Tsukiji Police Station and could hear the sounds of shinai going "kacha-kacha-kacha." At first they denied anyone was practicing Kendo, but he said he knew they were, so they took him back there, and he began to practice with them. He noticed they didn't have any drinks, so every time he went, he brought a case of beer. To illustrate the incredible influence of Miyahara Sensei's life, an amazing intersection of personalities took place, as reported by the late Benjamin Hazard Sensei. In the spring of 1948 Hazard Sensei had been assigned by the Army to the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service General Headquarters in Tokyo, and while on this tour of duty he was introduced to Kendo by his friend, Lieutenant Maki Miyahara. Hazard Sensei reports "He asked me if I wanted to go down and see Kendo, so I started practicing. When his unit was demobilized, I continued on my own, and I never stopped". Miyahara Sensei also met his wife Noriko and got married in Zama, but they wouldn't let him bring her back to the States, so when he was discharged in 1949 he fortunately got a job with the military government office in Ishikawa as a Welfare Officer and worked there until he returned to the US in 1954. He had a degree in mechanical engineering from Park College, and worked in that profession. Miyahara Sensei was one of the early builders of our strong connection with Steveston, and continued as the US representative to the CKF, as well as outreach to Mexico. He has been SCKF President and Executive Secretary, and KFUSA Secretary and President, and wrote the constitution and by-laws for both the SCKF and the KFUSA. He has continued active in the AUSKF. From 1966 he was instructor at Valley Kendo Club, and from 1978 the head instructor of Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute Kendo Dojo. He was Kendo instructor at Pomona College from 1972 to 1975, and advisor to the UCLA Kendo Club from 1971 to 1975. In 1973 he was on Team USA in the 2nd International Kendo Championship, and coached Team USA in 1979. As another example of the profoundly deep and enduring currents of his long-lasting influence, Kendo Kyoshi 7th Dan Tim Yuge Sensei recounts how when he was nineteen and his father passed away suddenly, he felt angry at how his dad had spent so much time with Kendo activities. Miyahara Sensei took the initiative to ask him to attend Federation meetings, urging "we need you because we need young people to help run Kendo and you have your father in you" and how 42 years later he remains heavily involved and always thanks his dad and Miyahara Sensei for this. In 2011 the Japanese Emperor bestowed upon Miyahara Sensei the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold and Silver Rays. Our sincere condolences to Noriko, their three daughters Colleen Yuki (Chris) Brosius, Carolyn Yui (Shigeiki) Miyazawa, and Joy Kaoru (Stephen) Koba, and their four grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
Tadao nee Amemiya Nanaumi. One of the key pillars of Southern California Kendo, Kendo Kyoshi 7th Dan Tadao Amemiya, passed away on September 6, 2016. A native Angeleno born November 21, 1921, he started Kendo at Seinan Dojo back before World War II. Interned first at Santa Anita, then Granada, after the War he returned to LA and soon joined Gardena JCI, where he taught with Yutaka Fukunaga Sensei and Hasashi Higuchi Sensei, where he remained active until a couple days before his death. Many SCKF current upper sensei had learned from him. Tim Yuge Sensei started Kendo in about 1961, and recalls Amemiya Sensei teaching him as a beginner to swing and step by holding his foot down until just before striking. Amemiya Sensei's extremely quick multiple Kote hits followed by a devastating Men strike is attested to by many. His speed and dexterity were all the more remarkable as he had lost parts of three fingers of his left hand in a lawnmower accident. He has a place in Kendo history, too, in that he was the person who had the very last keiko with the legendary Torao Mori Sensei before he died. Yuge Sensei had been there watching, as Mori Sensei asked for a moment of rest, then collapsed. Ever after, Amemiya Sensei always spoke of Mori Sensei in the present tense, as if he continued to feel his presence. Amemiya Sensei never challenged 8th Dan because he felt it would be disrespectful to Mori Sensei's level of greatness. Our sincere condolences to Amemiya Sensei's family, and our dear Southern California friends.
Brian McCarry. Noble, exemplary, and extremely brave Kendo 5th Dan and Iaido 3rd Dan Brian McCarry died on September 6, 2016 at the end of a multi-year struggle with rare cancer originating in the appendix. Born the youngest of nine children into a typical Catholic family on September 14, 1963 in San Jose, California, his father Ed had been an Irish American lieutenant who had met his wife, Claire Marie Leveel, through being asked to be an English tutor for the daughters of a local resident along the Normandy seashore sometime after D-Day during World War II, and returned a year after the War to marry her. Siblings were Liz, Greg, Bernie, Terry, Mo, Kevin, and Michael. In high school Brian worked as a dishwasher, saved his money, and bought his favorite car, a Toyota Celica. He also bought a personalized license plate that read: IMLAST. Brian graduated from Gunderson high school in 1982, and went on to an AA degree at West Valley Community College. He wasn't interested in any more college, so Brian followed his sister Mo (Maureen) up to Seattle when he was about twenty, and immediately got a job with an Alaskan fishing crew. He was gone four months working on a processing ship, which docked only twice during that entire time. Brian worked down below in the processing plant, which brought his family endless laughs because he hated fish and seafood of any and all varieties. One day he dropped his nephew off at Highline Community Center and happened to see the Kendo Club practicing. He went back later, asked about it, and signed up in May 1986. Through the good offices of Mo's husband Rick Lander, who has a degree in building construction from UW, he was encouraged to join the carpenter's union, eventually leading to him being a construction superintendent on commercial buildings. When asked later if he regretted not having more college, he said not all, that he couldn't think of another job he'd rather have had. He worked independently, solved puzzles all day long, and he was outdoors. When his sister asked one of the best days he can remember, Brian described a beautiful summer day erecting trusses in Snoqualmie, with the Cascades right there, and thinking to himself, "Look where I am, what I'm doing, and I'm getting paid for this!!" Along with Kendo, he loved skiing, and golf. He helped organize great golf outings with other kenshi, even tournament play with Highline vs. Tacoma, which are remembered as great fun for all participants. In Kendo itself, he was fully active in participating in all occasions and seminars, including trips to Japan and Korea. In addition he visited his relatives France, and also visited Italy. In mid-May 2013 he began to feel sharp pains like charlie horses up the right side of his abdomen. Doctors were running some tests on him, but he couldn't take the worsening pain, and his belly beginning to swell up, so he checked himself into the emergency room. He had cancer studs all along the wall of his abdomen. In July he was diagnosed with stage four adenocarcinoma, and was told he had five to six months to live. Thus began his protracted siege using chemo and multiple surgeries. He surely must've realized he was terminal, as did his friends, certainly, but starting right then he cheerfully took on each successive battle using the Kendo spirit of a challenge that could be won. On September 8, 2013, dreading the worst, many dozens of kenshi made the journey to Poulsbo where he was being lovingly nursed at Mo's house, and we all gathered in The Loft down on the waterfront, in fact rather overwhelming the restaurant, really, so we could all see him and cheer him on. We knew he'd had surgeries, with apparatus like hoses, drains, i.v. connectors, and so on, so no one was sure what to expect, maybe a wheelchair, or what. Looking down at the dock from the windows, suddenly we saw him there - dapper, upright, striding briskly along toward us, like nothing was any different. And of course, it was HE who cheered all the rest of us on!! His witty, almost sarcastic joking was all there as always. And on closer examination, there were indeed medical installations on his arm, and who knows where else. Still, it didn't seem like he'd be back to regular keiko anytime soon, if ever. But by the following spring he was back to work, where he worked steadily for another year. Around that time, coming back into the main gym at Bellevue after working with the beginners in the small gym, there it was - a shinai soaring through the air clear across the Dojo! Oh! McCarry's back!! Amazing! Brian McCarry Sensei was an implacable competitor in tournaments, whether with one or two shinai. Throwing his opponent's shinai through the air was absolutely one of his trademarks. Often he opted to the two-sword Nito attack, and on occasion, he was also fond of giving you a pair of sune and whipping his naginata around freely. He pretended to be ferocious, but the children saw through the bluff and adored practicing with him, fondly calling him "McScarry Sensei". He was also a sharp-eyed and knowledgeable shinpan, who continued to serve at every tournament, the latest at the North American Women's Taikai a few short weeks ago. He always carried himself splendidly and never let on that anything was wrong. At the Highline Kendo Taikai on March 14, 2015, he was presented with the Highline Ki Award = Outstanding spirit leader, voted in by the membership, and only given out sparingly. Perhaps most people did not know or had essentially forgotten his terminal illness. At the close of practice we can still hear an echo of his shouts of "Line up!! Spread out!!" Our deepest condolences to his dear extended family.
PNKF IAIDO SHINSA, August 13, 2016, Kent Commons Recreational Center, Kent
3RD KYU: Rafael De Anda (Everett), Tyler Peterson (Idaho). 2ND KYU: Sean Horita (Musokai), Donald Wentworth (Tonbo). 1ST KYU: Victor Whitman (Seattle). 1ST DAN: Thane Mittelstaedt (AiShinKai), Ken Tawara (Idaho).
PNKF KENDO SHINSA, August 13, 2016, Kent Commons Recreation Center, Kent
6TH KYU: Nicholas Chu (Bellevue), Justin Davis (Northwest), Kaito Hasabe (Bellevue), Matt Miyamoto (Northwest), Adam Nagai (Bellevue), Nina Underhill (Northwest). 5TH KYU: Thabit Ahmed (Edmonds), Nikolas Faulkner (Edmonds), Quirin Fish (Edmonds), Sean Kim (Seattle), Aneurin Mabale (Seattle), Ian Otto (Seattle), Joseph Ruckman (Edmonds), Kassidy Ting (Northwest), Timaeus Ting (Northwest), Alec Yuen (Seattle). 4TH KYU: James Faulkner (Edmonds), Raymond Fish (Edmonds), Christina Martinez Galvez (OSU), Daniel Koo (Bellevue), Hana Koob (Bellevue), Khang Le (UW), Jierong James Lee (UW), Benjamin Marx (Federal Way), Christopher McDougall (Seattle), Poul Nichols (Edmonds), Michele Soleimani (Portland), William Wellborn (Bellevue), Nicodemus Edwin Widjonarko (Obukan). 3RD KYU: Eugene Kim (Seattle), Ffion Mabale (Seattle), Sandra Mizuno (Seattle), Leonardo Ohata (Bellevue), Michizane Ohata (Bellevue), Timothy Okamura (Bellevue), Joshua Paik (Tacoma), Chi Pak (Portland), Edward Park (Bellevue), Keiji Underhill (Northwest), Yuki Wakasaki (Obukan), Jonathan Wang (RenMa), Shota Wetlesen (Obukan), Shun Wetlesen (Obukan), Victor Whitman (Seattle), Donna Wilson (Seattle), Binah Yeung (Seattle). 2ND KYU: Athena Epilepsia (Bellevue), Benet Garcia (Bellevue), Young-ki Paik (Tacoma), Tyler Peterson (Idaho), Greg Wroblewski (Bellevue), Kengo Underhill (Northwest), Brayan Valdez-Cruz (Northwest). 1ST KYU: Cougar Capoeman (Tacoma), Allison Kojima (Bellevue), Spencer Kua (UW), Yuriko Lee (Obukan), Carlos Matutes (Idaho), Gregory Vielhaber (Portland), Chris Vitale (OSU), Joshua Zheng (OSU). 1ST DAN: Clyde Bailey (Portland), Maya Blechschmidt (Bellevue), Vincent DeBellis (Obukan), Mart Hughes (Obukan), Jihan Kim (OSU), Soo-Hyung Kim (Seattle), Vincente Matsunaga (Edmonds), Stephen Ting (Northwest), Adesanjo Wolfe (Alaska). 2ND DAN: Corey Chan (UW), Nicholas Cook (Portland), Trinh Ho (Northwest), Branson Sweezea (Northwest). 3RD DAN: Khoi Duong (Kent), Ren Orwig (Kent), Hogyun Park (OSU), Bor-Duan Shieh (Cascade). 4TH DAN: Aaron Yen (Seattle).
CKF JODO SHINSA, August 14, 2016, Vancouver BC
1ST KYU: Joe Bourguigon (Hoshu Portland), Levi Dettwyler (Hoshu Portland), Roy Gawlick (Hoshu Vancouver), Ronen Totonchi (Hoshu Seattle), Francois Wessels (Hoshu Portland), Stephen Yu (Hoshu Seattle). 1ST DAN: Will Blades (Hoshu Vancouver), Denis Boko (Hoshu Vancouver), Kathleen Jorgensen (Tonbo), James Maestas (Boulder), Robert Manley (Tonbo), Gary Moulder (San Francisco), Naoki Tamesue (Boulder), Bruce Vail (Hoshu Seattle). 2ND DAN: Patrick Allard (Hoshu Vancouver), Justin Chan (Hoshu Vancouver), Arthur Wolak (Hoshu Vancouver).
AUSKF KENDO SHINSA, August 21, 2016, Stanford University, Palo Alto
5TH DAN: Warren Wonil Kim (WKF), Katsunori Matsushita (AEUSKF), George Ogawa (NCKF), Brian Olson (SCKF), Minoru Segawa (SCKO), Young Yoon (SCKF). 6TH DAN: Atsushi Kajioka (SCKO), Yukiko Miura (SCKO), Masayasu Miyajima (MWKF), Ai Takado-Nakayama (PNKF), Takaaki Sato (MWKF), Yasuyuki Shimada (NCKF), Takeshi Tokunaga (NCKF), Keiko Umemura (AEUSKF). 7TH DAN: Jimmy Ken Eitoku (NCKF). RENSHI: Sandip Ghodgaonkar (SCKO), Hiroshi Ichimura (NCKF), Dong Su Lee (WKF), Akira Mizunoue (NCKF), Naoki Nagatani (SCKF).
Kendo, I thought, is about adapting, adjusting, how to be ready for any situation, or any emergency. Miyamoto Musashi declares in The Water Book of the Book of Five Rings that the "spirit of the Ni Ten Ichi school of strategy is based on water" The first book, The Ground Book is the body of the Way of strategy, as "a straight road mapped out on the ground" but with "water as the basis, the spirit becomes like water. Water adopts the shape of its receptacle, it is sometimes a trickle and sometimes a wild sea. Water has a clear blue color." The principle of strategy is to know one thing and thereby the "ten thousand things" - things written in the Water book. "Adapting, yes," Ogawa Sensei mused as I hesitantly mumbled what I thought was a profound insight, hard earned because now knowing classical Japanese, I had been privately studying The Book of Five Rings. "But in the Mizu No Maki," he continued, "Musashi is discussing application, or adapting, the techniques of swordsmanship." He paused, then slowly told me that "bushido is not something you adapt to your life, but it means changing your life in almost every way. You began with Miura Sensei, but the sword will continue to change you as long as you practice. You will never be finished. More is expected of the bugeisha than of an ordinary person. Reflect on that," he concluded.
--Rod Nobuto Omoto, Autobiography, edited by Charlotte Omoto, 2014, p. 24. Available as free download at lulu.com.
Kenyu - Monthly Newsletter of the Pacific Northwest Kendo Federation Tom Bolling, Editor - 7318 23rd Avenue N.E., Seattle, WA 98115