On the third of the course, we practiced explaining the items of Japanese arts, which are divided into three: fine arts, crafts, and skills. And those three can be divided into more, for example there are martial arts and performing arts in the skills.

     The task in the class was that each student explained an item which they had done or were interested in. I chose Kendo, which is one of Japanese martial arts, for that because I did Kendo when I was a junior high school student.

     Kendo is one of Japanese martial arts and known as Japanese fencing. Kendo is practiced using swords called shinai in Japanese, which are made of split bamboo, and protective armor called bogu in Japanese. The word “shinai” came from a Japanese word “shina-u.” “Shina-u” means bend in English. As the sword made of spilt bamboo can bend, it can disperse power, so it can prevent injury while doing Kendo.

     In Kendo, two players fight with shinai and bogu, but what I was interested in this time was sonkyo. Sonkyo is the way of sitting styles and expresses courtesy. Players have to perform sonkyo before combat. Sonkyo is originally done at Shinto rite for showing courtesy. That’s why, you can Sumo wrestlers perform sonkyo before fighting because Sumo used to one of Shinto rites. Kendo doesn’t have anything with Shinto, but sonkyo is done as manners which can show courtesy to competitor.

     There are 8 specified target areas for getting points in a competition. The targets are top of the head (men), upper left and right side of the head (yoko-men), the left and right wrists (kote), the left and right torsos (do), and the throat(tsuki). But tsuki is prohibited among children because thrusting the throat is dangerous.

    This time I recalled about my childhood, and I started wanting to try Kendo again.


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