The Third All Hawaii Kendo Championships

At Kalani High School Gymnasium

November 6, 2004


            The Hawaiian chants by Ao, Kanai and Pookela Rodenhurst opened the ceremonies followed with Akihiro Okada Sensei from the Hawaii Daijingu performing a Shinto blessing.  The blessings energized the audience and participants and increased the level of excitement.  The tournament was dedicated to Mr. Toshihiro Konishi Sensei, a teacher devoted to his students and the teachings of kendo.  The tournament was opened with John Zalewski, Master of Ceremonies introducing President Terushi Ueno who gave encouraging remarks to the participants and the audience.  The tournament was opened with the ceremonial kendo kata with Uchidachi Carl Nakamura, 5 dan and Shidachi Mark Miyamoto, 4 dan.

The statewide kendo championships attracted many islanders from the Big island of Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu where it was held at the Kalani High School Gymnasium on November 6, 2004.  It attracted 112 participants and a host of supporters.   Other activities included a Friday evening keiko at Kenkyukai, a banquet at the Hale Ikena restaurant at Fort Shafter and a Kyu/Dan examination on Sunday morning.   Special out of state visitors from Japan  included Masashi Chiba (Hanshi 8 dan), Kichibei Tsuchida (kyoshi 7 dan) who donated the Grand Champion’s banner, representative members from the Kanidouraku Company with Takeshi Takane (kyoshi 7 dan)  Mutsuo Ouchi (kyoshi 7 dan), Nobumichi Sato (kyoshi 7 dan), Kazuo Nomoto (kyoshi 7 dan), Kyoko Nomoto (renshi 6 dan),  Yoko Takane, and Mr. Kenichi Yoshizawa (4 dan).  Mr. Hisao Imazu, proprietor of the Kanidouraku Company provided a $1000 scholarship to practice kendo in Japan to the Grand Champion.  Mr. Takane represented Mr.Imazu who could not be present during this tournament.

            The participants divisions included Yonenbu, Shonenbu, Seinenbu, Women’s, Yudansha 1-2 and Yudansha 3 & above. 

            The audience was attentive during the post lunch program when Mr. Elton Ushio,  kendo instructor from the Lihue Kendo Club performed a demonstration “tameshigiri” using a “live” blade and cutting through wet straw mats.  The sound and the look of the tightly wound mat falling to the ground after being cleanly sliced through was very impressive.   An Iai-do demonstration by the

Iai-bu branch of the Hawaii Kendo Federation was led by Sensei Dr. Noboru Akagi.

            This year’s results of the championship follows:

                        Yonenbu Division                 1st place          Mathew Ito

                                                                        2nd place        Cov Ratcliffe

                                                                        3d place         Christian Salibi

                                                                        3d place         Chase Takenaka

                        Shonenbu Division               1st place          Braxton Fukutomi

                                                                        2nd place        Dominick Corelli      

                                                                        3d place         James Okada



Seinenbu Division                1st place          Gregory Gates

                                                                        2nd place        Cael Goodin

                                                                        3d place         Lane Laconsay

                                                                        3d place         Michael Ratcliffe

                        Women’s Division                 1st place          Roxine Kubo

                                                                        2nd place        Gale Mejia

                                                                        3d place         Keiko Yamada

                        Yudansha 1-2 Division        1st place          Takuma Hirako

                                                                        2nd place        Colin Maruoka

                                                                        3d place         Satomi Takara

                        Yudansha 3 & above           1st place          Andy Fujimoto

                                                                        2nd place        Grant Matsubayashi

                                                                        3d place         Sei Wakuta

                                                                        3d place         Mark Nishioka

            Andy Fujimoto was the Grand Champion of the tournament and was awarded the special banner and the scholarship award to practice in Japan as the guest of the Kanidouraku Company Kendo Club in Tokyo Japan.

            Special tennuguis (towels) were made for this event and was given to each participant.  The calligraphy “do” which means the path or michi  of kendo was written by the Reverend Eijo Ikenaga of the Myohoji Temple and imprinted on the tennuguis.  The calligraphy and the “Concept of Kendo” has been a primary emphasis by the Hawaii Kendo Federation.  The President of the Hawaii Kendo Federation closed with remarks.  The participants look forward to the next all Hawaii championships in 2006.

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