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Japan’s World Champions

June 3rd, 2015 | Posts By Devalier | Filed in: Culture, General, Leadership

2015 World Kendo Championships

A major event took place in Tokyo this past weekend at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo. Held were the 16th World Kendo Championships, and Japan swept the games across-the-board, winning 1st place in the men’s, and women’s individual and team competition.

Men’s Individual Matches:

1st Place  Tadakatsu Amishiro        Japan

2nd Place  Yuya Takenouchi            Japan

3rd Place  Man Uk Jang                   Korea

3rd Place  Hidehisa Nishimura       Japan

Women’s Individual Matches:

1st Place  Mizuki Matsumoto           Japan

2nd Place  Yung Yung Hu                 Korea

3rd Place  Bo Kyung Won                 Korea

3rd Place  Yukio Takami                   Japan

Men’s Team Matches:

1st Place                                              Japan

2nd Place                                             Korea

3rd Place                                             Hungary

3rd Place                                             USA

Women’s Team Matches:

1st Place                                              Japan

2nd Place                                             Korea

3rd Place                                             USA

3rd Place                                             Brazil

Japan Men’s Team Winners

Men's Team Winners Receive Their Awards

The US Team

Japanese Men's Team alongside the Italians, good fighters

I was surprised, and somewhat disappointed that these championships were not widely covered in the Japanese press, although NHK TV did broadcast the men’s team championships on the last day, Sunday.

The World Kendo Championships represent the “World Cup” of Kendo and are held every three years in rotation around the world ever since the first world championship was held in 1970. They have only been hosted four times in Japan, the first one in Tokyo, the 4th one in Sapporo, the 10th one in Kyoto, and the 2015 championships back in Tokyo. The next World Kendo Championships will be held in Inchon, Korea.

Internationality at its best

This is a truly international contest, with nearly 50 countries participating from Asia, Europe, and Latin America. I’ve wondered why this truly magnificent martial art isn’t included in the Olympic Games (along with Karate) and was pleased that the Vice- President of the International Kendo Federation indicated that for Kendo to join the Olympics was his goal.

Curiously, Hawaii had its own men’s team apart from the US team, as did Taiwan, Macao, and Hong Kong and China. Not surprising, most of the players on the Hawaiian and US teams were Asian-Americans.

Men's Japan, Korea Teams Square Off

The most exciting matches were between the Japan and Korea teams. The Korean players were powerful—tall, muscular and aggressive— but the Japanese outpointed with their finesse, grace, agility, and technique. These qualities are great Japanese strengths to be very proud of.

In for the "Kill"

Korea and the US Lock Swords

A champion in the making

Whenever I see champions in any field, whether in the martial arts, other athletes, the arts, business or government. I am always reminded and sometimes chastened by the extraordinary effort that any champion makes. We recognize the greatness but can’t fully grasp the “blood, sweat and tears” that these champions experience to get where they are.  Raw potential is not enough no matter how great. It’s the effort, the hard work, the toil that brings a champion to the winner’s stage.

The All-Japan national championships will be held at the Nippon Budokan next November. It is such a splendid and fitting venue for such a beautiful art, reflective of the Samurai spirit.

All the best,

Warren J. Devalier

Interface Inc.

©2015 Warren J. Devalier

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