Category Archives: traditional Japan

Yamaoka Tesshū & Cherry Blossoms 山岡鉄舟と桜

Once again it is hanami (花見/cherry blossom viewing) season in Tokyo. On the way to the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, a stopover was made to the grave of Yamaoka Tesshū (山岡 鉄舟) near Nippori station (JR Yamanote line). There … Continue reading

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new terminology

In researching the original Noma Dōjō I came across two terms that are useful in understanding the elements of a dōjō. They are: Jōdan’noma (上段の間) – this is a slightly raised seating area (seiza/kneeling style) at the shōmen or jōseki … Continue reading

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(new) Noma Dōjō (新) 野間道場

Dojo Name: Noma Dojo 野間道場 Arts Practiced: Kendo (principally) Location: Gokokuji, Bunkyo-ku, Tōkyō, Japan Dojo Owner: Kodansha Publishers Ltd. Summary: For kendoists, this dojo needs no introduction. For everyone else, Noma Dojo is a private dojo open to the public … Continue reading

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Basic Dojo Layout 普通の道場の設計

The thought came to mind to post about a basic or classic dojo layout and the reasons for the layout being at such. Until now, I have been hesitant to present this partly out of a feeling I have not … Continue reading

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Hybridized Architecture of Uchiyama 内山のヒブリド建築

Japan has a long history of borrowing influences from beyond its shores then making it part of its own culture. This process of appropriation often results in hybridized forms with striking contrasts. Architecturally, this can be seen in the Uchiyama … Continue reading

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Tasty Architecture 美味しい建築

Dinner and breakfast are often included in a stay at a ryokan (旅館) or Japanese style inn. At one I stayed in Kujyu, Oita Prefecture (久住大分県), near Mt. Aso (阿蘇山), traditional roof tiles known as kawara (瓦) are the inspiration … Continue reading

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Takeo Yabusame 武雄流鏑馬

Although samurai are now closely associated with swords and swordsmanship, as a distinct class the bushi (武士) were originally defined by their equestrian and archery skills. This origin leaves its legacy today in the arts of kyudo (弓道) and yabusame … Continue reading

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Jigen-ryu Hyoho 示現流兵法

Dojo Name: Jigen-ryu Center for Swordsmanship Arts Practiced: Jigen-ryu Hyōhō 示現流兵法 (koryu kenjutsu 古流剣術) Location: Kagoshima City, Kagoshima-ken, Japan Current Headmaster: Togo Shigenori 東郷 重徳 Summary: A famous four centuries old swordsmanship school with an earthen floor dojo and striking … Continue reading

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Kendo-Kyoju Yushinkan 剣道教授 宥辰館

Dojo Name: Kendo-Kyoju Yushinkan 剣道教授 宥辰館 Arts Practiced: Kendo Location: Kami-Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan Dojo Leader: Takahashi Yoko 高橋 洋子 Architect/Builder: Koyama 小山一級建築士事務所/株式会社小山エ務所 Summary: A family run dojo with a traditional interior including a traditionally constructed sprung floor.

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