Film info

Creator / Collector

The film takes us to the Nippon Budokan Stadium, it was built in 1964 to host the judo Olympic games.

First we watch the greeting and then the attacks and repulsions of the warriors that are taking part in the battles, while we’re listening, at the same time, a brief narration of the Shogun domination during the Edo period and the isolation of Japan from foreign influences, their gradual enfeeblement till their fall.

Κendo comes from Japanese word for fencing and is consisted of two synthetics, the "Ken" which means sword and the "Do" which means road. Together it is rendered as a road, or a sword's path.

Kendo makes its first appearance in about 1800 and served the Samurai's need to practice with safety.

In Kendo is used a protective equipment named "bogu" that provides safety and the sword (Shinai) is made out of bamboo. It is flexible and does not injure during attack.



Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

Another peculiarly Japanese activity is kendo. Here in the Budokan, or Hall of the Martial Arts, the annual kendo competitions are taking place. Kendo means “the way of the sword”, and it is an art which goes back to the 12th century. Originally it was practiced with real swords, but since the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and the dissolution of the samurai class a bamboo stave has been used, and the protagonists now wear a protective helmet. But the principles employed remain the same. The most important thing is the concentration of power at the proper instant, which requires perfect coordination of the body and lightning speed.
Just now I mentioned the Meiji Restoration of 1868. This was a crucial event in modern Japanese history. The Shoguns had been virtual rulers of the country since 1600, and the Emperors had been mere figureheads. But for a number of reasons the Shoguns’ power declined. The final blow came when the American Commodore Perry came in 1853 demanding trading and other concessions. The Shogunate was too weak to respond, and collapsed, and the office of Emperor was returned to its full status.
Bonar, Andrew Graham