A 34 year old policeman from Osaka, Isao Ogawa, is this year's All-Japan Kendo champion.?
A 34 year old policeman from Osaka, Isao Ogawa, is this year's All-Japan Kendo champion. Kendo is an ancient martial art whose origins date to a time when young men practised sword play using wooden sticks. Ogawa won the title by defeating another policeman, 28 year old Eiji Sueno.
SYNOPSIS: Eiji Sueno, from Kagoshima, black belt 6-dan exponent of Kendo prepares for a semi-final bout.
The huge Budoken Hall in Tokyo is the venue for the All Japan championships and it attracted a large, enthusiastic crowd.
This semi-final is between Sueno and another policeman, Masaharu Kakeshashi who at 30 holds a black belt 6-dan status. In ancient days young men of the Samurai class were expected to become expert at Kendo before they were allowed to use steel swords. In this case Kakehashi has been awarded a hit, signified by the referee raising a flag. Sueno responds to the challenge, charging his opponent to score after a flurry of blows.
The bout has gone to Sueno and both men bow then walk off to appreciative applause.
Thirty-four year old, Isao Ogawa, facing away from camera begins the final bout against Sueno. Ogawa has the better credentials of the two men; he holds a black belt 7-dan. Ogawa moves into the attack.
Sueno counter-attacks and scores with a hit.
Sueno again goes into the attack but it is too late .... the championship has been awarded to Ogawa.
For Ogawa it means the distinction of being the best in a sport that requires superb physical fitness, concentration and years of study. An honour handed down for hundreds of years; a link between past, present and future.