Another of the web gems I found while prospecting for Payet-sensei gold recently was a video of Payet-sensei and Shiramine Shrine that was made by a Japanese travel show called YAJIKITA ON THE ROAD.  From my limited ability to understand Japanese webpages, this appears to be a radio show that also releases videos of its radio broadcasts.  First, I found a blog entry about Kyoto on the radio show’s website.  Then, a couple days later, I realized that there were cameramen in the photos, so I started looking for a video and, voila!, there it is on YouTube.


In a moment, the video; but first…

For me, personally, this video is extra cool for two reasons:

(1) In it, we can see Payet-sensei training with Kikuchi-sensei.  When I first came to Kyoto in January 2013, I didn’t know jack about Mugenjuku, but I went to the dojo’s farewell party for Yannick, Nick, and Yasuda in February.  There was this guy there who got up and gave a big speech, but I had never seen him before.  “Who’s this joker who never trains?” I thought.  It’s a sad fact that in the world of martial arts, if you haven’t been on the mat in the last week, you start to get forgotten.  Anyhow, Kikuchi-sensei was the first shidoin of Mugenjuku, and it is nice to have his memory preserved in video.


(2) The first half of this video is about Randy Channell.  I wrote about him before: I met him by chance in a laundromat when I was still new in Kyoto and discovered that he used to produce on Kendo World magazine, which was one of my favorites for a short time in the 2000s.  Talk about small world!

And now, the video (Payet around 2:45 mark)…


Payet-sensei and Ando-sensei share a laugh

As I mentioned a couple days ago in the post about Payet-sensei’s Wikipedia article, I came across many small mentions of sensei while researching him on the web.  One is this blog post from 2009 by someone who mentions going to a seminar with Payet-sensei and Ando-sensei.

京都合宿のお知らせ (News of the Kyoto camp)

I’m pretty sure the photo that accompanies the blog post is of Sensei standing with Ando-sensei, although I can’t be sure.  Anyhow, here it is: Payet-sensei and Ando-sensei share a laugh… probably…


Payet-sensei on Wikipedia

If you can believe it, Payet-sensei did not have a Wikipedia entry until today!  Aikido, Yoshinkan, Gozo Shioda, Senshusei Course, Tsuneo Ando… so many things connected with his life had entries, but not him!!  So, I decided to make him a Wikipedia entry.

It has taken me quite a while to get my article to the point where it could “go live” on Wikipedia.  Formatting and rewriting took a long time.  By digging deep in the Internet, I discovered a lot of information about Payet-sensei I didn’t know–nothing scandalous of course but little things like the fact that his mother was a school teacher and his father a farmer.

Also, part of what took so long was dealing with my ADD brain.  When you start poking around anything, you find many interesting facts, even if irrelevant.  For example:

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy reading about Sensei and learn something from this article.  As you know, Wikipedia is user-edited.  That means anyone can change the article I wrote.  I encourage you to do it… but only if you have something valuable to add.  Please don’t just add links to your own websites–this will make Wikipedia’s editors think twice about the article.

Also, if you have any good photographs of Payet-sensei, please consider legally releasing them by uploading them to Wikimedia Commons.  That way, anyone can use your images of Payet-sensei to make web content.  Osu!


Kenshusei in Kansai Scene


The kenshusei have appeared in a local Kyoto magazine called Kansai Scene.

You may recall the recent post in which I mentioned a photographer and reporter visiting the dojo.  Well, here’s the article they made.  The article is in both English and Japanese, so it is very easy for anyone to read it.  You can see photos of the kenshusei too.





the photographers

Today, two journalists from a magazine came to Mugenjuku.  A pretty blonde woman interviewed Payet-sensei.  (I don’t know which one of them was luckier!) Meanwhile, her photographer took pictures of the kenshusei practicing.  Here he is squatting by the wall…



Today, I went to the hospital in the morning.  Since I arrived to practice late, I sat on the side, watched, and took some photos of my own.  So, today there were two photographers at Mugenjuku!!  Here is a photo of the other photographer…



Herve and I grew out our beards during Golden Week.  Herve’s is gone.  Soon I will have to shave off mine, too, because beards are not well accepted in Japan.

Shiramine embu 2014

On Monday, May 5, the kenshusei participated in the budo demonstration at Shiramine-jingu Shrine in Kyoto.  Shiramine is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the god of ball sports, a god of brewing/teamaking, two famous samurai, and two Japanese emperors.  It is a “jingu” shrine, which means it is connected to Japan’s imperial family.  That makes it a very important shrine in Japan even though it is rather small and not very well known in Kyoto.


Boys’ Day helmet display made from paper

Because of the samurai and emperors who are enshrined at Shiramine, it holds a martial arts demonstration on Boys’ Day every year.  Nowadays, Boys’ Day is officially “Children’s Day” and for celebrating childish things.  But in the past, Boys’ Day was for celebrating the martial spirit of maleness.  The traditional gift for boys on this day is a helmet.  Even today, people give the hanashobu flower on this day because its shape resembles a helmet.

Mugenjuku trains at Shiramine’s dojo on Sundays, so it participates in the martial arts demonstration every year.

The kenshusei arrived early to clean and set up before the demonstration.  Here they are outside the shrine dojo…



Reg Sakamoto arrived, and he and Nick went to the shrine’s water basin to ritually purify themselves before their Niten-Ichi-ryu demonstration



Meanwhile, Andy-sensei prepared the kids for their demonstration



Unfortunately, it rained, so attendance was low and everyone had to carry umbrellas…




And how about the Kenshusei’s embu?

They performed Yoshinkan’s Kihon dosa renzoku.

Kihon dosa renzoku is all the kihon dosa performed in a row while holding a sword.

They trained very hard.

They trained for a long time.

They were very dedicated and intense.

So you can’t wait to see it, right?

Guess what!

I missed it!!



However, you can always watch them practicing their embu in the dojo the week before Golden Week.  ***** UPDATE: Izzy’s friend got the kenshusei embu on video!! *****

Andy-sensei made a very nice demonstration, and finally Payet-sensei also gave a demonstration…



After the embu, the kenshusei and the dojo members went to a picnic while I went to work.

Kenshusei training starts again Wednesday morning!!