Deaf girl practices kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) every day

July 22, 2011

The 46th National Youth Kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) Tournament and the 36th National Individual Youth Kendo Tournament" will be held at Nippon Budoukan in Tokyo on July 26-27, sponsored by the Japanese Federation of the Kendo Schools, etc.

The event is the largest one for a Kendo competition by boys and girls. The teams and the individuals who have won in the preliminary contest of both rallies. Participants are expected about 6,000 in total.

In the opening ceremony, MIYASAKA Namani (13), a eighth grader of the Meisei Gakuen School for the Deaf in Tokyo, will demonstrate the kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) performance.

She was a fifth grader when encouraged by father Osamu (38) to start kendo. He has had an experience with the kendo from the elementary school through the junior high school, and wanted her to know the charm of this sport that she would concentrate on one thing.

Nanami said, "I was scared first, because I was unable to sense where a rival would strike me with a wooden sword." The kendo is a kind of martial arts stressing "Basis." The difficulty to learn how to stand properly, how to make the posture when swinging the wooden sword, etc. It was a severe drill and she worked hard, because she was not fully prepared.

When Nanami kept practicing, she came to see many things last year. When she doesn't feel the strength in the opponent's movement, she came to strike him/her positively. She has put the nerve on how to strike the opponent no matter how he/she is strong or weak.

After the school ends, she practices for about one and a half hours every day in the kendo gym. After returning home, she again practices swinging with a wooden sword.

She told about her dream in the future. "One can continue doing the kendo even if aging unlike other sports. I will do it until dying. Also, I want to teach the kendo. Even I am Deaf, I can do this, so I want to make the Deaf learn it more."

Japanese source:

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