Tajima sensei receives hanshi
Tajima sensei kindly sent this photo showing him proudly displaying his newly-received hanshi certificate. Hanshi is a 'shogo' title and the highest qualification in kendo. This certificate represents a lifetime dedicated to excellence in kendo, and perhaps even more importantly, tireless work in developing and teaching kendo.
Tajima sensei is the head of Kendo at Shigakukan University, a private university in Kagoshima. He is dedicated to improving the standard of the kendo club there and has so far had great success building a thriving dojo that produces quality kenshi. This is not easy to do. Kyushu alone is full of powerful kendo university clubs. Tajima's students have achieved success at national level in competition and at least one I know of has gone on to a career in police kendo.
Having spent some time with sensei in Kagoshima, I've seen the work that goes into running a busy university dojo. There is a huge amount of daily admin. Shigakukan Uni also hosts an annual, all-Kyushu high school Kendo competition with hundreds of entrants. The students themselves do all this admin, on top of their own training and studies. But sensei is the driving force behind this effort. Without him there I know there would be much less of a club. Receiving hanshi will bring added momentum and prestige to the club and attract more high quality kenshi.
Well done sensei and all the best for the future in your own kendo and the success of SU Kendo!In the dojo office: a shelf full of books on kendo, swordsmanship and Zen. And a print of Musashi's famous 'shrike on a dead branch' painting.