Kashima Jingu is a shrine dedicated to Takemikazuchi-no-Ōkami, a shinto deities of martial arts. It holds several demonstrations every year, of both modern budo and classical martial arts. This year was its 50th Classical Martial Arts Demonstration, which coincided with the 530th anniversary of the birth of warrior Tsukahara Bokuden.
Bokuden (1489 – 1571) is one of the most famous swordmasters in Japanese history. He did long ascetic training at the shrine and created the Kashima Shintō-ryū school of martial art, named after the Kashima Jingu.
As member of the Tendō-ryū school of martial art, I was invited to attend the ceremony and participate in the demonstration. Tendō-ryū was founded during the second half of the 16th century by Saitō Denkibō, who is said to have been Bokuden’s last disciple. We presented a set of forms featuring Nitō Kodachi (2 short swords) vs. Tachi (long sword) techniques, and another set introducing Tachi vs Tachi techniques.