Monday, 7th July 2008

MSMAS Kendo with Shuichi Terashima Sensei ...

Terashima Sensei, YonDan (4th Dan) Kendo held a special session for our 4 selected Kendoka ...


Terashima Sensei, YonDan (4th Dan) Kendo joined our Dojo to learn Aikido more than a year ago. It soon became very obvious to us that Terashima Sensei was also a fine Kendoka and a well known and established Kendo Teacher. Since then he has held many hard and intensive ‘closed’ Kendo Sessions for a number of MSMAS YuDansha. On June 3rd at our DNBKID ‘Rank Presentation evening’ Shuichi gave a short demonstration of Kendo with those Students. Kendo will now become yet another option at MSMAS, but only for existing Members for the time being. Later this year, Kendo Sessions may well become open to the public. Shuichi Terashima was born in a small town in the Northern Region Tochigi Prefecture. The town is about 180km north of Tokyo, a region half way between Tokyo and Sendai. It is both geographically and historically unique, set at the foot of the Nasu Mountains. The highest peak of the Nasu range, the Chausu-dake Mountain (1915 m), is visible in northwest. Hot Springs with a history of 1370 years are on the south slope called Nasu Hot Spring Village. Several Imperial families had second Palaces there to avoid the summer heat, plus the region played a role of the significant defense line against the Imperial Amy during the civil (Boshin) war.

Shuichi’s father worked as a Clinical Psychologist in a Mental Health Clinic. After his retirement he established an Autism Research and Support Centre to continue his empirical studies.  His mother works for a Building Planning company which was established by his Grandfather, a registered Architect. His mother is also a Professor of Sado, kicuke (kimono) and is currently engaged with the local education scheme to teach Japanese etiquette to young girls. His older sister is an instructor of figure ice-skating, after retiring as a professional figure skater. She was expected to participate in the Olympic Games, but an accident during an earlier competition forced her into early retirement from the world of ice dancing.

According to his grandmother, his family history was that of the Shizoku (Samurai warrior) class, descended from Aizu han (Aizu clan), with inherited blood of Seiwa-genji. Unfortunately his family archives were destroyed and burnt by the Satsuma army during the Aizu-war. (1868)

When Shuichi was 5 years old he first took up a shinai under the tutelage of his Grandfather. He was then moved to a local Kendo Dojo when he was 7. The Dojo was large with about 100 Members with several Teachers from Tochigi Police and Kokushikan University, there, as a result of hard training; he had some good results at major tournaments. At the age of 17 he was diagnosed as RD (retinal detachment). After recovering from his operation, he resumed Kendo. His biggest change in Kendo was meeting with one Nito kendo-ka (two swords) which had a great impact on the future of his Kendo life. Nito style made him think how deep sword fighting philosophy was and he has been training Nito Kendo since then.

Here in the UK he has been fully involved in a lot of activates to promote Kendo. One of the successful events was ‘the Kendo friendly matches with Japanese Naval Guards at ‘Trafalgar 2000’; he also planned and carried out a Kendo tour in France.

As a project of his father’s organisation, he was sent to a residential home for adults with learning disabilities, autism and challenging behaviour for two years, run by the Shaftsbury Society.  During that time he was in charge of some cultural exchange events between English and Japanese with disabilities, held in both countries. After gaining an M.Sc. in ‘Health and Care’ at University, he is now taking his Ph.D. on ‘Policy Analysis’ regarding learning disability and ethnicity, analysing some data regarding autism through the request from the Japanese organisation, plus working with people with learning disabilities as a support worker. Shuichi is married and lives in Sussex with his wife and two daughters.


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