It is said that 【Kendo 8 dan 】exam is one of the most difficult examination in Japan.
The examination pass rate is less than 1 ％
Every year, thousands of people who have 7 dan take it
Only a few people can pass it among them.
Anyway, it is extremely hard to pass the 8 dan examination.
Toward to hard examination,
A woman kendo player has been challenging for more 10 years.
Her name is
Nemoto Michiyo sensei
Stated Kendo at Osaka shudokan dojo when she was 11 years old.
Entered Tenri university
After graduation, became the teacher of Huse high school
Champion of All Japan Kendo Championship in 1977 and 1978
Got 7 dan at 1996
She has been challenging to get 8dan for more 10 years.
She is a pioneer of lady’s kendo
I drew near her Kendo life!!
She was a only girl who practice kendo
She started to practice kendo at Shudokan(修道館）
where is inside of Osaka castle park
When she was 11 years old.
When she stated kendo, she was a only girl among the members.
She was dying to quit kendo.
There are more men kendo players than women kendo players even now.
So, I expect that there were few women kendo players in 40 years ago.
But she got cheerful from around people,
As she had been continuing to practice, she took to notice of interest of Kendo.
Win successive victories in All Japan
All Japan Women’s kendo Championship has been holding sine 1962.
Nemoto sensei hels the championship for 2 years running
She won her rival who is Horibe Akemi sensei twice.
（She was 4 dan at the time）
She has great results of Kendo but・・・・
Her life as a teacher is not easy after graduating the university.
Can’t believe women teach men.
After graduation, she started teaching kendo at high school.
It was around 1970.
There are less women kendo players and women teachers than now.
And the structure of society was
[Men are in outside, women are in inside of home]
[Women should not stand on the men]
such theories were normal in Japan.
She was said
” I can’t believe that a woman teach kendo to men.
by a lot of people.
She was discriminated against because she was a woman.
But she never gave up!!
After getting 7 dan, unbelievable words from mens
She has 7 dan now.
She passed 7 dan examination in 1996.
When she passed 7 dan,
A man player said
Woman’s 7 dan is same as man’s 8 dan
When she tried to take 8 dan, she was tough this words means.
This words means
「Women don’t need take 8 dan examination. Women never pass. So don’ to come in the 8 dan’s world.」
But, she thought ” why!! that’s not true!!”
So she has challenging not only 8 dan examination also conservative and androcentrism kendo world to open the way for women.
Can women pass 8 dan in future?
Since All Japan Kendo Federation has organized, never women have passed 8 dan yet.
But now, there are a lot of women kendo players
who has been showing a remarkable performance.
Their activity is in no way inferior to mens
Historically, women have entered various fields what men have leaded.
There is women’s history what had been breaking stereotype ” women never can”
I believe that if women kendo players never give up and continuing challenge,
yes, in the future, women can get 8 dan.
Because, kendo is a budo ( a martial art )
anybody regardless of age or gender can enjoy!!