Great Big Story (YouTube Channel, global media company devoted to cinematic storytelling):

Mitsuru Hamasaki is a former police officer who has practiced kendo for nearly 60 years. Dating back roughly 2,000 years ago, kendo is taught to members of the Japanese police force as a means of building character and empathy. To Mitsuru, who is himself a kendo trainer, accessing this mindset is even more important than mastering technique.

Mitsuru Hamasaki (Former police officer, Kendo trainer, eighth-degree Kendo master): 

A sword against the people has become a sword for the people.  The goal of kendo is to gain trust from – and pledge my services to – the public through my duties at the police force.

The Long Sword of The Law

Mitsuru Hamasaki (Former police officer, Kendo trainer, eighth-degree Kendo master):

My name is Mitsuru Hamasaki.  I am a former police officer, kendo trainer, and I am an eighth degree kendo master.  I make every endeavor to teach young people.  I have been practicing kendo for 59 years.  In Japanese martial arts, kendo uses the shinai (bamboo sword).  The origin of kendo goes back to the Yayoi period 2,000 years ago.  With the discovery of iron, flat straight swords were made and used for battle; and practice of keno spread with the shinai bamboo sword.

Mitsuru Hamasaki (Former police officer, Kendo trainer, eighth-degree Kendo master):

In the Japanese police department, you choose either judo or kendo since it’s related to performing duties.  Standing face-to-face with a suspect, kendo helps you detain a suspect with force.  In the police force, we must nurture an incessant, unyielding mentality with tough stamina for whenever and whatever occasion may arise.  Of course, techniques are important, but to have the mind of kendo is more important.

Mitsuru Hamasaki (Former police officer, Kendo trainer, eighth-degree Kendo master):

Kendo lessons taught in practice halls to help build character and help police officers become more empathetic.  Through kendo, one can become a great person and grow spiritually rich.  Through kendo practice, we learn respect for others.




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