Kendo Team from Hawaii Finishes International Tournament

by: Diane Ako

TAIPEI, TAIWAN (KHNL)- We have the results of the 13th World Kendo Championships (WKC) held in Taipei, Taiwan. Team Hawaii did well, defeating Ireland 5-0, and beating Brazil 3-2, to advance out of the preliminary. Unfortunately, their run ended with a loss to Team Japan. Officials did award Seth Harris a coveted "kantosho" or fighting spirit award. He dedicated it to the entire team's efforts.

The biggest upset came from Team USA, which became the first team to trounce Team Japan. Team USA upset Team Japan in the Men's semi-finals, with former local boy (now a New Yorker) Marvin Kawabata winning the tie-breaking match 2-0. After that, Team USA lost to Korea in the finals by a single point scored in just one match. Korea won 1, USA 0, and 4 hikiwake (ties). Chinese Taipei took the other 3rd place spot.

The next WKC is in 2009. Held every three years, the WKC is the "Olympics" of modern Kendo and includes participation of nearly 50 nations. Due to Hawaii's 100-plus year Kendo history, geographic isolation and the efforts of Dr. Akagi and other founding sensei, the Hawaii Kendo Federation has the unique privilege of fielding its own "national" men's and women's teams, separate from those of Team USA.