September 04, 2014

Takaaki Nakahama-sensei ~ "Grandfather" of Memphis Kendo Club


Finally!  Harry Dach-sensei has managed to find the above picture of Nakahama-sensei, Kendo Kyoshi 7.dan, his instructor in Iwakuni, Japan.

After trying several times to begin Kendo, Dach-sensei was eventually accepted by Nakahama-sensei as one of his first non-Japanese students.  Dach-sensei related to me some time ago, his initial "training" was more like a "test of willpower", as Nakahama-sensei's students would beat Dach-sensei literally out of the dojo doors, forcing him to [try to] fight his way back in.... "How bad do you really want to learn Kendo?"

Thankfully for all of us at Memphis Kendo, Dach-sensei's desire was strong, and a great friendship with Nakahama-sensei was formed.

Pat Register-sensei and Dach-sensei are the only two remaining Memphis Kendoka who were able to train directly under the guidance of Nakahama-sensei, because unfortunately, Sensei succumbed to cancer at the age of 44 in the late 1980s (1989, if everyone's memory is correct).

One thing, though, is for certain -- were it not for Nakahama-sensei, Memphis Kendo Club would not exist today.  It is for this reason that we should all be grateful to Nakahama-sensei and cherish his memory.  Be sure to check out Dach-sensei's instructor profile for other tidbits about Nakahama-sensei.

The "mon" (family crest) seen on Sensei's dodai in the picture above is that of a Lotus Leaf, and a translation of the crest's meaning:  "Holding the Zen of the Lotus", or perhaps, "Enlightenment of Zen"
                                                      

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