Hiroko and I battled the heat to do some shopping in Shibuya. Hit the standard places: Loft, Muji, Tokyu Hands, Uniqlo. Bought a 1000 yen t-shirt made out of the same stuff that protects the space shuttle from cosmic radiation...or at least it feels like a soccer shirt and stays fairly dry even in sweaty summer.
Masa came over for watermelon and dinner, and we zoned out watching tv with the ceiling fan cranked.

anko power

Met Kiyokawa and Iwata-chan in Azabu-jyuban, had some shaved ice, and we all came back to my house to cut.
Unlike last week, Kiyokawa and I were in fine form; nailed just about every cut smooth as silk. Verdict: it's all about the anko. In the summer, anko and green tea flavoring on shaved ice, in the winter, anko-stuffed tai-yaki. Whatever the form, anko is the power that makes the sword cut!
In the evening we had class in Nihonbashi, and Tanaka-sensei showed up to basically grovel. Seems that without the Akabane students, there's no way they can even make enough money from monthly dues to run their own dojo. Niina-gosoke, out of the goodness of his own heart, decided to 'loan' Akabane to them for as long as necessary. Now ordinarily, if one of your top students goes to open his own dojo without your consultation or consent, you ask for him to kill himself and, if that's not possible, you send someone to see to it. However Niina-gosoke is considerably more forgiving, and knowing that Tanaka-sensei is not the brightest of bulbs, is doing everything he can to help out.

last iidabashi

Actually didn't teach at Iidabashi even though it was the last class, because we had an emergency meeting at Honbu to decide what to do about Tanaka-sensei and Miura-san leaving. Since they gave us no notice, we've got holes in Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday classes. Not very cool of them to give us no notice, but it could have been worse. Again, if only he talked to us first he could at least have kept Akabane on Saturday morning.
We also decided to continue battling the karate morons to get the Akihabara gym on Wednesdays. Since it's first come, first dibs on reserving, we used to go early in the morning to line up. Been using the same place for over a decade. But last month some karate morons are lining up since the night before and grabbing the gym for two nights a week. So we decided to escalate; we'll use a professional narabiya to line up for 12 hours, starting at 7pm the night before, to ensure that we're first in line. If the karate morons don't get the hint and line up even earlier...well we might have to have a good old-fashioned smack down.


Seems Tanaka-sensei has finally decided to open his own dojo. He and Miura-san will be teaching various Ryukyu (Okinawa) martial arts as well as iaido. The problem is he sent in his official notice of leaving and then asked if he could still teach at Akabane, and of course have all the students there. Naturally, we said no. He's a great martial artist, but kind of thick in the skull. If he asked BEFORE he decided to leave, we would have set him up as a shibu; the students and practice area are his, and he gets all the money, he just gives us a small membership fee every year per student. Oh well. Good luck Tanaka-sensei!

back from NY

Ojima-chan is back from New York. She went to the Big Apple, with a kimono, to see kabuki. Still can't figure out why she'd go all the way to NY and not see a Broadway Musical, but I guess she just needed any excuse to go.
She and Presley and Miyasawa and Matsushita-san all showed up for class tonight. Kiyokawa and Otsuka-san where on the other side of the dojo, but Gosoke called them and told them to go to Suidobashi for whatever reason, so after they left everyone had a mirror and plenty of space. We drilled on the basics the whole time, working on basic body movements. Feels funny to teach something I understand in theory but can't really do myself, but oh well.
My right arm is pretty sore from getting cracked by Kiyokawa during kumitachi practice, and my thumb is turning a nice rainbow of colors from when it got smacked yesterday, too.


It rained! OK for only about 5 minutes, but still it helped a bit.
Spent the day in the dojo with Kiyokawa. Got kind of burnt in the afternoon and ended up getting my thumb crunched. Went home before going to Shibuya and helping teach, then came home and stuffed myself with pasta. Ahhh, but I love carbs!


Day 2 of Movie Weekend: Hiroko and I saw Steamboy. Pretty cool story about the use of steam-driven technology in the late 1800's (new super-cool high-pressure technology), with themes touching on corporate greed, innocent youth, purity of science, forgiveness, etc. Great animation and well-paced script, though at times it tended (typical of most Japanese anime) towards the long-winded soliloquy to explain motive.