Thursday, September 29, 2005


I started back at the Kashiwa city Iaido club. The crazy guy (the one who got all drunk and was tearing into me last semester... from now on I'll call him "Jerky") came up to me and the first thing he said was, "Jeff! Have you gained weight? If you get any fatter you won't be able to play kendo because you won't fit into your Do!" Maybe he's just one of these unfortunate souls who are unable to self-censor...

Anyhow, it was a nice practice, and I got a lot of good pointers. Unfortunately, they all seemed to be niggling little details, and if you're working on overall feeling, or cuts, or seme, or zanshin, (or in my case, just trying to get back to it after a month or so away) then you're not usually in the mood to concentrate on tiny little details. But... I'll file them away for future reference and try to work them into my techniques as best I can.

After practice, we lined up according to rank. Now that I am a full, paying member of the dojo, they let me occupy my proper place, which is (amazingly) fourth from the top. Jerky was down with the beginners. Strange how I assumed that he must have had a high rank (despite his inability to handle his sword) from the way he spoke to me. There's a lesson in there, somewhere.

I am getting a bit worried about my sword, which acquired even more rust while it was in the "care" of one of my students over the summer. Actually, I didn't give him specific instructions except to store them with a moisture-absorber. This prevented mold from growing on the handles of both swords, but my shinken got a bit rustier, unfortunately. I may need to find a polisher - I wonder what the minimum cost would be. It seems that it's all priced according to the rank of the polisher, so maybe I can find some guy who sharpens knives and scissors for a living and does swords in his spare time...


Blogger Zambo said...

Hello Jeff.

I enjoy reading your blog entries. It's a good update of your status out there.

It saddens me to know that a guy like "Jerky" is allowed to roam the streets in Japan ~ when not too long ago, he would have been used for sword testing in the alleys...Then stitched up and re-used...

I am of the opinion that you should have it out with him once and for all. (As Johnny Cash once said, there are just some people out there who need killin')...I'm not saying that it has to be a violent confrontation. Maybe just let him know that his ignorant and insulting comments will no longer be tolerated...If he persists, you could give him a final warning...His next inappropriate remark or gesture should be accompanied by a hospital visit...(you could even help him get there if you want to...) Eventually you'll be the best of friends!

I know it's easy for me to assess your situation and offer unsolicited advice...(Like when a friend visiting your house gets in the neighbour's face about something that you mentioned earlier, in passing. Your friend leaves and then you have to see your neighbour all the time...)...But if you let a little piece of shit like "Jerky" get away with things like you've mentioned, nobody wins. Plus, others hear him treating you this way. Not good in most primate circles. I'm sure you've considered beating him senseless...Maybe you could ask someone you respect what the proper Japanese response would be to a guy who behaves as you've described.

Anyway, take care out there.

Your Pal,


P.S. I've found that mother jokes are also a good course of action...I'm not sure how that goes over in Japan though...

1:23 PM  
Blogger BeatDogg said...

You should kill him and then, laughing maniacally, drink his blood in front of the other students. No one will EVER mess with you again. Except for the police.

1:21 PM  

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