Budo World

Welcome to Budo World —Greetings

Toshinobu Sakai (University of Tsukuba)

Budō is a traditional form of physical culture that developed in Japan. It is now practised enthusiastically by men and women of all ages throughout the world.

The reasons why people start and continue studying budō vary. Some participate for the enjoyment of competition, others as a form of self-defence, and some because of an interest in Japanese culture. There are many enthusiasts who take up budō as a means to understand Japanese culture. When Japanese people venture overseas and visit venues where budō is being practised, they are constantly surprised at the keen interest shown by non-Japanese practitioners in the culture of budō.

Throughout many centuries, budō has blended with various cultural influences such as faith, religion and the arts, and evolved into a profound form of physical culture that is characteristic of Japan. Because of this, budō is becoming a field of scholastic endeavour in “Japanology”, or Japan studies. Nevertheless, information pertaining to the cultural characteristics of budō has not been properly conveyed to the rest of the world. We often receive requests to translate some of this material, even if it is only into English, and provide accurate information to budō enthusiasts outside Japan.

In response to requests for information from outside Japan, this website was launched in February 2012 to try and convey accurate, quality information related to budō in both Japanese and English. It is a ground-breaking trial based on the accumulated knowledge of researchers in the field.

Now, at the time of the renewal of this website in March 2017, we are trying to further expand our activities and develop the “Three Pillars” that constitute the “Budo World Project” as outlined below.

The Three Pillars of the Budo World Project
  • To disseminate academically supported knowledge and expertise related to budō culture in both Japanese and English.
  • To build a global network that will act as a bridge between budō’s techniques and knowledge.
  • To keep a forum continually open that will allow people from around the world to discuss budō together at the academic level.

In Budō, the term ‘keiko’ is used to denote training. This word first appeared in the preface of an ancient text the Kojiki with another term ‘shōkon’. Together, ‘keiko–shōkon’ means “to shed light on the present by considering the past.” By following the three pillars of this project, I hope that we can converse and think together with the people of the world about the significance and depth of budō as a form of traditional Japanese culture developed by our predecessors, and find ways to enhance its relevance in our ever-globalising modern society.

Budo World Staff

Chief Toshinobu Sakai (University of Tsukuba)
  Junko Oishi (University of Tsukuba)
  Tetsushi Abe (Hungarian Kendo Federation)
  Yoshitaka Karukome (Tenri University)
  Balázs Szabó (Eötvös Loránd University)