Kendo master in NMI honored with award


A Japanese kendo master residing in the CNMI was presented with an annual award by the Japanese government yesterday for promoting kendo in the CNMI for over 10 years.

Izumi Seki, the Japanese Consul General for Guam, presented Itsuro Hosoda yesterday with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation award for fiscal year 2018.

Hosoda was one of 205 recipients of this award, all honored for the promotion of Japanese friendship and culture around the world.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” Hosoda said yesterday through a translator. “I have received support from many [people on] Saipan…and I am very honored to receive such an award,” he said.

Hosoda teaches kendo to about 40 students of all ages at his Kendo Hall, called the Kenbu-Kan, located at Himawari. Hosoda is also the president of Himawari Saipan Inc.

“Even though I am old already, I would like to do my best to promote and continue what I have been doing in teaching kendo in the Kenbu-Kan,” he said.

Hosoda said he remains saddened to see high school students go off-island once they graduate, so he is focusing on elementary and middle school students and teaching them the “courtesy of respect” as well as proper etiquette and ways to behave.

“We sincerely hope that many people will join the Himawari Kenbu-Kan to learn the tradition and spirit of Japan through kendo, leading to strengthening the friendship between Japan and the CNMI,” said Seki in her speech prior to presenting Hosoda with his award.

“…Kendo is a martial art that preserves the tradition of Japan, the spirit of the Japanese, and a sport to learn human cultivation,” she said.

This was echoed by Kinji Shinoda, the Japanese consul to the CNMI. “Kendo is very important to the Japanese people,” he said. “Kendo is not only a sport, but is also a kind of discipline as a human being,” noting the importance of discipline in the Japanese culture.

“Through kendo, they can really understand what the Japanese people are. This is very important,” he said, adding that that he “highly appreciates” Hosoda’s efforts. Shinoda added he hopes that kendo piques the interests of the younger generation.

Itsuro Hosoda, center, poses with Japanese Consul General to Guam Izumi Seki, second right, and Japanese Consul to Saipan Kinji Shinoda, far right, yesterday at the Japanese Consular Office on Saipan. (Erwin Encinares)

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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