Dojo History and Sensei
Mountain View Kendo Dojo was established in 1972, under Jiro Sakano Sensei (hanshi 8-dan) and Tadashi Kurasawa Sensei (renshi 6-dan). Sakano Sensei was an important figure in the establishment of kendo in the western United States. In addition to being instrumental in starting several dojo in the California Bay Area, he was also associated with kendo instruction in the Pacific North-West prior to World War 2. Kurasawa Sensei won first place in the individual division at the first ever US kendo championship in 1978 [Black Belt magazine article].
Practice was started at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple, where it continues to be held today. For many years the instruction was led by Kango Kagoshima Sensei. After his retirement in 1998, the dojo was led by Masami Yamaguchi Sensei (kyoshi 7-dan) and dojo membership slowly grew, until a second practice location was added in Sunnyvale. Yamaguchi Sensei sadly passed away in 2021, but MVKD continues to teach using his traditional approach.
MVKD is a non-profit and volunteer-driven dojo. Instruction is provided free of any cost and membership fees are used to defray practice space rental expenses. All our sensei (instructors) are ranked 4-dan and above, which typically requires at least 10 years of experience. MVKD is also regularly visited by sensei from other dojo who aid in instruction.
Sean Choi, 5-dan
Hidesuke Kokawa, 4-dan
Jaehyung Kim, 4-dan
Igsoo Kwon, 4-dan
George Nishiura Sensei, 7-dan
From L to R: Sakano Sensei (1978), Kurasawa Sensei (1978), and Yamaguchi Sensei (2010)
(Photos courtesy K. Strawn and P. Sengupta)