The Samurai Juku Team

At Samurai Juku our team will give you a taste of Japanese history and the culture of the samurai. We want you to feel at home in our beautiful Machiya, to have an experience you will never forget.


 
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akihiko Kawata - YOUR INSTRUCTOR

Kawata-san is Samurai Juku’s Iaido master.

Hailing from long line of Samurai, Kawata has practiced the art of Japanese swordplay since he was a boy.

Over the years he has won some of Japan’s most prestigious Iaido awards, and attained the title ‘Renshi’ (far higher than black belt).

 
 

Dale Thomas - OWNER

You are mostly likely to see Dale hard at work on the ground floor of Samurai Juku, where he makes traditional Japanese armour.

Despite having lived in Japan for many years, Dale is constantly surprised at the depth and beauty of Japanese culture.

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OUR REAL SAMURAI SWORDS

We are immensely proud at Samurai Juku to be able to share Kawata-san’s personal collection of swords with our guests.

The collection of swords are heirlooms of the Kawata family, gathered over many generations, and once wielded by real Samurai.

The oldest sword in the collection is over 500 years!

 

WhO WERE THE samurai?

Samurai were a warrior caste in ancient Japan. For over 1000 years they served as soldiers, bodyguards, and peacekeepers for the nobility, warlords and Shoguns. The word Samurai comes from the verb Saburau, meaning “to serve”.

Although they were officially disbanded around 150 years ago (with the return of imperial rule), their skills, customs, and philosophy live on in some small part in the Japanese psyche.

At Samurai Juku we will give a taste of Samurai life.

Katana is the Japanese word for "sword". The single-edged blades of Katana are relatively thin, slightly curved and exceptionally sharp.

Bushidō translates as the "way of the Samurai". It is a code of ethics by which the Samurai conducted their lives, similar to the code of chivalry followed by European knights. There are eight spiritual and philosophical elements (virtues) to Bushidō: Righteousness, Courage, Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Honour, and Loyalty.

Iaidō is the Japanese martial art of drawing and wielding a sword. Originally it referred to the specific technique of drawing a sword at speed from a seated position (to combat sudden attacks), but over time it evolved into a complete martial art. Samurai were trained in all aspects of combat. Iaidō was simply one part of this training.