Bayonet Fighting


Jūkendō 銃剣道

Jūkendō is the sporty, Japanese bayonet fight. It is fought with a mock gun made of oak (Mokujō). The armor and clothing are largely identical to those in Kendo. Only thrusts are made.
The sport got established after the Second World War in order to be able to train the bayonet techniques furthermore. Kata is practiced and competitions are held. Jūkendō is also an official school sport. The image of this sport is negatively connotated in the Japanese public by the war experiences of the older generation. The video shows excerpts from the 2014 Japanese championships and quotes from a video of 2018: "Discussion on Morihei Ueshiba's Weapons".

Text of the talk in the video

Baptiste Tavernier: … for World War II. We don’t even know the context, we don’t know nothing …
But if you look at that picture only and you need to make a judgement from that picture, then it looks pretty bad. It is something very difficult to explain to people who don’t do Jukendo, but …
The position of the left hand is extremely important.
Guilleaume Erard: You won’t perhaps, maybe …
Baptiste Tavernier:
And if you give the mokujo to some beginner, probably he will hold it like this with the hand below. Because its quite heavy. But, people might hold it like this, like a Naginata or just like a Bokken. Unfortunately, this is not very good and the way to hold the Juken is like, you need to be able to see to the inside of the palm. This is the correct posture and it’s really weird and people …
If you don’t do Jukendo you say what difference it makes if you do like this or like this, it does’nt change much. It changes a lot. This is very important.

So in that picture he holds it like, very from below. This looks a bit strange to be honest and his kamae is very high. He has his finger here like this. That’s like, it looks like a beginner doing it. Now, a few things. You might say, ok but, the way we do Jukendo nowadays, it might be different from that in the days, right, because it depends on different blablabla.
But, you said the pictures come from SHINBUDO 1942. In 1942, I don’t remember which issue, but maybe November or something from the same year, anyway. There is an article from Eguchi Sensei …
Eguchi Sensei is the guy who - call it - formalized Jukendo in the war and he wrote many books, articles anything. And there is an article in SHINBUDO, by Eguchi Sensei, the same year, where he explains the importance of this mochikata (how to hold), and the position of the feet and everything and what he has written there is almost what we have nowadays in the textbooks of Jukendo. It hasn’t changed much. So again, what Ueshiba does on that picture looks very different. Is it a good thing or is it a bad thing?
If he made up his own Jukendo stuff or Kenjutsu stuff for Aikido or for Daito-ryu, whatever, then maybe it’s good. But you asked the question, is it good Jukendo or Jukenjitsu as it was taught back in the days. It’s more the no side, let me say …

Modern Budō in Japan

Nippon Budō Kyōgikai (日本武道協議会) is a Japanese association that encompasses the "modern" Budo arts.
The self-presentation of modern Budō on the association's website may be cited here in extracts (emphasis by BB).
"Budō, the martial ways of Japan, have their origins in the traditions of bushidō– the way of the warrior. Budō is a time-honoured form of physical culture comprising of jūdō, kendō, kyūdō, sumō, karatedō, aikidō, shōrinji kempō, naginata and jūkendō. Practitioners study the skills while striving to unify mind, technique and body; develop his or her character; enhance their sense of morality; and to cultivate a respectful and courteous demeanour. Practised steadfastly, these admirable traits become intrinsic to the character of the practitioner. The Budō arts serve as a path to self-perfection. This elevation of the human spirit will contribute to social prosperity and harmony, and ultimately, benefit the people of the world."
Around 80 older budō disciplines are organized in the Nihon Kobudō Kyōkai (日本古武道協会).

I'll borrow your lance !

Trailer from the film 御鑓拝借 Oyari Haishaku 2013

Akame Kotoji is a low rank samurai, short in stature and no longer the youngest. He is a stable lad in the suburban villa of Daimyo Narushima of Kuju in Edo. One day he drinks 27 liters of sake at a drinking competition and thereby misses his master's march from Edo to Kuju (see also sankin-kōtai in Wikipedia).
Akame is dismissed from service and becomes a Ronin. In the mountains of Hakone he suddenly appears in front of the procession of the Lord of the Wako clan. The fencing instructor Furuta Jusaburo also serves there. Akame plunges into the middle of the fray and catches the lance, which is the symbol and prestige of a feudal family. For a stabel lad, he is an astonishingly good fighter and completes the action without killing anyone. He also steals the lances of two other processions. The robbed clans Wako, Fuki and Ushizu are threatened with abolition due to these scandalous incidents. Furuta is the driving force in the efforts to avert evil. But what is Akame's motive? ...
The film shows the extremely loyal behavior of a follower and the efforts to find a good way out of a very troubled situation.