Under the tutelage of one of Japan's truly great samurai champions, Yoshihiro Abe, gain insight into the 1,000 year-old history of the samurai and participate in a live sword cutting demo for yourself with The Samurai Experience at Abe Faction Saber Way (阿部派一刀流), in Yamagata City.
Abe-san started learning from the age of 14 when he started to learn the art of sword drawing ('batto-jutsu'), becoming an apprentice at 28 and winning a tournament the year after, and many more competitions and awards since. As you would expect, his prestigious collection of Japanese swords (Nihonto) amounts to more than 50 Katana blades.
At his Yamagata dojo, workshop participants can learn about Japanese swords, learn how to fight and defend in interactive demos and gain insight into the etiquette and formalities involved in the way of the samurai. Instruction is in Japanese so having an interpreter is advised.
Sessions last 2-3 hours and start from 7,000 yen (no cutting demonstration), and 10,000 yen (including full Katana sword cutting demo).
Abe-san also offers samurai show performances at participating institutions around the Yamagata area, including Komeyakata Guesthouse in the past.
Creative Director at Japan Travel, based in Tokyo. Feel free to reach out about living, working or travelling in Japan – just book a time.