Malaysia-Japan culture exchange through kendo

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic courtesy of Japanese Embassy

THE Japanese foreign minister has recognised the Malaysian Kendo Association (MKA) for the latter’s continuous promotion of the Japanese martial art.

At a ceremony held at the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence yesterday, MKA president Datuk Abdullah M Baginda said the commendation reflected MKA’s efforts in nurturing understanding of Japanese culture.

“This international understanding is very important in developing peaceful work for all of us, hence we shall continue with this endeavour which brings our goodwill and friendship,” he said.

Japanese Ambassador to Malaysia Katsuhiko Takahashi acknowledged MKA as the first to initiate the Asean Kendo Tournament in 1988 with participants from across Asean and since then, it has been actively organising annual competitions including The Baginda Challenge Trophy, The Kakuya Cup and The Japanese Ambassador’s Cup.

He assured that The Embassy of Japan will continue working closely with MKA to further promote sports exchange and friendship with Malaysia.

“If the situation allows, I very much look forward to the Japanese Ambassador’s Cup this year, as 2022 marks the 40th anniversary of the Look East Policy between Japan and Malaysia.

“I hope MKA will take this opportunity to further promote kendo in Malaysia,” he added.

Due to the pandemic, the Kendo World Championship which was supposed to be held in France last year was cancelled, while the Asean Kendo Tournament this year is yet to be confirmed.

Established in 1971 as the Malaysia Kendo Federation, the name was officially changed to MKA in 1994.

Through MKA’s continuous efforts, the basic principles of the sword techniques and the spirit of kendo have been carefully preserved and taught to many Malaysians to this day.

Currently MKA has around 400 members including locals and Japanese expatriates, with dojos in Penang, Perak, Sabah, Sarawak and Johor.