Sonic Japan: Sounds of Kobe

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Kendo Training in Kobe
Kendo practice combines silence and intense noise. After a few quiet minutes of zazen (seated meditation), training involves paired practice with bamboo training swords (shinai). In this clip, bodies advance and retreat up and down the wooden floor of the hall, the space punctuated by loud yells and shouting noise (kiai) that correspond with the running up to and the implementation of each strike. This particular training hall (dojo) is located at Kobe University. It is a warm April afternoon, at the beginning of the academic year, the sky outside is bright with cherry blossoms (sakura). The recording is taken from the side of the dojo and a new ‘fresher’ (member of the club) sits there and watches the senior students (senpai) with great interest. Later, during a break in the class, he joins in conversation with the seniors. Loud bursts of laughter replace the sounds of training in that space. Recording by M. Maekawa, description by T. Kohn and T. Maekawa (2016/04/15)