Visitors include great swordsmen from abroad. What is “Kendo Bar”!?

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Osaka City (Osaka Pref.)
Visitors include great swordsmen from abroad. What is “Kendo Bar”!?

This article is based on the coverage conducted in September 2021. The coverage was conducted taking countermeasures against Covid-19 (to wear a mask, etc.) recommended at that time in Osaka Prefecture.

It is a seven-minute ride from JR Osaka station on Kanjo Line, Kyobashi district is filled with unique bars and restaurants.
My destination is a five-minute walk from Kyobashi station.

Kendo bar – “Dai 2 Dojo”

As the strong business name caught my attention, I went to the bar accompanying a person who used to do Kendo. Staff are wearing a Hakama, and its Japanese style interior reminds me of a Kendo hall. The party room upstairs has a training armor. Menus have names related to great swordsmen. Even small details are related to Kendo in this bar.
But, why Kendo? This unusual themed bar is filled with passion of the owner Mr. Ishizuka.


The owner Mr. Ishizuka was influenced by his father and took a bamboo sward when he was in the third grade at primary school. He is a great swordsman with brilliant records. When he was at high school, he won national tournaments including the National Athletic Meet. During his university days, he won the Kanto University Kendo Tournament. Then he started working for Panasonic and continued doing Kendo; he won prefectural tournaments representing Osaka, came third at the national tournament for works team representing Panasonic. After that, he founded the Kendo club for women, and then led the beginners win the national tournament in three years. He has a remarkable career.
What he thought through his own experience was that the “social status of Kendo is low”.
I want to refine Kendo value. I want to promote Kendo. This is how he started “KENDO PROJECT” when he started his own business in 2015.
What is the project like?
I interviewed Mr. Ishizuka. He spoke passionately in a calm tone of voice.

Writer What is KENDO PROJECT about?
Mr. Ishizuka Kendo is a national sport that some may have practiced at P.E. class, however, many people stop doing it when they start working full-time. There is no professional Kendo player and it is the fact that there is nothing to continue Kendo for living.
Actually, unlike other sports, Kendo is a lifelong sport that you can refine your skills more and more as you continue training. So, I still cannot beat my father.
I want to refine Kendo value and improve social status of Kendo players in order to promote Kendo as a lifelong sport.
I would like to increase Kendo population.
KENDO PROJECT is for that.

Writer What do you do for example?
Mr. Ishizuka One is to promote Kendo to those who haven’t tried it. I hold events for kids to introduce Kendo and other martial arts, and I also visit primary schools to give Kendo classes.
The other is to hold seminars. As well as holding seminars and classes for students, I actively support them find jobs, so that they can continue Kendo even when they start working for a company. I think the important thing for promoting Kendo is to have connection with people.
I also teach Kendo acting for movies.
When I go abroad, I feel that people abroad recognize Kendo as a Japanese culture. They see it as a part of Japanese culture, like Bushido and Samurai.
On the other hand, I feel it is not so much in Japan. I would like to improve its value in society.
Eventually I would like to make a society where people do Kendo for living.
It doesn’t always have to be professional athletes but doing it as a cultural activity would be good, too. I want to develop a business model, like what I would call “Kendo Inc.”.

Writer What is the attraction of Kendo?
Mr. Ishizuka I’ve learnt a lot from Kendo.
Courtesy, respect for others, sociability, culture and patience. I learned all these things through Kendo. These are the necessary factors when you go out into the world. You’ll learn things needed to live in society through Kendo.
In addition, it is a lifelong sport.
Unlike other sports, you can continue doing Kendo regardless of your age because you can train your mind, skills and body, all these.
The best thing about Kendo is that you can meet people regardless of age, gender or social status since it is a lifelong sport. Students and elderly people can have a close match and then get to know each other. There’s no sports like this.

“Dai 2 Dojo”, a place for social interaction

Mr. Ishizuka, who values the relationships with people, had two major aims when he opened this unique Kendo themed bar.
One is to provide a place for social interaction for those who do Kendo.
The other is to give an opportunity for those who are not familiar with Kendo to have interest in it.
It would be nice to make connection with others through fun gathering in a casual place like a bar, that’s what he wished for.

Dai 2 Dojo is filled with love for Kendo. Its interior shows a lot of playfulness and humor.
Well, he’s doing it very seriously, but the place is filled with fun bits which both experienced and inexperienced can enjoy.
The staff are all wearing Kendo uniform. The words such as Shogun, Musashi, Kojiro, Kengo, etc. can be spotted on the menu. The name plate rack on the wall has a name plate of Mr. Ishizuka as “Shihan”, and that of staff as “Buin (club members)”, it really looks like a Dojo. But if you look at the rack closely, there are words like “Kinshin (suspended)” and “Hamon (excommunicated)”…
“I suspended a staff member from work when he fell asleep on duty. Hamon…well, that was when someone got drunk and behaved badly.”, laughs Mr. Ishizuka.
They have a training armor you can borrow, so I tried it on.
Took a photo of myself! I feel good!

Game begins!

So, it’s a mealtime I was looking forward to! With delicious dishes in front of me, I bowed…now I’m going to enjoy the meal!
They prepared a course dinner to fit my budget. It’s nice that they offer a course meal just for yourself if you tell them your budget and preference.
I tasted a starter. Nice!
The meals served in this kind of themed bars are usually inadequate, but it’s not like that here! They stick to the details. They show their Kendo mind, which values courtesy, perhaps.
Potato salad had a mild taste with eggs in. Simmered Daikon radish was deeply flavoured with stock. Simmered fish is tender. Everything has a delicate flavour and delicious!
Hot pot is great, too. They use certified black pork and Satsuma beef. The pot is specially made for them for the best taste.
They are very particular about alcohol, too. No wonder Sake here taste a lot better than the ones served in other bars, because they go to brewery to get rare Sake and to check the best way to taste.
They have a wide variety of menu but I can recommend all of them with confidence.
Kote, Do, Men, Tsuki, Ippon! I think I lost the fighting spirit by the continuous strikes of delicious stuff. I smile and enjoy conversation.
“I want people to enjoy interacting with each other, from Kendo players to complete beginners.” Mr. Ishizuka’s intention really worked. With delicious dishes in front of them, people have a good time regardless of interest in Kendo, and someone would come up with topics on Kendo.
The person I went with, who used to do Kendo, is now determined to hold a bamboo sword again.

Noticing I stayed longer than I thought, I left the table feeling buzzed.
I paid the bill wondering “Who shall I come with next time?”
“Pong”, I heard the sound of a Japanese drum.
“Guests leaving!”
They surprised me!
People hit a drum at the beginning and end of Kendo training…, apparently. They adopted the custom when customers are leaving.
“Actually, we used to welcome customers with a drum and called out “Shinzen ni Rei! (Bow to martial god)”. But we stopped that because the customers who doesn’t know much about Kendo were stunned.”. laughs Mr. Ishizuka.

Well, I want to be greeted that way!
Kendo bar - Dai 2 Dojo
2-4-18, Miyakojima minami dori, Miyakojima-Ku, Osaka-Shi, 534-0023
Tel: 06-6926-0634
Closed: Mondays
Open at 17:00 (Please ask)

The sports and disciplines
of the World Masters
Games 2021 Kansai
held in the neighbourhood.

Introducing the poster


I love hanging out and I love food!
To share fun articles with you, I’m going to enjoy myself to the fullest!