Ode to the Noma Dojo

In 2001, Joe had the honor of practicing kendo at the Nomo Dojo, a place that defined all other dojos.

In 2007, the owner of the dojo (Kodansha Publishing) decided it could make better use of the premium real estate. We're not sure why the structure could not be relocated. Hundreds of years of history were demolished for no clear reason.

This page is a collection of images and links to other websites that feature some aspect of the Noma Dojo's history. The original Noma Dojo may be gone, but it will never be forgotten. Please also visit Noma Dojo's Website.

Kendoka at Practice:

The original Noma Dojo was established in 1925 by Seiji Noma, founder of the Kodansha publishing house. Portions of the original structure dated to the Edo era.

The hall had a number of wonderful design features, including glass-doored walls on two sides that opened into gardens, deep skylights, and a specially sprung wooden floor. The long and relatively narrow shape of the hall meant it was ideal for kendo practices involving a single row of paired-off fencers.

eikenkai (Flickr set)



Mure Dickie @ Financial Times (click on the "Launch Interactive Slideshow" link)


(Flickr set)


xvikingx (Flickr set)



simulacre (Flickr set)

2006 tournament



In an article in Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun (September 15, 2006), former Kodansha chairman Toshiyuki Hattori asked Kodansha to reconsider its demolition plans, saying the dōjō was a place where the "fragrant, darkly lustrous wood" was "permeated with the blood and sweat of famous fencers." His words truly memorialized how many felt about the building.


MyKit (notice how well the floor was constructed!)


New Facility: 


Did the old guest books make it to the new home?


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