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Nov 15, 2009
by: Matt

My only hypothesis as to the usage of shimoseki is it may be kansai dialect. I will ask around and see if I can find the answer.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks, Matt. I speak kansai dialect but I?ve never heard that before. We may say kamite (higher side) and shimote (lower side).

But again these are also related to theatre.

We just have to keep searching for an answer.

Nov 09, 2009
What we use
by: Matt

I have always used shomen is the front and highest side, facing shomen joseki is to the right and shimoseki to the left, shimoza is the wall opposite the shomen.

There is a diagram on this handout which explains it.

Kendo-Guide.Com: Thanks for the link, Matt! What the diagram tells us is correct but I still cannot find the word, shimoseki. As I explained in the Answer, it is only used for ?the end of month?. It is not in Japanese dictionary. Joseki, on the other hand, is in the dictionary and the usage is almost the same as kamiza.

The key to decide kamiza and shimoza is the main entrance to the dojo. However, the position of shomen or shinzen is different form dojo to dojo. For example, at my dojo in Japan, they have their shinzen in the middle of the dojo, not the far side from the entrance.

In my experience, most of the dojo have their shomen/shinzen in the middle but again it is just my experience. Of course, there are many dojos with their shomen/shinzen at the far end from the main entrance as well.

At this very stage, I think we should forget about the usage of shimoseki until we can find a solid explanation of it in Japanese.

Nov 05, 2009
by: Olga

Thank you for your answer.

I found those terms in connection with karate dojo actually. But since such places as shimoza and kamiza are similar to kendo dojo I decided that other areas of dojo are similar as well. But probably not. :)

Also I asked one Japanese kendoist about the difference between sh?men and shinzen (he's told that in their dojo before and after training it is said "Shinzen ni rei" but in our dojo "Shomen ni rei" is said). He said that shinzen is pronounced when there is a kamidana in a dojo, otherwise shomen.

Term "shinden" is included in theory questions for graduating in kendo in our country. But actually I don't clearly understand what the connection is between "temple/shrine" and kendo.

Kendo-Guide.Com: What the Japanese kednoists told you is right. When there is a shrine or some kind of martial god is enshrined at a dojo, we use "shinzen ni rei".

The dojo I learned kendo in Japan has a shrine (if you watched Kendo Training ? Children in the Subscribers Only area, you can see the dojo and a shinzen).

I cannot think of any other possible words for shinden. We have many homophones and we differentiate the meanings by kanji (Chinese characters). So when written in alphabets, we have to seek the original meaning. But I cannot think of any homophones for shinden. Maybe they meant to say, shinzen?

It would better ask people in your federation what they mean by shinden. If it is in the exam, they should tell you what it is.

As I said, because I do not know about those terms, it does not mean they are wrong. We have many terms in kendo that non-kendoists (Japanese) do not know.

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