CPIT celebrates partnership with Japan

CPIT celebrates partnership with Japan


Yamagami judges a Kendo match between two Christchurch Kendo Club members.

Shouts rang out from the Wharekai at CPIT last week as Professor Yamagami from CPIT’s partner institution, Kagawa University, demonstrated his Kendo skills with members from the Christchurch Kendo Club.

Yamagami visited with 3 other staff members from Kagawa to renew the 10 year relationship between Kagawa University and CPIT. The Professor also met with CPIT’s Chief Executive Kay Giles to sign an agreement cementing Kagawa University and CPIT as partners for another 5 years.

Kagawa University has sent hundreds of students to CPIT over the years and also plans to host exchange students from New Zealand.  “CPIT is regarded highly at Kagawa University. We have a long standing relationship and I value our close link,” Yamagami said.

Yamagami is Dean of the Faculty of Education at Kagawa University and teaches physical education. Kendo, a traditional sport based on sword fighting, is his speciality and passion. He is at the highest level of 8th Dan and impressed staff and students in the crowd as he performed. “Kendo is about not only technique but also the mind. I hope that showing people Kendo will teach them about focus and concentration,” he said.

With members of the Christchurch Kendo Club Yamagami demonstrated some basic Kendo strikes using bamboo Shinai, which represent swords. There are four target areas in Kendo: The head (Men), the wrist (Kote), the body (Do) and the throat (Tsuki).

Yamagami then judged a fight between two club members. The aim of a Kendo match is to deliver blows with precision using the outer third of the bamboo Shinai in order to gain a point. The speed and sound of the bout wowed the crowd, most of whom had never experienced Kendo. Yamagami said “It is very difficult to judge Kendo as when done well it is so fast it is all over in a few seconds.”