Not peace but a sword

Honolulu, 1904. A Christian minister was upset at his Japanese parishioners as they were “nightly fencing with wooden swords”. The cause of the debate wasn’t the fencing itself, but rather the fact that “Wooden swords are unchristian, because Christ meant a steel sword” apparently from an interpretation of Matthew 10:34. The Central Union church sought help from Camp McKinley and the National Guard who refused to lend them steel swords as they were either pro-Russians or neutral (referring to the Russo-Japanese War). A source for tin swords was sought to equip those misguided souls but unfortunately none came up…


Picture from the Sunrise Club in Honolulu, 1896. To learn more read my next blog entry on the beginnings of kendo in America coming up soon!

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