Dear Shintaido Instructors, members of International Shintaido,

This Newsletter will cover six topics:

  1. Membership Dues
  2. Welcome New Members
  3. Registration is now open for Biwako 2020, our November international gasshuku in Japan
  4. Interview with Master Minagawa
  5. Year-end International Shintaido Financial Report
  6. Article about how Ito Sensei learned to make his delicious cha-han (fried rice) by Instructor Lee Ordeman 

Happy reading!

International Shintaido Membership Dues - Deadline 31 March 2020

International Shintaido Bylaw 5.4 says membership dues for the calendar year are due each year before the end of the month of March.  Membership dues remain at the same 50€ fee as last year, as approved at the General Membership Meeting, 2019.  

To pay membership dues for 2020, you can proceed through your national group, if possible, or make use of the following Paypal link :

Your membership dues help support

  • the development and evolution of Shintaido
  • the sustainability of Shintaido
  • the website and Shintaido events, and ...
  • reinforcement of the external credibility of Shintaido as a worldwide, well-structured, and pluralistic organization.

The Bylaws ask that you pay membership dues by March 31.  

Prompt payment will ensure that you are listed as a Shintaido Instructor on the International Shintaido website.  The Instructor page is updated annually after the March membership drive.


Welcome !


We take this opportunity to recognize and welcome our new member

Nicole Masters (SOA)

Congratulations on becoming member of the International Shintaido family of instructors! 

Membership provides access to the community resources, access to mutual support and exchange between instructors and opportunities to participate in advanced keiko.

Registration for Biwako 2020 is now OPEN!

Please click on the image to visit the site and register

Biwako 2020 is the International Shintaido Gashuku and quadrennial meeting of international instructors.  The 2020 event will be held on the shores of Lake Biwa in Japan, November 5-8.  The quadrennial event will be under the technical direction of Doshu H.F. Ito.  The event will include examinations for third- and fourth-dan Shintaido Instructor ranks along with advanced keiko instruction, and lots of opportunities to share time and experiences with fellow Shintaido instructors.  

Lake Biwa, Japan promises to be a great venue for the event!

Reminder of important information to know when planning your participation:

Invitations :

The gasshuku has been opened to general Shintaido practitioners under the following conditions and expectations:

  • Recommended by their instructor participating in the residential course
  • Cannot participate in Advanced Keikos on Friday
  • Can watch high-level exam sessions Saturday morning (mitori geiko)
  • Can participate in the two general keikos, one on Saturday afternoon and the other Sunday morning

Confirmation of the dates: 

  • Attendees to the Advanced Workshop should plan to arrive on site no later than Thursday afternoon, November 5, 2020 (except for ITEC members and IS board members who will arrive for dinner on Wednesday).
    Note: You are welcome to begin your stay at the hotel on Wednesday;
  • The Gasshuku will end on Sunday, November 8, 2020, after lunch (Approx. 15:00).

Travel arrangements:

  • Airfares are often cheaper when booked very early, so booking flights right now is something you may want to consider in order to get the cheapest possible flight.
  • The closest airport to Shirahamaso, the gasshuku site, is Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX).
  • Make sure you get an appropriate travel insurance, including cost of repatriation. While we will get local insurance for local medical expenses associated with Shintaido practice, this will not cover other medical expenses, nor cost of repatriation if needed. We are saying this now so you can consider taking this insurance coverage together with your travel arrangements if appropriate.
  • Transportation from Kansai International Airport to Shirahamaso is by train. The train station closest to the gasshuku site is Omi-Takashima (Omitakashima).
  • We would advise to arrive at Shirahamaso or in Kyoto the day before, to allow for a “jet-lag decompression airlock” and make the most of the gasshuku. However, if you want to come directly, take note that it takes about 2.5 hours from Osaka’s Kansai International airport to the Gasshuku site (plus time to get your luggage and buy the train ticket and a snack). So, for the Advanced Workshop, you should book a flight arriving at Kansai International Airport no later than 12:30 on Thursday.
  • If you have to fly back right after the gasshuku, your flight should depart not before 21:00, which would mean leaving Shirahamaso no later than 14:00. As this timing would most probably force you to skip the closing ceremony and even lunch, we would recommend you take a return flight the next day instead.

Interview with Master Minagawa

This past month Senior Instructor Jean-Louis de Gandt had an opportunity to interview Masashi Minagawa Sensei to collect his thoughts on the role of kenjutsu in Shintaido, the interaction between the ‘martial’ and the ‘spiritual’ in Shintaido, and Shintaido’s special relationship’ with nature.

You will find a lot of very useful information and explanations in this article based on Minagawa Sensei’s personal experience, and also a number of explanations of deep Japanese cultural references, including the evolution of martial arts in Japan over the centuries, the influence of Buddhism and Shintoism, the symbolism of the sword in the Japanese history and culture up to the present day, and much much more: Don’t miss it!

Read this wonderfull and informative article ....

International Shintaido Year-end Financial Report

We are delighted to report that our organization has achieved 82 members, up from 64 in 2018. The increase derives from the inclusion of new instructors along with people who were already instructors and decided to join and become recognized as an International Shintaido Instructor.

The geographic distribution is 44 for Europe, 32 for North America, and 6 for Japan. A number of countries have as many as 100% of their instructors as members of International Shintaido.

A big thank-you to all of you for supporting the International part of the greater Shintaido organization, especially the support of ITEC (International Technical and Examination Committee) activities!

Membership dues fund the organization.  As an open pluralistic group, it is important to keep members updated on our vitality as an organization.  In this spirit, please find the year-end financial report for your review:

International Shintaido Year-End 2019 Financial Report

You will note receipt of a donation from the International Shintaido College in the year-end financial report.  You are likely to recall that ISC was the name of a non-profit organization that attempted to form in California several years ago.  This donation represents the formal dissolution of the ISC organization.  Questions can be referred to Lee Ordeman ( or Connie Borden ( If you are interested, the following links regarding the dissolution are provided for convenience:

Board Meeting Minutes 4 January 2020
ISC Final Resolution report
ISC Final Financial Statement

Wisdom Found in Chinatown: The Wok Apprentice’s Story
By Lee Ordeman

LEANING OVER THE STOVE in the dimly lit kitchen, his head and hands appear to glow, illumined by a little overhead work light as he handles a blazing hot wok. He pays little attention to the growing din of partygoers crowding the space. Beers are offered and wine glasses clink amid relaxed and happy conversation, the kind that follows a good gasshuku – this time in Quebec last September.

Yet the sound that communicates most to the hungry gathering is the steely clattering of the wok as it skips and bangs over a high blue flame. The cook whips his left wrist and a shower of rice, diced carrots, scallions, and pork rises above the stovetop. Heads turn to watch as the mix falls miraculously back into the deftly positioned pan.

“Tamago!” he calls out, demanding the next ingredient. A sloshing donburi full of whisked eggs arrives as he pushes the steaming rice mix aside. The cook splashes the bowl’s contents across the pan. The eggs sear and sigh and soon solidify enough to be scrambled and chopped into bits by a bamboo rice paddle.

The eggs then join the waiting rice mix for a final toss. Their bright glints of yellow complement flecks of scallion green and carrot orange throughout the toasty-brown rice. Scents of soy, pepper, and turmeric rise and tease the waiting dinner guests.

They watch the pan’s contents move to a large bowl and then onto a round white table that occupies the center of the kitchen. Plates and bowls, spoons and chopsticks are issued, and the guests line up to taste what their other senses have been telling them for the last 10 minutes:

this rice is delicious and this guy – the leader of the weekend’s gasshuku, Master H.F. Ito – knows how to cook...

Read the rest of this article ...

With best wishes from the whole ISP board:

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