Honorary Guild Member
Takamasa is the son of the chief priest of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the shogun who unified Japan in the 17th century. He is a priest in the Shinto religion and is a sixth Dan in Kendo.
During the summer of 2005, Takamasa was at The Royal Armouries museum in Leeds for a number of weeks, supervising an exhibition of items from the Nikko shrines own collection. While there, he trained with Guild Master John Waller, also The Armouries Creative Director and Andrew Deane, Armouries Senior Teacher and Guild member. At the end of his stay the Guild Master made Takamasa an Honoury member of the Guild in recognition of his skill and commitment to the training.
We had first met Takamasa during visits by representatives of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine to The Royal Armouries, with whom they are twinned. This involved several visits by groups from the shrine that would demonstrate Yabusame, horse archery. In 1995 I was part of a Royal Armouries team, headed by the Guild Master, that went to Nikko to take part in their annual May festival commemorating the founding of the Shrine. The team demonstrated Medieval European equestrian martial skills, foot combat and archery.
“I really enjoyed staying in Leeds, especially the training with your father and Andy. I know what I leaned from them is just a piece of the essence of European martial arts but feel very useful to improve my kendo. I really appreciate them. I hope to see you in either UK or Japan in the near future.” Takamasa