The history of the Mitsune Dojo Sensei goes back three generations beginning with the biography of Sone Tetsunosuke. Pictured on the right are Masao, Mike (chief instructor and Vice President Hawaii Kendo Federation) and Tetsunosuke Sone. Born January 13, 1883, in Niigata prefecture, Sone Tetsunosuke was educated through high school at a private school for boys of samurai heritage. He received training in Kendo, Judo and Kyudo. After graduating from high school, he learned from Takano Sensei that the Tokyo Metropolitan Police department was seeking young educated men with good kendo.
Arriving in Tokyo in 1901, he began his police training. with many expert kendoists added a new dimension to his earlier training under Takano Sasaburo. These experts included Sensei Naito Takaharu and Mochida Moriji (portrait on the right), who became one of Kendo’s earliest Hanshi Judan. Naito Takaharu Dai Nippon Butokukai shihan and Mochida shared the Hokushin Itto Ryu style and passed it along to Sone. In later years, hearing of Mochida’s accomplishments Sone said, “I’m not surprised that he made Judan, he was about the best at the police dojo. I remember that he held his hands a little lower than normal in chudan, it made him look weak to me so I would attack and attack. I remember, Mochida was very difficult to hit and Naito seemed to have eyes in the back of his head and could hear our mistakes. Naito's and Mochida's kiri otoshi and oroshi are key techniques that I learned from them as well as the goal of Fudo shin and the secret of Naito's umbrella." Sone also relates, one day at keiko Naito sensei entered and in his hands he held a telegram and read it, “Find truth through Kendo”, signed Emperor Meiji. Naito sensei left the police dojo and closed his dojos without saying much more. From then on Moriji Mochida conducted keiko and sharing his special insights into kendo training and techniques. Takano, Naito and Mochida are the three roots of Mitune dojo.
Sone went to Maui to start in 1907 the Spreckelsville Japanese language school which also kept Kendo and judo in the curriculum. During the 1930’s, Gordon Warner, a Maui high school teacher and the author of the book, This is Kendo, joined the club. He was big and tall and did good kendo. His favorite practice was Jodan waza with Sone’s first son, Masao. (Sone was surprised that he had continued kendo even after losing his leg in WWII.) The 1937 group photo of the Maui chapter of the Butokukai Kendo Dojo headed by Sone is pictured with Mori Torao who had competed in fencing at the Pan Am Games. Mori commented, "The Kendo of the renshi on Maui was as good as any where in Japan." The many techniques of Mochida and Naito Takaharu are still practiced today at the Mitsune Dojo. On the right the Sone family warmly invites you to share in Kendo with us at Mitsune Dojo.