SIX modern day samurai will embark on a quest to Ballarat’s Japanese sister city at the end of the month.
To mark the 25th anniversary of cultural exchange between Ballarat and Inagawa, a city of 30,000 near Osaka, six fighters and two support team members from Ballarat Kendo laido and Jodo Club will compete in a kendo tournament against the Inagawa counterparts.
Ballarat Kendo laido and Jodo Club founder Gary Oliver said it would be the third tournament against the Inagawa kendo fighters in 10 years, which has given rise to a friendly rivalry.
“To mark the 15th anniversary we travelled there and they won 3-1.
“They visited us five years ago and we beat them 4-0, probably home ground advantage,” Oliver said.
“We are expecting them to be ready for us and to put up an impressive team.”
The 45-year kendo veteran said his squad had trained hard and were all black belts.
“In kendo fitness and readiness, being disciplined is essential, we have been doing the best kendo we can,” he said.
Oliver said kendo traditions were born among the days of the Japanese samurais.
The Ballarat fighters will wear a “zekken” on their armour that incorporates a logo designed by the Inagawa council to mark the 25th anniversary which states the fighters name and where they are from.
The trip will coincide with the Ballarat City Council delegation, including mayor John Burt and chief executive officer Anthony Schinck.