Today, there was big news in the tenkaraverse. Tenkara master Masami Sakakibara (AKA “Tenkara no Oni”) launched a new, English website, unlocking a treasure trove of information about tenkara to the Western and English speaking world. The site is still under construction but already features a wealth of information including videos, posts, & articles directly from the master.
For a long time, I have been following Tenkara no Oni’s videos on Youtube and blog posts, but I couldn’t understand much because of the language barrier. Well, the wall has just been knocked down. The new site contains a wealth of information in English–including many subtle pieces of information that are generally lost in Google translation.
Tenkara no Oni’s style has been called “magical”, “transformational”, and “unbelievable”. “Oni” means “demon” in Japanese but many refer to him as the tenkara “magician”. Of all the tenkara anglers in Japan, the venerable Dr. Ishigaki says this about him:
“I have a 37 year career in Tenkara (as of 2012). I have many friends in Tenkara and also know many experts of Tenkara, some known as “Masters”. Of all of them, Mr. Sakakibara is No. 1. I do not know of anybody who has more techniques than him. I have a long career in this and have acquired many techniques, but unfortunately I can’t compare myself to him. Mr. Sakakibara is a magician with a Tenkara rod. -Dr. Hisao Ishigaki.”
Indeed, his casting style is magical and we can learn a lot from him. Here’s a short video showing his tenkara casting prowess:
I’m really excited about this new site and hope it bridges some gaps between American and Japanese tenkara techniques.