Many exhibitors, Fanclubs and visitors have supported us through these difficult times due to corona. For this reason, we introduce Appreciation Wednesday. This indicates that for the coming weeks on Wednesday we put the groups we appreciate in the spotlight. The first we have chosen for this is a Fanclub which often could be seen at Heroes Dutch Comic Con, namely: Sakura Kai.
Sakura Kai was founded in 1997 by a group of students from Utrecht, who trained with the Nami Kai budō foundation, which is located in Breda, south of the Netherlands. The Utrecht students wished to train in their own city, hence the founding of Sakura Kai.
Sakura Kai means “cherry blossom society”. In Japan, the cherry blossom is a symbol of their nation and the beauty of all things transient since the cherry blossom only shorty blossoms before withering.
During and shortly after the founding of Sakura Kai, the society mostly focussed on the art of the naginata, a Japanese polearm comparable to a European glaive or halberd. Later, kendo was also introduced, which is a form of sword fighting.
Sakura Kai joined Heroes Dutch Comic Con for the first time in 2017. With the wish to showcase their martial arts to a bigger audience. Consequently, they gave demonstrations and hosted workshops for the public. They mentioned that the most memorable moment at Heroes Dutch Comic Con was when their workshop was interrupted by Jurassic Park cosplayers, including a ten-foot-high Tyrannosaurus Rex.
At the following HDCC edition, they shared a corner with practitioners of HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). “friendly” duels were inevitable and loads of fun. Since then, it became a tradition to do this each edition.
In the future, they hope to find new people to share their passion for martial arts with.