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From the book of my mentor Mr. Suda Team Oni – “Oni of Tenkara”

Posted on | January 12, 2014

Tenkara is a simple fishing using just a rod, a line and a fly.

This simple equipment makes it possible to fish pinpointedly at the tight spot, two-dimensionally in current seams or on surface and three-dimensionally under surface.

It is such an excitement to fish while watching fish jump onto the fly floating on the surface or turning its body after biting the fly in the water.

Also blind fishing by predicting that fish would bite the fly sunk in the current requires intuitive techniques such as feeling the take, which I believe is the best part of Tenkara.

Tenkara is a traditional professional form of Japanese fly fishing; it has a vast history.

However, Tenkara’s history for game fishing is still shallow. As it spread to many regions, there are many styles created by master hands – many schools; therefore, there is no standard.

I myself am no exception as I seek after Oni style or Sakakibara Tenkara style. The more I dedicate myself to my master and seek after the style, the harder I find to become a member of the sept.

It is probably true with any sept.


It’s maybe natural to think your fishing style is the best, which arouses a question to beginners – “Which fishing style is proper and which is the basic?” And they may end up saying “Tenkara looks difficult.”

As there is a main group, there are subgroups. Subsidiary streams make a main stream. Tenkara should also be like those. “Standard Tenkara” should be the mainstream.


What is the standard?


Both casting and presentation should be logical.

Flyfishing is known as rationalized as it is studied quite scientifically.

Tenkara also uses a rod and a line to cast a fly; there should be a physically reasonable casting method.

We do not need any eccentric casting styles or equipment.

Tradition is sometimes tricky. There are some methods that have been long tested and proved.


However, there are some that have been preserved due to ignorance – “We only had this before.” They, therefore, keep them without any doubt.

Just because there were only spider webs available for Tenkara line in the past, no one today would choose it for fishing any more.


I believe there is a standard for Oni fishing.

When a master is paid attention to, due to his god-like technique, only charisma is talked about. However, master also is creating standards in order to master his own fishing.

Master’s fishing technique is not only comprised of tradition.

His approach is also reasonably natural and principled.

He does not waste any movement from approaching to landing fish after hooking them.

You can understand that just watching from his back.

His attitude is not what nobody can imitate, but what everybody should make a model.

If you only care about horse hair line or old tackle for handing down, in Japan where horse hair line is hard to obtain, Tenkara might go extinct.

If that’s so, we should use inexpensive level line that anybody can obtain.

If you use it, it is actually easy to cast.

Without sticking with old things, we should choose to popularize Tenkara by gradually adapting to modern equipment, which becomes standard.

Therefore, Japanese Tenkara will be liked even in this modern age.


Mr suda casting↓


5 Responses to “From the book of my mentor Mr. Suda Team Oni – “Oni of Tenkara””

  1. cesare
    January 13th, 2014 @ 12:57 AM

    quella canna “spezza il polso”!!

  2. tenkara_Editor
    January 13th, 2014 @ 6:35 PM

    Mr cesare what do you want tell me. I can’t understand.

  3. cesare
    January 13th, 2014 @ 8:25 PM

    Mister Masami Sakakibara ho avuto quella sensazione… vedendo nel filmato la notevole spinta del polso. Quindi ho pensato che la canna fosse pesante… per essere una Tenkara. Ho apprezzato invece la”tecnica di lancio” e il suo interessante Articolo. ps: mi dispiace! ma non conosco l’Inglese. Un saluto!

  4. cesare
    January 14th, 2014 @ 7:30 PM

    Mr. Sakakibara Masami I’ve had that feeling … seeing a significant boost in the movie of the wrist. So I thought that the barrel was heavy … to be a Tenkara. I rather liked the “throwing technique” and his interesting article. A greeting!

  5. Oni
    January 14th, 2014 @ 8:10 PM

    Dear cesare I understand.Thank you!

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