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Chapter 8

Kogane Couple’s Problem


I’m Kogane Tsurugi, an owner of the Kogane iaido dojo. My wife, Ichika, is also an iaidoka1, and we both are shihan2 in our own dojo3.

We were dreaming to have a son that would follow our footsteps.

It would be nice to do some sparring with my son.

Unfortunately, fate doesn’t work in our favor. Not only are we unable to have a son, we are unable to have a child at all.

We tried our hardest, of course. But it was all in vain.

After getting a few miscarriages, the doctor told us that we may not be able to have children, unless we tried in vitro fertilization with surrogate mother.

We tried going for that option, but again, the attempt failed, somehow.


My wife was very depressed due to that, and she even asked me to just divorce her and find another woman that could bear my child.

I opposed the idea, of course.

I would never want to look for another woman.

So, in the end, we talked the idea of adopting a child.

Considering the fact that we are not that young anymore, we settled on adopting a child aged around 4 to 10.

And we agreed we’d look for a boy, because boys would be more interested in iaido and that they would be more devoted to iaido trainings.

After taking into account the options of the available orphanages, we decided we’d observe the children in the Himawari Orphanage.

They were so kind as to let us hold a little iaido class and sparring to select the children that fulfilled our criteria, as we wanted our child to be our successor.

Of course, we’ll be using iaitou, the standard sword for iaido practice—a metal sword without any cutting edge so that there won’t be any injuries. We made sure to pick the ones sized for children.


The appointed day finally arrived and we went to the orphanage together.

We could see all the enthusiastic children when we arrived. They have especially gathered children from the age of 4 to 10, but other aged children were also there to welcome us.

When we announced we’d have a little iaido sparring, most girls from the separated group withdrew themselves. Some boys were reluctant, but they were willing to try.

In the end, the children who were interested are now flocking around me, waiting for their turn to try.


My wife was still feeling unwell, so she said she’d entrust the sword sparring to me, as she wanted to walk around the orphanage to see the building and the other children, especially those not participating in the sparring, just so they won’t be sad knowing that they won’t be adopted.

She has always been so kind. She was a little opposed to this idea because she’d feel bad for the other children. However, she also realized that we had to do it. Therefore, to compromise with that, she’d try to talk around with the other children.


As I instructed the children of the iaido basics and then sparred with them, I kept the names of the potential children in my mind.

At the end of the sparring, I’d like the ones I remembered as having the potential to try having their own sparring as I would discuss about the adoption with my wife when she gets back.

None of the girls here seems to be interested in the sparring, so that made me end up with all boys.

I selected those with the potentials. Though inexperienced, I can see their potential and interest by the way they grab their swords, the way they move, and the way they behave during a fight. Those who passed are the ones who managed to land a single hit on me, in any part of my body. I held back my power, of course, being all defensive and just a tiny bit of offensive just to test their reflexes.


And then, just after only a few children were left

Never had I imagined that my wife would be back with a 9 year-old girl.

She wasn’t included in the initial group of children, which confused me, as all children aged 4 to 10 should have been there.

Furthermore, Ichika seemed to take a liking on that girl, because she went as far as to ask me to give her a chance.

Apparently, that girl was a recluse and didn’t even think of getting adopted, so she spent her time in the library just like always.

I was wondering whether she might be interested in iaido as suddenly…



“Oh, isn’t that Chiharu?” One of the boys called out to her.

“Chiharu is gonna try iaido sparring as well?” Another boy asked.

Instead of a disbelieving tone, his tone was slightly teasing.

“Heey, Chiharu often bragged about how she has ever fought with a real sword to some imaginary monsters, right? Well, why don’t we try and ask her to proof it, now?” A boy around her age shouted energetically, followed by the others’ chuckles and smiles.

Most of the children are now chanting her name, encouraging her to grab one of the iaitou we brought and sparred… with me.


The girl named Chiharu looked exasperated. After being silent for quite a while, she approached me with determined eyes and took the iaitou from my hand.

She turned around and that silenced the others. Then, she announced.

“I will show you and make sure you regret that!”


I honestly think she’s just bluffing because she is tired of being ridiculed, but I admit I like her determined expression.

“I’m looking forward to it, as well, little miss,” I said as I took the other iaitou and readied myself in my stance.

She turned around at me and bowed slightly.


Hmm, she’s got the manner. Not bad. But we’ll see how far her confidence alone can guide her.

I can see my wife is glancing with anticipation at us.

I know why she’s attracted to this girl, but she must also pass from sparring with me, and then she also still needs to be sparred with the other candidates.

After which we should discuss of which child shall be ours for the rest of their life. Though it may be different from our original plan, if a highly talented girl were to show up, then I think I can consider her, as well.


We are by no means discriminating in terms of gender.

It’s just that we were thinking of how boys would be able to enjoy iaido more. We wouldn’t want to force it if a girl is not interested in the way of the sword.


Now, how will this turn out?



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  1. Iaido practitioner
  2. Instructor
  3. Place to train or teach martial arts