Ambassador Hirayama (left), the Honourable Shamfa Cudjoe, Minister of Sport and Community Development (center) and Mr. Eddy Devisse, President of the Kendo Federation of Trinidad and Tobago (right), speak at the One-year Count Down to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics event hosted by the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago. (Image courtesy Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago)

Trinidad and Tobago’s Kendo Federation has come in for special commendation by the Japanese Government.

The commendation announcement was made on August 20th.

An official statement from the Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago reports that President of the Kendo Federation of Trinidad and Tobago, Eddy Devisse, was among 177 individuals and 41 organizations in receipt of Commendation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan for 2021.

“The Foreign Minister’s Commendations are awarded to individuals and groups with outstanding achievements in international fields, in recognition of their contributions to the promotion of friendship between Japan and other countries. The Commendations also aim to promote understanding and support for the recipients’ activities among the Japanese public,” the Embassy’s statement read.

According to the release, Eddy Devisse came in for commendation because of the work he has been doing to teach kendo to youth across the country.

“Since 2019, Mr. Devisse has introduced Kendo to underprivileged communities in the hopes that the principles of Kendo would help improve the lives of the country’s youth. Thus, Mr. Devisse has also been greatly contributing to the promotion of Japanese culture through Kendo in Trinidad and Tobago,” the Embassy wrote.

Eddy Devisse, President of the Kendo Federation of Trinidad and Tobago. (Image courtesy Embassy of Japan in Trinidad and Tobago)

It also acknowledged the work Mr Devisse had done over the past 17 years.

“Mr. Devisse established the Kendo Federation of Trinidad and Tobago in 2004.  The Federation is a member of the Latin American Kendo Confederation and is recognized by the All Japan Kendo Federation, and this year marks the 17th anniversary since its establishment.  The Federation has been organizing multiple Kendo classes each week to promote kendo in various areas of the country, under the guidance of Mr. Devisse, who has also established close cooperative relations with the Embassy of Japan in Port of Spain. Mr Devisse has also arranged Kendo demonstrations at various occasions such as the Opening Ceremony of the Japan Budo Exhibition in 2008, and a reception at the Ambassador’s Residence in 2014. He also engaged in coordination tasks to receive the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Kendo Team in Trinidad and Tobago in 2014,” the release noted. 

It added: “The Kendo Federation has been organizing the annual Kendo Championship Tournament since 2015, where participants compete for the ‘Japanese Ambassador Cup’. At the 2019 tournament, the Ambassador’s Commendation was conferred on the Kendo Federation to commemorate its 15th anniversary, and in recognition of the Federation’s long-term contribution to the promotion of Kendo.”