Scrapbook page 96


Photos of the Fudebakudo staff at each of the “Seni” events we attended.

A large part of Fudebakudo’s success is down to our having launched the book at Seni, a large UK martial arts expo. We attended four Senis in all: the first three in Birmingham’s NEC (starting with the book’s launch in 2003), and then the 2007 event at the Excel in London. They were bonkers events. Fudebakudo, of course, was there not as a cartoon but a secret martial art. The stand was staffed by entirely authentic Fudebakudo practitioners, shown here. We delighted those martial artists who could read, and naughtily bemused many more hard-of-thinking attendees with our inscrutable refusal to properly explain what we were really doing there.

Originally the plan was for Mari-san, an aikido friend, to be in the front line, but a week or so before the event she suddenly “remembered” that she actually needed to hand her Masters thesis in the day afterwards, so ought perhaps be working on that instead of selling books; she politely nominated her sister Jun-san to stand in for her instead. I will never know how mutual that arrangement was or how much was down to older-sister power in the Japanese family structure. But as it happens Jun-san not only worked that Seni but the next two too, and became the nucleus of the team.

Fudebakudo sales team, clockwise from top left:

  • 2003 Naomi-san and Jun-san (the book launch)
  • 2004 Mari-san and Jun-san
  • 2005 Jun-san and Mami-san
  • 2007 Nanae-san and Shoko-san