Mr. Lawrence - Kendo's Support System
As is mentioned in the feature on Kendo's return in the 1980s, during this time, Kendo's entourage grew by one with the arrival of Mr. Lawrence, Kendo’s new personal assistant, who would now accompany him to all the venues acting as driver and confidante. He was to become an essential part of the organisation behind Kendo Nagasaki - no insignificant task!
"I always was a wrestling fan and of course I knew of Kendo Nagasaki, and I was fortunate enough to meet the man behind the mask at a wrestling match one day," says Mr. Lawrence. "Speaking with Yogensha, I realised more and more just how much there was behind the scenes - this was at the time when the Nagasaki name was associated with the music business too. I'd worked in the leisure industry for some time but had been looking for a new challenge, and working in the Nagasaki organisation looked fascinating!"
An ambitious young man, Mr. Lawrence knew that if he were to find a way into the secretive world of Nagasaki, he would have to show that he could be trusted, both to be discreet and to have excellent organising skills. "I knew I had to make the right impression, so I made sure I was on-hand both at the wrestling shows and the band gigs to lend a hand, and slowly I was given more responsibilities. In many ways, it seemed meant to be," reflects Mr. Lawrence; "but there was an awful lot of hard work involved in showing I was up to the demands. You can only imagine how complicated the world is behind a very busy public figure who also wants to remain a private person, but if you take that and multiply it by a hundred, you begin to get an idea of how much hard work, loyalty and discretion Kendo expects," he says.
Kendo, however, rewards loyalty and discretion, and gradually, Mr. Lawrence became more and more a part of the organisational backbone of Kendo's business matters. It's no mean feat...
"In simple terms, all the details of an appearance by Kendo have to be agreed with the promoter and the venue, then on arrival, I have to ensure that the basic needs have been met regarding Kendo's privacy and comfort. Then I have to double-check the arrangements for the show, coordinate the media and signing sessions, as well as make sure that everything is in the right place at the right time; it's often frantic, but Kendo must have what he needs, and it's my job to make sure he gets it, and if anyone needs to be shouted at to get it done, then so be it!" Clearly, Mr. Lawrence is an assertive person, and is up to the job of organising people and events around Kendo.
"I've now known Yogensha for over 30 years and have worked for Kendo almost as long, and it's always fascinating," remarks Mr. Lawrence; "It's obvious that behind the mystery things are complicated, but the amount of detail is mind-boggling - there's never a dull moment. Kendo's mysticism has always been there, and is reassuring in many ways - I've seen the mystical influence at work over the years, and it always seems to guide us just right, as well as answering questions about life, the universe and everything! The release of Pathways to Power is another new challenge, but it's wonderful stuff which is sure to help a great many people. I'm looking forward to the new challenges it'll bring."
Mr. Lawrence continues in the challenging, rewarding, fascinating service of Kendo Nagasaki and Yogensha, which is a sound testament to his determination and ability; we all owe him a huge thankyou for bringing Kendo to so many of us so skillfully for so long. Please keep it up, Mr. Lawrence!