Real Name: Nick Mares

SCA Name: Kumagaya Kentarou Masamoto, but most folks just call me Kuma.

SCA title: Honorable Lord

Years in the SCA: 4

Where did you start, what was your first event?

My first official event was Pennsic 44, but I had briefly visited the Baronial Investiture of Liam and Constance in BMDL a few years earlier, which is how I got interested.

What is your persona?

16th Century Japanese Samurai.

Why did you pick this persona?

I’ve been a martial artist most of my life, so the exposure was already there, and I’ve always loved the spiritual and honor-bound aspects of that society.

Do you have any group or household affiliations?

I am an original member of House of Blue Crane, which is a sub-household of Clan Yama Kaminari.

Tell us a little bit about your life outside the SCA.

I’m a loving partner and father to Sile inghean Chein, mka Desiree Mansir, and our children, Regan, Nicholas, Jazmine, and Killian.

What SCA activities do you or have you participated in?

I have done much. Heavy Fighting, Fencing, Archery, A&S, Heralding, Equestrian, but I am best known for Thrown Weapons. I’ve been Baronial Equestrian Champion and Thrown Weapons Champion, Won the Known World Baronial Champions Tourney at Pennsic 46, and Thrown on the Champions Team the last 3 years.

Tell us a little bit about your SCA experience (jobs, offices, duties, etc.).

I am Thrown Weapons Marshal in Charge for the BMDL, which includes running weekly practices, teaching throwers, managing the loaner gear and supplies for the range, and coordinating the range for different events. I am protégé to Kamishima Gentarou Umaki, Shark Herald Extraordinary, Order of the Pelican, Head and founder of the House of Blue Crane. I’ve also performed the duties of Queens Guard, Captain of the Gate Guard for the Kingdom encampment at Pennsic, retainer and guard at the Baronial level, and various other service related endeavors.

When you started in the SCA what goals did you have?

My goal when I started was to learn. Learn all that I could, about as much as I could handle. Sometimes a little more than I could handle. To try as many things as interested me. To have a blast doing it. I didn’t really know what I wanted when I started, I just knew that it looked really cool and that the people I was meeting were really nice and interested in helping me anyway they could. Many of those people have become lifelong friends and family to me. So I guess you could say that my goal was to immerse myself into the society and see where it went. Mission accomplished to this point, I would say.

What are your goals now?

That’s a tricky question, and not easily answered. I don’t do this for the prize at the end, or for the carrots along the way. So material rewards don’t really register as goals. I suppose that what I really want is to be the best I can be at the activities I’ve chosen to do. Finding time to be that at all of them is sometimes problematic. The only other goal I have is to pass on the lessons I’ve learned and the passion I’ve acquired to every person I encounter. To make their experience as good as I can make it, so that they in turn might do the same for others.

If you could accomplish only one thing in the SCA in the next year, what would it be?

To hold the Kingdom and Baronial Championships at the same time. I know that’s technically two things, but I consider it one accomplishment.

What advice would you give to a new person in the SCA, or if new yourself what question would you ask and who would you ask it of?

Do the things. ALL the things. Find what you like, and do it. But don’t overwhelm yourself, and by the same token, don’t limit yourself. Make this experience what you want it to be. And ask lots of questions.

If you magically woke up with an SCA talent you do not already have, what would it be?

Illumination of scrolls, hands down. I can do calligraphy a little, but the painting I have no or very little talent for, imho.

Don’t be modest, what award or honor would you like to receive above all else and why?

Honestly, the Honor I would like the most doesn’t exist yet. I would love to be recognized as a peer for my throwing prowess, and for my service to the throwing community. All the other things I do for fun and for the challenge, but throwing is the one thing that bit me hardest, and the one I take the most seriously. So barring that, I think I would be cool to be elected as Baron of the BMDL. To win an election by the vote of the people who know you the best, or at least the most, would be very humbling and gratifying. Of course my Lady would have to agree to that first. I would be no kind of Baron without her as my Baroness.

Please add additional comments as you see fit.

Thank you for reading this and taking an interest in these interviews. I am honored to be a part of it. If I were to say anything to those reading now, I would say this: This hobby we have is just that, a hobby. However, the relationships we forge inside its web are life lasting and even life changing. I met my Lady on an atlatl range at an event in Sylvan Glen, which neither of us had planned to attend, but just happened to decide to go that day. I have friends across all walks of life through this society. I’ve grown so much because of it. I would want everyone reading this to be reminded that this is YOUR society. Make it your own. Do the things. Make friends. Have fun. Be the person you always wanted to be but couldn’t. And if our paths happen to cross in the future, may the gods shine upon the meeting. See you out there.

THL Kumagaya Kentarou Masamoto. (Kuma)

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