"Kozume Kenma's Stubborness" (Japanese: 孤爪研磨 (こづめけんま) 根性論 (こんじょうろん) Kozume Kenma no Konjō-ron) is the two hundred sixty-eighth chapter of the Haikyū!! series written and illustrated by Haruichi Furudate. It was published in the 40th issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump’s 2017 series.


After realizing Sarukawa's plan, Kenma devises a counter strategy to lure in the blockers. With the rest of Nekoma supporting him, Kenma employs his strategy and draws even with Sarukawa. The match eventually comes down to a contest of persistence. Despite being exhausted, the usually laid-back Kenma pushes himself beyond his limits to help his team secure a victory.


During the second time out in the first set, Nekoma has already caught on to Sarukawa's plan of targetting Kenma. Kuroo and Yaku are not fazed and insist on adapting to Sarukawa's attacks to make things easier for Kenma. To the team's surprise, Kenma turns down the suggestion for a plan that would require him to run around even more. He asks his team to send him off-target receives to where he asks them. Yaku agrees to the plan but is concerned about Kenma's low stamina. Kenma maintains that he can still move and assures his teammates that they can do it since they have the necessary willpower.

Back to the present, Kenma is putting his plan into action. He is aware that Sarukawa is cautious of Kuroo and Lev in the center, so he plans to use the off-target receive and the middle blockers as decoy to open up the two sides. In the case that Sarukawa catches on, Kenma plans to use the opposite side to take the blockers by surprise. His plan prove to be effective as Nekoma draws a tie with Sarukawa at 24-24. After falling prey to Kenma's trap, the Sarukawa players begin to show signs of uncertainty. Seeing this, Coach Shishio calls for Sarukawa's second time out. He reassures his players that their strategy of pressuring the Nekoma setter is working and encourages them to persevere. In the audience, Daishō realizes the dire situation Nekoma is in after seeing Nekoma's strategy placing even more pressure on Kenma.

Kenma going out of his way to reach for the ball.

 Once the match resumes, both teams show off their tight defense and persistence by thwarting each other's attempts to score.  The second set drags on to 28-28, causing Kenma to lose his composure and focus due to exhaustion. Nekomata gets ready to sub out Kenma and instructs Tamahiko to warm up. However, Kenma isn't ready to give up just yet. He recalls Yamamoto's words to him about willpower and admits to have ponder over the meaning of the word. Kenma reveals that he has always dislike the word for it implies an ability to accomplish anything, but recently, his views have changed. He has now come to see it as an ultimate technique that only those who have put in immense effort can use, at the same time acknowledging his own inability to use it. Despite being physically drained, Kenma still manages to maintain a clear mind as he helps his team to reach match point. Seeing Kenma's performance, Yamamoto realizes that Kenma has his own brand of willpower since he always see something until the end despite his tendency to slack off or complain. Just then, Yamamoto saves a powerful spike from Sarukawa but is unable to cleanly return it to Kenma. Kenma immediately takes notice of Fukunaga on the left and is fully trusting of his teammates to score. He recalls a past conversation in which he tells Hinata that everybody on his team is strong. To his teammates' surprise, Kenma takes the initiative to reach for the ball and toss to Fukunaga with minimum motion. Fukunaga successfully scores, thereby earning Nekoma the win. 


Chapter notes

Character revelations



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Karasuno High Team Formation Arc
Interhigh Arc
Tokyo Expedition Arc
Spring High Preliminary Arc
Tokyo Nationals Arc
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Final Arc
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