Japanese Sword Mainteance Guide Part 3: How to preserve your sword

Written by Yasumasa Yamamoto(Tozando) The most important aspects of preserving Japanese swords are to protect them from developing rust and scratches. The precautions required for keeping the sword in good condition are the following: The most important aspects of preserving Japanese swords are to protect them from developing rust and scratches. The precautions required for keeping the sword in good condition are the following: Tozando Antique Japanese Swords Store Ship worldwide by Federal Express Store the blade in a Shirasaya Despite regular care and oiling, a blade may develop rust in places. Especially when a Koshirae is very old, the interior of the Saya may well be contaminated with rust and…

Japanese Sword Mainteance Guide Part 2: How to maintain your sword

Written by Yasumasa Yamamoto(Tozando) To summarize, when maintaining a sword, the main purpose to prevent the blade from oxidizing and rusting. Therefore, it is necessary to thoroughly remove any stale oil from the blade and replace it entirely with new oil, making sure that the whole blade is covered and not leaving any spots ungreased. Maintenance tools Japanese swords are generally polished using more than 10 different types of grinding/polishing stones making the surface of the blade very smooth. Because of this, any dirt or dust that may be stuck on your Nuguigami or Abura-nuguishi might inflict damage to the blade, thus it is of utmost importance that you keep…

Japanese Sword Mainteance Guide Part 1: How to draw the sword and sheath your sword

Written by Yasumasa Yamamoto(Tozando) It goes without saying, that Japanese swords are precious cultural treasures, but if it is handled roughly it might be damaged or might cause injury to yourself or someone else. If that happens, the value of such a precious treasure might be lost and as Japanese, we won’t be able face our predecessors and ancestors. Because of that, we hope that you pay utmost attention and respect when handling and owning such a sword. Tozando Antique Japanese Swords Store Ship worldwide by Federal Express Handling precautions Whether your Japanese sword is being preserved in a Shirasaya (a simple wooden scabbard and hilt for storage purposes) or…

From the hands of the craftsman to the shipment to the end consumer

Streamlining the production process and sales of Tozando brand products From the hands of the craftsman to the shipment to the end consumer Production that starts with the raw materials Production is an important factor in maintaining consistent high quality of standard for our products. This starts with not only ensuring the quality of the raw materials that we procure in Japan, but also the materials that are made and imported from overseas. Our obsession towards the raw materials does not simply end at quality of the completed product, but also the process that leads there and the degree of perfection of the final product is also evaluated. In this…

Tozando’s Three Committments

We have come so far by being committed to our business Because we are committed we are where we are today The following are the three commitments that defines Tozando Committed to quality Being committed to quality can mean to provide top quality products without compromising, but in order to do so, you also need to ensure that the traditional craftsmanship and experience are passed down to the next generation. By only saying that you are the very best, or first class or being a certain generation, you wouldn’t understand the weight of tradition. Just by nurturing the experience and knowledge of our predecessors and inheriting their very soul through…

Jōdan-no-kamae: The stance of fire

Written by Aya Onodera, Kendo 3-dan(Tozando) Jōdan-no-kamae(上段の構え) is one of the five stances in Kendo and is also called Hi-no-kamae(火の構え), meaning “the stance of fire”. The Jōdan stance does not allow retreat, the stance is intimidating and is a technique that ultimately results in a one-hit-kill. When I was in high school the Kendo advisor in my Kendo club suggested that I should take up the Jōdan stance, and because of this I started using the Jōdan stance. Until then I was using Chūdan-no-kamae(中段の構え) but I was unable to produce the any significant results and was making little progress and because of that I couldn’t enjoy doing Kendo anymore. Deluxe…

Indigo-dye: Because the “Japan Blue” has a scent of Wabi-sabi

Why are Bogu dyed with Indigo-dye?  Bogu are traditionally dyed using Aizome (indigo-dye) and in the past Aizome was something that the Japanese people could find all around them, the indigo-dyed color being a natural part of their everyday life. The famous Edo period Ukiyo-e master Andō Hiroshige, best known for his landscapes, made great use of the different shades of indigo to vividly depict the scenery of Japan. Also Lafcadio Hearn after coming to Japan, famously wrote “…the little houses under their blue roofs, the little shop-fronts hung with blue, and the smiling little people in their blue costumes…”, the indigo color making a profound impression in his description…

3 points to look out for when choosing your Kendo Men

Written by Akira Onishi, Kendo Bogu craftsman(Tozando) First of all, the point most people would prioritize would be to choose a Men that doesn’t hurt too much when you are hit. However, this is hard to know, so let me explain from the beginning. The Men Futon is usually stuffed with varying layers of cotton and felt, thanks to these, when you are hit by a Shinai the padding absorbs the impact. In a good Men, the padding will not only be soft, but also highly elastic, which means that the padding after being compressed by the impact of the Shinai, will strive to return to its original state, dispersing…

Kozakura and Shobu: Patterns that typify Samurai’s spirit

In the last article about Shokko, we spoke about the Shokko patterns on the Mune and Ago on the Bogu. This time we are going to take a closer look at the patterns which most Kendo practitioners are familiar with, such as “Kozakura” (Cherry blossom) and “Shobu” (Japanese Iris) patterns. You might think, “Where do you use Shobu patterns in Kendo?”  Please think about your Shinai Bag, some people in your Dojo might have a Shinai bag with a green color and white patterns. In that pattern, there should be a white cross visible in the center, with three thin lines on each side of the cross. It’s a pattern that…

It’s only Shokko but surely Shokko.

When looking at Kendo Bogu, whether it is online or in catalogs, you often see the word “Shokko” in the description of the Bogu. Shokko is part of the Kazari decoration on the Ago and on the Mune, and in general, most people thinks that it’s a name of the decorative patterns used for Bogu, although the concept of the word “Shokko” itself is rather vague. This time we will take a closer look at “Shokko”.  “Shokko” is originally the name of brocades from the state of Shu during the three kingdoms era in China. In Japan, we have many traditional patterns that have been passed down through the ages….