Are you familiar with the expression byo-jo-shin-kore-do?

Are you familiar with the expression byo-jo-shin-kore-do? The follow is the definition: “In martial arts terms – to expel the four diseases of fear, alarm, confusion, and doubt, to keep a calm mind, and remain cool-headed is of utmost importance; this is the right path for man the highest form of morality.” This spirit is considered the highest moral standard. From its very beginnings, martial arts as put a huge emphasis on “respec”. Kendo, sumo-do, naginata-do all have the suffix “-do” attached to it. During such contests, if you clench your fists to show your delight, the merits of that move will be retracted. This is because such acts are…

Is your Aikido Hakama really good enough?

About 20 years ago, getting a good Aikido Hakama would require you to either come to Japan yourself, or try to contact one of the few stores that would accept mail-orders and ship internationally. Additionally, if you didn’t know any Japanese, then it could have been quite hard to even communicate with the Japanese staff. Being an Aikido practitioner overseas was most certainly very inconvenient and time spending at that time. Nowadays the world has changed, whether you get one directly from Japan online, buy one that is sold locally from one of the Budo stores in your own country, or buy one directly from Amazon or any other major…

Aikido: Regarding the promotional examination

Written by Tatsunari Tachibana, Yoshinkan 4-dan(Tozando) What is Aikido? This is a question I have numerous times asked the people at the various Dojo where I have the honor to instruct, yet every time I asked this question, I’m met with silence. Although it might seem to be simple to answer at first glance, the question is much deeper than that and I actually think it’s a very hard question to answer myself. The founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei Sensei once famously explained that Aikido is not something that can be expressed using the brush or your mouth, it has to be comprehended. Also, except for certain factions, Aikido is…

Tozando Physical Stores

Tozando currently has a total of four branch stores, three in Kyoto and one in Tokyo. In Kyoto, the Nishijin Store, Shogoin Store and Kyoto Budogu Store, and in Tokyo the Tokyo Showroom. Please see the detailed description for each of them below: TOZANDO NISHIJIN “KENDO” STORE Your one-stop in Kyoto for Kendo Equipment and also a limited amount of Aikido and Judo equipment. This is also the location of our Kyoto Kendo Workshop with experienced Craftsmen making Bogu and offering repair services. >>detailed information SHOGOIN “SWORD & YOROI “STORE The place in Kyoto you want to go to if you are looking for Japanese Swords, Antique Swords, Yoroi (Japanese…

What is Tetsuboku?

In Asia, Tetsuboku is known for it’s hardness, hence ‘Tetsuboku’ which literary means “Iron Wood”. As the name suggests, this material can be said to be one of the hardest materials used for making Bokken today. Bokken made out of this wood are excellent for Kata and Suburi practice, however, since the fibers are not as strong as for example White Oak, it is NOT recommended for full contact training. The quality of Tetsuboku wood is very stable and it’s rare to see unwanted warping in Bokken’s made out of Tetsuboku. Also since Tetsuboku naturally consists of high rates of Polyphenol, this wood has a naturally strong antibacterial and preservative…

What is Sunuke?

Sunuke wood comes from a tree that is officially called “Isu no ki” or the Japanese Isu tree.  Only the wood that comes from trees that are 250-400 years old is called ‘Sunuke’. Therefore, although a great deal of care and attention goes into their production, it is naturally not possible for all Sunuke Bokken to be exempt from small imperfections. In Japan these ‘imperfections’ are generally considered to be a sign that the Bokken is indeed the genuine article, and therefore are preferred by some over Bokken which are without marks. While the Isu wood which comes from the younger trees, is known for it’s beautiful color gradation, Sunuke…

What is Isu?

Isu wood comes from a tree that is officially called “Isu no ki”.Isu no Ki produces a exotic hardwood which can be split into Isu and Sunuke wood and can mainly be found south of Kyushu islands.  This wood is characterized by the fine grains and the warm and charming coloration, which ranges from a light creamy color to the dark chocolate color of Sunuke, gives it a feeling of exquisiteness. Isu is a hard wood, however, due to it’s nature as a young wood, it’s more prone to dents and damage due to impact, which is why it’s not recommended for intense contact practice.  In the last few years, this…

Akagashi: What is Japanese Red Oak?

Japanese Red Oak (赤樫; Akagashi) is generally found in the mountain ranges in the west part of Japan and has gotten its name from the fact that the wood has a distinct red hue to it compared to other oak woods. The Japanese red oak can mostly be found growing naturally in the mountains in western Japan, although it is sometimes also planted in Shrines or residences also. The trees grows to be around 20m tall, so the wood is often used as construction material or for Shamisen and other Japanese musical instruments. Since the Japanese red oak wood is also naturally strong against water, it was also traditionally used…

What is Japanese White Oak, Shirakashi?

“Japanese oak” is a collection of evergreen tall trees, from which long oval green leaves with an elegant luster and uneven edges grow. The Japanese oak is native to many countries in Asia, including Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, having more than 150 varieties. In Japan, the trees can commonly be found in the areas south of the Kanto area. In Japanese the word “Oak” (樫) is written with the radicals for “wood” (木) and “hard” (堅), this tells the story of how hard Japanese oak wood is. Even though it is a strong hard wood, it is also very resilient, which makes it very durable. Because of this…

Can you embroider my customized Kamon?

Yes, we can. We provide various Kamon embroideries of traditional Japanese family clan but if you would like to embroider your own Kamon or calligraphy, that’s something we can do. Please, send us the file and prefered size (3x3cm or 4x4cm).