Japanese Language and Samurai Aesthetics

I have written a number of entries about the Japanese sword and Japanese idioms, which has gained much more response than I had imagined. For this edition, I would like to take things a little broader, focusing not only on the sword but on the “samurai” as we explore more idiomatic expressions. Some of these are still used in everyday conversation, whereas some have become archaic, but they all artfully express the samurai or the bushi way of life. Hana wa sakura-gi hito wa bushi (Cherry-blossoms are to flowers what bushi are to men) Among flowers cherry blossoms are the most beautiful, and among men bushi are the best. This…

Suzaku – The never ending challenge, moving the sword craft into the future

Written by Yamamoto Yasumasa(Tozando)Many roads passed through the ancient capital of Kyoto, for example the Tokaido, Sanyodo and Hokurikudo roads. The most important 7 main roads on which you could enter and leave Kyoto, in other words check points, were called Kyo no Nanakuchi(the seven entrances of Kyoto). Even to this day there are train stations and locations which reminds us of this history, such as Kuramaguchi and Tanbaguchi. Among those seven entrances, there was one called Awataguchi, nowadays it would be somewhere located close to the Higashiyama-Sanjo, or Sanjo Keihan Station area. Anyone who has studied a bit about Japanese swords would recognize Awataguchi as the area from where…

Tokuren Z: A Kendo Bogu made for winners

The Jutsuka Tokubetsu Kunren (術科特別訓練; Special Technique Training Department) or for short, the “Tokuren”, is a special Japanese police squad whose purpose is to promote and reinforce technical training within subjects such as Judo, Kendo, Taihojutsu, marksmanship, etc. to raise the overall level of physical and mental health among police officers. It’s well known in the Kendo community that some of the strongest Kendo players originates from the Kendo Tokuren police squad, and their long and harsh daily training routines makes them fearsome powerhouses that can be considered to be the true Kendo professionals, many of who are or have been ranked in the top in the All Japan Kendo Championships…

Samue: Uniform for Samu

The Samue (作務衣) was originally a type of work clothes for Zen Buddhist priests in Japan and was something that they would wear when they were cleaning, cutting firewood, working the fields and do other daily tasks around the temple. Since it originally was a type of working garment, it was never worn during proper Zazen meditation sessions or during memorial services, as they were non-spiritual clothes. Although this is the origins of this type of clothing, with time the shape and style changed and nowadays it is increasingly common to see it worn as a type of casual relax wear. The traditional characteristic feature of the Samue is that…

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…

MUKOKU – A Controversial Kendo Movie Up in Theaters Soon

MUKOKU, based on Shuhei Fujisawa’s novel, will be going up in theaters all over Japan on the 3rd of June! The movie is about Kengo Yatabe (Ayano Go) a 5-dan Kendoka who stops practicing after causing an accident, now he spends his days drinking and working as a security guard. One day, a high school student with frightening talent for Kendo, Toru Haneda (Nijiro Murakami), appears in front of him asking him “did you kill your father?” Two men who can only live by fighting, please look forward to seeing the action scenes with plenty of Kendo in this movie. It is our honor that Tozando sponsored this exciting movie…

TOZANDOSHOP.COM Switches to US Dollars!

Tozando would like to announce a great change coming soon to our international website tozandoshop.com. As of now, while it is possible to display prices in multiple currencies (USD, EUR, etc…), all transactions are eventually priced in Japanese Yen. But by popular demand, and to make our prices easier for international customers to handle, we have decided to change the default currency of the website. Starting the 24th of May, 2017, all tozandoshop.com transactions will be priced in US Dollars, and the price of every product will be listed in US Dollar rather than Japanese Yen.   As US dollar is the main currency for international transactions, with easily identifiable exchange rates for…

Seimei Shrine – A Mysterious World in Nishijin, Kyoto

Written by Takahiko Kimura, Tozando CEO A short 10 minute walk from the Tozando headquarters, you can find the Seimei Shrine which is known to worship the god that ward off evil and evil spirits. Just hearing “Seimei Shrine” many people might already have an idea of what it is all about, but this is the shrine that worships “Abe no Seimei” who also famously appeared in Baku Yumemakura’s novel “Onmyoji). During the Heian period, it was believed that by interpreting the movements of the moon and stars you could understand the message from the heavens. From looking at the movements of the stars and clouds the Onmyoji divined the…

2017/01/24 – New Kendo Movie “武曲 MUKOKU”

Check out this upcoming Japanese Kendo-themed movie “武曲 MUKOKU” starring popular actor 綾野 剛 (Ayano Gō). It will premiere in Japanese theaters in June 2017 and it looks like it will be a great movie for people doing Kendo! International release is still not announced, but hopefully it will be made available for international audiences also eventually and help increase the interest in Kendo all over the world! Check out the first trailer below, we will keep you updated as we get more information about this movie!