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…

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…

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…