Iron Sword Wood - Tagayasan

A story about wood as hard as iron – know from bokken

For bokken, people from old time have always preferred heavy, hard wood. The oak tree, the distylium racemosum (isunoki), and the loquat tree are among the wood favored by swordsmen, but among them are wood that was said to be as hard as iron. One is called tetsuboku (iron wood) Read More

Repairing Kendo Shinai's Splits

What do you do with splits in your shinai? Fixing your shinai is actually quite easy!

When the cold and dry weather drags, on, the shinai become more vulnerable to splits. When you keep training with a shinai that has splits it can be incredibly dangerous. You can get splinters in your fingers or in your eye, and there has even been a reported case of Read More

Aikido Nagewaza

3 Tips for Improving Your Aikido

If you’re an Aikido practitioner, it’s safe to presume that you want to see improvements in your technique. And with that goal in mind, you practice day in day out to achieve it. The truth of the matter, however, is that there are probably a lot of practitioners who feel Read More

Sunuke Bokken Image

Sunuke – Wood that has survived many centuries

For wooden swords wood from trees such as the bamboo-leaved oak, the Japanese evergreen oak, and the distylium racemosum have been used. For top quality swords, the Japanese plum tree, ebony, and sunuke have been used. Sunuke refers to the core wood taken from distylium racemosum (isunoki) that has grown Read More

Atago Shrine on Mount Agato

The Belief System of Commanders During the Warring States Period

The Japanese people’s reverence of nature dates back to ancient times and is rooted in the religious worship of nature, especially since the prosperity of Sangaku Shinko. This roughly translates as ‘mountain worship’ and originated as a practice in Shugendo in the 7th century as an amalgamation of beliefs and Read More

The Feathers Make the Arrow Fly Straight

The Feathers Make the Arrow Fly Straight

Humans have invented all kinds of weapons, but the bow and arrow have been used by tribes living in East Asia since the Paleolithic and in the Neolithic it had spread to hunting tribes all over the world. The Japanese yumiya, which gave birth to kyudo (Japanese Archery), is depicted Read More

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 Read More

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 Read More

Deer are valuable asset to Kendo Equipment

Even now, deerskin is used for high-quality Kendo equipment. Deerskin dyed in dark blue is used for all parts of the body, and smoked brown skin that is used for the Kote palm. During the hunter-gatherer era, deer were hunted for food, and the skin was naturally used for clothing Read More

The Loser’s Big Stage

The previous article on seppuku was met with a lot of responses, so I would like to write a follow-up. As mentioned, seppuku initially was not someone one did to take responsibility for a mistake, but was done in order to follow a deceased master to death or to kill Read More