Category: Bokken/Shinai

Kendo Kata demonstration with Biwa(loquat) bokken wooden stick

Biwa – the tree that even Musashi loved

Of the many woods used when making bokuto and other wooden weapons the Biwa (Loqat) tree is perhaps the msot beloved by craftsmen and practitioenrs for its distinct and unique qualities. In this article we take a close look at the tree itself and its conenction to budo. The first Read More

Reflections on the Shinai’s History – Is the Shinai just a bamboo sword or is there more to it?

A ‘Shinai’ is commonly known as a practice tool replacing a live blade in Kendo and Kenjutsu. And yet, it goes beyond being simply a tool in that it’s treated with reverence. More than just being a bamboo sword used during practice or competitions, by standing in for a real Read More

Musashi Rules

The last six months of my life has been pretty much all about Miyamoto Musashi. When I’m not doing my real job, Musashi is sure to be there giving me a hard time. He has even been haunting my dreams of late. The reason for this obsessiveness is a recent Read More

Isunoki – The little known yet hardest and heaviest tree in Japan

The isunoki tree (English; distylium racemosum), often shortened to isu in Japanese, is an evergreen, broad-leaved tree that stretches up to 20m in height. It grows mostly to the east of the Kanto region. Often the leaves will have insect galls forming on them. In the old days, children picked Read More

Do you know? The secret to the number of folds on the Hakama and joints on the Shinai

The Nishijin Main Store of Tozando attracts many customers, helped by its location in Kyoto. Kendo is very popular overseas with many Kenshi worldwide. But since it is not an Olympic sport, the existence of a kendo world championship is perhaps not widely known. As a company that markets martial Read More

Kendo Shinai: SG or SSP?

We had some questions from Kendo customers about the SSP and SG seals on Shinai and if the SSP seal will become a requirement for competing Kendoka from now on. The short answer is NO! The requirement of SSP seals on Shinai won’t affect Kendoka overseas at the moment. If Read More

To have your name embroidered/engraved in Japanese

Thanks to the modern computer-aided sewing machines, it has become very easy to have our name embroidered on our Gi or Hakama. It is decorative and useful (for example: it is certainly easier to retrieve our own stuff、 in case all our clothes get mixed up in a sudden tornado Read More

What is the difference between a standard and a deluxe bokken?

Basically, the difference between a standard and a deluxe white oak Bokken is the quality of the wood used to make it.The deluxe one is made of wood from the core part of a tree while a standard type is made using other parts of a tree. It will of Read More

What is a Jissengata Shinai?

“Jissengata” means “real combat”, these Shinai are mostly geared towards competition usage. Compared to a standard Shinai, the tip is slimmer. As a result of this the center of gravity is more towards the grip side of the shinai, making it easier to handle and adding a sense of speed when Read More

What does Koto mean?

“Koto” literally means “old sword”.  In Koto style Shinai the weight is more evenly distributed through-out the Shinai, while the center of the gravity is located closer to the tip, imitating the balance of a “real sword”. Because of this it’s said to be more difficult to master and preferred by high level practitioners.