Category: Japanese Sword Katana

Iaito sword inspection by Tozando Iaito craftsman

The Correct Way to Maintain Your Iaito Sword

The Iaito Sword is a sword invented for practicing iaido and uses an alloy sword blade instead of the blade of a real sword. The other parts of the sword are often that of a real sword, such as the sheath, hilt, and other metal fittings. But since the blade Read More

Sasaki Kojiro and Tsubame-gaeshi sword technique

Secret Technique: Tsubame-gaeshi

There are many moves in kenjutsu, and one of them is the “Tsubame-gaeshi”. Not only those who have taken up sword-fighting, but anyone who knows Miyamoto Musashi would have heard of this famous move at least once. Tsubame-gaeshi is a technique where you swing the sword in front on your Read More

Kendo Suburi at Kyoto Butokuden

Suburi – Mastering the Air Stroke

Air strokes have “one act”, “two act”, and “three act” versions using the wooden sword as well as a method using the shinai called “kiri-kaeshi” where you wear the mask and do it with an opponent. This article will focus on the “three act” version and list some things that Read More

Gemon Koshirae Iaito Sword

Tozando’s new Iaito sword with verse of Buddhist gatha

Gemon is buddhist gatha and this Gemon Koshirae features the verse of gatha that Buddha once said to his principle disciple Mahakasyap. It reads “HO WA MOTO HO TO SHITE MUO NARI, MUHO MO HO TO SHITE MATA HO NARI“, literally meaning that the laws of Dharma were initially not Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

The Relevance of Budo in Modern Life

by Nicholas Wilson “From youth my heart has been inclined towards (swordsmanship).” –Miyamoto Musashi For as long as I can remember, swords have fascinated me. If there was a movie to watch, a book to read, or a game to play where swords were involved, you had my attention. Martial Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

The Last Samurai: Martial Arts in the Age of Cultural Appropriation, or the Tom Cruise Dilemma

by Timothy Slover I asked my friend Chelsea to measure my height. She asked me why. I didn’t want to tell her. I didn’t want to say, “I want you to measure me in inches, so that I can convert that number to shaku, and figure out how long my Read More

Tozando 2017 Essay Contest Winning Article

Recovering from the 2011 Sendai Earthquake

A winning article for 2017 Tozando Essay Contest Photos and text by Rachelle D. Lawrence In his 17th century treatise on the Japanese sword, Zen, and politics, Yagyu Munemori wrote about the “killing” sword and the “life-giving” sword. The sword that protects a life also takes a life, whether in Read More

The World is Full of Seeds of Fakeness

Fake swords apparently started being made around the Kamakura period. In the Muromachi period there was already a “certificate of authenticity” which included an inscription on the tang of the words and a description of the blade. In the Edo period fake swords “developed” further, and all sorts of fakes Read More

Burei-uchi – Samurai Defending their Honor with their Lives

When you watch historical plays, you often see a scene in which commoner touches a samurai’s shoulder, whereupon the samurai immediately draws his sword and cuts him down. This is called “burei-uchi”, meaning “striking for improper manners”. Another term used is “Kirisute Gomen” which means “permission to cut down”. There Read More

The Five Schools of the Japanese Sword – This will help you know the History of the Japanese Sword

The Japanese sword is divided based on the period of era it was made. Kotō (old sword) refers to the sword made before the Keicho era (just before the Edo period) and Shintō (new sword) refers to swords made between the Keicho and the beginning of the Meiwa era (1764). Read More