Category: Japanese Sword Katana

Japanese sword Tsukurikomi image

Japanese Sword Tsukuri-komi: Structure Evolving through Time

Japanese has a word “tsukuri-komi” which refers to the structure and style of the sword blade. In a previous article about the sword’s appearance, I mentioned that the tachi had a strong back-bend whereas the uchigatana had a strong bend at the edge. The angle of the bend, the thickness Read More

Image of Japanese Sword Katana made by Akatamtsu Taro

The Japanese Sword – The Difference in Appearance

The Japanese sword is praised as “beauty in use”. Its appearance is so simple with no unnecessary features, but in fact it has many skills woven into one piece of work. When we look at those details, we are drawn further into the charm of the Japanese sword as we Read More

Kaji Jinja shrine in Awata Jinja shrine in Kyoto

Crescent Moon Munechika: The Swordsmith Legend in Kyoto

Every year in July the atmosphere of Kyoto becomes mysteriously excited as the whole city prepares to hold Gion Matsuri – the biggest festival of the year that has been held annually for over a millennium. There is a connection between the world of Japanese swords and this historic festival. Read More

Being true to your Sword

– Though we use iaitō, bokutō and shinai; we must never forget that these are swords – Iaido and kendo are both budō that place a strong emphasis on manners and etiquette – not only to our partners, but also the spaces within which we practice and to opponents who are Read More

Danryu Koshirae coiled dragon motif Iaito sword

The new Iaito sword with noble Danryu dragon from Tozando

In Japan, various patterns involving the mythical creature of the dragon have been used since ancient times. In particular coiled dragons known as “Danryu” have been prized as patterns on items like plates and vases for the nobility since long ago. It is said dragons possess a mysterious power and Read More

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